Police foreknowledge on St Patricks Day

Raining on our parade April 17 Saint Patricks Day 2007
We used to joke around the fire at Camp Casey about whether we were being surveilled or infiltrated by agents or disruptors even, as has been done with historic regularity to opposition political groups and their organizers. Even to discuss it today with CPIS or PPJPC feels self-aggrandizing. We know ourselves that we do not pose such a threat that law enforcement would need to monitor our actions.

Let’s dismiss out of hand the idea that struggling activists in Colorado Springs would merit infiltration. So too wiretapping or bugging devices. Have we ever raised but a timid excuse-me to authority? Have we ever mobilized even more than a smattering of protesters ready to press our local leaders for accountability? We have not. We might grab the news on occasion, but in that respect we seem quite willing to telecast our intentions on the local news. To eavesdrop on us then would be redundant.

Alright then, how about email exchanges? Any need to monitor our email passing to and fro? Local ISPs handling the email could flag potential buildups of momentum. Is law enforcement in touch with them? Maybe, maybe not. Who wants to sort all that, or file the paperwork to get the analysis from Buckley.

At least an observer might want to watch our general mass mailings, for calls to arms. What about checking those weekly announcements at a minimum to see what we say we are doing?

And what about the websites? There are less than a handful of community websites which post and discuss upcoming actions. Would the police be looking at websites like this, or csaction.org, or ppjpc.org to try to sort out what’s up?

Police Chief Myers, in explaining the mishandling of St. Patrick’s Day, pointed the finger at the PPJPC and myself for duplicity in joining the parade. Myers explained that our websites made no mention of our intentions to march with the Bookmobile. Well, putting aside their erroneous conclusion, Myers’ statement confirms the answer to the last question: are the police checking in on us online? They say they do.

The police check the websites
If they had looked at our website, they would have seen what? Our calls for participation in the parade, our discussion of the parameters of the permit, our reservations, when we would be assembling, where we were parking, even the larger plans we had to conduct a peace rally in adjacent Pioneer Park. Those were plans we were still trying to juggle. I was hoping to gather onlookers from the parade route and have them join us afield for an impromptu peace rally. These plans were fully fleshed out and debated online, in multiple places. If the police studied our websites as they say they did, they would have seen our plans for that Saturday.

So even if the police weren’t infiltrating us, surveilling our meetings, wiretapping our phones, monitoring our communications, sifting our email, or reviewing our public announcements, they would have known from our websites that the PPJPC was marching with the Bookman, in green peace t-shirts, as we had done, announced and recruited for, online, the year before.

The police excuse of having been taken unawares on St Patrick’s Day, of being confronted with not knowing whether we had a permit, of stopping us in the parade route instead of earlier in the assembly area, begins to ring a little of falsehood.
Come to papa
The odds of us encountering a smiling Erwin Paladino of the CSPD, head head-cruncher of the 2003 anti-protestor police work, begin to look very improbable. The strategy then to throw us to the ground creating a scene, creating an obstruction themselves, making a lesson out of dealing with people stubbornly clinging to their rights, begins to look a little premeditated.

That is, if you believe the police are keeping their eye on us. We disrupt at the Broadmoor, we seek redress at our representatives’ offices, we banner the main streets, we interfere with military job fairs and recruitment strip malls. We show up at City Council and have them scrambling amok. We don’t plan any of this in secret. Probably somebody’s responsible for keeping themselves abreast.

So did Erwin Paladino draw the plum job of getting to apprehend us one block from the official parade start? Or was it a big coincidence? At the staging we could have rallied or prevailed from a dialog unhurried by the pressure of holding up the parade. At Tejon and St Vrain the police got to appear improvisational and exercise executive authority to take us down.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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3 Responses to Police foreknowledge on St Patricks Day

  1. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    Yes, it doesn’t seem likely that Erwin Paladino, a member of the New Hire Police Advisory Board (with his cohorts the Police Chief, the City Manager, and the City Finance Director) would be covering parade security without a predetermined purpose. Maybe he was there to show his new hires “how it’s done” here in the wild wild west.

  2. Avatar The 13th says:

    If the police read blogs then I think it’s VERY important to emphasize Literacy in the Community. I recommend starting with the Bill Of Rights. Try a search engine if you are unfamiliar with it.

    Speaking of CSAction.org – hats off to Mark for his commendable and tireless explanations to the snipers on YouTube!

  3. It’s time for people to start acting all kind of up.

    Yeah, that police chopper that kept buzzing us, that’s the one.

    Harassment, yeah, they’re experts at that shit.

    Myers, if your flunky reports this to you, you and your kind have made things worse.

    I get really homesick for America. Maybe it’s useless nostalgia, but I can swear there was at least one time in our past when this kind of stuf wouldn’t have happened.

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