Bond Funds as Mutual Aid

Atlanta residents are fighting against state repression and fascism—follow their efforts to #StopCopCity

In an attempt to thwart these efforts, on May 31, 2023, the State of Georgia arrested and charged three members of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, a bail fund that has been in operation for seven years. The members are being charged with charity fraud and money laundering. Fortunately, the members were freed with the support of the Massachusetts Bail Fund, Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund and NorCal Resist! Read this wonderful statement from the three bail funds about their act of solidarity. 

The arrests of the Atlanta Solidarity Fund members is in direct response to their support of forest defenders and protestors of #StopCopCity. 

#StopCopCity supporters are working to prevent the construction of a law enforcement training facility that would destroy 381 acres of the Weelaunee Forest of Atlanta, Georgia. If built, it will be the largest police training facility in the United States. The prosecution labels these protestors as domestic terrorists and the ASF’s financial support of the protestors as a crime. The Atlanta Solidarity Fund support includes bond payments after arrest, food, tents, and yard signs, amongst other forms of aid. The state prosecutor has delineated what is a worthy cause or not, and has deemed the #StopCopCity protestors to not be a worthy cause.

Unfortunately, Cop City in Atlanta is part of a larger drive by municipalities across the country to develop training complexes for law enforcement. These cities have taken funds that could otherwise be used to invest in communities, and are utilized to expand and further militarize the police. We have seen evidence of this and of protest movements against these training facilities in Chicago with #NoCopAcademy and the Bay Area with Urban Shield. Time and time again, communities have said no more to the expansion and militarization of the prison industrial complex. 

Community bail funds are a form of mutual aid. Raising money to provide direct aid, resources—and yes, even paying bond—has been a tool to support movement work and to assist communities that continue to be divested from and abandoned by their governments. The people that they helped are not and have historically not been individuals or causes that the state deems worthy, just, or timely. We enter dangerous territory when we allow the state, be it federal or local government and everything in between, to dictate what causes are worthy and who we are able to support. Many of us know that the State does not want our communities to receive the support and care we rightfully deserve. 

Community bail funds exist to eliminate the unfair advantage that people without wealth have in the criminal court system by paying money bonds for people who cannot pay them. Supporting bail funds is a means of providing direct financial support to low-income communities of color targeted by the police, because it minimizes the financial impact while increasing the probability of meaningful participation in their criminal cases.  

As mentioned by our comrades in Massachusetts Bail Fund, Michigan Solidarity Bail Fund and NorCal Resist: Our work is community care, and is not a crime!

How can I provide support? 

#StopCopCity Week of Action is happening June 24 through July 1, 2023 in Atlanta, GA. We encourage folks to find ways to plug in, and CCBF will continue to uplift calls to action on social media. 

Not sure where to learn more about what’s happening? Here are some additional resources:

We stand with the Atlanta Solidarity Fund and the folks organizing to #StopCopCity.

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