Trump reorders recidivist “Muslim Ban” and Denver activists redouble efforts to welcome all refugees to America.
DIA, COLORADO- While we shuffled around the International Arrivals reception area trying to abide by the sign restrictions placed on our airport free speech permit, these children brazenly unfurled totally unvetted posters they’d prepared to welcome their daddy’s return from Mexico.
There’s something fishy about the story of German sailor Juergen Gustav Kantner, whose beheading video was just released by Abu Sayyaf rebels (ASG). Apparently Kantner, 70, had been kidnapped by Somali pirates before this. What are the chances, considering all the gin joints and circumnavigators these days? In a further coincidence, the umpteen sensational articles are all short on details, including the dead woman found on Kantner’s boat, her identity discarded by even the media. Why? Her name was Sabine Isne Merz, 59, sometimes cited as Sabina Wetch. She and husband Kantner were ransomed in Somalia in August 2008 after 52 days in captivity. This time Merz’s body was found aboard the Bermuda-rigged “Rockall”, but a whole Sulu Sea away from where the couple was allegedly captured.
Forty seven water protectors were arrested yesterday as militarized police cleared both Oceti and Rosebud camps along the Cannonball River in Standing Rock. Helicopters flew low, not to support the ground troops conducting tent to tent raids, but to interfere with resistance drones recording the spectacle. Drone operators report their links being jammed and their drones being forced into collisions if they were unable to avoid the Homeland Security choppers. There were many live feeds being broadcast from drones, long distance cameras and on the front lines. Once Oceti camp was cleared, one by one the feeds were interrupted and dropped. When connections resumed, viewers learned that Rosebud camp too was swept and cleared. Rosebud was on reservation land, not disputed treaty land, but BIA officers helped by militarized police evicted everyone.
Colo. US District Court judge enjoins DIA to limit restriction of free speech (grants our preliminary injunction!)
DENVER, COLORADO- If your civil liberties have ever been violated by a cop, over your objections, only to have the officer say “See you in court”, this victory is for YOU! On January 29 we were threatened with arrest for protesting the “Muslim Ban” at Denver International Airport. We argued that our conduct was protected speech and that they were violating our rights. They dismissed our complaints with, in essense: “That’s for a court to decide.” And today IT HAS! On Feb 15 we summoned the cops to federal court and this morning, Feb 22, US District Court Judge William Martinez granted our preliminary injunction, severely triming DIA’s protest permit process. In a nutshell: no restrictions on signs, size of assemblies or their location within the main terminal (so long as the airport’s function is not impeded). Permits are still required but with 24 hours advance notice, not seven days. Below is Judge Martinez’ 46-page court order in full:
DENVER, COLORADO- We heard on Friday that US judge William Martinez needed more time to craft an opinion on a temporary injunction of DIA’s enforcement of their free speech permit. He commited to a decision early this week, and frankly we don’t know what to expect. From challenges he posed to attorneys at Wednesday’s hearing, the judge appears to think DIA needs some degree of “notice” about potential disruptions. He is unlikely to rule against the permit altogether because he opened the hearing already proclaiming that DIA is a “not a public forum” and thus has discretion about what expression to allow. DIA can limit subject matter, but not viewpoint, and can constrict assemblies. Judge Martinez’s starting point was based on US Supreme Court precedent set at JFK and Dulles airports, ignoring that both of those facilities are decentralized and lack DIA’s literal public square. Ironically, neither JFK or Dulles attempted to quash their Muslim Ban protests as did DIA. I’d like to mention some other details revealed at the preliminary injunction hearing.
You may want to disagree with everything the Trump says, but I’d like to see you argue that he’s wrong about the media being “the enemy of the American People.” President Trump is a maniacal clown, but the Fascist corporate media is public enemy number one.
So there’s a t-shirt being pitched by the alt-mod-left, who want to coopt the anti-Trump rallying cry RESIST. It’s Smokey Bear with his head down and fist raised, invoking the Black Panther salute made iconic at the 1968 olympics. Except his fist is on FIRE, and it’s Smokey. WTF. Is he resisting putting it out? Smokey Bear’s singular catch-phrase is about YOU, PREVENTING FIRES. As usual, he’s holding a shovel, a reminder that fighting forest fires is essentially ditch-digging. So what is Smokey resisting? The urge to douse the fire burning up his hand? The image reminds me of the innanity of moderate democrats. Both “Smokey” and “Bear” have long become euphemisms for cops. This Smokey wants to embed with your resistance crew. Knock him out with a shovel.
Denver judge rules BEING HOMELESS IS IRRELEVANT to defendants charged with violating city’s urban camping ban
DENVER, COLORADO- A hearing was held today to review motions submitted before the criminal trial of three homeless activists arrested last November for violating Denver’s Urban Camping Ban. Terese Howard, Jerry Burton, and Randy Russel featured in the infamous 2016 video that showed Denver police officers confiscating their sleeping bags and blankets on the snowy steps of city hall. Through attorney Jason Flores-Williams, fellow Denver Homeless Out Loud (DHOL) activists have filed a civil lawsuit to halt the city’s homeless sweeps. In municipal court DHOL hopes to challenge the ordinance being used to harass, displace and imprison the downtown homeless. Already the city’s case appears to be derailing based on developments at the motions hearing. Denver municipal court judge Kerri Lombardi approved all the city’s motions and none for the defense. Lombardi approved the use of 404B evidence for the city, but simultaneously restricted Res Gestae evidence for the defense. In particular, she refused to qualify two experts on homelessness, precluding the accused from arguing a “necessity defense”. Judge Lombardi stated that being homeless was irrelevant to whether they were violating the urban camping ban. When asked to recuse herself, the judge declined, so attorney Flores-Williams declared his intent to file an interlocutory appeal to bump the case to district court. Meanwhile speedy trial was waived and a new court date was set for April 5th.
The Colorado Springs Gazette was not amused. Nor was the Denverite about my testimony yesterday in US district court, seeking an injunction against the Denver International Airport’s free speech permit. The city attorney tried to discredit me by forcing me to recite for the federal judge the full unabridge text of the sign I held at DIA. It was a riff on anti-Nazi cleric Martin Niemöller’s oft-paraphrased parable: “First they came for the Socialists, but I said nothing, etc”, this time foreshortened as a visceral response to Trump’s Muslim Ban: “-and we said NOT TODAY [strong expletive]!” We argued about whether my message was “welcoming”. I assured her that it was very warmly received and could not be interpreted as anything but uniquivocal solidarity. So I read it forcefully, resisting the inclination to lean into the microphone on the last word. Afterward my attorneys assured me it’s a good day in their line of work when you get to say MOTHERFUCKER in court! Judge William Martinez restricted hearing testimony to the single day (Wednesday) and promised to rule on the preliminary injunction by Friday, February 17.
Occupy allstar Caryn Sodaro breaches bank doors, allows water protectors to ask Denver Wells Fargo to defund DAPL
DENVER, COLORADO- At the behest of the beseiged Standing Rock encampment currently blocking the Dakota Access Pipeline, Denver water protectors held an unannounced rally on the capitol steps Friday morning and marched prompty to the Wells Fargo building several blocks north. Led by the American Indian Movement, and joined by allies, the predominantly Native American assembly intended to deliver a message to the major banking entity underwriting the Energy Transfer pipeline project. The action Friday was prompted by President Trump’s recent executive order to bypass legal restrictions holding up the drilling. Arriving at the bank, the hundred fifty marchers found all doors locked.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO- Water Protectors Jerima King (on left) and Karyna Lemus were arrested inside a downtown bank on Friday while trying to convey a message to Wells Fargo Bank to divest its interest in Energy Transfer’s controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. Protesters were denied entry into the Wells Fargo main location but marched to a nearby branch and entered its lobby before police were called. Several dozen Springs activists participated in coordination with protests at Wells Fargo banks across the country.
When Donald Trump says he’s gotten no calls about the Dakota Access or Keystone XL pipelines saying “Apparently they’re not controversial” he’s trolling you. Making taunts with easily refutted falsehoods is the definition of trolling. But two billion smartphones can play that game, you just have to be as creative as Trump’s writers. However, don’t underestimate Madison Avenue specialists of the lowest common denominator. I know the Donald makes it look so easy, he’s insanely inane, but the selling of Cheetos and Trump bling detritus is a science. A Pennsylvanian senator is having a go, tweeting “Why don’t you come after me, you fascist, loofa-faced, shit-gibbon!” –an expression coined at an Anti-Trump demonstration in Scotland. Accordingly the corporate media is offuscating the Democrat’s name, Daylin Leach, likely because he’s an environmentalist. Let’s see if Trump bites.
Occupy v. Martinez (Plaza Protest Ban) 2016 US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision AFFIRMING Prelim Injunction
Yesterday I published the federal judge’s order to grant the 2015 preliminary injunction against the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse. Since that time the city motioned to dismiss, there were show cause hearings, and depositions, and an appeal to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. On April 8, 2016 the appeals court AFFIRMED the preliminary injunction. As a result this legal action is on the road to becoming a permanent injunction, to be decided at trial this April. The prospects look promising, based on how the appelate judges schooled our First Amendment adversaries. I’m reprinting their full decision below.
While we await a judge’s response to the complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction against DIA’s free speech permit, I was drawn to reminisce about an earlier federal injunction GRANTED against Denver’s 2nd Judicial District. It was/is (!) also a preliminary injunction curbing police intimidation. This one prevents arrests of Jury Nullification pamphleteers at the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse in Denver. More broadly, it halts the enforcement of the despotic “Chief Justice Order 1” which attempted to curb free speech in Tully Plaza, between the courthouse and the jail, site of innumerable protest rallies since the facility was erected in 2010. After a protracted legal battle, the case will finally come to trial in April 2017. This case also started with police overreach, then a complaint, a motion, and a hearing. In August 2015, US District Judge William Martinez issued the below court order granting the preliminary injunction. Read more »
Pro-immigrant activists with Occupy Denver file suit against DIA and DPD, challenge airport free speech “permit”
DENVER, COLORADO- Civil liberties champion David Lane has filed a complaint in US district court challenging Denver’s office of the city attorney for instituting a permit process at DIA to prevent public protest. Holding signs has become impermissible at the airport, without the issuance of a permit seven days in advnace, although police are not bothering themselves about signs welcoming homecomers or seeking to connect business visitors with their limo service. That selective enforcement is unconstitutional of course, and the lawfirm powerhouse of Kilmer Lane & Newman is filing suit on behalf of two Occupy Denver plaintiffs. last Sunday, January 29, both were threatened with arrest by DIA police. While two earlier attempts to assemble had capitulated to DPD intimidation, the Occupy Denver activists stood their ground. Why did you file your lawsuit? “We know our rights. We want the POLICE to know our rights.”
It seems fairly obvious that Donald Trump’s singular obsession is hearing and seeing his name reflected back at him. He rebrands every speech, on any subject, to be about him. He’s the most interesting man in his world, so long as he’s the loudest. I’m guessing it ran in the family. It’s no small irony that Trump’s name is shared by a brass instrument which serves the same function. Trumpetting your every breath is an adolescent miscalculation I remember with embarassment. If everyone is not talking about you, you are clearly of no consequence. Trump’s tweets, and where he’s sitting, make it impossible to ignore him. But that is the prescription for egomaniacal centers of their own universes.
DENVER, COLORADO- Thousands streamed into Civic Center Park to spend Saturday afternoon listening to speeches against President Trump’s MUSLIM BAN. Lots of families with kids so I kept my sign on the fringe pointed outward. I don’t usually favor profanity but this slogan was spotted at New York’s JFK airport last Satruday, then replicated across the country the same weekend. I spotted several at the Denver rally AND in Colorado Springs, because I think, NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKER says it best. Racism, bigotry and wanton abuse of power is obscene.
DIA, COLORADO- Last weekend I joined thousands across the country protesting Trump’s executive order restricting entry visas from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Spontaneous demonstrations had erupted at international airports nationwide on Saturday January 27. Denver’s airport was no exception but the lively gathering of sign holders was ultimately persuaded by police to leave the premises. Supposedly a permit was required to hold signs. Demonstrators the next day were quickly ushered outside, to rally instead between the terminal and adjacent lightrail station, where only a tiny fraction of travelers would see them. This much we knew as we monitored events online while we reconnoitered DIA from the short-term parking garage. We made our way swiftly to the International Arrivals doors at the north end of the main terminal WITH OUR SIGNS.
Vancouver has staged an opera about Fallujah. Not about the massacre of its people as the US invaded Iraq, where civilian refugees were forbidden to flee from the incoming assault, where entire families were shot from helicopters as they tried to escape across the river, but the human tragedy of what the genocidal US soldiers had to endure. PTSD. That’s apparently what’s commemorable about the war crime of Fallujah. That “Fallujah”.
Spotted in DC at the J21 Women’s March. Advocates are marching for a museum to highlight the history of the oppression of women, as a tool to relegate oppression to the past, instead of where Trump’s inauguration wants to take it.
President Trump doesn’t want to complicate the argument by naming multi-nationals or offshore fortunes. Instead he implicates other nationalities as having usurped ‘Murcan interests. No more, he insists, “America First!” As if it hasn’t always been only ever that. American policy, foreign aid and wars have only ever served American purposes, and while big capital has reaped the benefits, its nationalist cover was wrapped in the Red White and Blue. Worse than Trump knowing nothing of history is the media’s eagerness to fill the vacuum with distortion. “America First” they decry, harks back to isolationist movements opposed to US entry into World War Two and before than The Great War and before that our Spanish American War of Expansion. Yeah, how about we call those isolationists what they were, pacifists and anti-imperialists?
Donald Trump’s inauguration presents a timely opportunity to hammer at his crass misogyny. Slogan-wise, THE ARC OF HISTORY BENDS TOWARD EQUALITY gets my vote for spot-on feminist rejoinder. I also like HELL HATH NO FURY, YOU SORRY ILLITERATE! The latter has a better chance of becoming true. The women’s march planned on Day One of Trump’s presidency already confirms Shakespeare’s adage. So what about MLK’s truism, about the arc of the moral universe being long but bending towards justice? That’s the consolation that keeps liberals from despairing as they encounter endless setbacks. Is it true? The inevitability of progress is inexcusibly Western-centric. If you measure your arc with indigenous cultures at the baseline, the moral universe trips at monotheism and never recovers. Measured from the customary Dawn of Civ, Trump’s election as mankind’s exemplar ideal, now leader of the free world, is surely the most abrupt signpost to the contrary. We’re tracing the arc of a handbasket.
March on DC with your own protest message, not one dictated by NGOs. Yes, you’ll need a banner and poles.
Organizers of the post-inaugural WOMEN’S MARCH in Washington DC this weekend are telling participants not to bring poles for signs or flags, or even knapsacks. Ha ha ha. As you travel across the country to march, remember who’s making the real sacrifice. The march coordinators are paid. You are spending the time and expense because you have something to express. Bring it. The only reason organizers want you unequipped is so your [rogue] message won’t stray from theirs. Does that sound democratic? They also have a different goal than you. Their mission is to pull off a smooth event. Yours is to make history.