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St Patrick’s interruptus for the record

A family affairMay I clarify the actions of the peaceful marchers at the St Patrick’s Day parade? My fellow participants sat down, not to block the path of the parade, but to resist the rough-handed treatment of me and Esther Kisamore who were being thrown to the ground by a semi-uniformed official with his police badge obscured. This officer was yelling at us to get out of the parade, without telling us on whose authority. He was commanding us to furl our banners, grabbing three which he broke over his knee. All of this is documented by bystander videos. Officer Paladino, it turns out, then tried to wrestle the keys of the bookmobile which I was driving, still without addressing us formally. He pulled me from the truck, pinned me to the ground, and threw Esther on top of me as she was urging for calm, to the horror of the young children marching with us and the hundreds watching.

Who was it that decided our peace message was any more political than the political candidates, political parties, or pro-war organizations parading their ethics in the St Patrick’s Day festivities? In the spirit of the occasion, just as we had done the year before, we purposefully refrained from our usual calls for President Bush’s impeachment or trial on charges of war crimes. Polls now show that our pleas for an end to the war in Iraq reflect the general sentiment of the American public. What parade organizer, or police squad, has the right to squelch that cry?

We sincerely regret the traumatic scene witnessed yesterday by so many children. Yet maybe it provided a teachable moment. They saw erstwhile Officer Friendly revealed as unbridled authoritarian brute, baring tasers and choke holds to enforce someone’s subjective political opinion. Before their young eyes, freedom of speech in America was manhandled and thrown to the curb.

Eric Verlo
Owner, Bookman Bookmobile
Chairman, Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission
Permit holder 21, St Patrick’s Day Parade

39 thoughts on “St Patrick’s interruptus for the record

  1. Hooray for you guys. I am so happy to hear that you guys did this (my mom sent a link to the gazette article). Well, I am not happy that you guys got brutalized by the pigs, but nevertheless it is somewhat uplifting to hear about confrontational tactics. Especially, since I was a little dismayed at the lack of confrontation at the DC rally. C. Springs really does not get its due credit as far as war resistance is concerned. Although I bitched about it while I was there, I do appreciate it now that I see the lack of it out east here.

  2. Jon, this was not a confrontation that we looked for. Instead, it was an ambush. It was not a planned act of civil disobedience neither. If it had been, I for one would not have been there with my wife and kid, nor not even by myself. I am not into martyrdom.

    If we had been given time to disperse by the police, most of us would have done so within a couple of minutes. Instead, one or two of us were notifed abruptly, and when these individuals in our crowd began to ask why they were immediately assaulted by the police without there being the least reason for the cops to have taken that aggressive route. It was like a police SWAT assault where the people inside a house are asked to open up, even as the door itself is being rammed down.

    When the cops want to do something peacefully, they allow people to have time to digest what is coming down. When they want the actual use of excessive force, they deliberately begin their assault within milliseconds of a semi comprehensible verbal ‘warning’. At this event, the police clearly wanted to use excessive force to, I guess?, teach us some sort of lesson?

    In my case, I never got any verbal warning to disperse, even as others were being threatened by tasers, abused with choke holds, and humiliated. Yes, that was what this was really about. Humiliation.

  3. Well, if anything I think it did provide a “teachable moment” as Eric put it. Even if this was not intended to be confrontational, which there is absolutely nothing wrong with, you guys should take it is an opportunity to increase your confrontations with this fascist system. The police and the military are both armed factions of the state that do need to be exposed for what they are. Colorado Springs especially needs to see this sort of thing in order to drive home just how violent this country is. Anyway, I am just rambling and I wasn’t there to get my ass dragged across the street, which I probably wouldn’t appreciate so…peace.

  4. Jon…I appreciate your comments. My two daughters were standing there crying as Eric was put to the ground and several elderly ladies were manhandled by overly aggressive cops. We had a permit…We stood in line for a hour before the parade…at any time the parade organizers could have objected and stopped us from proceeding….

    This was an unbelievable, unexpected abuse of power…..I am very hopeful that we will be able to shed some light on the erosion of our civil liberties under the Bush administration. What the police did on Saturday was truly unconscionable….

    I love the juxtaposition of the policeman with his taser aggressively drawn and Mary’s sole marracca as she rode her bicycle….She was such a threat to the public safety, wasn’t she?

  5. We’re all over the net now. Not just local, and it’s getting some serious attention.

    Elizabeth was where I would have been, but she’s a little older and even more disabled. At least I can still ride my bike.

    I doubt, from my long experience with such events, that the cops would have taken one thought to my foot (until it heals enough to do a sudden Jop Cha Kee unexpectedly some day) and they probably would have fractured it again.

    Did y’all notice that while the loudmouths closest to the corner, like the one who confronted Marie seconds before the Big Drag kicked in, saying how dare we actually use our rights when all these soldiers were defending our rights, and the punk who was a) young enough to be a soldier in Iraq but b) obviously wasn’t and was trying to get a chant going to “run them over” and “kill those Hippies”, not one of the GIs in the crowd confronted either the police or the wannabe terrorists in the crowd who were calling for the deaths of Americans who dared to express a concept they didn’t agree with?

    To be fair, the GIs at least didn’t join in howling for our blood, but to be even more fair, the symbolic act of them putting their uniform between the mob and the victims would have been a perfect propaganda operation for their side.

    That they declined, speaks volumes.

    I went up and down telling them and the civilian mob that they bring shame to america, they bring shame to the army, and to Colorado Springs, that they were hypocrites and liars. Not one of them and especially not the punk cheerleader not 20 feet from the cops, who I know they heard, making terrorist threats and attempting to incite a riot, actually would come into the street to confront me.

    I also notice that the ones who really WERE being confrontational, all of them supportive of the police action, were universally and unanimously NOT handcuffed, dragged, choke-hold or stick therapy managed, or given in any way the “field interview” treatment Eric and Elizabeth and all received.

  6. Mind you, it does look like a bit of self inflation there. But it’s not any heroics on MY part.

    I’m no hero, but those guys are ZEROS.

    Their mommas must be so very proud.

  7. Eric, I just tuned in and am aghast. Really sorry this happened. I know you would not exploit this, but how about a link to any news story of the event. I hate to search the Gazette for the news (just like most of its readers!). Nevertheless, perhaps some accts posted herein might help “out-of-towners” know the internal stuggle therein. And as Jon said above, it’s pertinent per any citizen’s resolve and info.

    …Condolences to all who attended and civil rights everywhere…

    R.I.P.

  8. Was your permit issued by the City, or the private Parade organizers?

    In the latter case, they would be within their rights to revoke it, even if their reasons were arbitrary. (not to excuse the unreasonable force from the officers.)

    Pretty much settled law, cases a decade back stemming from exclusion of gay and lesbian Irish groups from the New York and Boston St. Pats Parades.

  9. Ben,

    I can’t even answer if a private parade on city streets is fair to public, even if licensed by city. That concept reeks, although I realize you are only informing in your comment.

    As you said, is the right of revoke a right to violent revoke before request or reason?? “Con-stable” crime is not a case review…

    No case is “settled” per misuse of force ANYWHERE. That kind of settlement is a rug sweep. Rights or writ? Drown the witches?

    Justice should not be a blinder set for the horseshit of past precedent. Why we have courts and juries (I hope!). If same logic was applied to medicine we’d still use leeches…

  10. Eric – is entering into the parade under the false pretense of Children’s Literacy not civil disobedience (see your own link http://notmytribe.com/2006/colorado/biting-the-hand.html). I believe in this write up you mention how you are using the Bookman Bookmobile as a shield to get your political angles into the parade. I guess it technically is not illegal but like I told your anti-capitalism buddy, any message you thought you were spreading to others was lost in the lack of integrity you showed from the get go – how you approached getting your message out by lying on your permit application. I am surprised a group like Pike’s Peak would continue to allow you to serve on its behalf. FYI: I do not think events like this should be celebrated because you “got your message out.” To more aptly describe what you did I think it would be more like you “ruined a wonderful event for the pariticipants and bystanders of the parade.” I look forward to more events from you where your group holds onto its integrity and actually shares something of value – watching road rash and screaming did not get me to your side. Steve

  11. Steve, you are just spouting the Gazette’s and other Rightist’s spin that we somehow asked to be assaulted by the police, and that we were essentially entering into a private party under false preteness and therefore deserved to get beat on.. But Dude, it is my tax dollars that go to this heavily government subsidized parade. It is my tax dollars that go to allow the 2 war parties, The Democrats and Republicans to march in this event. You don”t give a damn about that, do you? We had a contingent of kiuds 8-12 years old or so, all dressed in military camoflage fatigues right behind us, so don’t give us your crap about how we brought ‘social issues’ into the event.

    What is especially nauseating about your spin, is that you parrot the Right Wing line that we interrupted a family event and that that was distressful to the kids. What about our kids, SmartAss? Do you think that cops in their twenties assaulting elderly folk in their later sixties in front of our kids was not an ‘interruption’ to a peaceful day? Oh, I guess we asked for it, didn’t we? You thugdittoheads are really a piece of cake, Pal. You don’t understand anything about partiotism, democracy, free speech,or any of the other core American values you claim to be the epitome of. Why don’t you leave my country, Dude, as you suggested I do? It’s ours more than it is that of your thuggish crowd.

    Or better yet, why not build yourself a time machine and fly back into the thirties when your type of values came to reign supreme across much of the world? There is little truly
    American about you, at least in the good sense of that tag.

  12. Tony, get over yourself. “Two war parties.” Yeah, that’s why we had 8 years of peace and prosperity under Clinton. Let’s see…are you a NADERITE or a GREEN, both of which were heavily funded by the THUGS? Or are you one of those “populist” “Constitutionalist” xtian gun nut cave men? *W*hatever.

  13. To bring home the soldiers, you must bring the war to home.

    If Steve cringes at road rash, how can he stand the murder abroad? Changing channels to Wheel of Fortune?

    Steve. I’m not for dubious tactics. Such as perpetuating a needless war. Even if this was a publicity stunt (and I doubt it was) – it’s more sane than parading around drinking green beer and pretending to be American while adapting a stupor.

    Green beer is pardoned. No offense to anyone’s holiday. The oil tide is high. Surf Iraq.

  14. Ok Steve. I read Eric’s write that you attempt to characterize as “covert”. Gee, it was in plain site. How “tactical”!

    He extrapolates the Morality of Literacy to a Morality for Peace. Oooh la la.

    Sorta like the Nobel Prize folks do… damned renegades that they are. Like algebra from addition, but let’s not talk above you.

    “Spoiled a wonderful event”…. would you beat your wife for a miscarraige, too?

    Belfast loves ya Steve! Ready to play some U2 bootlegs?

    Next time you want a happy Irish parade Steve, float yourself like Big Bird over a war zone. Perhaps then our soldiers would have something better to shoot at rather than friendly fire at the British. Oh, guess what, I’d still be sad if you were shot. What a stupid feeling on my part. Save the soldiers. Save the citizens. Stop the war. Send over Stevie…

  15. The 13th (sweet screen name by the way) and Tony – you two spend so much energy calling me names you don’t talk about anything of value. How do you know I am not on your side on the entire issue? I am talking about how you are presenting your message – you are missing because you are spending so much time making sure everyone who disagrees with you (even if that means hits you) is non-American, or at least less American than you or as Tony put it, a thugdittohead, that no one will listen to your actual message. FYI: calling me a thugdittohead sounds a lot like one of your 8 year olds calling another 8 year old a poopy head. You are handling an adult issue – behave like adults. The police didn’t, so does that mean you don’t have to? Again, MLK Jr. created a transformation in our society by fighting for change with integrity and never sliding to his opposers levels. They quietly held marches where before hand they disclosed what they would be doing and simply did it. Yes they got attacked but they would simply stand up when knocked down and continue walking. They would not enter a St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which is ridiculous to make a political statement in anyway – why don’t you do something more outlandish for Groundhog Day) under the geise of helping Children’s Literacy. From what I saw of the event, you didn’t pull your peace placards out until you were well into the parade – meaning, you didn’t begin with them from the beginning because you were concealing your true intentions. Address the issue guys, not me. Calling me a poopy head or even a thugdittohead doesn’t change how it all went down. Do I cringe at Road Rash – no. Do I cringe when I am in the Desert carrying my buddy away from an exploded car and he no longer has legs – no. I cringe when I have to tell his mother it happened on my watch. And I cringe thinking about all the innocent people that died on 911. I cringe when I think about going back to war. I am in the war. Do I think we should pull out. I don’t know. But I think you both need to participate in my life a little bit when I am in the war, and then share your views about whether we should leave the war or not. It is not as black and white as it looks from the asphalt in Colorado. You don’t know me or my wife so why are you referencing our unborn child and whether or not I would ever beat her or the child? Maybe one reason you all are met with such opposition (especially on St. Patrick’s Day) is because of how you treat people who are simply in a conversation with you. It is not always the loudest voice that wins. And it is definitely not the most insulting voice that wins.

  16. And I am Irish. So can I not celebrate that in this the land of the free? In this the land of immigrants making their lives into whatever they want? I guess I shouldn’t celebrate the change my parents have generated in their lives and my life since being in America. The hate you have for me is incredible – especially since you do not even know me.

  17. Steve, You disingenousuly ask me, ‘How do you know that I am not on your side on the entire issue?’ What nonsense, Dude. You just got through telling me to get our of ‘your’ country, did you not? That’s why I know damn well where you are coming from. It’s from your own words. I hadn’t called you a ‘poopyhead’ at all. But maybe now is the time to do so. I said nothing about your unborn child or your wife either. Are you hearing voices, Steve?

    Further, you lie about our actions. We had our materials out way before we began to walk. And as to the regulations for participation in this event, well where are they published? Do a little research for us and find the St Patricks Day web site, why don’t you? Find a list of the regualtions for participants. You won’t find this stuff, because they never published any guidelines, now did they? Poopyhead. Yes, I’m abusing yuo now, no doubt. What a crybaby you are. Mr. Croc……..adile Tears.

    And, Zee, you act as if it was all peaceful bliss for 8 years of Clinton in office. No war at all with Iraq then, right? Wrong. You and Rip Van Winkle ought to get together. Yes, Buddy, the Democrats are the party of war, too. That might be why you voted for them perhaps? I can only guess until you tell us why? Actually, you might just be one of the Steve crowd, because you seem about as honest.

  18. Tony – I am on your side of the issue. I agree 100% with the principal idea you are representing. But the way you and the others represented it a week ago, you bring shame to our argument. That is how I “disingenously” ask you that. Because it is tough to claim what you are representing as my point of view, when by doing so, I have to agree to join a group that draws attention to itself in such a negative light. Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms. The thought is that you are screaming so loud, no one can hear what you are saying. Please explain to me why you continue to attack me as a person? You will understand at some point in your life, that when arguing, the person that starts attacking his opponent with insults is always the person that has less viability to stand on – thus they move to attacking something other than the issue. Rule one to winning an argument: stay on the issue. Call me whatever you want. Until you start showing any evidence and responsibility to the issue at hand, I am no longer responding to you.

    About you leaving “my country” I don’t care if you stay or go. But if you are looking for a government that is anti-capitalistic, I wouldn’t count on America moving that direction. With the world getting smaller, free-trade getting bigger, our movement is the opposite direction from any form of socialism. If you stay, be sure you allow people who disagree with you to voice their opinions like you are demanding they let you do. And if you go, be sure to enjoy your last moment of freedom as you cross those borders.

    And to the July 4th Parade – any type of protest you want to plan is fine with me. Just be sure to keep your plans in the open where everyone knows what you will be doing – do not hide behind the guise of something else, like Children’s Literacy. The reason being: I support Children’s Literacy, and want to support Bookman’s efforts. But I cannot do so, when you use that organization to then offer protests to the war in the way you have done, per St. Patrick’s Day. Best wishes, and good luck in your travels.

  19. Paddy’s day not political? C’mon, Dude, in Belfast the British Suckups (unfortunately some of my Irish Kin belong in that group) hide behind your British comrades in their Orange parades.

    Your Brit Comrades killed Green Irish for actually being Green, and no other reason. Did it suddenly get more subtle for ye, boyo?

    An’ I’ll not be asking any mans damned permission to put on the blarney, either here or in a parade, for no man has the right to give such permission, boyo. Not the Parade Masters, not The police, Not YOU.

    We didn’t lie. The thugs in the crowd who were screaming for others to kill us, (for they were too britisher cowardly to do it on their own) LIED when they said that you were fighting in Iraq or HERE for our rights.

    There were many soldiers in the crowd, not one of them so much as raised his voice in defense of Freedom that day. And I doubt seriously that you raised your voice or your weapons to defend similar freedoms in Iraq as well.

    I believe, from your lack of action at the parade, that you believed in what the right wing THUGS were saying, that we should be killed.

  20. Perhaps, Brother Jonah, my lack of action, was my action taken. Had I gotten involved, I would be labeled with either one side or the other. And I do not want to be labeled by either side – your group lacks integrity in how you go about proclaiming your argument, and if I jumped in to help the Police, then all of a sudden, as you say Brother Jonah, I would be one who beleives in what the right wing THUGS are saying and that I think you should be killed.

    I have never said anything like that, yet you label me as part of that group. Maybe it is this ability members of your group have to quickly label people in negative ways and then hate on them for how you label them, that keeps your message from TRULY being heard.

    March 17th is political – in Ireland.

  21. Apparently here as well.

    You sir, are a sworn member of the Armed Forces, you took the same oath as I did. I fulfilled my oath and continue to do so. With or without the fear of being labeled as an agitator or whatever. You obligation is not to defend the Government, official or unofficial, of the City of Colorado Springs, but the Constitution of The United States of America.

    You know the one, that document and set of laws which your president spits on with his so called “Patriot” Act and his unjustifiable terroristic war in Iraq and soon, if he isn’t stopped by REAL patriots, in Iran as well.

    It would have taken an act of courage to stand up at least to the crowd, and voice a concern about the defiance of the First Amendment to the Constitution of The United States.

    The First Amendment is not limited to “free speech when it is convenient or inoffensive or hurts nobody’s feelings” nor is it limited to “freedom to peaceably assemble when and if the police and other government officials agree to allow it”.

    Might I remind you, sir, of the FACT that the Bill of Rights was deliberately left out of the first drafts of the Constitution, which is why they are Amendments rather than Articles of the Constitution.

    And they were ONLY reinstated into the Constitution when the PEOPLE defied the Government, especially the Military, and demanded that they be included.

    The closest the Army can come to a legitimate claim to have given us these rights is there was a threat of Mutiny by the true Patriots within the Army if they were ordered to fire on the Citizens AGAIN, so the Army acceded to the will of the Citizens AT GUNPOINT.

    You still insist that we lack integrity, that, sir, is a lie. You lack the integrity or the courage to admit that. Perhaps you can find such integrity, within yourself.

    I will remind you, though, that your “superiors” will look on it as mutiny.

    I put “superiors” in quotes because that is a most galling term. If they are your “superiors” that would automatically mean that you were their “inferior”.

    You were a human before you put on the uniform. Even in that uniform you are technically a citizen.

    I know the military discourages independent thought and action within its ranks. I remember that very very well.

    At the risk of offending your officers and those responsible for your indoctrination, you are allowed to think. Whether the Army agrees with you or not.

    Your Commander in Thief is currently agitating for you and your fellow soldiers to invade Iran, some of the highest ranking officers in your chain of command are on the verge of mutiny over the sheer folly of that proposed action.

    The question now, soldier, will you stand as a Patriot even if it means defying the orders of George Bush, or will you use your uniform as a cloak to excuse your choice to goose-step along and “follow orders”?

    I risk being shot for saying that, soldier. Or detained in some Torture Shack like Abu Ghraib, or one of the jails here in America, for the so-called “crime” of sedition.
    Indefinitely. Incommunicado. Without the protections of the Constitution, because your president and his lackeys call it “outdated” and “quaint” to have a Rule of Law.

  22. Steve, you keep saying that you agree 100% with our arguments, but then turn around and state that if one crosses US borders to elsewhere, that somehow one is abandoning all contact with freedom. This is a standard line of Right Wing bullshit, and shows that you agrree with us on absolutely nothing. I think the absolute opposite form you in fact, and would say that this country we both live in is a center of world tyranny, not liberty.

    You are the one that is that is engaging in duplicity here, not us. You agree with me, at least as for as I can see, on absolutely nothing, and I resent a person like you for being so absolutely dishonest to pretend otherwise. Just what commonallity do you have with anything I have ever written on this blog? Nothing I think.

  23. Tony, that is because your mind is closed. Brother Jonah; what an insult you push towards me. To say I have been indoctrinated means I have been changed so as to lack the ability to come to my own conclusions on issues like this war. You do not know me, or how I come to my decisions. Tony, I agree we should not be at war. I think you have written that on this blog before. Is that something we agree on?

    From where I sit, the only thing I think we do not agree on is the event that took place on St. Patrick’s Day. I am sorry Tony, that your perspective of America is that it is the center of tyranny – as I think you, me, and everyone on this blog can agree, that is the opposite of what we fought for to gain our freedom. And that is the opposite of why people think I should be fighting to protect it. America cannot truly be that tyrranical – b/c here you are sharing your thoughts that are contrary to the stance of the govt with no push back, no punishment. And still, today you could travel to any state in the union if you wanted without having to gain permission from the govt. And you could open any business you wanted as long as it was legal. And you could do close to anything you wanted as long as you did not impact someone else’s rights. Like John Locke said, “our freedoms end at the other persons nose.”

    Moving forward: I will continue to come to my own conclusions on things. And when they do not mesh with the conclusions you two have come to, I will continue to accept you as telling me I am indoctrinated with Right Wing bullshit. I would imagine that only when the conclusions become the same conclusions you have, will you both begin to tell me that “I am starting to understand.” Looks a lot like indoctrination to me.

    Please do not tell me about our freedoms per the Constitution and Bill of Rights as if they are something I am not aware of. I know our freedoms. And that is why I didn’t engage on St. Patrick’s Day. As you had your right to share your feelings (though you went about it underhandedly), so did the others (the crowd shouting at you and the police taking you away). And when you began to impact the quality of the parade you were arrested.

    It wasn’t out of cowardice I did not speak up or “join the fight” that day. It was out of courage. To use my right to free speach, to not speak. Because I didn’t want to be associated with either group. Not speaking doesn’t mean one is afraid – like I said before, it is not the loudest voice that wins.

    Best of luck as you both work to turn America into what you believe it was meant to be, one St. Patrick’s Day parade at a time. I’m done on this blog. Neither of you is willing to open your mind in any way to consider that the way in which you deliver your message is actually harming the credibility of the message you are sending. It is as if neither of you will consider the fact that you are not doing things 100% correctly. The sign of a great leader, Brother Jonah, I am sure you remember from your days in the troops, is that a leader is willing to say he does not know for sure – his confidence to acknowledge that he may not be doing it right is what separates the good from the great. I wish you only the best.

  24. Freedom to swing a fist ends at another person’s nose. to be sure.

    Only we weren’t the ones swinging the fist. And it was our noses at which the fists came to rest. Figuratively of course.

    Might I once again point out, for the record, just so nobody can mistake it, our intent was to march peacefully in a parade for which we had a permit. We were not acting in any way provocatively. We were not urging violence, we were not urging the breaking of any laws, the laws broken were broken by the Government Forces, official AND unofficial, at the parade.

    Laws also apply to Governments.

    Mr Beckett, you should appreciate our position, we are engaged on a regular basis by people who claim to be representatives of the Military who state quite fervently their mistaken belief that the only manner which we might exercise our freedom of speech is through channels rigged by Their Side. That we can only speak in mien and milieu where the Government permits us. That is not the real intent nor the real letter of the Constitution.

    Some of them also claim that unless we have actually been in combat we have no business protesting any actions which are taken “for our freedom and on our behalf”.

    They then insist on narrowing that down by excluding the IVAW and VVAW from that list, also speakers like Kurt Vonnegut, who was a WW2 veteran, and POW, people like John Kerry, who was a Vietnam veteran, are excluded, apparently the right to dissent has to be EARNED and then can be revoked if we dare to oppose them.

  25. Well, Steve departs us with his theatrical performance in hand. It is such a tiresome Right Wing ploy he deployed, too. If I had a penny for each time I have seen it used, I would be rich. It goes like this essentially…

    ‘I agree with you guys normally, but you have gone too far this time, blah, blah, blah…. I am one of you, but you do our cause injustice, blah, blah, blah… with your behavior blah, blah, blah… I must therefore stand apart from you this time, blah, blah, blah…..’

    At even a cursory inspection, though, the actor using this line always comes out agreeing with absolutely nothing at all with those who he finds fault for, suppoedly on just one singular aspect of their conduct. Talk about integral dishonesty, Steve? You The Man.

    If you were nanywhere close to what you say you are, then you would have demonstrated some semblance of showing solidarity with those you posture as being in basic agreement with. Instead, you smirking come online with a total line of crap. Adios, Steve.

  26. Steve! Do not depart! Just because the general public doesn’t opine one way or another doesn’t mean that we are not reading the dialog and benefiting from it.

    I’ll give you another opinion just to prove that there aren’t only two sides to this fence. I am a firm believer in the right to free speech….and not only when it is convenient for parade organizers. However, I believe that we should have taken up the issue at the time we sought a permit to march and then marched proudly and honestly for peace. Because we marched under the Bookman banner, and cloaked ourselves thinly as a pro-literacy organization, we opened ourselves up to criticism and charges of duplicity.

    We’ve definitely made our statement but, unfortunately, it has become one of civil rights and police brutality. We failed again to give peace a chance.

  27. By the way, Tony, you are conspicuously absent in all of the parade photos…..where was your show of solidarity?

  28. There are the perceptions of duplicity. But that’s what they are, –perceptions.

    There have also been some really stupid posturing not only at the parade, but from keyboard kommandos, one on colorado confidential actually says “my father’s America respected the military and our leaders, and yes, I would gladly do whatever it takes to take back my country from you” and I only paraphrased it for brevity.

    I would appreciate dialog with more soldiers who have come to the conclusion Steve has expressed.

    I remember what I was like before I became disillusioned.
    In 1972 I probably would have been one of those in the crowd shouting at the “crazy” hippies. I can remember how I was back then.

    Steve, I’ll quit talking to you as a soldier. But for purposes of constructive conversation, try to remember this, if we had actually gate-crashed the parade, started a protest and a sit in right in the middle of Tejon and St Vrain and deliberately blocked the parade, then and only then would we have been breaking a law, that of impeding traffic. But we didn’t.

    There was no provocation on our parts. If we had gone down the street insulting the citizens and “leaders” we would have been pushing the envelope but still within our rights. Simply saying something that is controversial isn’t sufficient provocation for any acts of violence.

    Somebody could stop me on the street, point his finger in my face and scream that I have sex with my mother, all my female relatives living and dead, half of my male relatives and the neighbor’s dog and it would not be legally sufficient for me to strike him.

    That’s the LAW. Words are NOT sufficient grounds for violence end of sentence period…

    If some people in town are not mature enough to realize that then too bad, we are under no legal nor moral obligation to pander to other people’s fears and prejudices or other irrational behavior problems.

    People who fear peace and violently want to suppress the idea that refraining from killing their fellow humans might actually be an improvement in the social fabric,…

    Those people are displaying behavior which borders on psychotic.
    They are the ones whose behavior and words are disruptive and totally against the Rule of Law.

    Not the people who say that peace is a good idea.
    Why the CSPD would pander to such outlaw behavior is not an issue, the issue is that they DID, and that they illegally assaulted HUMAN BEINGS.

  29. Why thank you, Jonah, for proving my point. It’s now all about civil rights and the CSPD. Maybe we can at least sell shirts that say “I survived the St Paddy’s Day Parade” and donate the proceeds to the PPJPC in order to promote peace activism, but then we’d risk another Tony anti-capitalism tirade which I don’t think anyone wants or needs.

  30. It stopped being about our right to free speech when the cops decided we didn’t have any.

    It gets a little wild sometimes when some people try to justify the police actions by saying ours were somehow illegal.

    Steve, I hope you do understand that point well. As I mentioned, I do have a lot of contact with vets who feel that the Army and Marines (especially) and of course the Traveling Bush/Cheney Experience Roadshow have really messed up not only their personal lives but the entire nation as well.

    Sure I’m an Anarchist. But also an American, with all the social and religious and family ties that everybody else in America has.

    The Empire is destined to fall, and we are each in his own way praying or at least hoping that our nation and people don’t fall with it.

    For now at least, The St Paddy’s Day 7 are trying to do everything according to the law. To petition the government for redress of grievances.

    Since neither you nor I are parties to those proceedings, except perhaps as witnesses, what you or I have to say about it amounts to opinions.

    However, AND all of need to remember this, statements which seem to be a challenge to the 7 to discuss the matter further, and in a public forum, could be seen as entrapment. Or an attempt to entrap them.

    That’s a little free legal advice and worth every penny, too.

    Throw in the very openly expressed hostility on the part of many, including military personnel, and it would be reasonable for people to assume that objections to our motives or our actions might be suspicious activity.

    It’s not hyperbole to state that we are in the crosshairs of every freak militia and paramilitary organization in Colorado. That’s not paranoia, it’s reality.

    The local militia groups haven’t changed their philosophy since they formed. They have only become more organized and more heavily armed.

    To get a good idea of what that philosophy is and how it is expressed punch up Chivington, Colorado Militia and Sand Creek in a search engine.

    That is something that happened almost within the modern city limits of Colorado Springs on Christmas Day 1863.

    Like I said, they have only become more organized and better armed, not less hateful or less violent. That’s a fact we have to deal with every day.

    The peace sign shirts would make excellent targets, they would line up in the cross hairs almost perfectly.

    Steve, WE know that and THEY know that. Just realize where we are on that. None of us are exempt from being targeted. Not Eric, not Tony, not Elizabeth nor Bill nor Marie, nor the kids who were with us.

    But to back down to the Hate Freaks wouldn’t make them go away.

    It would only help them to more easily take our nation and our families and do with them as they wish.

  31. That’s exactly why we need to meet this thing head on…..Western medicine waits for a crisis to act…and Eastern medicine addresses root causes.
    We can all mock doctors and their lack of commitment to holistic health….I say we mock modern activists who wait in the bushes until a crisis erupts and then play the poor me card. I support neither approach.

    Peace is a God-given mandate. Free speech is a constitutional right. Let’s not wait until our case is terminal and we’re begging for a cure.

  32. Marie. I’m going to wipe your face in the shit you write. But excuse me a moment to go find some fresh air.

    Tony is in the upper left hand corner, in his nurse’s scrubs, leading the crowd to chant. “What do we want?” “PEACE.” When do we want it?” “NOW!”
    Tony leads chants for peace
    Naturally, as is Tony’s predicament, their chants led to counter-shouts from pro-war buffoons. I could only look at those misguided freaks and ask “who the fuck do you think we are doing this for?”

  33. But first an admonition. Tony, maybe we could try to recapsulate every once in awhile and not assume everyone has read the entire thread. Steve revealed himself immediately as an insincere condescending asshole, and once he’d got your goat, pretended to be the voice of reason. But memory-challenged readers then weigh his tone against yours and find his argument more palatable. Bummer. You had “love-it-or-leave-it” Steve pegged! We’ve got to figure out how to drive those types off hoisted on their own petard, not the stake they so obviously deserve.

  34. ‘By the way, Tony, you are conspicuously absent in all of the parade photos…..where was your show of solidarity?’

    Answer to you, Marie, I was with your younger child trying to calm her down. She was standing alone in the midst of all the chaos, crying, and thought that both you and Eric had gotten arrested leaving her all by herself. I spent several minutes with her as did some others in our group trying to console her. She was absolutely traumatized at that moment by what the police had just done.

    Personally I am just absolutely flabberghasted by your comments here. That’s all I’m going to say about this since I haven’t a clue to what set you off at me in this way?

  35. Well, Tony, had I realized that this was going to turn into a fist fight with the CSPD I wouldn’t have continued to march for a few blocks with the inflammatory sign you handed me. I do thank you for comforting my daughter.

    We all definitely learned a lesson. We gave peace a chance. It didn’t work. Next time I’ll try a different approach.

  36. Ok, mea culpa to Steve. I have been out doing many other things as people who live outside of Colorado Springs seem to do best.

    Steve, I’m sorry that you think I spend a lot of time calling you names. I don’t. I merely picked nut with you on what appears to be good photo journalism. I was not anywhere near this incident.

    I dont spend that much time writing. Nor am I (how many times do I have to say this) in coherts with Tony, except as General Topic of Not My Tribe – which at once seemed Stop Bush’s war.

    Short paragraphs take very little time. And I can defend those thoughts easier that way. I can’t write long on this topic, I simply was not there.

    Thanks for liking my name. I use it for my artwork as well.

    Steve, I agree with all you said per MLK. It’s been posted in different column though.

    I hope this is respectful enough, Steve. Nevertheless, I didn’t mean to insult you personally. Parallel is not position. Free speech is an ally as are you for using yours.

    Perhaps – we both agree that no one wants violence during a parade. I think that floats enough for both of us, don’t you? That was my point, and not meant at you directly.

    If it is of any comfort, Steve, personally I WOULD indeed rather watch Wheel of Fortune (torture that it may be) than view anyone being beaten or harrassed. And yes, maybe listen to some U2.

    As for not saying much of value, you got me. I find no value in this incident except per lessoning us all. Or should that be lessen?

    Peace Steve. I’m back to watching Vanna turn the letters…

    I’m not a contributor to this. Nor witness. And Waycott Labs is welcome to remove my name at any time.

  37. One last update, to Steve, group, and public. I have decided not to write here further as “official” contributor. I may comment from time to time.

    This is indeed a local blog at this point. I am not. I wish all the best for peace and justice. I am indeed tired of the associations made by my presence. Resignation notice tendered herein.

  38. I hate to let anyone think or feel I’ve threatened them with words, but on the other hand for the broken record…. I’ve found some time to make primer from elementary.

    Steve, the pregnancy analogies may have been in bad taste, but I’ll still try and bump some enlightenment on poopy-heads when time permits.

    Let’s rephrase the question. If a miscarraige of justice came to your home, how would you react? Can a miscarraige of justice occur outside of your home? Is the word Justice to large for a single number like 13 to consider?

    Should I simply abort?

    I’m sorry if the war-death makes harsh contrast to human birth, and likewise that those who protect peace are not being allowed some venting – without being profiled as counter-productive or worse. But yes, I admit I’ve rebuked my colleagues myself a few times for tonal quality, while sitting in an armchair, miles away….

    It’s easy to be lovingly altruistic when at the park or in a chair, and I’m comforted for the courage of anyone writing to or in this website. I welcome you as an ally. Yet, the point is to discuss ideas… and therin lies the rubber condom that no one shares.

    It always takes an example to improve an example, doesn’t it? I too enjoy being a reformist. It’s easy to pretend to know better, and also a pride when I truly do – but that always stems from a comparison of past, as in “better than what?”. A terrible game show on TV? A bad choice of posting condensed words? Or wasting all my time in writing long tracts of explain?

    Humankind is always up for a better example but how long do we have to wait for it? And what is the balance?

    The conception of ideas, like a green parade, doesn’t occur without permitting them.

    May all your thoughts be umbilical.

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