Chat GPT is a distraction. When it comes to the dangers of artificial intelligence and machine learning the real story will be in Atlanta starting this weekend.
May First encourages all members to support the mass mobilization against Cop City taking place between March 4th and 11th.
The Atlanta Police Foundation is trying to build a huge police training facility in Weelaunee Forest, “a watershed surrounded by primarily Black residents who overwhelmingly oppose the project” (https://stopcop.city). The city of Atlanta has ignored the local protests in opposition to the facility, violently evicted protesters (shooting a protester known as Tortuguita to death with over a dozen bullets), and recently granted a final permit for the facility to be built.
The mass mobilization is to protest the killing and fight the final permit.
The campaign to stop the facility may be local, but the broader campaign to oppose the militarization of and surveillance by the police is an international issue.
Specifically it is an issue that combines corporate profit, technology, and racism. The Atlanta Police Foundation, which is funding Cop City, is part of a US trend of corporate funded policing identified by Color of Change in a recent report.
According to the report:
Police foundations are private organizations that funnel corporate money into policing, protecting corporate interests and enabling state-sanctioned violence against Black communities and communities of color. You might be more familiar with the Atlanta Police Foundation’s sponsors: Amazon, Bank of America, Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola1, Delta Airlines, Home Depot, Waffle House, Wells Fargo, Uber and UPS, to name a few. These are the donors we know about. As calls for accountability increased in recent years, police foundations have taken additional steps to scrub their websites and hide donor information.
And what are corporations funding via police foundations? Surveillance. The Atlanta Police Foundation, for example, funds Operation Shield - “a citywide network of 11,000 surveillance cameras and license plate readers that has only expanded the round-the-clock monitoring of black Atlantans” (https://stopcop.city/).
These 11,000 cameras are monitored by the same corporate machine learning technology whose development has been driven by surveillance capitalism and trained on data collected through the widespread use of corporate social media, search, email and other internet services.
We encourage all members to join the mobilization.
We also encourage folks to join May First board member Micky Metts this Friday for a strategy session sponsored by Community Bridge: Friday, March 3rd at 6pm ET via https://communitybridge.com/stopcopcity (Acess Code: solidarity) or connect with May First board member Jerome Scott via Community Movement Builders.
And, as always, please support autonomous technology providers in building consentful, community centered technology guided by the communication and organizing needs of our movements.