DENVER, COLORADO- It may be an example of white privilege to accessorize “HANDS UP DON’T SHOOT” with an expletive hand signal. Of course African or Hispanic or Native Americans face greater risk when signing that gesture. Is it more effective to fight the system with your privilege or without it? I’m suspicious of critics who would rather that activists check their privilege and not USE IT. That certainly suits the defenders of class and power. I would prefer to exploit every privilege as we battle to win human rights and privileges for all.
There appears to be no more popular symbol of American patriotism and resiliency than the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima. Do Americans think Mount Suribachi overlooked Pearl Harbor? (As if Hawaii in the mid-Pacific was even US manifest destiny). Of the USA’s far flung “possessions” Iwo Jima was not among them. As usual the US Marines were laying claim to lands of others, of the Japan. It had as much to do with protecting our freedom as Montezuma and Tripoli.
DENVER, COLORADO- The City of Denver has dismissed all charges against Occupy Denver activist Michael Moore stemming from his April 29 arrest at the march against police brutality. Michael was accused of Second Degree Felony Assault of a Police Office, Criminal Mischief, and Resisting Arrest. Michael was riding his bicycle when a motorcycle cop tried to push him over, but fell over himself. Michael’s apprehension prompted an indignant response from his comrades which gave the Denver police license to pepper spray the crowd and make ten further arrests. Michael spent two days in jail and forfeits his $1000 bond deposit. The other victims suffered brutality and pepper spray as a result of voicing their objecting to Michael’s arrest. The crowd’s reaction was vindicated when it turned out that Michael’s arrest was wrongful. Will the charges against them stick?
It’s become so critical to record the US police state. By the time I got my camera phone ready, my photo of an excessive buildup of police cruisers at Civic Center Park was photo-bombed by exactly one too many veterans of police brutality already recording the buildup.
Occupy rally for DPD teen victim Jessie Hernandez rained out, Denver cops deploy anyway. #justiceforjessie
DENVER, COLORADO- Rain kept numbers down at the event yesterday calling for Denver officials to investigate the brutal police murder of Latina teen Jessica Hernandez. Even as the crowd influx never surged beyond steady, over the course of two hours the police force arrayed against Occupy Denver and their allies never wavered from the usual: disproportionate and overwhelming. The DPD is obviously taking no chances with the potential firestorm the teen’s killing could ignite in the Denver community. Excellent. Humbled as we may feel that it takes so few activists to threaten the system, we feed off that fear. Individual police officers can denigrate protesters all they want, obviously the protests have their respect.
DENVER, COLORADO- As Occupy Denver learned with the recent verdict, even one drummer performing an unwanted refrain can be considered loud and unusual enough to earn a complaint. With the Tattered Cover Five temporarily shell-shocked, reinforcements have arrived to bridge the gap, last weekend in the fearless personage of Colt Justice, who reports contrary to expectation, he was not arrested. Game on heartless Denver, lest Tattered Cover patrons and other Denverites ignoring the plight of the homeless fail to yield to the disturbing protestations of the Occupy homeless advocates.
Deadliest motorcycle “gang” in Waco shoot-out was not Bandidos, Cossacks, Scimitars, or Vaqueros. It was police.
Was the Waco Shoot-out a gunfight between rival gangs or an ambush laid by law enforcement? Police are monopolizing the testimony but the evidence suggests a barroom brawl became a pretext to kill or arrest club officers, essentially grassroots organizers, now charged with “organized crime”. Investigators can litter the crime scene with brass-knuckles, knives and wallet chains, but the shell casings are going to be police issue. Motorcycle headlights were on, indicating club members were trying to leave. Police claim that the brawlers redirected their fire toward officers, but did that happen while the bikers were trying to ride off? Because riding requires both hands. This gangland “shoot-out” was a St Valentine’s Day Massacre executed by cops.
[5/20 Update: HA! The nine casualties died of gunshot wounds, sustained outside the restaurant. No shell casings were found around the bodies. Eight of the nine were Cossacks. The eighteen wounded are not expected to be charged. So much for the narrative that gangs were fighting each other, or that Bandidos were the aggressors.]
NOW WHAT? Years of agitating for the media to EXPOSE THE TPP, culminating in last week’s call-your-senator call-your-senator call-your-senator full court press, yielded what looked like Congress finally standing up against the trade pact corporate coup. Activists were ecstatic to see Democrats in the Senate unite to block to the fast-tracking of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, only to learn a day later that Dem objections had been placated and TPP approval would follow. Not only had the conversation been diverted from “what’s the TPP” to “what’s fast-track”, demonstrations converted to celebrations, and now a pubic response would be too confused and short-noticed. Give the corporations credit for being in full control of their media, their puppets, and what’s left of the skeptics among their subjects.
DENVER, COLORADO- Anonymous dedicated May’s Every5th to victims of Denver police violence. For Cinco de Mayo, Anons brought PINATAS in the likeness of the DPD! Many “Every Cinco” attendees were victims of the pepper spray incident of April 29, when DPD riot cops tried to exterminate its infestation of stubborn marchers by fumigating them with cayenne pepper. In response, Anons considered macing the piñatas, but aerosol wasn’t going to bust these piggies open and guests were eager to get to the chocolates and FTP pins inside. Participants took turns whacking the pigs with UMBRELLAS, Occupy Hong Kong’s answer to pepper spray. After an interminable beating the pigsters gave up.
If there’s a chant that unites protesters across America it is “FTP!” No matter the issue, from BLM to GMOs, excessive use of force by police against dissenting citizens is the common grievance. The UN has even condemned US human rights abuses, this time police violence and racial discrimination. Our emergant police state may be the business end of the New World Order, but its troubling conduct is directly traceable to US military rules of engagement. These violent cops are our vets!
Does the “Boston Marathon Bomber” look like he deserves the death penalty? Funny, you don’t even know what he looks like. US authorities have been meticulous about controlling images of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev since the manhunt for the teen and his older brother ended in extrajudicial firing squads which teen Dzhokhar survived. He’s been in custody since then and the only more recent image his captors released was of Dzhokhar giving the finger to a jail cell surveillance camera. This to influence the jury to give the death penalty. Why the embargo on images? Are authorities afraid the public will feel sympathy for the disfigurement Dzhokhar suffered from his fusillade? Where defense attorneys not permitted to submit images of Dzhokhar smiling? Is the image ban in effect a media blackout? Remember how Saddam Hussein’s trial was broadcast without sound? Now US dumb justice has become literally blind, all Star Chambers and spectral evidence.
Is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty of a worse crime than US forces commit overseas? If an American sniper turned in the Tsarnaev brothers headcount, he’d be handed a potato peeler and punished with kitchen duty. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a small fry. US drone pilots eat massacres like the Boston Marathon for breakfast.
DENVER, COLORADO- It started with a cop falling off his motorcycle, being pushed it’s alleged, by a bicyclist. Paramilitary officers piled on the cyclist while playing Orkin Man to Civic Center Park’s infestation of free speech. Photos from Denver’s April 29 march against police violence reveal that pepper spray was used less to disperse the hundred or so marchers than to repel Youtube bites. Photos by Patrick Jay and Jason Metter.
Raul Castro is so impressed with Pope Newleaf that he wants to go back to church. I’m advised this might be a sign of multi-infarct dementia. The silly Castro is probably also losing his olfactory sense, unable to detect the smell of sulfur on the pontiff, and his eyesight, mistaking the Vatican for an agency of social equity. Said Castro: “if the pope continues this way, I will go back to praying and go back to the church, and I’m not joking … I am from the Cuban Communist Party, that doesn’t allow believers, but now we are allowing it, it’s an important step.” Important step to what?! Capitalism and servitude? The Catholic church was a tool of Cuba’s murderous dictator Fulgencia Batista, and vice versa! La Revolución Sigue old man.
“WHY DID YOU GIVE HER SEXUALITY!?” asks the geek tasked with debugging the anthropomorphic robot. Except they didn’t. Unless by sexuality you mean just the “female” bits and transluscent circuits where her belly and cranium should be.
DENVER, COLORADO- Fresh on the heels of their courtroom victory, Denver police tell protesters at the weekly Tattered Cover picket: “We’ve received a complaint. Stop using the bullhorn or you will be arrested.” This from the window of a Homeland Security vehicle!
DENVER, COLORADO- The trial of the Tattered Cover Five concluded this week. For three days a municipal court considered whether a complaint made against protesters drumming in front of the downtown Tattered Cover Bookstore should or should not curb the protesters’ freedom of speech. And the jury really didn’t get it. Not only did their verdict uphold the police’s discretion to decide whose speech can be considered to be disturbing the peace, but the jury introduced their own arbitrary enforcement, judging some drummers guilty and some not, even though the complaint which prompted the charges was based on the “loud and unusual noise” generated by the ensemble.
In my circle they’re called “Saint Paul’s Principles” because my colleagues think the edicts are Catholic I guess. The St Paul Principles came from St Paul Minnesota, circa 2008, and were formally adopted by the varied groups organizing to disrupt the Republican National Convention of 2008. They’ve lived on as guiding principles for activists of all ilk. In 2011 many Occupy encampments ratified the StPP as their own code of conduct, indifferent to whether they were applicable or even beneficial. Let’s examine the well intended dogma. Do they apply universally? Are they constructive? And how did they work out for St Paul? The last one is easy. As you may remember, disruption of the 2008 RNC failed spectacularly.
Bernie Sanders declares candidacy for ceremonial Dennis Kucinich stand-in role passed up by Elizabeth Warren
Bernie Sanders is not running for president. Everybody’s favorite independent socialist gay short person politician is rising to the occasion where Elizabeth Warren would not. Hillary’s foil cannot be a woman, it has to be an unelectable white man. Dennis Kucinich was the perennial go nowhere boy candidate whose task was to pretend his challenge skewed the Democratic party platform to the left. At best Kucinish raised populist issues which the leading contenders then could not avoid. In practice Kucinich stole just enough enthusiasm from independent voters to preempt the impetus to build a third party. So now it’s Bernie’s turn.
DENVER, COLORADO- You don’t have to be a high school physicist to know a bicyclist is less likely to topple a quarter-ton motorcycle than to cause the equal opposite reaction. But it was cyclist Michael Moore that officers had to yank from his bike and wrestle to the ground. So where Newtonian law might have failed, the DPD enforced it in their own manner. A bystander video shows the motorcycle cop fall over of his own accord. The DPD used this false flag as an excuse to rush the crowd, douse it with First Amendment disinfectant, and make arrests.
Occupy Wall Street composed a chant to rebut the ageless heckle hurled at protesters: GET A JOB YOU DIRTY HIPPIE! After Zuccotti Park was razed and Occupiers regrouped, they offerd this rejoinder. Remember it?
“Got a JOB. Took a SHOWER.
We’re still occupying, speaking truth to power!”
Of course it wasn’t true, or at least whether we did or not was as irrelevant as the original misconception. But street activists come up against misguided advice much more pernicious than the crudely insulting. Consider the constructive advice from journeymen activists who’ve been at this for a long time and know how it’s done. You know the ones, who preach nonviolence or you’ll never get anywhere, as if they have a record of success or fount of experience more illustrative than the old grindstone. False history has even robbed them of the authentic lessons to glean from Gandhi and MLK. Yet even the best-intentioned of our peers caution that movements will never take hold without blablabla. This sacred cow, for instance: community outreach.
African American Freddie Gray died as a result of his spine being severed at his neck. It’s no hyperbole to describe the continuing police murders of young black men as deputized, mob LYNCHINGS. The overwhelming victims of these extrajudicial executions are people of color. As if to underline this point, Baltimore police made this clear in no uncertain medical terms. I’m not a doctor, but what injury could better support the inference that Freddie Gray was lynched?
If Walmart is going to halt labor unrest with punitive “plumbing problems” its workers could plumb the same depths
Walmart has reportedly closed a smattering of its stores across the country citing “plumbing problems”. The mega-retailer’s media cohorts are reporting the mystery but won’t say that the closures coincide with stores which have been hardest hit by labor unrest. It turns out, Walmart has opted to close its doors where employees have most successfully organized “Fight For Fifteen” actions. By suddenly closing the stores Walmart preempted further organizing and punished the upstarts by laying off all the store’s employees with only a few hours notice. Walmart claims the plumbing problems will take a half year to fix. I think what remains of Walmart’s workforce has been given a wonderful opportunity to retaliate in kind. What of these plumbing problems? Are Walmart’s other stores showing signs of plumbing problems too? Might a larger wave of plumbing problems be induced? I think Walmart’s union-busting advisors have loosed a weapon that will prove more consequential for Walmart than its wage-slave victims. Foisted on their own petard, I believe is the expression. Petard in this case is substituted by toilette. Walmart customers can even get in on the act, err, investigation, for free. Come to Walmart empty handed, find a bag of cement in the hardware aisle, proceed to the public bathroom, flush it presto plumbing problem. Citizen plumbers can turn this plumbing mystery into a plumbing thriller.