Latest Local News
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- On July 19th 2015, I met the Mother of Paul Castaway, a young native American man who was shot four times by the Denver Police Department and died of those fatal shots. At the memorial service she saw me sitting there watching her, she quietly walked up and held out her hand and ask me my name, then in a very soft and quiet voice she said “Thank You, for coming” With her eyes and slow movement of her step you could see the weight of her grief. I was stunned into silence.
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.
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.
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?
“Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”
― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
Pause you who read this and think of the man, Charles Dickens, who gave to the world some of our most memorable stories and books; A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, to name only a few. Charles Dickens, a man filled with compassion for the poor and hungry, who he wrote about so eloquently. Now comes The Tattered Cover Book Store who seeks to make a profit from this man’s stories and the people Charles wrote about; the Tattered Cover who through their membership in the Downtown Business Partnership, supports the Denver Camping Ban, a law that criminalize the poor and homeless.
DENVER, COLORADO- It was day two of protesting the neoliberal agenda of the Clinton Global Initiative 2015 conference held at the Denver Sheraton. Activist had already had Secret Service warn them about jumping out in front of the motorcade and security guards claim the sidewalk was private property, when a Denver motorcycle cop threatened to issue tickets to any protester who didn’t remain standing. Denver does have an unfortunate anti-vagrancy ordinance that forbids sitting on the sidewalk. Though activist were surrounded by ordinary people eating their lunch or catching some sun, this officer made it clear that he had the discretion to decide which activity was allowed and which wasn’t. To quote David Anderson, who took the picture: “What a Joke!…One of Denver’s finest? Lard ass cops tells Caryn and Brandi they cannot sit down on buckets while protesting. Notice! Fat ass cop gives out warnings from a SITTING position!”
PHOTOS: Denver cops serve complaint against a six year old playing a bucket drum at Friday Tattered Cover protest.
DENVER, COLORADO- The weekly protest and homeless feeding in front of the LoDo Tattered Cover bookstore was interrupted on Friday night by the police, this time to serve a noise complaint against a six year-old who’d been beating on the bucket drums with his friends. The operation required two backup cruisers while six more laid in wait.
The Denver City Council believes that if you criminalize, arrest and jail this man we have solved the homeless problem. If you agree with the City Council go back to your TV and watch the latest episode of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”. But if you truly want to understand, and you want more information, then join activists with OCCUPY DENVER on Fridays. In doing that small act, you will meet the face of the homeless, you will be on the path of becoming a true compassionate human being. The photos below show feeding the homeless feeding at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in LoDo, every Friday at 5:30 pm.
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?
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.
DENVER, COLORADO- On May 8th 2015, the Tattered Cover Five returned to the scene of their heinous crime, feeding the poor and homeless. After being convicted in a kangaroo court hearing in City Court for disturbing the peace and being a general nuisance, the defendants once again returned on Friday to the Tattered Cover Book Store where they fed the poor on a rain soaked evening. When we as a society look past an act of compassion and charity in feeding the poor and homeless, to see our shame, to feel our discomfort and then to criminalize this act of kindness. Then we are a Broken and Sick Society.
(The above photo is of Janet on May Day 20015 feeding a group of 50 people in front of the state capital, still wearing that warm smile for all the homeless and hungry.)
Janet Matezen was a 54 year old working mom. She had recently lost her job at a local market where she worked as a meat cutter. Like many of the middle class, Janet was also struggling to make ends meet. It was October 2011, Occupy of Denver made camp in Denver’s Civic Center Park. Their number began to grow daily as word of the movement spread via the media. Janet had never been a protester or even been to a rally such as Occupy, but she was curious. She decided one day that she would drive to the park to see what it was all about.
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.
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.
April 15: NYC took a bridge, Chicago & Seattle took the streets, Portland took Town Hall, and Denver took the cake
DENVER, COLORADO- Yes, Denver’s FIGHT FOR FIFTEEN march kept to the sidewalks. When ISO members (organizing the local “15 NOW” group) pushed the boundaries, SEIU marshals criticized them not just for agitating, but for pushing their socialist agenda. Occupy Denver activists held a prominent banner which referenced reigning minimum wage champion Socialist Alternative. Most of the attendees were union members whose representatives have obviously failed to credit the SA party or Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant for the nation’s first $15 minimum wage victory. We fielded questions all evening from marchers eager to know if an SA chapter was brewing in Colorado.
DENVER, COLORADO- On the subject of filming cops, Denver activist Caryn Sodaro is in trouble again. Caryn was attending a community meeting on Colfax Avenue when attention was drawn to an arrest happening at an adjacent liquor store parking lot. Several people converged on the scene, Caryn ahead of everyone, her videocamera aimed at an officer grinding his knee into the face of a prone man, likely homeless. Another cop looked on, warning his partner that they were being filmed, while an Argonaut security guard prevented the witnesses from getting close. Unlike onlookers who only dare to record an abusive arrest, Caryn tried to prevent further brutality and so raised her voice to caution the officers that their acts were not going unnoticed. Soon enough the witnesses were being ordered to leave Argonaut’s private property. Though deep within the departing group –everyone was complying– Caryn was picked out for arrest anyway. Fortunately she passed her camera to a colleague who was able to prevent the footage from being confiscated by the DPD. It’s all on tape: the details described here and the reinforcements piling on Caryn. She spent the afternoon in jail. Her next court date is April 27.
DENVER, COLORADO- Anonymous activists converged on the capitol on Sunday, as they do “Every 5th”, this time to remember the growing list of victims of Denver police violence, and this time was going to be different. This time the call went out for torches or similar flamables and enough unnamed Anons delivered. As dusk approached and numbers grew, so did sightings of SUVs ferrying riot cops, at five staging areas. Despite another SUV whose officers were glued to binoculars, and a new HALO camera installed on a nearby streetlight, Anonymous lit its torches to send an angry message before the police rushed in.
DENVER, COLORADO- Prosecuting attorneys for the City of Denver were granted their own motion to have their case against Patrick Jay dismissed for lack of evidence! Prominent civil rights lawyer David Lane was informed this weekend that all charges against Patrick have been dropped.
DENVER, COLO.- The Denver police had really stepped in it this time. At 6:30am on January 26, officers opened fire on a parked car full of unarmed teenage girls, killing Jessie Hernandez with eighteen bullets. This time the most homocidal police force this side of Baltimore used lethal force against a charismatic 17-year-old Latina. Even if officers had confused the queer tom-boy for a male, Jessie wouldn’t pass for a boy over eleven. Jessie’s killing follows a year rocked by public protests against police excessive force in Ferguson and New York City. Victims Mike Brown and Eric Garner were black males with the attendant stigmas. This victim was literally a poster child. If Jessie had a criminal record it was as a juvenile. The official account immediately began to unravel as witnesses came forward. Most notably, after the passengers were released from jail, one of them said the police fired first, before an officer was struck by the vehicle and not afterward as the officers claimed. Yet the public’s revulsion has been measured and dimminishing. What happened? Was the outcry stage-managed? By whom? The aftermath of Jessie’s execution was captured on video, in defiance of officers threatening the bystanders. It’s only been described to reporters but the Denver Post has it.