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Steve Bass found guilty of camping not occupying, but could jury have ruled otherwise without hearing his defense?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- You may have underestimated the importance of today's Camping Ban trial. The local media, social justice community and rights watchdogs missed it. But judging from the police force on hand and the elaborate lock-downs placed on the jury pools, it was evident the City of Colorado Springs thought a lot was at stake. I've written already about the draconian motions to prevent defendant Steve Bass from explaining his motives, including a ban of the word "Occupy." Today the court made audience members remove their "Occupy Colorado Springs" t-shirts, but let the cat out of the bag by the palpable gravitas with which the court officials and police handled jury selection. Except for the absence of TV crews outside, you'd have thought Steve Bass was Hannibal Lector tripped up by an urban camping ordinance at "what happened last year in October at a park downtown." 36411

Steve Bass to get his day in court, but he can’t say what he was doing or why, & above all he can’t mention “Occupy”

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- Municipal Court Judge Spottswood W. F. Williams heard a final motion today before the AUGUST 10 trial of Occupier Steve Bass, charged with violating the city's camping ban. The prosecution motioned to forbid from trial, "discussion of political, economic, or religious beliefs or ideology as a purported justification for the alleged acts", and even "arguments related to the belief that the defendant's conduct was constitutionally protected", and in true Colorado Springs fashion, the judge GRANTED the city's motion! YES THAT'S RIGHT, now if Bass wanted to say he wasn't "camping," he can't say what else you would call it! In effect, Defendant Bass is prevented from explaining WHY he was occupying, or even THAT he was occupying, because saying "OCCUPY" is expressly forbidden. The judge will play it by ear whether to make an exception for himself during "voir dire" if selecting impartial jurors might require asking their opinion of "Occupy". That's IF BASS GETS A JURY AT ALL, because next, Judge Williams prompted the city prosecutor to research whether Bass was entitled to a jury of his peers for the infraction of camping... 36040

The Last Girl Scout

Yesterday marked an invigorating shift for me.   I've been beset by the common malady among Occupiers, wherein the sheer weight of the task at hand and the sly, evasive Jung Fu practiced by the adherents of the Darkness has been a bit stifling. Given the way the City Court in Colorado springs has been summarily dismissing cases arising from the local Occupation, i genuinely feared they would simply drop my camping ticket as a way to sweep the whole business under their now incredibly lumpy rug. After all, when Nic G. was arrested for setting up an occupation at City Hall, his case was summarily dismissed for "lack of evidence." Nic, Michael, and Kristie then drove to the police station to retrieve the three carloads of evidence they had confiscated and were storing there. It seems likely that the real reason the case was dropped was the lack of any legitimate crime. Nic has reported that none of the cops on the scene for his incident had any clue what they were doing. In fact they are recorded by their own equipment responding with befuddlement when asked for what he was being arrested. No shit. "What am I being arrested for;

On #D12 #OccupyCS takes on Walmart, company store of the global plantation.

OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Showing the flag today on the Occupy corner of Acacia Park in advance of tomorrow's 12/12 WALMART BOYCOTT. You might well ask why we passed on a sunny, pre-Chrismas shopping weekend to picket the 8th Street Walmart on a MONDAY. Easy. Our boycott is timed with other OCCUPY actions on #D12, the shutdown of Oakland's port by #OccupyOakland and #OccupyDenver's blocking of the Loveland Colorado Walmart distribution center. Solidarity. So we thought we'd dry our new signs today and recruit for tomorrow's event. The cops came early. 29487

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.

#Occupy Colo. Springs Municipal Court

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. 29076

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. 29026

Occupy Colo. Springs suffers SECOND ARREST for camping outside permit

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. 28892

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!

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.") 28981

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? 28740

Colorado Springs issues permit to sleep on sidewalk but without tents. Let Them Eat Concrete

COLO. SPRINGS- I'm not crazy about OCCUPY organizers negotiating with city representatives for a tentative permit to occupy Acacia Park. You don't need permits for free speech, nor does activism gain by the advice of cops. That said, allowing a protest encampment, even without tents, may grow participation more effectively than outrage over oppressive responses to civil disobedience. So what's come of this strategy today is the same permission that has been granted to the Wall Street activists in Zuccotti Plaza, sleeping bags but no tents. Doesn't that seem shamelessly punitive? Shelter is a human right, deprivation of which is a violation of the 14th Amendment. It's likely the city could be held liable for endangering the health and lives of these activists. 28569

Should homeless camping ban apply to Occupy Colorado Springs protest? Homelessness is often also protest.

COLORADO SPRINGS- Activist Steve Bass was arrested last night for overstaying his welcome in the city's Acacia Park, violating the ordinance against pitching a tent in a public park. While the city is asserting that the anti-homeless no-camping ordinance ban applies to overnight free speech and assembly, and the OCCUPY COLORADO SPRINGS protesters argue that protest should be differentiated from the homeless issue, Steve reminds us that for many on the street, homelessness is their protest. 28546

To be or to be somewhere else

An attempt to address a few issues presented here in as brief a fashion possible: Re: Occupy Colorado Springs hits legal wall. Regardless of the opinions of any observer or participant in any protests currently under way here or across the country, police are likely to follow the direction of their superiors, apart from unauthorized behavior on the part of mavericks or rogues. Jason points out that the Bill of Rights "trumps" city ordinances and statutes, and if that is not true then I am personally inclined to object strenuously and if necessary physically, in the sense that I will camp "illegally" with the occupiers during the course of the current protestations. 28646

Revolution at 2112 RPM

For Tom, the guys at Occupy Colorado Springs, and everyone else: So, if I sit here and carry on about how we can get out of this grief under which so many of us find ourselves buried by living cooperatively, and no one plays along, it's like division by zero, an operation that produces no definable solution and the thought of which is so troublesome it caused philosopher George Berkeley to suspect all mathematicians could be devil-worshipers on the side. Seriously. A new friend I met at Acacia Park yesterday asked where the little hullabaloo about banks and bailouts and revolution and such was happening in Colorado Springs was asking the general milieu of rabble rousers where their revolution could be expected to go. (Hi, Tom). Some of the guys there, as one might expect, were so fed up with the obviously unsupportable state of current affairs that they were almost gleefully anticipating violence and war--civil war--right here in the U.S.A.. (Hi, Pat). I certainly can't blame anyone for thinking that way, given that I hoped fervently for exactly the same outcome from around the 3rd grade til only recently, really. 28661

Ask, Tell, and now, Don’t Go, Don’t Kill

Denver's GLBT parade was this weekend. Was there a Free Bradley Manning contingent? It may be asking this square state too much for a Queers Against Apartheid, as seen at the coastal festivals. We have a month before Colorado Springs' pride. My idea at left.   Others: WE ARE ALL BRADLEY MANNING -- ALL OUT 4 BRADLEY MANNING, ALLEGED WIKILEAKER, GAY HERO -- SPRINGS PRIDE SAYS FREE BRADLEY MANNING -- BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON WAR CRIMES IS NOT A CRIME! -- BRADLEY MANNING: ANOTHER QUEER PRISONER WHO TOLD THE TRUTH, HE EXPOSED WAR CRIMES

Frank Bator and Princess Lisa Czeladtko

I went to his memorial service at Marian House 6 years ago. He had died in his trailer home, alone, and the body not discovered for about a week. There were a few people attending, some of the staff at Marion House, a couple of people who knew him casually, his sister and brother... A really cold and rainy day... none of the anti-homeless PEOPLE activists like Patchsi, or Janis, or Princess Lisa. See, Frank was one of those Princess Lisa and her comrades despise for our lack of funds and our extremely distasteful lack of "courtesy" in not remaining hidden from the view of "good" citizens. Like her complaint about New Life church, who are really seriously not a Liberal organization in any way... had a pizza party in a public park and didn't turn away anybody. Qu'elle Radical! I think she would have a Shit-fit if she had met any of Jesus' "council of twelve". Rough customers, the lot. Matthew, for instance, a collaborator for the Roman occupation...strangely paired with Andrew, James and Simon Peter, Zealots, revolutionaries who had taken some extremely violent actions against the Romans, like the Taliban and al Qa'eda, they were Middle Eastern Religious Extremists. Peter

Did Obama hear you on election day?

Here's a quarter-page size flier you can use to spread the word about tonight's event. Obama's announcement will be momentous, no matter which course of action he decides. It will be either the first sign of delivering on his promise of change, or a hopeful public betrayed. 12111

Obama to announce on Tuesday: surge of 34,000 body bags to Afghanistan

White House spokesmen have announced that President Obama will address the nation on Tuesday, December 1st, to declare his intention to send 25,000-34,000 additional troops to Afghanistan. Join COLORADANS FOR PEACE in Acacia Park at 5PM TUESDAY to show our vehement opposition to this plan. Explained spokesman Robert Gibbs about the week's time still needed for deliberations on Afghanistan: Its not just how we get people there, but whats the strategy for getting them out.

8 yrs in Afghanistan, still boot-counting

How is Colorado Springs marking the 8th year of war in Afghanistan? Couple choices. Visiting priest-activist Louie Vitale will speak at Colorado College on the THE MORAL DIMENSION OF DRONE WARFARE. CC students were dissuaded from hosting a peace rally on campus which might have interfered with the week's homecoming activities. Instead, beginning at 1PM Wednesday, the CC students will chalk the sidewalks of Acacia Park with the names of the 869 US soldiers killed in the Afghan campaign. Coloradans For Peace will join the boot- counting but will commemorate Afghan deaths, whose number is "n/a."

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