Latest Local News
I hadn’t thought of it until a MAS briefing in Tech School (School of Health Care Sciences Sheppard AFB Texas) for which I have the lame ass excuse of being only 18 at the time. But, yeah, under the Hague and Geneva Conventions, medics and chaplains are indeed considered combatants. In one way, it’s a protective barrier, civilians could face charges within their countries, probably not very enlightened but with the aura of Civil Authority. (like: Texas, the US in general, etc…) Even in a Declared State of War, they could be jailed as criminals and given whatever civil sentences exist, including mutilation, death, beatings… but in War there are rules that sometimes apply. Unless the U.S. or Britannia over-ride it by calling it an Insurgency or (like Grenada) a Rescue Mission. Then there’s the Fremont County Paramedics… who served their pigmasters faithfully in the beating death of John Walter. And the privateers who run the jail as a for-profit business. I know the Medics got away with it (minus the eventual settlement of the civil suit) Yep. Smooth clean getaway on their part. I used to watch “Emergency” in the 70s, thought Paramedics were cool. These assholes ruined that impression forever.
DENVER, COLO.- Last night Denver police mobbed a demonstration protesting the officer-involved execution of unarmed suspect Dion Avila Damon in front of his wife and child. At the end of Tuesday’s march, Robin Hamm and Nathan Stickel were arrested for obstruction, failure to obey, and destruction of private property. They were still in custody when fellow activist, Joaquin dela Torre-McNeil, arrested at an identically uneventful march last November, showed up for his court date today only to hear the city motion to dismiss his case. Joaquin was charged with interference and resisting arrest, both accusations without merit. This morning the city admitted as much.
I have to write an article about how the Fremont County Sheriff Department, with the help of the Ku Kl/ux Kounty coroner, judges, prosecutors, Medical staff at the Jail and even Paramedics, killed a man named John Walter, beat him to death, for daring to insist that he needed health care. They broke nine of his ribs, witnessed by the Paramedics, and threw him back in his “medical observation” dungeon and left to die. Two years ago.
Did the media ignore Democracy Spring because staged arrests are not news? Do 1,200 ceremonial zip-ties matter?
The US corporate media will ignore protest movements when it can, thus the coverage of last week’s DEMOCRACY SPRING demonstrations in Washington DC was scant if not at all. Arrests totalled 1,240 by the event’s finale on Monday and the number is being reported with indifference. Of course we can rail against the bias of corporate interests, but what of viewership interest. I’d have to count myself among the public who is interested in acts of political dissent but even I am not compelled to read about ceremonial submission to zip-ties. Who can bame journalists for shying from the awkward task of interviewing activists about the meaningless gesture?
Here’s a better picture of Denver Homeless Out Loud activist Ray Lyall and colleague, with the usual Denver protest entourage. Ray Lyall was found guilty of trespass last week, like his cohort DJ Razee before him. The two were among nine DHOL members arrested defending Tiny Houses on October 25, ten if you include a follow-up action, but Ray and DJ are the only cases to come to trial. Four more are scheduled soon: April 20, May 9 & 10, and June 1.
DENVER, COLORADO- Ray Lyall was among nine homeless rights advocates arrested last October trying to defend a row of Tiny House model homes they built on public land administrated by the Denver Housing Authority. All were accused of trespass and today was Ray’s day in court before a jury of not quite his peers. Though the jury perceived Ray’s act to be political and were shown the paradox facing the city’s homeless, they found in favor of DHA and its SWAT eviction team. Denver’s lack of sympathy for the homeless is shared by Denver residents serving jury duty. All of whom were conscripted through addresses, many of them gentrified.
GET THIS. I heard a reverend-person yesterday lecturing newish activists about their need for nonviolence training, which she was volunteering to lead. She was also offering rubber wristbands for her graduates to wear at demonstrations, so that police could differentiate between protesters. She told us she’d ask officers to scrutinize those not wearing bands as being the potential troublemakers. This, she assured everyone, would make it more difficult for outside groups to waylay the action. I kid you not. And she’s a church leader praised locally as something of an activist! HA! That’s a RAT!
I recognized the Springs “outsider” buggaboo so I thought I’d relate where it came from in a little piece I’ll call The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs. Ready? It won’t take long.
This is a timeline of the legal battle which began in July 2015 over activists’s right to protest in the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza. It explains why activists with Occupy Denver did not believe they were being given lawful orders when commanded to stop and why activists still believe the DPD were wrong to make their arrests. The city’s charges of “encumbrance” and “obstruction” appeared calculated to circumvent a federal injunction protecting the public’s First Amendment rights.
Denver jury convicts homeless man of trespassing on their yuppy lifestyle. DJ Razee’s tiny house idea was too big.
DENVER, COLORADO- In the witness stand Delbert “DJ” Razee spoke eloquently about the Tiny House movement and Resurrection Village, a local experiment sponsored by advocates Denver Homeless Out Loud to suggest one remedy for the house-less of Colorado. Razee’s lawyer Frank Ingham made fools of the Denver Housing Authority stooge and four police officers who testified against the chronically homeless English Lit grad. Razee was charged with trespass on public land, on an empty city block which was supposed to have been used for affordable housing. Razee was among ten homeless activists arrested one night in November for refusing to vacate several very small structures they’d erected on property which the DHA was converting from a community garden to gentrified condos. After two days of trial, a jury of well-housed peers found Razee guilty, lest others of his untouchable caste darken their doorsteps or the vacant lots near them. On Thursday March 3rd at 8:30am DJ Razee reports to Judge Beth Faragher for sentencing.
DENVER, COLORADO- Local activist Amanda Chilton flipped off a municipal court judge. Yes, it’s not done, but the consequence was more severe than even the judge intended. Amanda was attending a motions hearing of a fellow protester accused of disobeying a cop. During DPD testimony an officer was narrating a surveillance video which the audience was unabe to see. Amanda tried to shift seats but was told to sit down. After two admonishments, Amanda complied in silence but made a disrespectful gesture where she sat behind the flat screen monitor, where she thought the judge wouldn’t see. But a clerk did see the gesture and told the judge. Judge Nicole Rodarte, no friend of political activists and facing a roomful of them, immediately had Amanda held in contempt of court for the remainder of the hearing. Contrary to instructions, Amanda was taken across to the jail to serve a sentence of ten days. We’re not sure yet who was complicit with the mixup. Here’s what happened:
DENVER, COLORADO- Weld County had twice declined to remit jailed Occupy Denver activist Caryn Sodaro to the Denver County courts for outstanding cases, but this week authorities conspired to bus Caryn to court without giving public notice. Instead of being greeted by a room full of supporters who had twice turned up to cheer for her as she faced contrived and punitive charges, Caryn was whisked before Judges Rodarte in 3F and Farrenger in 3H. Alone and no doubt demoralized, Caryn plead guilty to both obstruction and making threats, accepting concurrent sentences of 150 days. We haven’t yet uncovered the paper trail for her off-leash citation. but the Lindsey Flanigan Star Chamber probably threw that at her too.
10TH US CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS, DENVER, COLORADO- By 9:00 this morning I had been arrested by federal police for asserting a person’s right to enter a federal courthouse and observe an open court proceeding where the federal government denies any person without a valid state or federal ID.
DENVER, COLORADO- Andrian “Monk” Brown was observed on HALO camera “erecting a tent” on the spot he’d been arrested two days before inside a similar tent. He was arrested escaping the scene of the crime and or walking his dog around the block. This week Monk was tried for obstruction, the deputy city attorney prosecuted the case herself but was unable to overcome the jury’s inclinations that the charges were “silly”. Monk’s defense attorney rested her case without presenting a thing. Essentially the closing argument was this: did a three-man tent obstruct anyone in a large public plaza? NOT GUILTY.
The Denver Detention Center came under scrutiny after the county had to pay out over $6 million to the family of street preacher Marvin Booker who was killed by sheriff’s deputies while in custody. Reforms may or may not have been implemented; the deputies were neither charged nor dismissed; and the facilities remain defiant about disrespecting your rights. I had the opportunity to visit the DDC recently and I can report the experience was miserable. While the public often thinks that inmates deserve the worse the better, a county jail houses suspects not convicts, protected by the 14th Amendment from punishment before a fair trial.
DENVER, COLORADO- The occupiers of the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse Plaza were thrown a curve on Friday afternoon when city workers were observed installing signs closing the grounds to the public from 8:30pm until 7:30am. Was this an affront to US District Court Judge William Martinez who had affirmed in federal court that the courthouse plaza was a free speech zone “24/7”? There wasn’t time to consult a legal opinion, so when a DPD cruiser interrupted the Occupy Denver GA at 8:25pm to announce the curfew and threaten arrests, the occupiers retreated to the public sidewalk north of the courthouse, where the higher profile of Colfax Avenue would make up for having to time-share their 24hr encampment. DPD swept through the park at 8:30pm to assure it was vacated and activist spent the next hours making a ruckus on the street, egged on by Friday night traffic. At bedtime a civilian dupe came over from the jail to warn that deputes told her everyone would be arrested. Laughs. At 2am a DPD platoon paid the habitual visit. Warnings that the activists were in violation of the trespass order were laughed off, and the officers told off for abusing their authority telling lies, so police could only force sleepers off the public sidewalk and mandate that signs be untied from the trees. From their beachhead on Colfax Activists promised to retake the plaza at 7:30am where they intended to catch up on their lost sleep in broad daylight.
With dusk falling across the skyscrapers of upper Manhattan, Pope Francis implored the city – all cities – to care for the less fortunate. “There are the foreigners, their children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly,” he said. “These people stand at the edges of our avenues, of our streets, in deafening anonymity.”
Happy birthday to Occupy Wall Street. 4yrs old & still drawing party crashers (who took everything but the cake).
DENVER, COLORADO- Our #S17 bash for the fourth anniversary of #OWS was interrupted by an eviction, actually the second sweep of the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza that day, where Denver police and SWAT took everything, our inverter, sewing machine, banners, posters, flags, fliers, file cabinet (administration tower #1), even our kitchen sink. Everything but our CAKE!
DENVER, COLORADO- At 1am last night, the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza Occupiers defended against their twelfth police raid in 30 days, this one a sweep of violations of the city’s “Urban Camping Ban”. After forcing individual sleepers to stand and feign gathering their things, the police officers left without confiscations, citations, or arrests. The supervising officer admitted that DPD orders are to disrupt the protest camp every night.
DENVER, COLORADO- Halo camera operators spotted Lizzie AT LARGE in the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza on Sunday night. Ten police cruisers arrived to deliver the citation. They stuck around to make other inquiries, someone wouldn’t offer ID on command so they put him in handcuffs, he did not consent to a search but they searched him anyway and released him.
Someone got a citation for public urination this weekend at the protest occupation of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse. This may be due in part to overnight guest demonstrators now being denied access to the public restrooms at the adjacent detention center. Ironically many of those shut out are frequent patrons and fee-payers of the jail.
Occupy activists will very likely not be allowed to erect an outhouse, based on the structural restrictions which police are enforcing against “encumbrances”. So far the jail pretends to have full discretion to discriminate among who can use its 24-hour toilets. Thus camp bathroom facilities will remain al fresco, but that should not preclude urban toilet amenities with which camp organizers can designate latrines and shit holes to keep participants from littering the landscaping with poop.
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy activists had no sooner retrieved their pop-up canopy, which the Denver police had been ordered to return, and re-erected it, when riot cops marched in again to re-confiscate it! After tearing down the now usual “encumbrances” Friday morning, this time the canopy, table and chairs, and not also the handcart, drums, signs, banners, brochures, water, and personal items, the officers were determined to issue a citation. But for what? Apparently LIZZIE had been spied off-leash on the city’s Halo surveillance cameras.
DENVER, COLORADO- Civil rights attorney David Lane will address Federal District Court on Monday seeking an injunction to stop the City of Denver from arresting activists distributing fliers to inform fellow citizens about the legal concept of Jury Nullification. UPDATE: An injunction hearing has been scheduled for 2PM FRIDAY, August 21, at the Araaj Federal Courthouse.