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:
350.ORG disowns Paris sans-culottes, opts for boot-counting passivist shtick, figures to storm the Bastille shoeless.
HOLY CRAP, Bill McKibben sells out the activists again, agreeing not only to cancel planned protests at the Paris Climate Conference, but distancing 350.ORG and its collaborator NGOs from real demonstrators upset at the protest ban. After leading hundreds of thousands in New York City on the World’s Largest Climate March TO NOWHERE, Bill McKibben flushes the Paris demonstrations and the climate they hoped to save with them. Nothing says silence like a streetful of shoes. Antiwar activists resorted to staging shoe die-ins at every surge of the Iraq War. The result? Crickets. We used army boots to represent mounting American war casualties. As pacifism lost popular traction, the disparing passivists cobbled larger and larger “demonstrations”. Activists came to call them exercises in BOOT-COUNTING. It’s a well-trod path, and as you might expect of shoes without wearers, they march nowhere.
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.
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.
Denver restricts public access to Lindsey-Flanigan Plaza, to circumvent federal injunction protecting protest.
DENVER, COLORADO- The 24hr protest in front of the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse was on its 31st day when city workers installed signs declaring a curfew on the courthouse grounds. Will the ongoing demonstration be grandfathered or will Denver police evict the Occupy Denver activists without notice? Occupiers meet tonight at 7:00 to decide a course of action.
The signage cites trespassing ordinance “D.R.M.C. 38-115” which would halt overnight occupations of the plaza. It cannot but seem to be calculated to restart arrests of the “Jury Nullification” activists, who won a court injunction to prevent the city from making further arrests.
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupier Adrian “Monk” Morningglory draws unwanted attention at the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse protest camp as nearby detention center personnel continue to deny activists access to the public bathrooms. Meanwhile the Colorado Attorney General has filed a motion to vacate the injunction barring the enforcement of a court order banning protest in the courthouse plaza. The AG argues that protest denigrates the decorum necessary for a functional justice center, exhibit one, evidence encountered that a protester defecated in Lindsey Flanigan’s expensive landscaping. It’s unlikely to fly but a Denver chief judge thought he could ban free speech from the entire complex and city administrators behave like it’s written in stone: give ’em an inch and they’ll shit in your park.
EVICTED! Denver police conduct sixth raid on courthouse protest camp, this time seizing signs, flags & tombstones.
DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy Denver’s Jury Nullification Education Protest Camp had gathered steam Labor Day weekend, overnight participation growing to thirty sleepers Monday night, but at 4:30pm Tuesday DPD riot cops swept through the camp in force. Activists were allowed to save only what they could carry. All other items were considered “abandoned” and then removed by the officers as “encumbrances” as outlawed by notices recently posted by DPD. Nearly a hundred police officers in riot gear, including two vehicles carrying SWAT soldiers, swooped upon the Lindsey-Flanigan Plaza encampment when the afternoon camp security team had dwindled to four. Only one camera was on hand to record the police raid. Over the course of 45 minutes, homeless contingents were able to scramble to preempt the DPD confiscating their personal items. Once again the police appear to time their raid when most of the protesters have stepped away. Will Occupy Denver have the stamina and resilience to stand against the constant stealing of its resources?
Denver authorities have chosen a weak strategy to clear the Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse Plaza of public protests. They are relying on a vague city ordinance to declare that the plaza must be kept clear of “encumbrances/obstructions” without specifying what those might be. Last week they put up signs. By definition, a public demonstration aims to be an obstruction of the offending mechanisms of injustice, ergo, “No Justice, No Peace.” Encumbrance is direct action is a people’s last recourse. By definition, a protest is trying to encumber oppression. When the people are seeking redress, the police are our encumbrance. Fortunately the US Bill of Rights forbids the encumbrance of dissent.
Judge rules Denver Police harassment was not in contempt of injunction, but he doesn’t know the four fifths of it.
DENVER, COLORADO- US District Court Judge William Martinez found action taken by the Denver Police Department against an Occupy Denver protest to be NOT IN CONTEMPT of his federal injunction to halt arrests of Jury Nullification pamphleteers, although the judge based his ruling on only the first DPD raid, not the four next raids that happened in the interim. Obviously justice system reform needs JUDGE NULLIFICATION literature for jurists whose purview is hindered by purposefully limited scope. Judge Martinez heard only about the DPD confiscating a canopy, he wasn’t allowed to consider the eviction of our tents which included four arrests, the second seizure of our canopy, the loss of another tent with two more arrests, and the raid on three more tents, pictured above. The police based their actions on the activists lacking a permit from the Denver Manager of Public Works although no such permit exists beside which that manager’s authority doesn’t extend to the Lindsey Flanigan Plaza. Judge Martinez wasn’t informed of any of that.
Police in St Louis had to arrest protesters because they were blocking a major street instead of “protesting peaceably”. Other protesters were teargassed and authorities were frustrated that the clouds of gas and spray and people scrambling obscured documentation of rock-throwing which provoked the police officers’ pushback. No heed being paid to what “provoked” the protest in the first place. Not merely the anniversary of Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, but the police killing of another black teen.
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO- Eric Brandt was so sure he was going to jail he got a tattoo. The one-man-band of protest movements had court on August 3rd before Westminster Associate Judge Paul D. Basso, who’d declined on a technicality to give Brandt a jury trial. Eric calls him “Judge Fatso” and lampoons Basso on the courthouse steps and so didn’t expect more than a brisk push into jail. Knowing they’d take his “Fuck Cops” t-shirt, Eric got a hasty tattoo. “It hurt. A LOT” said Eric, who did not intend to cease his protest behind bars. It’s the identical logo, placed just below the sleeve-length of a jail smock, faced forward on the arm he extends to shake hands. Eric’s lawyer, the formidable David Lane, joked that he was stung by Eric’s lack of faith in his attorney.
Requiring activists to “make space” for black or brown voices, if apolitical or reformist, is a counterinsurgency trap.
OFF-STREET ACTIVISM floweth over with do-gooders begging for a seat at the table, literally, tables, where the powers-that-be want them. Street protest organizers are berated about providing forums for disenfranchised voices, as if indoor choir-singing yields redress of grievances. Leaders of disadvantaged communities mistake cis-gendered, white activists for their actual oppressors, because that’s easier than facing down the police. But the dynamic is disingenuous subterfuge and it’s not coming from the allies who matter. The people of Ferguson did not wait for white social justice groups to “make space” for their protest. You’d think the lesson of Ferguson is obvious.
DENVER, COLORADO- Denver police have shown they can kill with impunity, be they black lives or latino. But the latest officer-involved murder of a Lakota man brought the American Indian Movement into the street and that’s an escalation no council of ministers can reverse. When police victim Paul Castaway asked his killers “What’s wrong with you?” he was echoing the entire Denver community exasperation as officers continue to murder unarmed men and women of color, as if outrage over police brutality isn’t on everyone’s lips already.
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.
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.
Mainstream Media Missed The Mark, or give me another helping of Monsanto GMO potatoes and corn and pass me the latest comic book
March against Monsanto, Denver, May 23, 2015:
Once again the main stream media failed to show up when one of their corporate paymasters tells them to go sit in the corner and be quiet. All mainstream media were noticeably absent. However they could be found at the Colorado Convention Center where the fourth annual COMIC CON event was held. The message we can all take away from this; when it comes to the health of human beings, watching your local news or reading the Denver Post is akin to reading the funny papers or watching cartoons.
KGNU sent the only newsperson to the Monsanto Protest
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?
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.
NOW WHAT? Years of agitating for the media to EXPOSE THE TPP, culminating in last week’s call-your-senator call-your-senator call-your-senator full court press, yielded what looked like Congress finally standing up against the trade pact corporate coup. Activists were ecstatic to see Democrats in the Senate unite to block to the fast-tracking of the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership, only to learn a day later that Dem objections had been placated and TPP approval would follow. Not only had the conversation been diverted from “what’s the TPP” to “what’s fast-track”, demonstrations converted to celebrations, and now a pubic response would be too confused and short-noticed. Give the corporations credit for being in full control of their media, their puppets, and what’s left of the skeptics among their subjects.
DENVER, COLORADO- Anonymous dedicated May’s Every5th to victims of Denver police violence. For Cinco de Mayo, Anons brought PINATAS in the likeness of the DPD! Many “Every Cinco” attendees were victims of the pepper spray incident of April 29, when DPD riot cops tried to exterminate its infestation of stubborn marchers by fumigating them with cayenne pepper. In response, Anons considered macing the piñatas, but aerosol wasn’t going to bust these piggies open and guests were eager to get to the chocolates and FTP pins inside. Participants took turns whacking the pigs with UMBRELLAS, Occupy Hong Kong’s answer to pepper spray. After an interminable beating the pigsters gave up.
As Chris Hedges observed below, you can’t have a revolution while sitting at home in front of the TV watching the next installment of Kim Kardashian.
If you can find the courage to skip just one show, go to the streets; what you find, might surprise you, Likeminded people, just like yourself. That is what the people of Baltimore discovered. Some people saw only rioting, but that was the corporate media spoon feeding the citizens. What really happen was the citizen got really pissed off at the system and went to the streets demanding change; it made the rich panic to the point that they indict some of the policemen. I remind you, they were only charged not convicted. This was a tactic used to defuse and distract the organized citizens.