Private interests overlap with public

US SENIOR OPEN advertised on Colorado State Highway signTraveling down Highway 24 today I see parking directions for the US Senior Open which begins today at the Broadmoor. Look at this, a private event advertised with state highway equipment, in the public interest, of course, The U.S. SENIOR OPEN! I’m most interested in the private versus public distinction because DNC authorities are trying to emphasize the Pepsi Center being private property and thus in a position to say what speech should be free. I heard this argument in the Federal Courthouse yesterday. It’s the same rhetoric the Colorado Springs prosecutor has been asserting in the State Convention trespassing charges against our May 17 [attempted] demonstration there.

Both the state and national Democratic convention events are held on private property. But aren’t they somewhat public events? The political parties, the politics, the election, are all of vital public interest. In this free land of ours, it’s difficult to argue that the public doesn’t have an open invitation to participate in the election of its leaders, certainly to demonstrate its concerns. What’s decided at the convention certainly has public consequence.

I’m happy to say the judge yesterday was not yielding this issue to the lawyers for the Secret Service and the City of Denver. She reiterated that the DNC is a historic event of public interest. I’m hoping the Colorado Springs courthouse will see the state convention likewise. The grounds belonged to the World Arena, were leased that day by the Colorado Democratic Party to conduct business which would impact the Colorado public. We turned up with banners and are now facing trespassing charges because they we were standing in the wrong part of the area taped off for the public. We had only the CSPD officers’ word that the part we were standing on was for “boosters only,” and the further away part was for “protest.” Thus it was also only the officers’ subjective opinion to decide into what category our message fit. As it happens our banner that day was supporting of the Dems, but it didn’t feel like “free speech” anywhere outside the World Arena that day.

But to try to hide behind PRIVATE OWNERSHIP is highly unpatriotic. It invites scrutiny into all the private facilities receiving public funds to subsidize, wouldn’t you think? Park your Goddamn facility in your own authoritarian kingdom if you want to shred the Bill of Rights over it. This is America you Fascist warmongering war-profiteering facilitator enabler assholes!

I’m troubled by the greater privatization of public concerns. It’s been the trend to shift public works and private monies into private hands to glean the profits. Republicans are still after the public funds sitting in Social Security. Imagine if we’d let them invest that in private hands, in light of the housing/lending debacle/ripoff!

In some cases the incentive is also to restrict oversight. Private security firms are examples of moving authority-keeping tasks into the autonomous hands of corporate cronies. Private armies, private utilities, private water supplies, take control from the people, or the representatives of the people, and put it squarely into tools for aspiring totalitarians preoccupied only with taking it to the bank.

A sign for the golf tournament is no big deal. Certainly the City of Colorado Springs has a need to direct spectator traffic to the appropriate parking. But the example serves to show that private and public interests overlap when private wants.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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1 Response to Private interests overlap with public

  1. Avatar tony logan says:

    One gets so sickened by the private-public legal shuffle the police always hide their attacks on the right to dissent behind. It is a con game except the police are the cons and Americans lose their rights because they largely tolerate the cop’s crap.

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