Tag Archives: occupywallstreet

Whose streets? Occupy Jack spreads COS occupation to parking spots!


OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Why stop at protest tents? Jack’s got a protest car, now there are two. Two cars used by Occupy Colorado Springs have now been booted for not paying their way alongside Acacia Park. No homeless allowed, so no homeless cars allowed. The plan? Occupy Cars! Activists are sleeping in shifts, occupying these cars to prevent them being impounded. Did you watch yesterday’s video of the Saturday arrests? Jack Semple is a rockstar. If you can help Jack and his fellow occupiers, figure out something, they can use your help. They’ve already got the outrageous ideas, it’s the run of the mill support that will turn the tide.

Fear and Loathing in Colorado Springs

Those readers following the Occupy! Movement in its many forms around the world and in Colorado Springs will be glad to hear that Tuesday culminated a difficult week for us here with a resolution of many contentious issues, and an overall commitment to unity.
 
The subject matter behind this particular post is closely associated with the Movement in general, but it’s more a humanity thing than an Occupy thing, overall. I hope i can get the associations to make sense, and that readers will restrain themselves from developing the erroneous notion that this is meant to be a pitch for some sort of religion. It’s not.

I went to the Municipal Court in Colorado Springs to enter a plea of “not guilty” to the charge of camping on public property because of actions executed as a part of Occupy! Actually, i was camping on public property, to put it quite plainly, and the idea behind the plea is that the action does not engender guilt even if it violates a silly and badly unAmerican, (read, “oppressive,” if we’ve become a little unrecognizable in this regard), statute. A couple dozen supporters made it to the courtroom with me, and raised enough ruckus to get Municipal Judge Spottswood W. H. Williams to threaten them all with contempt charges. The whole thing was kind of a lot of fun, really. Made me feel a little like Hoffman or Hayden, in a much smaller sense. There comes a first time for everything, and this was my first visit to a courtroom during which i was able to feel utterly unencumbered by the dark nature of my own action that had led me there. My deepest thanks to all the OCS members and especially Dennis Apuan, who put his political credibility on the line to stand with us, and brought a good deal of patriotic weight to the room as State Rep for the fine soldiers of Fort Carson.

The hearing was only that, after all, and after entering the plea, we scheduled a pre-trial conference with the City Attorney, for 22 Nov, at which a government lawyer will make me an offer i’ll most assuredly refuse and we’ll schedule a jury trial. I’ll keep you news hounds posted as things progress.

The point to this post, though, is an underlying root to the no-camping ordinance, as well as to most of the woes of the day: The Fear.

Most of us don’t acknowledge the Fear because, well, it’s scary. Instead we get angry, or attempt to maneuver ourselves into a position to control uncontrollable factors like society or competitive economies. We eschew cooperation because we’re afraid of our fellows. We make assumptions about others’ behavior and how it will effect us. We bewail the corruption of society, and begin looking over our shoulders for the punishment of God, or black-clad mercenaries coming over the horizon to herd us into frigid winter FEMA camps. We worry about hunger, poverty, inglorious death. We develop elaborate political systems and foment revolution in order to establish “security” of dubious credibility. Look around. These tactics have not ever worked after attempting repeated, redundant permutations, and there is no reasonable expectation that they ever will.

The Fear has driven all this cutthroat competition. It’s what motivates folks to be sure they have more, more, more. It’s what causes us to petulantly demand our right to burn as much gas in our Hummers as possible, and to constantly engage in useless commerce. It motivates the lowest guy competing for some crappy job at Taco Bell just as surely as it motivates conspiratorial Rothschild backroom bankers. It motivates us to enact stupid, oppressive no-camping ordinances when someone that scares us becomes visible, oh my! We’re all deathly afraid of some horrible outcome, like someone else getting our stuff, or scaring tourists away, or enjoying some habitual pleasure we find repugnant.

The Fear is irrational! What’s the very worst that can happen to us in this life? We die? We find ourselves incarcerated or tortured? Consider, if you will, that we live our little spans, maybe a hundred years or so at the outside limit, surrounded at both ends by an unfathomable mass of toroidally twisted, multi-dimentional Eternity that not one of us will ever grasp while we live. What possible fear can be valid under this circumstance other than that we fail to live according to our own perceived Truths? I say “perceived” since only those afflicted by the Fear are afraid to examine those truths for the errors all honest thinkers know to exist within our own perceptions. If I knew my own blind spots they wouldn’t exist, right? We don’t even know what we’re afraid of mostly, though we can usually list a few if we set ourselves to the task. No one is to blame for his or her own irrational fears, especially cultural fears such as seem to be more or less universal. Many have been established by the direct influence of media that may well have been designed by nefarious folk for exactly the purpose of invoking unfounded fears in various populations. OMG! Now i’m making myself afraid! Not really–but what to do about the Fear?

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear,” reads a certain religious text, (1 Jn 4:18, for those with a source fetish like me). I won’t be digressing into a religious sermon here. The principle holds without the doctrinal baggage surrounding it in the context in which it nests. No matter how evil the Ideas we oppose as Occupiers, or as human beings in general, they can’t overwhelm a spirit of love. No matter the spiritual foundation or lack thereof, love can dissipate greed, fear, disappointment, embarrassment, and in fact any of the various bases for the secondary anger response we are all prone to manifesting in situations as apparently dire as the one we’re seeing now. As much as i can plainly see the bogus nature of the moves made in, say, the financial industry, (inseparable from other key industries at a certain level), applying some genuine empathy causes a mental process that can not end in hatred or vengefulness. Look guys like Greenspan or Geitner in the eyes next time you see them. They’re deeply miserable, and completely trapped in their own Fears. When it all collapses, i really hope they’re still available so we can feed them a plate of food, even if we can’t resist the temptation to ask, “What the fuck were you thinking!?”

We can’t fight fire with fire here. Battling greed with more greed, as some seeking to restore an “American Dream” involving bigger slices of a rotten pie seem to do. Revolution only spins us in circles: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” We always seem to find ourselves standing in the same spot we started, except standing in pools of blood with fewer resources after every revolution we’ve ever effected. We don’t have these options any longer. The planet is in a condition that will not permit us to continue on the deeply ingrained, competitive course we’ve followed for so long. Learning to love, to let go, to tolerate, to work together for our futures which are common whether we like it or not is the only way out of this. It’s not easy, only necessary.

I can’t tell anyone how to save anyone else, or how to convince the next guy that any of this is true. I can’t even describe the mental processes that led to these conclusions. All i seem able to do is to proceed in the direction the thoughts lead, as they come to me in a fashion that very often seems external. Examine the assertions that continue to spill out of me at 2 in the morning like this. Notice with joy that there seem to be many others reaching similar conclusions: Things are terminally fucked up and only Love can save us. If it turns out that we’re not saved, that the whole human experiment is doomed to fail, i’ll breathe my last breath in the knowledge that i walked the talk spoken by all my heroes in tongues long lost to history, or new today, or unspoken yet understood by common nature. I don’t think i’m alone. I don’t know how to be afraid of that.

#Occupy Colo. Springs Municipal Court

Occupy Colorado Springs arrestees
OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Attention local media, if you’re looking for authentic spokespeople for Occupy Colorado Springs, you need look no further than today’s front row. Holding the big sign is first arrestee Steve Bass, to his right: three times arrestee Iraq vet Jack Semple, arrestee Amber Hagen, arrestee Raven Martinez, and arrestee Thomas G.

Also pictured, former Colorado Congressman Dennis Apuan, Occupy founding member Jon Martinez and Socialist activist Patrick Jay. Not pictured, Joel Aigner and Hossein Forouzandeh who were speaking at a UCCS occupy teach-in.


Here’s a video of the Saturday arrests of veteran of Fallujah Timothy “Jack” Semple and Amber Hagen of the 7-11 incident. Worth the watch. ROCKSTARS!

Mark your calendars, upcoming arraignments are scheduled November 21, 29 and 30.

Raven addressed the Colorado Springs City Council today on the unconstitutionality of the no-camping ordinance being enforced to curb the Occupy protest. Here’s what she said:

As a citizen of the United States, one has a given right to life, liberty, & property. These rights are protected by both the 5th & 14th Amendments to the Constitution.

In Bolling v Sharpe, The Supreme Court interpreted the 5th Amendment’s due process clause to include an equal protection element.

The 14th Amendment states:

“No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of LIFE, LIBERTY, or PROPERTY, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Knowing that sleep is a necessity of Life, every American citizen has a right to sleep, regardless of status.

“HOMELESSNESS” is considered a status.

The camping ordinance ultimately denies one the right to sleep, therefore the right to live, based on their status. How many people have been arrested for setting up a canopy, with blankets & food, to take a nap or have a picnic on public property.

Now if a homeless person sets up a canopy, has blankets and food with them, will they be told to take down their canopy under the current camping ordinance? If so, then the ordinance is based on status, therefore unconstitutional.

If not, then it leaves too much discretion in the hands of the individual law enforcement officer, making the ordinance over-broad and unconstitutionally vague.

When one is homeless, where can that person sleep? If they set up to sleep on Public property they would be violating the current city ordinance, they will be told to leave and told of a shelter to go to, being their only alternative. This amounts to incarceration in the shelter without a violation of law having been committed. This also violates ones right to due process in that it allows for arbitrary enforcement.

When you criminalize a non-criminal act of necessity, you greatly increase the possibility of that person committing other crimes, as well as decrease that persons ability to obtain employment.

State v Folks, No. 96-19569 MM found that a city ordinance which punished innocent conduct, such as sleeping/camping on public property, violated the defendant’s right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, which is protected under the 8th Amendment.

I ask you to look at the constitutionality as well as the long term effects of such an ordinance, it starts a domino effect that negatively impacts an already hurting economy.

How much does it cost in tax payers money to pursue such a case?

We have to have change! If we want a better economy and overall society, then the government, Federal, State, & Local, must change the way they conduct business. Criminalizing acts of necessity is business, not a way to protect our American citizens.

“Definition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over & over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

Pass a new ordinance to repeal the current one.

Do we need to speak truth to power? The powerful already know the truth. They bank on it.

So that much hasn’t been made clear to you with Occupy Wall Street? Common citizens are coming together across the globe, without need to apprise each other about Capitalism’s ravages. Does anyone still doubt these crimes are fully premeditated? SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER may still be a laudable dare, but let’s not pretend it’s revelatory. Today netizens are being asked to petition congress to stand down its attack on Net Neutrality, because apparently the public’s freedom on the web might be something lawmakers are overlooking. Playing this speak-truth-to-power charade simply renders the public complicit in perpetuating untruth, that the actions of our corporate government, media and capital class are not absolutely, mendaciously callous and deliberate.

All in

When i first set out to write this blog i had no intention of writing about geopolitics, or anything any bigger than my own little world, or to develop any sort of readership at all, let alone to kick up international interest. Who knew? Since the time i started, Adbuster’s Occupy movement has overtaken the whole world and i’ve become a part of it, along with apparently millions of fellow humans dissatisfied with aspects of the concentric and overlapping political systems that govern and control the minutiae of our daily lives. Occupy has struck a chord that resonates well beyond what seems to have been its original intent as well.

Adbuster asserts in its campaign web-page opener that, “we vow to end the monied corruption of our democracy,” speaking, one assumes of U.S. democracy, even though Adbusters is a Canadian publication founded by Kalle Lasn, an Estonian. Adbusters itself claims to be a, “global network of culture jammers and creatives,” and that their Occupy is, “[i]nspired by the Egyptian Tahrir Square uprising and the Spanish acampadas.” One should note that Adbusters is a non-profit organization with aspirations and effect well beyond the confines of the magazine at its core.

Many of my dear intrepid friends struggle mightily with the unavoidable nature of the movement in which we all participate. Occupy Colorado Springs, (OCS), has garnered a fair amount of attention both because of its early acquisition of a city permit to camp on the sidewalk, and for its fragmentary infighting. Strong personalities have clashed fairly spectacularly for what scale we’re dealing with here, and precisely the same arguments are on display at Occupy web-pages all over the U.S., as well as abroad. Here, many patriotic, nationally oriented players have concentrated on addressing the U.S. Constitution and the influence of corporate interests in Washington, D.C. politics. Others have been caught up in causes of personal concern as the “focus” of the overall movement has grown more and more diffuse. The bickering and difficulty in reaching consensus has been frustrating but, i suggest, not unhealthy or out of place.

Adbusters, following ques from the Middle East and Spain, deliberately set off a “leaderless” movement, and has fastidiously avoided taking hold of any sort of control of what has developed since, refusing even media interviews for fear of exercising undue influence. Occupy remains a leaderless movement. Various groups and individuals have issued lists of demands; the one linked there, “is representative of those participating on this [particular ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Facebook] page.” We Occupiers have much common ground, which has served well to bring us all together, and will continue to serve as we gather to discuss and bicker over issues and particulars. There is plenty to differentiate amongst us as well, on individual and other categorical bases, but we have recognized, more or less, an essential humanity that has us willing to stand in freezing temperatures if we live in the northern hemisphere, and subject ourselves to the slow, often painful process of learning to live together.

Some among us, as we have seen right here in Colorado Springs, are very uncomfortable indeed with the amorphous nature of the Movement. We have seen splintering, censorship wars, general Assemblies that devolve into shouting matches, and the development of personal animosities. These phenomena are repeated on a grander scale throughout the Movement while observers gloat over the imminent dissolution of Occupy unity. Neither we Occupiers nor the Movement’s detractors ought to be misled by these birth pains. Our situation as humans, or for that matter any other creature inhabitant of the Earth has been rendered fully untenable by humans competing for dominance. The upheaval we engage from our Colorado Springs street corner, or from squares in Manchester, Belgrade, Cairo, and etc. is the natural response of rats in a corner. Were it not for the fact that we humans indeed possess reasoning capacity beyond a rat’s we really would be screwed. Fortune, or Divine providence, or evolution, or whatever mechanism or mechanisms turn(s) out to be true has granted us the tools that, utilized with empathy at every turn may–just may–allow us to work our way out of the massive pickle in which we’ve put ourselves. Nothing about this will be easy, quick, or for most, especially comfortable.

The Movement is leaderless. This is an existential fact. No matter how strenuously individuals attempt to grab hold of reigns, or to turn them over to others, there is no authority behind the Movement other than the profound spiritual authority of its essential Idea. The financial disparities that we have focused on here in the U.S. are real, and the supra-national bodies that control our government with full directive power are the same bodies that separate people from power in every nation on Earth. Each issue that has arisen into the Movement’s overall consciousness, from derivative markets, to marijuana law, to camping on public property is part and parcel of the whole thing, which itself amounts to such a gigantic, lumpen juggernaut that we have a hard time gathering our thoughts around the whole thing at once. We must.

Many U.S. citizens, including some prominent in and around OCS, have expressed insistent nationalism. Muslims and Christians around the world have pushed religions agendas. Nationalism is by no means confined to the U.S.A. Our corporate, non-personal enemy and its personal, human operators are Global already, and use these divisions to our detriment! At a Colorado College faculty panel yesterday, much ado was made of income disparities and market finagling by Wall Street financiers. We can isolate our minds all we want, but we can not eliminate the fact that Wall Street, Fleet Street, Singapore, Hong Kong, the House of Saud, whatever, whatever, are already one indivisible entity, operating in opposition to any concern for overall humanity or household priorities for any of us as inhabitants of the planet, including the natural requirements of the controllers. The Idea of competition and profit has acquired an independent life of its own and has prevented even those at the top of the unwieldy pyramid from living lives connected to the most valuable prizes of all, which we humans have recognized throughout our history and recorded in odes, songs, and literature to be transcendent of politics and possessions. The statistics cited by those college economists, and the many Occupiers that mention them in speeches and lists of demands are quite real, and Americans might note that Kurdish, Nepali, and Palestinian Occupiers, for example, skew the stats we’ve been flailing our arms about here even further, and that “First World” exploitation is a very large part of this discussion, indeed.

There can be little doubt that the “Wall Street” entities in control of our various governments have planned for and directed events toward a “New World Order” for decades, if not centuries. Lots of justifiably paranoid conspiracy watchers all over the planet have done their best to alert their fellows to this alarming and unacceptable development for as long as it has been in the mix. The Vatican, a power with negative credibility in its adherence to its own doctrine, has offered itself up as a potential controller of a global banking scheme. Currently entrenched power-brokers will absolutely without question attempt to co-opt and control the current Movement. We humans are not interested in more of the same bullshit, plus the added benefit of still more bullshit! We occupiers are fully Sovereign, each in his or her own right. We are leaderless by design, which is the natural development of the abject failure of our leaders, and in fact of the failure of the very foundation of our interaction amongst ourselves that has developed without much direction for at least the 10,000 year span during which we have written about it. Those who resist this fact will find little more than inversely correlated discomfort in their resistance. One can deny the nature of a rhinoceros till one’s dying day, but the beast remains a rhinoceros, and the denier’s last day may well come on the day he encounters a rhinoceros.

Sovereign consensus building is not democracy. It’s something we humans have never attempted on the scale we Occupiers are attempting now. Broad-scale cooperation as a foundation is against an established competitive approach that we have fallen into by default for a long, long time. Voting one another into submission will not work, simply because we have let the cat out of the bag. We noble individuals are learning a brand-new thing, like it or not, because a rhinoceros has smashed the freakin’ house down. I, for one will not abandon the Liberty of my own Sovereignty, no matter who votes what, nor will i abandon the respect i hold for each other Sovereign in the entire mix. I recognize the differences between whatever groups or persons are in the whole wide world. Categorical observations are real, so far as they go; but i won;t be bound by them. I won’t be forced to fight against the 1% simply because i am a member of the 99%. Rather i will be fighting with every fiber of my being for the 100% of us who will ALL be trampled by the rhinoceros, in pretty danged short order, unless we ALL relinquish our insistence on control, avarice, and irresponsibility of all stripes.

Each of us has a part to play, a purpose to serve. Never abandon what you know. Work hard at open discussion. Don’t be embarrassed by frustrating moments or attempt to hide your own humanity. Withdraw for a moment if you need to to prevent overboiling passions. We’re all in this together. Be patient Brothers and Sisters; this is gonna hurt some….

OWS List of Demands:
www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=157161391040462
Adbusters:
www.adbusters.org/campaigns/occupywallstreet
NPR:
www.npr.org/2011/10/20/141526467/exploring-occupy-wall-streets-adbuster-origins
Middle Eastern origins:
www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/apr/09/libya-egypt-syria-yemen-live-updates
Acampadas:
www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13466977

Kind words to share with riot police: Dude, this video will be on the internet forever, where your children will see it.

OCCUPIED DENVER- I heard a lot of taunts aimed at the imposing armored police officers who were crashing our peaceful assembly. Curses, ridicule, warnings, pleas. The best was this admonition:
Dude, this video will go on the internet. Your children will see it.

Denver Daze

Occupy Colorado Springs is and has been a relatively staid affair. Our biggest marches have drawn maybe 200 participants, and the street corner has been generally host to small crowds and mostly friendly or indifferent passers by. Visits from police have been just that–visits, rather than assaults, even when the HOTT Team came to arrest me early in the morning on 18 October, and the intrepid Camping Jack on two more recent occasions. We had to take steps to force them to make my arrest. Many of the core participants at Acacia Park have never been involved in any sort of political processes at all, let alone public protestations. So when several of our number traveled to Denver last Saturday to join a boisterous crowd of around 3,000 souls emotions were high, mixed, and complex.

There can be no denying the nervous air among one van load during the trip to Civic Center Park, directly in front of the State Capitol building, on the western side. Shana expressed open fear, bless her heart, and i suspect she wasn’t the only of our number of like mind. Fear was generally dispelled by the excitement of the much larger Denver crowd, though, and as we marched around downtown under clear blue unseasonably warm Colorado skies, past the Mint, the Federal Reserve Building, down the 16th St. Mall where city employees took an unscheduled break to let us pass and bewildered shoppers either stared aghast or waved and grinned in support, up 17th St. past all the towering bank centers, and finally mounting the steps at the Capitol Building in defiance of specific instruction from city and police. Throughout the march, spirits were exuberant as cooperative bullhorn operators traded various, sometimes conflicting perspectives while our horde danced and prated along the sidewalks and streets, and we arrived at the Capitol in high, expectant spirits.

There had been quite a lot of friendly cops along for the march, but shortly after our arrival at the Capitol the armored legion showed up and began tactical operations to expel the somewhat rowdy crowd from its perch. I was there with my 15 year old son, so we pulled back from the danger zone when the announcement was made waving off the “unarrestable.” Adin and i observed the obscure scuffling, complete with clouds of gas, from the Park as we waited for the valiant crew of absurdly comical drag queens “manning” the field kitchen to finish the “pimp-ass risotto” we later had for lunch, flavored by tear gas. The cops cleared the Capitol steps and formed a double-lined phalanx at the eastern face of the Park, at the street edge of the sidewalk directly across from the kitchen and the hastily erected camps. The kitchen crew struggled to put a specifically verboten makeshift canopy over their operation, so the police could be sure and find them.

The police blocked Broadway for several blocks and pushed protesters off the street into the Park and stayed in a threatening stance for some 6 hours or so, waiting for the appointed hour of 7:00p when they razed the camps, apparently according to specific orders. The clearing of the street was punctuated by violence , at least some of which was beyond the pale. Photographer and protest participant Andrew Cleres was ruthlessly shot down from his tree-stand while obviously not a threat. Frankie Roper of our OCS group was transported to a local hospital after taking a “non-lethal” round to the chest, though he was not arrested and refused treatment so he could rush back to the proceedings. Cops pulled back to the street after their initial assault and held a line for several hours while listening to protesters preaching various words ranging between, “We love you; you are US,” to “Fuck off and die, Pigs!” while awaiting word to move on the camps, which they did at the appointed hour, throwing tents, food, and kitchen equipment into a city trash truck.

The police surrounded the empty camping areas afterward, and maintained their line at the street for some time, continuing to endure some very angry expressions by riled protesters. Around 8:00p they abruptly and rather anticlimactically just left, allowing protesters to claim a victory, of sorts.

Though my observations to follow may well clash somewhat with some attitudes expressed during much subsequent conversation, much of what i witnessed at as close a range as could be was very encouraging indeed. Protesters were extraordinarily courageous in the face of a volatile situation. At odds with some other observers, i suggest cops exercised pretty fair restraint. Frankie and Andrew were both rather overworked in the incidents linked above. Frankie’s foot had been rolled over by the motorcycle he then knocked to the ground when the cops jumped him, and police had no way to know that when they got him. He was not arrested. Throughout the day, during which there were only 20 arrests reported, i witnessed numerous instances of very angry protesters attempting to engage police violently. These incidents were mostly handled by the crowd by their moving in to separate the overwrought form the line of cops, and the few moments where things escalated to actual physical levels were marked by a lack of brutality by police, and an apparently strong reluctance to arrest anyone. And again, after executing announced plans to raze the camps the cops simply left the scene.

Among the most exceptionally poignant vignettes of the day was the scene at the kitchen between the clearing of the Capitol steps and its ultimate destruction. The queer high antics persisted in good humor through the entirety of the very tense day, and the line of grateful hungry continued steadily within shoulder-brushing distance of the armored squads; life, joy, and loving community on display under duress. Many protesters repeated the suggestion to police that they are fully welcome to lay down armor and join us for a sandwich and a bowl of soup, and some cops actually did so, braving the incredulous stares of their fellows before rejoining the line. All day, though more so during the march while still in a conversational mood, police expressed support for us protesters, and reluctance to be antagonistic on their own. When they returned at the close of Park hours in much smaller numbers to match the dwindling of our own, remaining protesters knew to clear to the sidewalk and no further incidents took place. By then, new supplies had been delivered by random donors, and a new kitchen was already turning out coffee and chili dogs from an adjusted position at the park’s edge.

There remains aroused spirits from many of the variously positioned players in this conflict of Ideas. Many U.S. armed forces veterans are very angry indeed at police seen as traitorous after the incident with Scott Olsen in Oakland, (don’t forget to continue to hold Scott in your prayers, if you do that sort of thing); however I, for one, am encouraged by the dramatic differences between what i saw in Denver Saturday and the stuff from my childhood where police would just wade through crowds swinging nightsticks with brutal efficiency at whomever was within range. Further encouragement came from the shift in mood the following day when much of the tension between holders of opposing opinion among our OCS core appeared to simply diffuse on its own in the face of the sheer size and intensity of the action in D-town.

My take: I am immensely proud of all the Occupiers that participated, (including perhaps most especially my son Adin, who chose to stay right up in the thick of things with us all day long), and steadfastly protected those of our own motivated beyond restraint from overstepping propriety. We are ALL one. The human race makes up a group of 100%, even if some of us need to catch up with the notion. We have a long way to go, but we’re learning. This thing will continue to be lumpy and chaotic, but we’re getting there. Because we have to, no matter what.

DPD violence against Occupy Denver on Oct 29, filmed at gunpoint, shows first raid was deliberate provocation


OCCUPIED DENVER- Patrick shot this video in the thick of the action of October 29, which covers the initial arrests at Civic Center Park. It unmasks first DPD raid as a deliberate provocation, sent aimlessly into thick of crowd to make arbitrary arrests. Footage begins from early moments of protesters asking police not to bring weapons into peaceful assembly, without success.

Is Occupy movement about issues, not tents? Denver learns, it’s ABOUT TENTS


DENVER- Hundreds of police in riot gear were deployed against the Occupy campers today. Not for the peaceful march, nor the slogans they voiced, nor even activist demands to climb the capitol steps. No, the hundreds arrived with gas masks, and new batons literally out of the box, to roust a dozen protest tents adorned with Occupy Wall Street slogans. To the peaceful assembly, the sudden arms buildup could have been none other than a show of force.

Occupy Colorado Springs occupier Frankie Roper was among the first arrests. A DPD motorcycle cop drove into the grass and over Roper’s foot. He pushed the bike off, tipping it. Roper was struck by multiple pepper pellets as he ran quickly away. After being tackled by police, Roper required a stretcher and was taken to a Denver hospital.


Denver police chief discusses his strategy with Colorado Congressman Ed Permutter who circulated among the front line protesters being a condescending dick. Similar MO to unidentified cowboy at left let to roam behind police lines.


Speculation about why the state needed to clear original OccupyDenver camp from state grounds, because they needed it for a police parking lot.

Good coverage in Westword, page 4.

First they ignore you then they laugh at you, Oakland’s got no further than that.

The brutality of the Oakland Police against #OccupyOakland and Iraq vet Scott Olsen is prompting many to measure their eminent victory with ol’ Gandhi’s hopeful adage: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Apparently we’ve reached the fight stage. Yeah no. Sorry folks but teargas and nonlethal measures while dressed in riot gear is still the LAUGH AT YOU stage. You’ll recognize FIGHTING. It’s what America does to everywhere.

Occupy Colo. Springs suffers SECOND ARREST for camping outside permit

Jack arrested for erecting tent in Acacia Park
COLORADO SPRINGS- Tonight’s 11 O’clock arrest in Acacia Park was the second for #OCCUPYCS. As contentious GAs can attest, the self-delegated city-liaison executive-members are fighting a losing battle with a dissenting membership determined to grow the OWS protest by stressing inclusion and enlarging the encampment to beyond the city-permitted canopies.

Five cruisers and one unmarked vehicle responded to call

Interlude 2

Off to Acacia Park for the night, then Denver in the morning. Occupy! is fully international. We’ll need to come to terms with that in our own countries, cities, minds, and act accordingly, cooperatively, if we are to truly build a thing of beauty without a ridiculous cataclysm. Continue to embrace Humanity in everyone! Cops and soldiers, bankers and beggars–all of us are just working the Gameboard as seems best to us at the time. Pull back. Breathe. Shine the Light! The Game’s over. Learn to Dance!

Occupying an empty house

My friend Maureen gets frustrated with me because i keep slinging all this outlandish stuff at her, and as one might expect, she has a hard time getting it sometimes, and an even harder time imagining that any of it might be true or practical. I keep telling her that money is over, she keeps telling me that people use money for good things. I start hanging around Occupy Wall St. and its attendant movement and she feels alienated because she lives largely from Stock Exchange investments. Maureen is not the only one with this issue; a man appeared at our GA in CSpgs last week deeply troubled by the fact that we “haters” were trying to force his grandma to eat cat food because as he noted, “Wall Street”, that is, the package of various stock offerings available there, is owned diffusely by grandmas and retirees, penny-pinchers and wheeler-dealers all over the world. My friend and this guy are both put off by the extremely jarring nature of the realizations at hand that have precipitated huge crowds of traffic-clotting protesters into the streets. (Actually that stranger stayed for the GA and came around, while Maureen has an injury preventing her attendance, so this is kinda for her, as well as everyone else).

The issue with the money that’s causing problems is closely associated with the Global nature of Occupy! and because of that, its fragmented nature. Both issues are rendered all the more discordant to many by their perceived urgency among occupiers. We want things to change right now, not after the next bullshit election cycle, but rather before we all die when the food chain collapses. Many within the movement at hand will object to what i posit here, but there really is no way around it in my own mind, so i have no choice but to put it out there. The FED, the IMF, World Bank, Bank of England, Royal Dutch, Al Rajhi, etc, etc, and their intertwined financial/military/industrial destruction machine already exist as a very solid Global beast with utterly uncontrollable and ravenous hungers. We humans are equally as Global, and Occupy! is the same. The destructive elements in this conflict as well as the creative are out of the hands of nationalistic players, and our old notions of money and its production will not save us in time. Once again, if it were gonna, it woulda.

I’ve put this educational chart up before, and if you have no motivation to look any further then i hope you’ll just go get another beer and stay out of the way. The World as we know it is a disaster, and we made it so. Don’t give me that crap about global warming is caused by dinosaur farts. We’ve dumped more toxic shit into the ecosystem in the last century than can be said to have even existed, anywhere. If Humanity can’t effect the world, like one hears on Rush, of some of those other insane programs where are all the American Bison? Passenger Pigeons? Pennsylvanians drinking tap water? Live, healthy corals? Why are so many of us completely, stubbornly ignorant of these obvious and urgent facts. It’s the Fear, of course, and it’s actually propagated deliberately by some, who fail in turn to recognize that they are trapped by it themselves. we’ll move on to the business of the Fear another time.

Plenty of accusations fly around about who caused the money crisis, the environmental crisis, and any other crisis at hand. It really doesn’t matter, and even though some players have obviously been behaving recklessly, some in succession with conspiratorial characters of some pedigree, we absolutely must give up the hatred and sort out solutions, if we want to live. There are a few links at the bottom to articles, (and one video–don’t like ’em myself), on financial and economic collapse. There are plenty more. The point is to assure you all that our monetary system, the means we’ve “developed” through haphazard mutual throat-slitting for trade and interaction among ourselves, is fucked. We can’t fix it. The “money” we’ve been passing around isn’t reflective of anything real. The “price” we pay for things has utterly nothing to do with their intrinsic worth or their scarcity in the world. This is our collective fault, not simply the fault of a couple Rothschilds and Morgans. We all scrabbled to keep up appearances and grubbed around to buy stupid shit we never needed, or even used. The numbers involved down at the FED are so unrealistic they’re meaningless, and trade imbalances and the like merely amount to spiffy terms for describing exported slavery, a kracken which is quickly coming home to roost for Westerners intent on prolonging the petro-economy for the sake of the god damn Fear. There is no money. Its value has been pilfered away by milquetoast pirates one Stewie Griffin party at a time.

The ends of the Dollar and the Euro represent terrific opportunity. Not for making more money, you dumb-ass! That’s the thinking that’s got us in this state in the first place. Some reasoned arguments exist that attempt to exonerate the financiers held up by many Occupiers as responsible for this mess. It really doesn’t matter. The people playing this game, which are all of us, have all been working at competition together ever since we began to establish societies. We didn’t know any better at the time. Now it’s apparent that the approach we’ve been taking isn’t working. If you are trapped in a mindset that insists on claiming a bigger slice of pie, or plaintively keens of the potential virtue of money if only it flows through the right hands, i’m sorry for you. Because when this all really hits the fan, you will be completely lost. We own nothing, except stuff that’s really not worth much, if you figure it in money. At some future point it may be necessary to argue these points at a higher level, because financiers are fond of obfuscation and bullshit in the literature, and hate to admit to themselves or anyone else how evilly they’ve been behaving, but soon enough the thing will collapse beyond the need to parse words.

So follow. The Earth is in the balance, because of the natural behavior of human beings when set loose to compete. Humans also have an innate drive to form societies and cooperate. The mechanisms of the old competitive game are worn, and the game is pretty much decided. We’ve already abandoned borders within the confines or the Game, only keeping nationalisms and “racial” distinctions in place when convenient to some other aspect of the Game, like the continued propagation of slavery, or the demonization of controllers of certain resources. Pull back and look a little. It’s 100% game players causing all the wars in the world, all the food shortages, all the misery. Do we really give a shit what color or religion a thirsty guy in the desert may be? Am i really worried about Iraqi invaders pouring over the horizon? Please! Even if all the current unrest and destabilization isn’t manipulated by people who thought George Orwell was writing textbooks, none of this is necessary. We don’t need petroleum, (look it up yourself fer cryin’ out loud). We don’t need to hate a bunch of desert nomads just because our shitheads set them up in business as a part of a grand scam. We don’t need to compete.

Cooperative living is so much easier and less troublesome you naysayers will be feeling really silly before this is over. It’s OK, though. It’s not so easy to see, at least for now. If it takes too long to avoid the pain you’ll see soon enough. Come see us then. What we have isn’t worth money but i am rich, rich rich! And this Manse won’t collapse, with or without money. Stay with us….

http://economiccrisis.us/
http://www.naturalnews.com/032999_financial_collapse_Euro.html
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26756
http://www.uctv.tv/search-details.aspx?showID=16225
http://129.81.170.14/~dupre/SEEDS.pdf

Legal artistry

(In response to questions received on another forum: “I’m curious as to why, exactly, you feel that you are entitled to stay in a public park at all?”, “What makes you feel that you are entitled to enjoy the ‘right’ of pursuing your happiness — that is, living in Acacia park — without having to contribute monetarily to the upkeep of that public facility.. Furthermore, why is it that you believe that, in the interest of effecting a change in a law which you disagree with, the best course of action is to choose to voluntarily break said law, rather than getting involved in the legal process and effecting a change in the typical fashion? After all, all that really accomplishes is an additional waste of taxpayer-funded services, in this case law enforcement.”)

I’ll reiterate again before i take this on that these are profoundly excellent questions that i think every Occupier, observer, and citizen of any country ought to contemplate deeply before entering the fray–maybe even before leaving the house this morning.

First I should clarify what may amount to a few misconceptions wrought largely by the media of late. As has been reported I am living with dear friends who find my comfort to be a valuable thing and have extended their hospitality freely absent any solicitation on my end. J. Adrian Stanley of the CS Independent has referred to me as a “technically homeless…couch[-]surf[er],” which is true, though only by certain technical legal definitions, which are generally designed to either skirt or address issues involving benefits of some sort. I am “technically” employed as the sole proprietor of the Paint Squad, a remodeling company that has been defunct for practical purposes since the media began trumpeting a new Great Depression, and the guy i had been working with abandoned the project. For the record, i collect no unemployment, disability, food stamps, or any other money or benefits of any kind from the government. Plainly stated, i have no monetary income. This is not meant to offer ethical assessment of my situation nor to elicit sympathy or whatever, but is merely offered to add perspective to my positions, and to rectify factual errors that have made it into the mix. Bear in mind i was camping at Acacia Park not out of necessity, but to effect the specific outcome that you may observe to have been effected. Note that although hundreds of campers are now down along Fountain Creek in violation of the same ordinance, they are not at Acacia Park kicking the bee’s nest with me–they have different and rather more imminent needs than i.

I believe i adequately responded to Mark’s first question by directing him to the appropriate pages here at hipgnosis. The second is a continuation of the first, with the addenda about “contributing monetarily.” A response must necessarily involve the natures of money, property and its use, and our interaction amongst ourselves as human beings. The third involves political processes and movements, civil disobedience, and my own spiritual foundation. I hope those statements enlightens the reader on the length of this post, and Mark in particular on the reason for the time taken for its development.

Some questions in answer to a question: Who owns public land? What does it mean to “own” it? Whence the resources to maintain the land, and what does that mean? We Americans have never adequately addressed these matters, and our ethical foundation for holding this conversation will remain forever spongy until we do. All land ownership in the United States harks back to the arbitrary decrees of that series of monarchies our predecessors here acknowledged to be so corrupt that a bloody war was necessary to shed the influence thereof. Land was simply declared by powerful people to be “owned” by favored sycophants, regardless of the opinions of the contemporary inhabitants. The Founders adopted the same attitudes governing property as had been utilized by their enemies. Every piece of property in the country now, public or private, is viewed through the lens of this fact. Its “ownership” is determined by arbitrary acts of murder and fiat. It’s understandable that this is the case–effecting such jarring and massive shifts in foundational thinking is never blithely easy, though it does appear simple once accomplished.

Having had an ear to the ground for some time on matters such as we are discussing , i am alert to numerous suggestion that “we” give land back to the “Indians.” This idea is as flawed as the other, and the thinking of indigenous peoples advocating it has been corrupted by our Western philosophical bias. The only genuine option uncorrupted by avarice and murder is to revert to a state of ignorance of ownership where the land is concerned. The elaboration of this notion constitutes a genuine system of political economy and i will carry it no further here, (but will link below). This is put in the mix to allow the reader to investigate further, and to establish that the following points are argued from an academic point of view rendered at least partially moot by the actual philosophical basis for the actions in question.

Be alert, Mark, that i have not been a societal parasite. I have worked and paid taxes since the age of 12, in spite of strenuous effort to limit the absurd, onerous, and unethical share the Government has taken through any nefarious means available. Maintenance at Acacia Park is paid out of city sales tax, unless i’m mistaken, which i certainly paid when i bought the sleeping bag i slept in there, the bicycle i rode to the park, the tobacco i smoked while there. Additionally, though i have not camped there in a week or so, one might readily visit the Park and ascertain that it is in a far cleaner state than before Occupiers carved out a space there, the rest rooms were locked coincident to their arrival, and the only maintenance in evidence is a guy that comes around in the morning to collect the bags of trash the Occupiers have gathered from around the whole park, and the sprinklers which still douse the tree lawns where people are camping even though watering season is so obviously over that infrastructure damage is imminent. Regardless, and without additional verbosity, the land in question is public, and we Occupiers clean up after ourselves requiring less maintenance, not more, of the City. Opposition to the notion that smaller contributions in tax payments ought to equal diminished rights to enjoy publicly held assets, with which we are endowed at birth is quite close to the heart of the Occupiers’ battles, whether individual Occupiers have become aware of the idea yet or not. We all pay for it, both monetarily and in karmic debt, or by whatever system of spiritual balance you may care to invoke. Any Rockefeller is welcome to pop a tent next to mine.

Your final point, that is, why civil disobedience rather than ordinary action is yet another that might be expanded at length. In the interest of getting this up i’ll restrain myself from that in hopes that you will recognize that i am not attempting to be glib or brusque with you here, Mark, but merely brief. Additional commentary on all these points is both available and forthcoming. Simply enough–civil disobedience, and in fact in my mind and those of many, many others, full-blown political and ideological restructuring is necessary because no approach within the confines of less strenuous discourse has worked thus far, and people all over the planet have had quite enough bullshit. If you imagine to yourself that this business of mine, or the business of Occupy in general is about camping in Acacia Park, or the stupid camping ordinance enacted but not enforced by the City of Colorado Springs then you have badly missed some very important news. I suggest you follow the links below. Visit the Occupiers, both here and in many other cities around the whole wide World right now.

This’ll do. Ask more questions! Read these links:

I’m not angry, but, hmmm… http://www.businessinsider.com/what-wall-street-protesters-are-so-angry-about-2011-10?op=1

Henry George developed a system addressing this stuff. I can’t say his system is complete, and in fact, i am personally convinced our problem as humans must be addressed spiritually. That’s a topic for another moment, and it does not detract from George’s thesis: http://www.henrygeorge.org/

This strikes me as so obvious that it could be seen as a jab, and almost feels that way, but it’s still the place to go for primary discourse on civil disobedience: http://thoreau.eserver.org/civil.html

This is obviously unnecessary, but i’ll point out once more that the reader will find an abundance of words of my own that bounce around all these topics and more. It’s all the same conversation: www.hipgnosis21.blogspot.com

PPCC Philo Club page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/168063276537761/

Some other discussion and reporting establishing basis: http://wwwwendolbloggercom.blogspot.com/

There’s no end. Keep looking.

Oct 24-29 is Mile High Showdown, plus Obama, Tar Sands, 1% Robin Hood Tax

Mile High Showdown, Oct 24 - Oct 29
DENVER- Is it a vanguard action? Check it out and decide, but make sure YOUR itinerary includes TUES 25TH protest of Tar Sands pipeline with American Indian Movement at the UC-Denver Auraria Campus, WED 26TH protest of Obama visit, also on Auraria Campus, and SAT 29TH global march to demand Robin Hood Tax, the 1% tax on all international banking transactions. Really, just 1%? The Robin Hood of yore took more like 99% and left his highborn victims with just enough to limp back to the castle. 1% from the 1% is a start.

1, we are the people! 2, we are united! 3, the occupation is not leaving!

Nighttime arrests continue across the country in local moves to stomp on the sparking Occupy Movement, using park, curfew and anti-homeless ordinances to thwart permanent protest encampments. Participants remind each other that it’s about issues not tents. The authorities however seem indifferent to their public raising issues, but raising tents is out of the question. Last night saw a mass arrest of over one hundred in Chicago’s Grant Park. Here’s what they were chanting as occupiers were pulled from their human chain, zip-tied and led paddy wagons on loan from the Illinois prison system.
          ONE! We are the people!
          TWO! We are united!
          THREE! The Occupation
          IS NOT LEAVING!

CSPD acquires urban assault vehicle. What line have activist informants been feeding them?

COLO. SPRINGS- This image just in from a reconnoiter of the downtown police garage. The CSPD has mobilized an urban assault vehicle, for, I don’t know what, keeping up with the Jones’s? Ever since Springs police decided that the Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission held gravitational pull over all political dissent in El Paso County, the CSPD holds weekly briefings with a PPJPC staffer, and of late they’ve added morning tete-a-tetes with an OCCUPY delegate from Acacia Park. What are those “representatives” telling them? That law enforcement needs bigger ammo? Would now be the time to suggest we call organizers who grease the mechanisms of oppression, however ill-conceived their intention, by a more appropriate term, RATS?

I can understand neighbors with differing opinions about whether cops need more helicopters, or K-9 intimidation duos, but how ever does the ordinary citizen rationalize that their police department needs riot equipment? To protect us from ourselves? We found out a couple years ago that the CSPD has a busload of their own people-suppression gear. Now we have an armored personnel carrier for cops? Because they can’t drag defenseless nonviolent protesters across the pavement without mechanization? The Acacia Park protesters have been happy to seek permits to set up their literature canopies and have organized community service cleanup actions to put a shine on their model compliance, meanwhile the police are arming up…

EPILOG:
Is this a political cheap shot? Yes. It’s trash talk. No argument. Why and when Colorado Springs took delivery of an armored vehicle is entirely conjecture. Maybe it’s the usual cost-plus profiteering scheme. That’s not really the point. The point is, what intelligence is CSPD getting from their de facto adversaries?

The sight of a new armored vehicle to use against civilians should be a major embarrassment to someone who considers themselves tasked with offering assurances to the city that all local protest will be inoffensive and dismissible.

The CSPD needs armor WHY? Not even crime here has ever escalated to a level which would require an armored assault by the police.

I was content to leave it at that, but oh well, some people need it explained.

It is not conceivable that anything public citizen advisers might have whispered at regular meetups would have prompted the CSPD to armor up. But what are the collaborators conferring with police about? We know the why, for a seat at the table, so what goals are they selling out?

It would be false praise to suggest the PPJPC had a role in bringing the armored UAV to town. But the PPJPC cannot escape responsibility for eroding the role and breadth of activism in this city. In particular for playing informant to the CSPD, for being the conduit of intimidation which the police want to push the other way, and for employing an executive director who has a personal resolve against confrontational activism. You won’t see him at protests, organizing protests, or promoting protests. You’ll see him keeping his meetings with other respectable nonprofit heads, and his appointments with the CSPD, and fielding their calls when they catch wind of other dissenters. No surprise that a once energetic PPJPC is now but a social justice knitting circle of communion takers.

Of course it’s worse, because Colorado Springs social circles are small enough that the CSPD only needs one snitch. Not that any illegal activities have been planned, certainly no violence, but the CSPD wants to keep tabs, and the PPJPC is happy enough to believe that if you have nothing to hide, then keeping city authorities informed shouldn’t threaten you.

For those who need this spelled out: civil disobedience is by definition illegal, and benefits incalculably from putting authorities on the spot. Giving them your game plan in exchange for not upsetting the apple cart does not favor those who are protesting the apple cart.

So what is whispered in these regular meetings with the police? Let’s imagine only the most innocent possibilities. Who’s new to town, who’s jumping on this national campaign, who’s retreating from the fallout from that recent action, what’s the scuttlebutt, what’s to these rumors, and what are CSPD’s concerns. It makes me nearly sick to think about. The relationship must be as with a lobbyist. The collaborator is enjoined to take responsibility for keeping the peace. Any surprises and it’s their rapport that suffers. Police embarrassed on the street? No cookie for you.

Occupy Colorado Springs organizers have fallen for the same bait, a quasi permitted stay in Acacia Park in exchange for daily updates with the police. A special relationship is how I believe it’s being billed. You’d probably call it a morning coffee with your boss, with info flowing his way, instructions coming yours.

If you are hoping to reform the system, thinking you have allies among the blimp-necks sworn to uphold it TO THE LETTER is probably wrongheaded.

The ugly arrangement at the PPJPC didn’t begin with Executive Director Steve Saint. The PPJPC sat down in 2003 after an antiwar rally was teargassed, to hash out a code of conduct agreement with the CSPD. Membership balked at such a prospect and the project was abandoned, but left the city with a paper trail with which to claim it believed it had cemented a deal and would consider further trouble to be a breach of the agreement. This came to light after the St Patrick’s Day Parade fiasco of 2007. An event which provoked the larges upsurge in participation in the PPJPC but rapidly dropped off with its failure to capitalize on the visibility.

I know a little about that because I was chairman in that aftermath, fighting an insubordinate staff who only slowly revealed their ulterior motives and stacked the board against me. The rationale? Public protests hurt alliances with other non profits. Being anti-military preempted cooperation with almost all the other social causes in an army town.

It’s of course a long story, but in the end you’ve got a career staff member determined to jettison antiwar efforts for the comfort of taking on the environment, poverty, and whatever causes get a Democratic president elected. Steve Saint very visibly put his name to the letter which invited Van Jones to come speak at Colorado College. Van Jones is as corporate a messenger as Barack Obama, with the same empty promises. This time instead of Hope, he’s selling Green. And it’s just as easy a sugar pill to swallow.

Did you know some disgruntled Dems have set about to form a Green Party? Guess who’s put himself at the center of scuttling that effort by neutering any grassroots platform? I take no pleasure in delivering this punch line.

Of course more than anything the antiwar movement suffered with Obama’s election. Now the hopeful are disillusioned and cynical, and who is the little PPJPC to revive that crowd? But the PPJPC backed Obama, stood in line to see him while their dissenters embarrassed them by protesting outside. Dissenters who ultimately had the police called on them for trying to have a meeting in front of the PPJPC office.

The PPJPC is fully co-opted, fine, but that the organization plays the role of informant to the police is untenable. A historically, unequivocally, uninterruptedly nonviolent activist community provides no grounds for the city police to escalate their crowd-control technologies, and it certainly doesn’t merit full-time paid informants trying to snitch on them.

MIND THE GAP, chides Occupy Denver

Mind the gap
DENVER- Concert, 1000-strong march, and the customary Broadway sidewalk shenanigans. Here’s a paint-tub drummer, PVC didjeridoo and my vote for best sign: MIND THE GAP. Saturday’s musical festivities in Civic Center Park meshed well with the annual Zombie Crawl, but the day’s highlight came after dark, when Denver’s anarchist community held a march against police brutality in memory of DPD victim Marvin Booker. The unpermitted route began at Denver Zoo and defined “Whose streets? OUR STREETS!” as it took 23rd, York, Colfax, Broadway, around OCCUPY DENVER’s CC park and into the 16th Street Mall where nocturnal Zombies swelled the ranks and found themselves chanting and carrying the banners STOP POLICE TERRORISM and LAW ENFORCEMENT: END YOUR WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE.

Legalismo

This is a direct copy of the email i sent earlier today and then copied and pasted some before it dawned on me it would be much easier and more effective to post it here. Collins is a law professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His referenced comment appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette on 18 Oct, after my arrest but before the paper got the news to rectify a time-frame misconception i tossed around earlier. The version of that story is dated 17 Oct, but the paper version came out the following morning.

I remain without legal representation and will accept any offer to confer, but no tapdancers to take the case. I’m not so stupid as to imagine i can learn the Byzantine procedure of Our shameful legal system before the 8th of November well enough to get the point across if i represent myself, but neither will i accept representation from someone who will not take my approach.

Professor Collins:

I am the guy arrested for camping in Colorado Springs.

Although the perfectly certain fact has yet to sink in amongst many of my cohorts here in Colorado Springs, i am well aware that the point you made for the CSpgs Gazette the other day is entirely true. No-camping ordinances are by no means unconstitutional. This fact highlights the argument against the amendment of that original document by many of our founders fearful that the enumeration of some rights would expose others to attack. Current events managed to plop a soapbox and peculiarly focused bullhorn directly in my lap. I intend to plead not guilty on grounds that no-camping laws violate the pre-constitutional right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and that this case is exemplar of the general and drastic erosion of human rights in the U.S., and across the entire globe. I am not particularly concerned as to the outcome of the case, but extraordinarily pleased at the opportunity to publicly state a few sentiments i believe by observation to be both common and woefully unarticulated.

I remain unbacked by any legal practitioner and i’d love your input, discussion, advice, council, suggestions, or connection, in any “and/or” configuration that suits your fancy.

Warmest Regards,

Steve Bass

“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” –Oscar Wilde

(Reprinted from Hipgnosis)

Report from the Right Front

I will be the first to point out, right now here in this forum, that I have a Texas-sized ego. I think I’m a reasonably smart guy, and not unlike any writer, that I have some things to say that are so danged important that I’m gonna say them. I’ll also point out that some others in the conversation, possibly including you, gentle reader, have the same handicap. The entire discussion ought to be undertaken with a salt shaker within easy reach ’cause everything anyone has to say ought to be taken with a liberal helping.
 
This post is an attempt to unravel a bit of a Gordian knot that has tied itself around the politics of “Occupy” movements around the world, and particularly here in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.A. without hacking at it with f-bombs directed at the many possessors of equally large egos as mine, while openly acknowledging strong disagreements between some of us. Believe me, this is a difficult bit of unraveling and though I mean to avoid ad hominem attacks, I’ll not promise to eschew strong language. It’s also a bit of a news update, straight from the horse’s ass, so to speak. Sorry if it runs long or gets complicated; it’s a big hairy knot.

I am the guy that picked up the first no-camping ordinance violation in the city of Colorado Springs. I did this while participating in protests falling under the ill-defined aegis of a group called “Occupy Colorado Springs,” in solidarity with another ill-defined group called “Occupy Wall Street,” and other Occupiers all over the world. In case it’s unclear: there’s no such thing as Occupy Colorado Springs, (OCS). What happened is a few guys, boldly named at the top of the eponymous Facebook page like John Hancock at the bottom of that one famous page, finally got bent enough out of shape to do something about it so they set up a page, and a small camp down at Bijou and Tejon–Acacia Park. They were behind the Wall Street guys and liking what they were about, I came behind them.

There is no club membership, no charter, no bylaws, no nothing to define the Colorado Springs group that might in any way be construed to suggest the thing we are doing at Acacia Park is anything other than a gathering of a bunch of fully leaderless sovereign individuals that happen to share a common distaste at the state of human affairs extant in the world today. Anyone who has known me for any length of time, or has read any of the pages preceding this post will know that this is nothing new for me. I was and remain ecstatic at the development of public expression, both here and globally. I am a free actor in the business of protesting in general, and that involving the city’s no-camping ordinance in particular. I act as a sovereign, as a member of OCS whatever that means, as a citizen of the U.S.A., as a citizen of the World–a member of the human race, possessor of certain unalienable rights, whether those derive from God or not.

I decided to deliberately violate the city ordinance because I believe it exemplifies an aspect of the overall erosion of human rights here and across the globe that has precipitated such widespread uproar. I believe it directly attacks individuals’ right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that it is both superfluous and fully unnecessary. It’s just a mean-spirited dig at the weakest among us, a tactic akin to schoolyard bullying, which I maintain is motivated by the same spirit that allows the holders of power at the Federal Reserve and other powerful international and national bodies to gleefully grind the majority of the world’s citizenry to dust for no more than sport. I meant all along from well before the advent of any Occupations to have this conversation at a level previously unattainable to me, and now we will–that is, I and whomever cares to jump in during the proceedings. I control only my own actions and expressions.

There are some protesters at Acacia Park that have strenuously objected to my camping as I did. They are pleased to maintain the fine relationship with CSPD and with the Mayor’s office that has developed, and happy to have avoided the head-bashing, tear-gassing removals that have troubled some other Occupy outposts. Fearing a narrowing of focus from the general Occupy platforms, they asked me, and truly in some instances pleaded with me to abandon my course. Some attempted to tell me. They are happy to compromise, capitulate, appease, to utilize terms previously utilized by those members opposed to my individual action. I am not. I promise, I love every one of the crazy fools involved with the action at our little street corner whether we agree on this matter or not. I’ll mention this one more time: I am just one dude. Anyone that agrees with me here is also behaving of his or her own accord.

Our Mayor Bach is an asshole. I promised to avoid ad hominem here, and I’ll point out that this is not an attack but an observation, and only my opinion. Publicly, falsely and slanderously maligning the very civilized protesters of OCS for urinating on sidewalks while simultaneously locking park rest rooms which had previously been available to all manner of dope-shooting freaks, and possibly authorizing the operation of park sprinkler systems to douse protesters in below freezing temperatures are asshole moves. In my opinion. Mayor Bach is in error, but he’s only acting as seems best to him in each moment, now also capitulating, and allowing protesters a right to their freedom of speech.

We already have a freedom to speak in our country. My violation of the camping ordinance addresses a deeper, more fundamental set of freedoms mentioned so briefly in Mr. Jefferson’s Declaration, and to be found in all the keening of literature throughout all of history–blowin’ in the wind, one might say. This is not a narrowing of focus, but rather a telescopic lens by which I hope we can examine questions of such grand scale and difficulty that centuries after a bunch of homeless guys floated across the Atlantic to Plymouth, we still haven’t grasped them. failing to address the camping ordinance presenting itself so conveniently will flippantly sidestep the most essential key to all of this whole set of global protesting. We’ve all seen protesters on the street corner a million times. We’ve always compromised. It’s never worked.

Anecdotally speaking, it appears the major objection raised by detractors of the Occupy movement is that there has been no firm expression of goals, manifestos, or demands. It seems to me that this is the natural outcome of the complexity of the problems at hand. Although there are certainly individuals involved in skulduggery at, say, the FED, my view is that we face the necessity to alter a fundamental flaw in our very basis for human interaction. I’ll leave you to read my thoughts on that elsewhere in this blog, if you desire, both previous to this post and to come. Right now the Occupy movement is just an acknowledgement of discomfort with the extraordinarily stubborn status quo across all political and national lines, and a frame work within which discussion may take place. Planning and legal definitions will have to wait for some 7 billion Occupiers to chime in. The difficulty of hashing out the minor disagreements among players here in Colorado Springs may be an indication of how much work is involved with the big picture. Be patient. Unless you like the status quo. Most of us don’t.

For anyone out of the loop, including friends across the U.S. and abroad, here’s a bit of fact: I was arrested 18 October, around 2am MST for deliberately violating a city no-camping ordinance. The arrest was executed by my friends, the extra-fine members of the “HOTT” team of the CSPD, as we had previously discussed, (those guys are just as much in jeopardy from “Wall Street” as any of us; they are our brothers). I was simply driven, sans violence of any kind, or even cuffs or hard feelings, to the Gold Hills police station. We did a little paperwork and the fellas drove me to a friend’s place where I claimed a bit of much-needed rest. The HOTT team and I were completely cooperative with one another, and remain so. They did their jobs, I did mine. I had to wrestle with the question until some family matters came up, but I will not be camping under that no-camping sign again until at least my court date, 8 Nov at 1:30p MST. I can not, nor will I attempt to speak to the actions of any other sovereign actors who may follow my example, other than to toss out my opinion should it seem germane to me.

I hope we can all have this conversation in a civilized manner. I hope the whole world shows up at the courthouse that day. I hope all my friends known and unknown that can’t make it will pray, or chant, or beam love on fairy wings–whatever their fancy. I’m gonna need it. I think we all need it, that day and every other.

Reprinted from Hipgnosis