Requiring activists to “make space” for black or brown voices, if apolitical or reformist, is a counterinsurgency trap.
OFF-STREET activism overflows with do-gooders begging for a seat at the table, literally, tables, where the powers-that-be want them. Street protest organizers are berated about providing forums for disenfranchised voices, as if indoor choir-singing yields redress of grievance. Leaders of disadvantaged communities mistake cis-gendered, white activists for their actual oppressors, because that’s easier than facing down the police. But the dynamic is disingenuous subterfuge and it’s not coming from the allies who matter. The people of Ferguson did not wait for white social justice groups to “make space” for their protest. You’d think the lesson of Ferguson is obvious. Across non-Ferguson, religious community leaders and token spokespeople of color insist that they should monopolize local manifestations of anti-racism movements. Never mind that their call is for people to sit in church pews, meet with cops, vote, GOTV, petition, or join intra-city marches to nowhere, nowhere more than away from urban uprisings. In Denver I have never seen black resistance voices unwelcome at #BlackLivesMatter rallies, but I have seen tokenism used to discredit radicals and squelch public outcry. “Black Lives Matter” must be shouted loudly even if your token black appointees won’t. Don’t mind the usual detractors peddling identity a-politics, Ferguson has shown the way. The anniversary of Mike Brown’s killing on August 9, 2014, correctly commemorate the uprising less than the man. Unsurprisingly the early emphasis is being placed on ensuring crowd anger doesn’t get out of control. Eyes on the ball, black or white, focus on racist police.
Eric Brandt found not guilty of petty complaints of Westminster Colorado. He’s being denied a jury at next trial.
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO- Homeless veteran Eric Brandt has been arrested 36 times by police officers angry about his “fuck cops” sign, often the arrests are violent. So far Eric has beat the charges but the City of Westminster is gunning for him. Though Eric is now represented by civil liberty specialist David Lane, city officials, DAs, cops, and prosecutors converge on Eric’s court appearances determined to slip their fuck-cops problem into a jail cell. They may yet succeed, but Eric’s chances improve when the judges see he has public support. Though Eric’s message is characterized as repugnant in a court of law, in reality people honk and wave and ask to have their picture taken with Eric. To no-one else’s surprise, “fuck cops” resonates, especially as Denver cops keep killing unarmed arrestees. Eric won his July 23 jury trial, but he has upcoming court dates August 3, August 6, and August 13, to name just the next three. If Westminster can jail Eric for just one of these cases, they can keep him off the ballot where he’s running for city council looking to represent the homeless constituency. Come see the spectacle that is the usually incomparable David Lane sharing the spotlight with scene-stealing Eric Brandt, running hilarious circles around his dimwitted accusers. A guaranteed laugh-fest at the expense of the much-embarrassed Westminster grumps.
Argonaut Liquor helped city of Denver jail Caryn Sodaro, the DPD’s most vocal critic of police brutality.
DENVER, COLORADO- On Thursday July 30 in Denver Municipal Court, Argonaut Liquor succeeded with what the City of Denver and its violent policemen have been trying to do for years: take down Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro. Earlier this year, Caryn was attempting to film the DPD as they brutalized a handcuffed detainee in the parking lot of the liquor store on Colfax Ave. When store managers couldn’t block her camera phone with their hands, they authorized officers to arrest Caryn for trespassing. Of course they had to pretend she’d been warned once before.
Occupier Mark Iannicelli charged with jury tampering for distributing fliers about jury nullification at courthouse
DENVER, COLORADO- Soft-spoken activist Mark Iannicelli sits in the Denver County Detention Center tonight, wrongfully arrested for passing out fliers in front of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse on Monday. Though he and an accomplice had no personal interest in any trial at the municipal courthouse, Mark was charged with JURY TAMPERING, a felony with a minimum bond of $5,000. Mark was disseminating information about JURY NULLIFICATION, technically “know your rights” material, to people entering the courthouse. Jury nullification is an unpopular legal concept with a judicial system meant to crank out fines and jail sentences, but the US Supreme Court has affirmed the right of juries to think beyond their allotted jury instructions and the right of citizens to spread the word about that super-judicial discretion. As Mark was being handcuffed, a passing attorney tried to intervene. Asked if he was Mark’s counsel, the lawyer volunteered that he very well might be. Video of the arrest has already been filed with appropriate law offices and as a result Mark has representation. Though he was arrested before noon, as of 11:30pm Mark’s fingerprints have not yet “cleared”, until which time a bond cannot be posted. Meanwhile Mark’s inmate status has changed to “no bond allowed.” If these capricious abuses of authority persist beyond 7am, Mark will appear before a judge at 10am Tuesday.
DENVER, COLORADO- Denver police have shown they can kill with impunity, be they black lives or latino. But the latest officer-involved murder of a Lakota man brought the American Indian Movement into the street and that’s an escalation no council of ministers can reverse. When police victim Paul Castaway asked his killers “What’s wrong with you?” he was echoing the entire Denver community exasperation as officers continue to murder unarmed men and women of color, as if outrage over police brutality isn’t on everyone’s lips already.
In light of the unsealed deposition where Bill Cosby admitted to procuring Quaaludes to facilitate raping young women, a reporter asked President Obama if the celebrity’s Freedom Medal could be revoked. There is no mechanism to do so, was Obama’s reply. Not one pundit asked if there wasn’t a precedent to seek a remedy within the justice system or law enforcement or department of corrections. Not all Bill Cosby’s assaults fall beyond the statute of limitation, if even that should apply to rape.
DENVER, COLORADO- Native American Paul Castaway was having a schizophrenic episode when his mother called the Denver police for assistance. Castaway held a knife to his own neck as he tried to hold off the officers but they shot him anyway. As DPD cuffed the dying 35-year-old, Castaway spoke for everyone when he asked “what’s wrong with you guys?!”
We’re demonizing the Civil War era Confederate Battleflag for defending slavery while the victorious DC regime profits by slavery and protects it still. Team Stars and Stripes opposes amendments to the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement that would prohibit signatory nations from exploiting slave labor. The Rebel flag stood for slavery, the US flag stands for it.
SORRY, NO. And I’ve seen this composition before. Abu Ghraib. Or any of the trophy shots found on the digital cameras of US soldiers in free fire zones. These officers are holding up for display a critically injured man struggling to breathe. Shortly he’ll be interrogated while still in intensive care, while America pretends this is justice.
Naeschylus Carter Vinzant was lynched by Aurora Police. His family is asked to stand by police and “STAY CALM.”
AURORA, COLORADO- On June 6, 2015, unarmed African American Naeschylus Vinzant Carter was shot, walking along a quiet suburban street, in broad daylight, by Aurora police officers. No claim has been made that Naeschylus was resisting arrest or posing a threat, so his execution by cop seems another pignacious affront to the urgent Black Lives Matter movement. Now police have contacted his ex-wife and seven children to say they will make an announcement July 1st about Vinzant’s premature death. They want his family to stand at their side to urge the public to remain calm. In response, a rally is planned for 4pm Wednesday at a major intersection TBA. If you feel compelled to celebrate the impunity given to police lynch mobs, please keep it down.
UPDATE 6/30: the Jefferson County DA plans to take Vinzant case to a Grand Jury. This announcement was made in a joint statement from the DA and lawyers representing the Vinzant family. The statement came a day ahead of a scheduled protest and “asked the community to be patient and respect the process. Both want peace in the community.” Earlier in the day the same lawyers pressured the family and organizers to cancel the planned rally. The community was preparing to protest this usual method to defer justice, bury the crime and exonerate the officer.
DENVER, COLORADO- The No-Peace-For-Iran rally hosted by Zionist front group Americans Against Terrorism (AAT) on the capitol steps on Sunday was outnumbered by pro-Palestinian activists shouting from below. While one racist warmonger told the crowd “pay no attention to the kebabs on the sidewalk”, a Code Pink activist was able to hold up a banner right in front of the podium.
Western Conservative Summit guests and Republican presidential candidates called out for being tools & assclowns
DENVER, COLORADO- The annual Western Conservative Summit convened at the Colorado Convention Center on Friday but not without loud protestations from Occupy Denver activists. Denver police held their own demonstration of how to trample civil liberties when their Republican clients command it.
President Obama tells undocumented transgender Jennicet Gutierrezas that the White House is not her house.
So President Obama silenced a heckler by telling her “This is my house”, sorry, um, no. Immigrant and LGBTQ rights activist Jennicet Gutierrezas was vetted by security and was a guest of the president, to engage as a host would hope his guests might. The theme was Gay Pride! According to Obama, an invitation to the White House means you eat his hors d’oeuvres and drink his booze and shut your mouth or be thrown out. I doubt President Obama was saying anything more important than Gutierrezas, who spoke up for the plight of transgender deportees. In fact Obama misspoke. To his First Daughters he can say “you’ll follow my rules when you live in my house”, but to a fellow American it’s not his house but OURS.
SORRY, I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with government telling me how to think or telling me what I can’t say. Flags mean a lot to me and I CAN imagine MY flag being declared hateful or a public threat. How is anyone to rally like-minded dissenters when a government and its corporate media can declare their rallying symbol non grata? I don’t like the Confederate rebel flag either, it is modern code for unrepentant white racism, but I’m hugely skeptical when Big Brother is driving the bandwagon. How amusing that activists eager to burn Confederate flags find that the major retailers have already banned them. There’s a statement you’re being prevented making.
The Denver Islamophobes “Americans Against Terrorism” plan another rally calling for war, not peace, with Iran.
DENVER, COLORADO- In view of the anticipated US peace agreement with Iran, a Denver warmongering group Americans Against Terrorism (AAT) is planning a June 28 rally at the state capitol to reject any treaty which permits Iran to develop nuclear power. Their poster depicts a mushroom cloud over a Denver-flat metropolis, demonstrating that AAT knows exactly what it means to use terror and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. Unsurprisingly, AAT didn’t have anything to say against the Charleston Church Shooting or other acts of domestic terrorism. (Or against racism.) AAT’s agenda has been to advance Israel’s interests, right now that’s drumming for war against Iran. Last year AAT rallied to support Israel’s 2014 attack on Gaza, “Operation Protective Edge”, which left 2,300 Palestinians dead and another 10,800 injured. Most of the casualties were women and children. Recently, AAT joined the equally pro-Israel Stand-With-Us to counter a successful BDS ad campaign running on Denver RTD buses. That’s who is rallying for “peace” this Sunday. Fortunately real antiwar activists plan a counter-protest.
American drone pilots eat massacres like the Boston Marathon for breakfast. Let all bombers share Tsarnaev’s fate.
Should Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev get the death penalty? Should Aurora’s James Holmes or Charleston’s Dylann Roof? How about American sniper Chris Kyle or the Apache gunship assholes exposed by Wikileaks in “Collateral Murder”? Videos abound of US airstrikes and drone strikes far more deadly and indiscriminate than the Boston Marathon Bombing. I don’t agree with capital punishment, as deterrent or justice, but if cultural arbiters want to cry for the blood of terrorists there are a lot of offenders in line before 21-year-old Tsarnaev. I say let he who has bombed fewer innocent people cast the first stone.
If you think taking down a flag can address the systemic oppression of people of color, have at it, but BOY DO YOU HAVE THE WRONG FLAG.
PHOTOS: Activists calling for Justice for Jessica Hernandez in 2015 Denver Pride Parade, blocked police joining in.
DENVER, COLORADO- A #JusticeForJessie action led by Branching Seedz of Resistance jumped into the Denver Pride Parade to block a police contingent from joining the procession. Activists held off the DPD for 10 minutes while leaders spoke against the January 26 murder of queer Latina teen Jessica Hernandez by DPD. After the disruptive standoff, BSEEDZ stood aside and was cheered by passing paraders until tucking themselves back into the parade under cover of allied group.
LOOKIT! New York authorities have issued fresh images of escapees David Sweat and Richard Matt. You might wonder where they got photos more recent than the last mug shots, which was the last time the prison break fugitives were in custody. Plus the news coverage has been unequivocal that authorities haven’t seen the wayward prisoners since.
When a white racist mass murderer is apprehended, it’s a Western law enforcement tradition not to treat the suspect as cops do suspects of color. Fortunately television audience are now rejecting this inequity, and predictably they call for blood, instead of suggesting that all pre-trial interaction with police be conducted with respect for the presumed innocent. Similarly, white shooters and bombers are not called terrorists or racists but rather loners struggling with mental illness. I think it’s hugely important to call out the racism and xenophobia which breeds antisocial renegades like Dylann Storm Roof, and NOT judge Roof differently than the rare but much abused non-white even un-domestic insurgent. But why dismiss the insanity defense, when it obviously plays a part in more crimes not fewer. Dylann Roof was on psych meds. That’s another nightmare altogether, by which I mean for the pharmaceutical industry, who I think have a perfect record for supplementing white mass shooters. American prisons are filled with mental illness and mental disability and mental shortcomings. The justice system needs to be reformed with respect for mental health challenges, not with calls to get tougher on those with lesser ability to cope in society.
I remember when you couldn’t throw a stick without hitting someone who didn’t want to SAVE DARFUR. And boy did they need hitting with a stick. All those high school and college students activated by OBAMA 08 lined up to add Darfur to their extracurriculars. Why? The usual manipulative pictures and imperialist propaganda. Sudanese refugees needed saving. Bleeding Hearts’ Burden. George Clooney was showered with activist laurels for playing Hollywood’s ambassador to Darfur. Soon enough pacifists were calling for military intervention, a “no-fly zone” but enforced with force. Denied, the US provided the military intervention covertly, and ultimately the southern fossil fuel rich portion of Sudan was lopped off for the multinational profiteers.
So Jon Stewart decides when an act of malice is too egregious to joke about? It’s called pandering, people.
Jon Stewart’s monologue last night was a moving response to the racist murders committed in Charleston on Wednesday. Dylann Storm Roof’s shooting of nine African Americans was hate crime and racism pure and simple. I cheered along as Stewart declared a comic intervention: America needed to sober up to the reality of its self-perpetuating racist crimes. I’m not sure Stewart could have reacted any differently, but his comedic turn was also a reminder for me of the manipulative tool the Daily Show has always been. World events are always filled with tragedy, which Stewart highlights and lampoons, so why is the Charleston church shooting more egregious than the mosques Americans bomb every day? Is Roof’s racism any more “home-grown” than our government’s? Does Jon Stewart decide for you when the laughter starts or stops?
Denver’s Argonaut Wine and Liquor reserves the right to roll their derelict customers without you videotaping it
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro was arrested in April for filming Denver police officers physically tormenting a drunken itinerant behind the Argonant liquor store on 760 East Colfax. Appearing in municipal court yesterday Caryn learned her accusers aren’t the DPD but Argonaut itself, whose employees charge Caryn with trespass for not removing herself from their parking lot with sufficient deference. Caryn was among a group of onlookers who were hoping to curb the police abuse by recording it. Of course documenting police brutality is not illegal, so the City of Denver is relying on private interests to complain to take the heat from law enforcement’s decision to make an arrest. You might well ask, what interest does the Argonaut have to keep customers or passersby from witnessing police officers kicking homeless men behind its store?
AT THE VERY LEAST people living near New York State’s now infamous prison break could be getting fresh air in defiance of their governor’s ludicrous warnings to hide from the dangerous felons. Neighbors can exercise their property rights to spectate as they please and take strolls where they can to muck it up for the K9s hounding fugitives David Sweat and Richard Matt. Fellow freedom-loving itinerants could also converge upstate to force multiply the sightings of vagabond pairs crisscrossing the woods around the Clinton Correctional Facility, known in the industry as “Little Siberia”. But most certainly, lawyers of any conscience should assail the Clinton County DA’s office in defense of poor Joyce Mitchell, the prison sweatshop supervisor who may have helped the escapees, whom authorities were waiting to charge until after she’d cooperated with interrogators. Lawyers should be livid that neither authorities nor reporters bat an eyelash at Ms. Mitchell’s lack of proper counsel. Media coverage while constant is marred by omission.
Heads rolled because the McKinney TX pool party had a video. Where is video of DPD murder of Jessica Hernandez?
The COPS-GONE-WILD video of 14-year-old Dajerria Becton getting manhandled by McKinney Texas police officer Eric Casebolt got him in trouble. It’s even meant trouble for the racist woman who started the fight, for the racist who called the cops, for a school principal who defended the officer and for another teacher who defended the racism. I’d love to see repercussions too for the crackers pictured in the video waddling about with impunity as the black teens are being picked out. All that, not because some racist shit went down in McKinney TX, but because someone videotaped it and it went viral.