New chairwoman of PPJPC Board calls the police on members of her group!

Called to the sceneAfter over a year of meetings between PPJPC office staff with the police here in Colorado Springs and a purge of the former activist Chair of the group, it has been obvious that the Pike Peak Justice and Peace Commission was already in a state of steep decline.

The group is hemorrhaging money from its overpaying their office staffers who are glued to protecting their salaried positions at the expense of the rest of the membership, and its misuse of its office itself, which is almost always closed to the public. The group has no internal democracy at all, and it is very difficult to work with the proprietors of the club But tonight, we really got a glimpse of what a mess this group has become, as member activists tried to come together in a meeting at the office to decide how to protest the US government plans to start war against Iran, and how to participate nonviolently at the Denver Democratic Party Convention?

Re-keyedUpon arrival at the offices, we found that the locks had been re-keyed, and the place where the spare had always been kept was hanging open as a kind of insult to us who had planned to meet inside. This, despite the fact that the key had stayed the same for years, and the Directors have secretly made the decision to vacate the present offices at the end of next month! Evidently they found it so imperative to keep us from using a meeting space inside the office that would not be controlled entirely by the paid office officials, that they dished out the money to the locksmith.

Lock-boxWe decided then to sit outside and meet there instead, hardly being anything other than the non-violent pro-peace activists that we are. In fact, even though we are members of the PPJPC, we had to meet outside the space that our dues had helped pay for!

We were not a large group at all, simply because the office staff and new Chair of the group had already done what they could to keep the meeting from being publicized to its own membership. They have no plans to participate in the national protests against a War Against Iran, and did not want others to get involved in this activity. In fact, they plain just hate it when we try to democratically decide our own activities rather than taking their own orders about what should be planned by them.

It wasn’t a particularly interesting meeting, and we felt quite stymied. We had been accused of setting up another organization, but that was not the case, and the office staff well knew that. We have not paid with our time, energy, and money to build this group, just to let them run it into the ground without any effort on our part to do alternatively. We agreed among ourselves that despite being locked out by an undemocratic group of PPJPC paid workers who have hijacked the group with the help of a few Board people, that we would continue to try to build the PPJPC.

Finally, meeting over with, we had almost packed up all our signs and equipment, and what comes rolling our way? Well, if it wasn’t the Colorado Springs Police Department, who said that the Chair, that it was she who had complained to them that we were trespassing and to come over and threaten us if we did not disperse!

What a road this group has traveled since seeing one of its former Chairs literally cry in front of the mayor and city council of the city, about how we proPeace activists were peaceful and misunderstood by the community and city government. He was, in fact, the Chair of the Board that helped put the current one in charge since he has moved to another city, and his pick is the woman who is now calling the police on the members of her own group!

The office salaried trio inside, those raking in tens of thousands of dollars in wages a year as they drive the group into bankruptcy, have organized themselves into a barricade against any change happening. It is really sad to see all this donated money go to waste, as the Chair can presently organize not much more than just calling the police on members trying to meet to plan antiwar activities in the city.

Officer PaladinoThey must truly be laughing and snickering at the mayor’s office, and the Chief of Police’s office? What a sad spectacle the PPJPC is becoming under this clique that now welds power over the group. All those meetings with this little clique of self important office troopers has really paid off, in helping the police mainly dismantle this group today. The cops that came by thought the whole situation worthy of a laugh. They were ‘the good cops’ though, and Officer Palodino would have done it entirely differently, no doubt.

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