Tag Archives: ACLU

ACLU and Shepard Fairey drape Lady Liberty in nationalism & jingo-freedom

New ACLU promotional poster by Shepard Farley (sic) features Statue of LibertyIs “Freedom” the same thing as Liberty? Let’s see, ACFU? It has an unfriendly ring to it.
 
The American Civil Liberties Union commissioned this fundraising magnet from halftone-deaf one-note Obamartist Shepard Fairey, but somebody confused this for a Department Of Defense contract. “Leading Freedom Forward”? That’s USA’s imperialist catchphrase! Please note at the helm is Fairey’s first client: Obama.

Linguists have long lamented America’s abandonment of liberty for the nefariously vacuous “freedom.” Freedom is for Operations, Markets, CIA-funded Pro-Democracy [sic] ops, and O-wellian doublespeak. “The Price of Freedom” is the title of the Smithsonian’s military history exhibit. Now the ACLU jumps on the war-wagon? That’s the Statue of Liberty with a bullhorn, as a union organizer — you can tell by the clipboard, but they’ve draped her in a flag, literally. Can you imagine any national monument with less need to prove her patriotism? I would have preferred they had used blind Lady Justice in reference to nationalism, where her blindfolded could have been the Red, White and Blue. But that’s probably a too obvious fashion statement about fascism. Dear ACLU, where are you going with this?

Let me clarify my criticism of Shepard Fairey. He’s a brilliant artist. By “halftone-deaf one-note” I refer to the FANS of his Blue Period, circa 2008. My beef is that this work recalls Fairey’s iconic Obama poster, though obviously it wouldn’t be considered a “Shepard Fairey creation” if it hadn’t. But. Is it appropriate that the ACLU wants to promote itself and its vital uni-partisan cause, with a ubiquivisual trademark that screams Democratic Party? Thankfully ACLU’s legal team at least has not failed to recognize Obama’s DP as the current reigning champion of civil liberty oppression.

Wikileaks Jacob Appelbaum confounds US customs w Bill of Rights thumbdrive

US-based Wikileaks colleague Jacob Appelbaum has a humorous account of his reentry yesterday to the US. Flying into Newark last July his laptop was searched and his cell phones confiscated. This time Appelbaum tweeted ahead that the ACLU would be his welcoming party, among other measures, recounted through Twitter:

Tweets by ioerror

I am not practically able to transport electronic devices. I will be radio silent before, during, and for some time after my flight.

I think that it is unlikely that there will be any serious trouble. With secret courts and sealed orders… the only way to know is to go.

I’m heading to the airport from Reykjavik and expect to be in the US around 16:40 PST Monday afternoon. Perhaps everything will go smoothly.

I am out of the airport and back in Seattle. Nothing more for now, sleep time.

It’s very frustrating that I have to put so much consideration into talking about the kind of harassment that I am subjected to in airports.

I was detained, searched, and CBP did attempt to question me about the nature of my vacation upon landing in Seattle.

The CBP specifically wanted laptops and cell phones and were visibly unhappy when they discovered nothing of the sort.

I did however have a few USB thumb drives with a copy of the Bill of Rights encoded into the block device. They were unable to copy it.

The forensic specialist (who was friendly) explained that EnCase and FTK, with a write-blocker inline were unable to see the Bill of Rights.

I requested access my lawyer and was again denied. They stated I was I wasn’t under arrest and so I was not able to contact my lawyer.

The CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) agent was waiting for me at the exit gate. Remember when it was our family and loved ones?

When I handed over my customs declaration form, the female agent was initially friendly. After pulling my record, she had a sour face.

She attempted to trick me by putting words into my mouth. She marked my card with a large box with the number 1 inside, sent me on my way.

While waiting for my baggage, I noticed the CBP agent watching me and of course after my bag arrived, I was “randomly” selected for search.

Only US customs has a random number generator worse than a mid-2007 Debian random number generator. Random? Hardly.

During the search, I made it quite clear that I had no laptop and no cell phone. Only USB drives with the Bill of Rights.

The CBP agent stated that I had posted on Twitter before my flight and that slip ended the debate about their random selection process.

The CBP agents in Seattle were nicer than ones in Newark. None of them implied I would be raped in prison for the rest of my life this time.

The CBP agent asked if the ACLU was really waiting. I confirmed the ACLU was waiting and they again denied me contact with legal help.

All in all, the detainment was around thirty minutes long. They all seemed quite distressed that I had no computer and no phone.

They were quite surprised to learn that Iceland had computers and that I didn’t have to bring my own.

There were of course the same lies and threats that I received last time. They even complemented me on work done regarding China and Iran.

I think there’s a major disconnect required to do that job and to also complement me on what they consider to be work against police states.

While it’s true that Communist China has never treated me as badly as CBP, I know this isn’t true for everyone who travels to China.

All in all, if you’re going to be detained, search, and harassed at the border in an extra-legal manner, I guess it’s Seattle over Newark.

It tok a great deal of thought before I posted about my experience because it honestly appears to make things worse for me in the future.

Even if it makes things worse for me, I refuse to be silent about state sponsored systematic detainment, searching, and harassment.

In case it is not abundantly clear: I have not ben arrested, nor charged with any crime, nor indicted in any way. Land of the free? Hardly.

I’m only counting from the time that we opened my luggage until it was closed. The airport was basically empty when I left.

It’s funny that the forensics guy uses EnCase. As it, like CBP, apparently couldn’t find a copy of the Bill of Rights I dd’ed into the disk.

The forensics guy apparently enjoyed the photo with my homeboy Knuth and he was really quite kind. The forensics guy in Newark? Not so much.

The CBP agent asked me for data – was I bringing data into the country? Where was all my data from the trip? Names, numbers, receipts, etc.

The mental environment that this creates for traveling is intense. Nothing is assured, nothing is secure, and nothing provides escape.

I resisted the temptation to give them a disk filled with /dev/random because I knew that reading them the Bill of Rights was enough hassle.

I’m flying to Toronto, Canada for work on Sunday and back through Seattle again a few days later. Should be a joy to meet these guys again.

All of this impacts my ability to work and takes a serious emotional toll on me. It’s absolutely unacceptable.

What happens if I take a device they can’t image? They take it. What about the stuff they give back? Back doored? Who knows?

Does it void a warranty if your government inserts a backdoor into your computer or phone? It certainly voids the trust I have in all of it.

I dread US Customs more than I dreaded walking across the border from Turkey to Iraq in 2005. That’s something worth noting.

I will probably never feel safe about traveling internationally with a computer or phones again.

None the less, safe or not, I won’t stop working on Tor. Nor will I cease traveling. I will adapt and I will win. A hard road worth taking.

A solid argument for free software: To check the integrity of your hardware and your software against tampering. No binary (firmware) blobs.

I’d like to think that when I visit my family in Canada this weekend and attend a work conference that Canada won’t hassle me. Am I dreaming?

Will the Canadian government simply act as an arm of the US policy of detaining, searching, and harassing me? Oh Canada! I hope not.

It’s interesting to note that some media initially reported that I had no trouble because I said nothing at all. Irony abounds.

My border experience reminds me of the old monochrome quote: “Land of the Free? Land of the Free Refill!”

Why do we allow US Customs to lie and to threaten people? It’s a crime to lie to them and they do it as their day job. Why the inequality?

You can lead a horse to water, but will it give a statement to the press?

From the horse’s mouth: Nope.
On advice of lawyer, don’t talk about arrest. On advice from retired lawyers: civil liberties issue iffy. Advice gleaned from the overworked ACLU: case not as good as others we’ve got. Advice from friends: hope for a plea deal. Request from PPJPC colleagues: pretend we don’t know you. Advice about the press: “Generally they don’t have much interest in this kind of thing.” FAIL.
 
I have to confess, my pretending yesterday about an intentional plan to fly under-the-radar was sarcasm. I had no idea the extent to which the sublimation of the “MEPP” Kulp/Nace arrests was premeditated. No mention of the court date in the PPJPC Active For Justice weekly email, the arrestees’ spirits driven down by the defeatism prescribed above. I raise this criticism not to victimize the defendants further, but to question this apparently endemic predilection for hemlock.

Protesters say arrests unjust

Exactly how valuable is it to have colleagues with legal experience enough to vacillate about your courtroom chances being between cross-your-fingers and dismal? What good a lawyer whose own sense of your pre-verdict innocence is ambivalent? What confidence is lifted being told it will all depend on the judge? I’ve always thought a lawyer who counsels activists to shut up while their prosecution is pending, lest innocence incriminate itself, is not suited to activists as clients.

Most troubling is the impression which the ACLU gives in its habitual reluctance to express enthusiasm for a case. The Denver ACLU in particular is famously overburdened, and they are inundated with solicitations for representation. Better in my opinion to decline with apologies than to leave inquirers doubting their trampled civil liberties may not have been sufficiently flattened. Free speech is either or. Restricted free speech is restricted speech. Or are we prepared to call it the 1.01 Amendment (revised for 2011)?

Behind the scenes, only hours after the fact, the ACLU can reveal that the November arrests and the policy which the city acted upon were patently unconstitutional. So how can we expedite that kind of reassurance to activists before the fact? Because of course such arrests are only serving to scare the public from even thinking about dissent. In fact this is the preemptive aim of these actions.

I count my own success at avoiding arrest, as I find myself defying authority sometimes nose to nose, with nonchalance because I know my rights. I KNOW MY RIGHTS. That argument appears to register with police officers when you say it as if you’re reassuring them, projecting a shrug and a smile, relieving them of having to rationalize acting against you. When you are confident of your rights there is nothing to compromise but practical considerations, lawful orders which the officer is able to show you are warranted.

You can retreat to a public sidewalk once a policeman has proven he had sufficient authority to make the request. A landlord who has contracted the use of his land to tenants does not have absolute say without their consultation. It’s not even reasonable of him to call in the police if no one is complaining and you are not creating a disturbance. To know these things empowers you to stand your ground when overzealous officers of the law think they can throw their weight around. How do we rekindle that essential confidence in our civil rights?

Pictured: Ted Nace with Rita, Pattie, Eric, Esther, Bill, and Loring

The other confidence-stealing factor at play in this case is an activist organization insisting that its members protest under a different name, to avoid offending members who didn’t agree. On its website, the PPJPC claims the MEPP as a subcommittee, but for the day of action and in subsequent news coverage, no affiliation.

If you consider that the Middle East Peace Project’s objective is to win over public awareness and sympathy, it seems horribly defeatist to think that you can’t even appeal to your own fellow members. Not to mention that you can’t trade on the reputation that sustains your mother organization, instead you have to emerge out of the blue, like any other holders of extremist views.

When protesters are having to excuse themselves and the unintended perhaps unwarranted commotion they’ve caused, and have to pretend to be acting autonomously because they can’t make their case to their own colleagues, it’s a recipe for what happened here. Activists kowtowed and self-censored.

And so, how to ally yourself with such impediments? Coloradans For Peace has to cut the PPJPC out of the loop so long as its decision makers are so dominated by naysayers, pretenders, NVC appeasers, and a staff which reports their every intention to the police. You can’t even discuss strategy in such a circle.

Should local Israel boycott arrestees face wrongful charges alone, without your support or media scrutiny?

COLORADO SPRINGS- There’s a plan tomorrow, Thursday Jan 6 at 1:30, for the first court appearance of BDS activists Cyndy Kulp and Ted Nace, arrested in November at a local shopping center, and charged with trespass to curtail their free speech. THE PLAN is for the two Middle East Peace Project activists to follow legal procedures unobtrusively, no press, no statements, no calling attention to the Israeli war crime they were protesting, or now the patently unconstitutional abridgment of their civil liberties. Self-censorship does seem odd when the original goal was to raise public outcry about injustice in Palestine. Isn’t media scrutiny otherwise the only opportunity which knocks when you’re gagged by wrongful arrest? Not much of a plan. Are veteran BDS campaigners Coloradans For Peace going to disrupt tomorrow’s agenda to sweep BDS/Free-Speech under the rug? HELL YES.

A strategy of keeping your head low, of tempering your message to avoid offense, of your sponsors and allies disassociating themselves from you, is a plan for mice not men.

While it might feel unseemly to call attention to yourself, even as a victim of injustice, that’s the same inhibition that keeps so-called advocates for social reform from protesting in public in the first place. Standing on the sidewalk, holding a sign is about trying to draw attention.

Long time peace activists Kulp and Nace need not check their outspoken humanitarian compulsions at the door tomorrow. Please turn up at 1PM tomorrow outside the Municipal Courthouse to show your support and help the two raise their voices to further the message about which they feel so passionately.

COLORADANS FOR PEACE is scheduling a press conference tomorrow at 1PM to object to the city’s recently unveiled policy of enforcing severe limitations on rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. In the past this harassment has been aimed at antiwar protest, now it is being used to silence critics of Israeli Apartheid and the illegal subjugation of the Palestinian people. If either of these issues is important to you, please come lend your voice.

Below is the policy which the City of Colorado Springs is seeking to enforce:

COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT BULLETIN

ORIGINATED BY: COMMANDER BRIAN GRADY
APPROVED BY: DC PETER CAREY
DATE ISSUED: 05-17-10
GENERAL TOPIC: FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS
SERIAL NO: 013-10(P)

The legal counsel for some large business owners has contacted the City Attorney’s Office to request that the Police Department enforce trespassing laws against individuals circulating petitions or otherwise expressing free speech views on their private property. Senior Attorney Will Bain has communicated with the attorneys and has done legal research to determine the current law regarding free speech on private property. Senior Attorney Bain advised that the private rights of the business owner outweigh the free speech rights of the individual.

Additionally, the research by the City Attorney’s Office indicates that at this time the Citadel Mall, Chapel Hills Mall, the First and Main Shopping Center, the World Arena, and University Village can be interpreted to be public areas due to their size, number of stores, and past court rulings. While the malls and shopping center can still impose time, place, and manner restrictions, the charge of trespass will not be appropriate for these five locations in Colorado Springs when addressing free speech rights. BOLOs have been placed on these addresses as a reminder.

All sergeants and officers shall review the additional changes and detailed procedures to be followed in these type cases, which are outlines in General Order 701, dated 01/13/10.

Here is the Coloradans For Peace press release:

Coloradans For Peace and its social justice allies unequivocally reject the City of Colorado Springs assertion to limit free speech rights on public or private property. We reject the conclusion alleged by the City Attorney that current law allows for initiating trespassing charges to curtail individuals “expressing free speech views.”

Whether against antiwar protesters, or activists boycotting Israeli goods stolen from occupied people in violation of international law, we feel that municipal policies should seek to defend, not inhibit, the First Amendment rights of its residents and citizens.

CFP objects to the attempt to set precedent whereby private property landowners operating facilities open to the public can dictate what civil liberties they will allow or disallow. And we certainly oppose law enforcement behavior which takes it upon itself to enforce trespassing charges without being summoned by the traditional complaints to warrant legitimate intervention by police officers.

In Tennessee, ACLU = Terrorists

The Memphis Homeland Security fusion center has a map listing the Tennessee ACLU as a “Terrorist Event.” Compound that with what a ranking senator (R-AL) has called the “ACLU DNA.” It goes beyond semantics when the label of terrorist means by executive order suspects can be detained without charges, indefinitely and without an enforceable standard of human rights. Think twice about those giving credence to Vice President Biden’s categorization of Wikileaks as more terrorism than journalism. On the lighter dark side, the CIA has set up a Wikileaks Task Force (WTF), prompting comedian Andy Borowitz to suggest the more apt Stop Terrorists From Uniting (STFU).

Repeal DADT and enact the Dream Act because the Army needs more soldiers

A thousand times NO you ignorant dupes! The ACLU wants me to support the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, so that more gays can join the military. Otherwise-progressives are lobbying for the Dream Act, so that the children of undocumented immigrants can join the US military. Let me also warn you I oppose Affirmative Action for the School of the Americas torture curriculum. And equal pay for female armed-drone specialists. DADT is the homosexual’s exclusive escape clause for war crimes complicity. Is this an LGBT rights campaign to assert that gay soldiers are dumb enough for the military?

ACLU defends Freedom of Speech: that of yours, mine, Nazis or corporations

COLORADO SPRINGS- The local Springs ACLU chapter is challenging the national office’s position on the recent Citizens United victory and I’m torn. I am as anti-corporate as the next rabid class-war insurgent, but the longstanding corporate personhood abomination is a separate abuse than the oppression of civil liberties. It’s clear that one impacts the other, but until we clarify who’s a “who,” the ACLU is determined to exclude no one from First Amendment protection. Make sense?

When and if the immortality advantages of corporate trusts can reigned in, the political power of the individual will be more secure. But an opposite Citizens United verdict would have left American individuals with limits on their speech. You don’t pass respiratory restrictions in Pigville just because the Big Bad Wolf is in town. You charge him with threatening illegal acts, etc, before you abridge the rights of all citizens in the name of security.

In social justice type affinity groups, I certainly believe there are times when the grassroots have to wag their dog gone somnolent. More often however, dissension generates from a malignant insurrection against the founding principles with which the provincial members have lost sight. My experience has been that local ACLU groups, Denver included, are exaggeratedly vigilant about asking “is this a civil liberties issue?” for fear of being seen to address a problem that has become politicized.

Defenders of the last administration for example were desperate to prevent activists from getting the support and sponsorship of established advocacy groups like the ACLU.

Lamentably, believe it or not, some ACLU self-obstructionists differentiate human rights abuses from civil liberties. They see the issue as “partisan.” Because critics of the Patriot Act are often Democrats, Republicans find themselves tasked with defending it. Likewise, illegal war, war crimes, rendition, illegal detention, etc, are also too partisan to address, even as they constitute affronts to the civil liberties of all.

It’s become very clear to me that both Denver and Colorado Springs chapters are dominated by conservative voices who restrict local ACLU activities to conducting public discussion groups, as opposed to speaking out about federal and local abuses which are usual targets of the national office.

The upcoming forum on Corporate Personhood, this Thursday night at Shove Chapel at Colorado College, is clearly outside the purview of civil liberties, but may have escaped our local ACLU’s conservative corporatists explicitly because it goes against the ACLU leadership.

To my mind however, the event will serve two goods. One, we take on corporations, and two our action alerts ACLU Washington about the rotten apples in our midst. Obstructionists are perhaps ever present, but headquarters might generate some guidelines about how to further root them out. A simple essay test about “what are civil liberties” would suffice for me. The next member who points to an ACLU talking point and avers “I don’t see how this is a civil liberties issue” gets the boot.

The most pathetic recurring argument is that the ACLU should only concern itself with the Civil Liberties of “Americans.” The National ACLU has of course argued for the rights of foreign nationals, even those living overseas who have been targets of extradition, as well as peoples of foreign lands under the jurisdiction of American authority; leased properties such as oversees bases for example, and entire nations we’ve invaded. Where should borders demarc free-of-liberties-zones?

The same critics of course show no qualms about US military forces subjugating other peoples in the name of “Freedom” without thought that our liberation of capitalist forces should come with some protections. Pax Americana minus the Americana Bill of Rights.

Challenged about its public support of the Citizens United case, the ACLU offered this unapologetic explanation:

“The ACLU has consistently taken the position that section 203 is facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment because it permits the suppression of core political speech, and our amicus brief takes that position again.”

The fallout has been heated, but I’ve enjoyed the parallels drawn to the infamous occasion when the ACLU protected the right of Nazis to march in the predominantly Jewish Chicago suburb of Skokie Illinois. Yes the ACLU will fight for NAMBLA, Nazis and corporations, and no one bats an eye at the affinity of the three.

The 2009 Amicus Brief which the ACLU filed in support of Citizens United is viewable online (PDF), here are the preface sections:

AMICUS CURIAEBRIEF OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL

LIBERTIES UNION IN SUPPORT OF APPELLANT

ON SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTION

INTEREST OF AMICUS

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with more than 500,000 members dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the Constitution and our nation’s civil rights laws.

For the past three decades, the ACLU has been deeply engaged in the effort to reconcile campaign finance legislation and First Amendment principles, from Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976), where we represented our New York affiliate, to McConnell v. FEC, 540 U.S. 93 (2003), where the ACLU was both co-counsel and plaintiff, to Randall v. Sorrell, 548 U.S. 230 (2006), where we were lead counsel. In addition, the ACLU has appeared as amicus curiae in many of this Court’s campaign finance cases, including FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc. (“WRTL”), 551 U.S. 449 (2007).

As framed by the Court’s reargument order, 2009 WL 1841614 (2009), this case presents fundamental questions concerning the constitutionally permissible scope of campaign finance regulation that this Court first confronted in Buckley and subsequently revisited in McConnell and WRTL. The proper resolution of that delicate balance remains an issue of substantial importance to the ACLU and its members.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

The broad prohibition on “electioneering communications” set forth in § 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA), 2 U.S.C. § 441b(b)(2), violates the First Amendment, and the limiting construction adopted by this Court in WRTL is insufficient to save it. Accordingly, the Court should strike down § 203 as facially unconstitutional and overrule that portion of McConnell that holds otherwise.

This brief addresses only that question. It does not address the additional question raised by this Court’s reargument order: namely, whether Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, 494 U.S. 652 (1990), should be overruled. However, if Austin is overruled and the ban on express advocacy by corporations and unions is struck down, then the ban on “electioneering communications” in § 203 would necessarily fall as a consequence.

Even if Austin is not overruled, § 203 is unconstitutional precisely because it extends beyond the express advocacy at issue in Austin. The history of the McConnell litigation, as well as campaign finance litigation before and after McConnell, demonstrates that there is no precise or predictable way to determine whether or not political speech is the “functional equivalent” of express advocacy.

The decision in WRTL correctly recognized that the BCRA’s prophylactic ban on “electioneering communications” threatened speech that lies at the heart of the First Amendment, including genuine issue ads by nonpartisan organizations like the ACLU. But the reformulated ban crafted by this Court in WRTL continues to threaten core First Amendment speech. Its reliance on the hypothetical response of a reasonable listener still leaves speakers guessing about what speech is lawful and what speech is not. That uncertainty invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement. It will also lead many speakers to self-censor rather than risk sanctions or undertake the expense of suing the FEC prior to speaking, especially since most suits will not be resolved until long after the speech is timely and relevant.

In short, § 203 was a poorly conceived effort to restrict political speech and should be struck down.

Senators Cornyn, Smith, Lieberman, Webb, McCain, not common criminals

They want war crimes trials, then book ’em. Senators John Cornyn, Lamar Smith, Joe Lieberman, Jim Webb and John McCain have mouthed off against bringing accused 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to trial in US civilian courts. They want Mohammed and his fellow detainees tried by military tribunals, which have already been condemned as violations of international law. So has voting to support the attack on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, secret prisons, etc.

Forget the presumption of innocence. Said Cornyn:

“These terrorists planned and executed the mass murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Treating them like common criminals is unconscionable.”

Added Lieberman, they–

“are war criminals, not common criminals … not American citizens entitled to all the constitutional rights American citizens have in our federal courts.”

Nope, sorry it doesn’t work that way. Our constitution protects the rights of everyone under US jurisdiction. Not to mention the detainees are “alleged” criminals as well.

The senators are perhaps influenced by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s media monicker: the self proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. That’s a rather inflated attribution based on a confession extracted after an apparently record setting series of water boarding torture sessions.

Unless Attorney General Eric Holder plans to conduct the 9/11 trials under wraps, with the sound off like the kangaroo court lynching of Saddam Hussein, this news could be the most significant development the 9/11 Truth Movement will ever get.

Next step, join the ACLU in urging Holder to try all War on Terror detainees in US civilian courts. This isn’t about keeping American citizens safe. As the Senators rightly miserly point out, this is about according the detainees sufficient rights that they might win an inconveniently fair trial.

Take the ACLU Facebook quiz to see what kind of open book you are

Maybe you don’t fear facing off with an army intelligence interrogator, FBI detective, or secret service agent sitting in a Fusion Center determined to anticipate your next move. But what about a loan officer, insurance adjuster, arbitration negotiator, prospective employer, or plaintiff’s lawyer taking your deposition, who’s armed with your psychological profile made up of your Facebook quiz answers? Your plan to defeat an IRS polygraph by clenching your butt-cheeks is a plan B of olden days. The ACLU has been anticipating these eventualities for you. They’ve devised their own Facebook quiz to illustrate.

The Facebook disclaimer makes clear, between the lines, that when you “allow” an application access to your personal information, the app’s third party can suck up every last detail of your file, “for the quiz to work.” It also grants access to each of your friends’ entire files, each time YOU click “allow.”

Now you may feel like you’ve put everything up on Facebook voluntarily. You can presume your friends did too. And although our info is limited to our friend circles, we probably assume that determined sleuths can extract it all anyway. And that’s certainly true. Even casual idiots can sidle up to glean important details without arousing our suspicions. We presume no insurance company or parole officer is going to preemptively fill their files with happenstance biographical queries, and so we feel safe.

We overlook that the great value of social networks to us, the web of connections, provides the filing tabs by which information aggregators can accumulate their data in a useful, ie. commercial, manner.

Soon we’ll have to worry about underwriters or graduate schools or fiance’s parents dismissing us outright based on our DNA. When that day comes, every marriage will be arranged, and preschools will have sufficient information to accept applicants in utero.

For now the thought of an accessible collation of my Watson-Glaser, Yale-Brown, Myers-Briggs, and which-potted-plant-most-resembles-you tests already hinders my being able to look you in the eye. I am who I want to be, and my 16th Century royaum is shrinking.

There is no License to Kill

“Licensed to Kill” was an Ian Fleming invention. His friend Richard Meinertzhagen dropped Fleming’s phrase for guests to infer he was a secret agent. RM’s routine of arriving at diner parties with a smoking gun reinforced whispers that he had been the inspiration for James Bond. Meinertzhagen turned out to be a flake, but the authority to play god is still coveted by espionage idolators. Federal statutes prohibit identifying covert CIA operatives, regardless what they’ve done. Is that the same thing? A mythical supra legem indemnity? Sorry Virginia, nemo est.

Okay, some today are above the law, notable examples being Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woo, et al. The jury is still out on who will atone for the Bush Co crimes. But should the Neocon exemption cover assassination squads and torturers too?

The US Department of Justice is up in arms -Fox News probably more than anybody- having learned that defense lawyers for terrorist suspects in US custody, have shown their clients photographs of CIA and private contractor interrogators, to learn which of them might have engaged in harsh techniques defined by the rest of the world as torture.

The John Adams Project, run jointly by the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, is an effort to document the US torture in Guantanamo and our secret prisons around the globe. The ACLU assures all indignant patriots that asking the detainees to identify their torturers is completely legal.

Researchers for the project have been snapping pictures outside the homes of retired and active, CIA and intelligence industry interrogators. No names have been released except Deuce Martinez, who’d already been outed by the NYT. Martinez was the agent responsible for interrogating Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, although accounts soft-pedal his participation in the harsher techniques.

That’s the pattern of exposes about torture, those named always claim to have left the room. A remarkably similar motif accompanied the account of CIA interrogator John Kiriakou.

Two well-known names were doctors who attended to the tortured, later opening a consulting firm to train CIA interrogators.
Dr. Jim Mitchell and Dr. Bruce Jessen specialized in maximizing harsh interrogation, and making sure the victim didn’t die.

The defense lawyers have circulated the photographs of 60 suspected perpetrators, but have named only Martinez so far. How are torturers and murderers to be brought to justice, if they are not unmasked?

Private Funding to close down the Concentration Camp?

gitmo-new-rules-of-warThis is a question for the Legal Eagles…
 
Since the only real issue left in getting rid of this huge albatross around our collective national neck… (the one that’s tied to the even larger Boat Anchor)… Is one of funding the venture…

What would block President Obama and his supporters such as us from attempting to secure private funding for dismantling Guantanamo Torture Center?

Solicit donations in small or large amounts, doesn’t matter much about the amounts because it’s Not Campaign Funding…

Nor would the funding have to come only from U.S. citizens nor only from people the State Department considers “friendly” which is a polite term for “compliant to the point of subservience”.

If the fund is maintained with a certain amount of glaznost (up to the point of “short of announcing names of individual donors”) by the International Red (religious symbol of choice here) People for the American Way and the ACLU…

I’m going to put this question to the local ACLU in an open letter on a local website and in the Colorado Springs Independent, also Same in the Ft Worth Independent and the Dallas Observer.

Since the opposition comes from so-called “fiscal conservatives”, that $80 million should be hanged around THEIR collective neck as a sign of Shame.

There’s a 4-mile stretch of road-to-nowhere proposed here in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs which begins and ends at Public Bus Stops.

At a cost of $260,000,000 (TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY MILLION) USD.

Then there’s the much higher cost of keeping Guantanamo OPEN. A cost which is classified so we’ll never know the true amount.

But it’s in the range of more than a Billion per annum.

Let’s see, $80 Million to close out the account permanently, or 12x (TWELVE TIMES) the amount Annually to keep the sucker running.

Waiting for the Next Dictator in Chief to replace Democracy and President Obama with Bush Regime, Part II and re-start the whole cycle of state-sponsored Terrorism over again. (I constructed that sentence awkwardly deliberately and on purpose because triple repetition is more effective than mere redundancy.)

And the cost incurred by giving REAL Terrorists an(other) actual issue to use against not only the Socially Retarded Animated Sphincters but against EVERY American by association.

Note to the S.R.A.S.s: Shock and Awe has failed Miserably. so has the policy of “Let them hate as long as they fear … Oderint dum Metuant and here I’ll point out that was the motto of Gaius Julius Caesar II (Caligula)

The overwhelming evidence is that policy has given them a very legitimate reason to hate and obviously, they don’t actually Fear along with it.

In the case of “Shock and Awe” there’s two synonyms for “Fear” explicitly included, and using Fear as a weapon of war fits the classic definition of Terrorism.

2 turncoat Democrats are our senators!

Freshly minted US Senator Michael Bennett just voted against the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, siding with the usurious banks. Do we give him a pass? It’s not Bennett’s first snub of the November 2008 progressive mandate. What’s it going to take before Colorado constituents shout down the Washington insider for being a fraud? Bennett is speaking at CC’s commencement on May 18. Is he or is he not accountable?

I don’t dare, actually. Some of my friends still think he shows promise. But I had a chance when Governor Ritter first paraded him to Colorado Springs, to look into his averted eyes. I saw the face of a weasel. Bennett spoke too, committing to absolutely nothing. Did I mention he was a Zionist? I’m hoping someone will consider his grace period expired.

As well today on HB 1274, Colorado Senator and proven shit John Morse took “repeal the death penalty” out of the Repeal The Death Penalty Bill. Morse also sponsored SB 241 the DNA Sampling of Felony Arrestees which would mandate that DNA records be kept of all those accused of a felony.

No word yet on John Morse’s next visit to Colorado Springs. He didn’t join Representative Lamborn at the Tax Day Tea Party, but you know he wanted to.

Colorado Springs Calendar MAY 2009

MAY 2009
1- May Day: International Workers Day
4- Tobias Wolff, Reading at CC, Armstrong Theatre, 7pm
9- UFCW Local 7 contract expires with Safeway workers
15- NAKBA commemoration
17- CFP Protest of PRO-ISRAEL RALLY, City Auditorium, 3pm-6pm
18- Senator Michael Bennet, CC commencement, Quad, 8am
18- Governor Bill Ritter, City Hall, Fountain, 6pm
23- Uncle Wilbur Fountain, annual opening, Acacia Park, 11am-1pm
25- High Country Earth First! EF! ROADSHOW, Cheesman Park 2pm
26- High Country Earth First! EF! ROADSHOW, Gypsy House 7pm
27- Colorado Springs ACLU annual meeting, G&L Foundation
27-6/3 Feral Futures, to be disclosed shortly
30- UFCW solidarity action, TBA

Colorado Springs government and police continue to lie about their raids on the Homeless

liars myersHOMELAND INSECURITY REPORT- The CS police, under the direction of Police Cap Ricky ‘Liars’ Myers, are continuing to fudge and pretend their innocence about their raids and harassment against the Homeless population in the city, on behalf of the Business Community which simply hates these unfortunate people. They want them all gone but can’t find a way to get it done without attracting public attention. So they have to play all sorts of mind games using the local press as conduit for their song and dance.

‘The cleanups first received negative publicity last fall after homeless advocates charged the monthly sweeps include improper searches and that personal belongings are routinely tossed out. The ACLU contends the cleanups violate the Fourth Amendment and the Colorado Constitution. ….. In bullet-point fashion, ACLU staff attorney Taylor Pendergrass describes its findings after it “interviewed dozens of persons who claimed to have had private property seized and destroyed by CSPD and KCSB.” Among them is that the cleanups were typically unannounced and conducted when homeless people were away from their camps and couldn’t protect their belongings. “Numerous different CSPD officers have been involved in seizing and destroying property, but many interviewees consistently identified CSPD Officer’s Olav Chaney and Tracey (sic) Fox,” Pendergrass wrote in the letter.’

Taken from ACLU: Cops look into sweeps at camps

Obama to close Gitmo year from now

aclu obama close gitmo
Yesterday Barack Obama suspended the GWOT military tribunals and announced the closing of Guantanamo Prison Camp, eventually. Care to explain to those still being detained without charges, why it’s going to take a year?

Many progressives are applauding Obama’s bold moves, and today Obama proclaimed that the US does not torture. Are the Gitmo prisoners still maintaining a hunger strike? Are their jailers responding by feeding them against their will, using gastric tubes? That’s torture. If Obama hesitates to roll back the policies which sustained Guantanamo, the responsibility is going to be his own.

Paging Lucy Shoup aka Lucy McDonald

Who was the Maryland State Trooper infiltrating Silver Springs area peace groups? Unmasked by an ACLU case which represented several dozen activists labeled by “Lucy” as terrorists, even the LA Times article would not reveal her true identity. But certainly there should remain photographs of the undercover officer participating in actions from 2005-2007…

The agent’s cover name “Lucy Shoup” was accidentally left un-redacted from records made public by the Maryland State Police. An activist at Red Emma’s bookstore suspected that an “Ann Shoup” on their email list might be the agent in question. Now 32 activist groups in the area have confirmed that “Lucy,” going by “Shoup” or “McDonald,” pretended to participate in their activities in order to keep tabs on their members.

She used the email addresses ann_378@hotmail.com and shoupy_shoup@yahoo.com. The ACLU of Maryland is asking other activist groups to check their records for traces of this agent, and urging all to file FOIA requests to disclose the breadth of this eavesdropping.

Among the major groups targeted: the ACLU, the American Friends Service Committee, Amnesty International, the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the International Socialist Organization, the NAACP, and United Catholic Charities.

Among the 57 individuals labeled as “terrorists” by this agent are the Dominican sisters who perpetrated the Colorado nuclear missile silo Plowshare action, Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert.

Here is a sample of one of the infiltrator’s email:

July 28, 2005

Due to a change in marital status, my name and e-mail have changed and I will no longer be using or checking my old address.

Please send anything to me (pledge, Save Vernon Evans, etc) at shoupy_shoup@yahoo.com.

Whoops, forgot to tell you my name is Lucy Shoup, has a nice ring, doesn’t it?

Thanks, I will see you soon.

She used the same pretext to avoid giving a physical address:

August 2, 2005

That would be great to be on the list serve for progressive news, alerts, etc., as well as the Baltimore activists’ alert.

I’m in the process of moving, so I will give you my snail mail soon.

I may just get a p.o. box to make life easier.

See you soon, Lucy.

Following Obama out of La La Land

Rita and her GRANDMOTHERS FOR PEACE found change.gov and gave them an earful. (change.gov is the President-Elect’s change.org)

FOLLOWING OBAMA OUT OF LA LA LAND

I was afraid. The 2/26/08 e-mail from Bob Nemanich, Obama El Paso County Co-Coordinator, had come in minutes earlier. It read in part:

“Now this is important. Jay Ferguson, the vice chair of the El Paso County Democratic Party and I have been receiving numerous reports of curious and even worse descriptions of attempts, by some volunteers managing the entrance doors last Saturday morning, attempting to turn rightfully elected delegates away from the convention. This is serious stuff. If any of you witnessed or experienced an attempt by someone telling delegates who were in line Saturday morning and told to go home because: “the crowds were too big,” “no more room inside,” “they had enough delegates,” “the fire marshal was going to close us down,” or were told “their name was not on their lists” or other intimidations…You need to contact us immediately! We will need the description of th e person who was at the door making these or other statements or intimidating anyone, which line you were in, the time, and other circumstances which might further identify this person and activity of attempting to suppress the vote.”

I’d read the words and shuddered. What should I do?

I stood and walked away from the computer, passing the side-by-side pictures of my brother and son – both very precious to me and both very disabled. What could happen to them if I spoke out and told what I knew and had seen?

More than a decade ago, my “Rainman” duplicate son was working at his part-time job in the laundry of a local hotel. Suddenly a C.S.P.D. cop appeared and began roughing my boy up as he arrested him. The hotel maid who witnessed the arrest later told me she had begged the cop not to scare or hurt him, that he was autistic and retarded and didn’t understand what was happening. The cop ignored her as he threw my son against the wall, handcuffed him, and roughly led him to the waiting squad car and onto jail.

My boy’s “crime” was a false accusation beyond the belief of all who know my son and understand his limitations. Eventually the deputy district attorney dismissed all charges against him, but only after the nearly unsurmountable fear and suffering of my son and all who love him. His “crime” could have possibly have been based on his coming from a well-to-do family, thereby designating him and us as a target for monetary awards from fraudulent civil actions. And just as likely was the possibility that his being so brutalized, charged and arrested was a result of my political activism and stands against discrimination and intimidation. I’ll most likely go to my grave not knowing which was the case. One thing for certain – from now on I’ll be on guard against dirty political retaliation, particularly against those I love.

Months before my son’s false arrest, I had taken on an infamous Colorado Republican state senator who had publicly and to the press referred to all women of color as ‘promiscuous.” Following her nationally publicized remark, at a Colorado Springs “Cure Rally,” I had jokingly awarded her the “Jackass of the Year Award.” A few months later, at the urging of a retired judge and former colleague of mine, I had filed a criminal charge of harassment against the senator’s son, who had spear-headed the anti-gay Colorado Amendment Two, an amendment approved by the voters and later overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representing the Colorado Springs Minority Coalition, I had appeared on a local t.v. talk show with the senator’s son and responded to phone calls from viewers regarding the Minority Coalition’s stands on Amendment Two and other issues. Following the show, the senator’s son had invited me, along with a man from the N.A.A.C.P., into a studio back room where he had attempted to intimidate me by stating that it looked like we were going to fight. He then knuckle punched me in the arm. I followed the advice of my judicial friend, and reported the incident. Shortly thereafter, others came forward, citing similar attempts at intimidation by the senator’s son.

The same week my son was brutalized and falsely arrested, it was announced that the senator’s son was being removed from his job as head of “Colorado for Family Values,” the organization behind Amendment Two. A longtime observer of partisan politics in this one-party town of Colorado Springs observed that the senator’s son’s political career had been nipped the bud due to what had happened following the t.v. show.

I will always wonder if my son’s being charged and arrested for a crime he could never have committed was in reality an attack on me for standing up to blatant bigotry and an attempt at intimidation. And now I was being asked by an official of the Obama campaign to come forward once again, and stand up to undemocratic manipulation and outrageous intimidation. What should I do?

Torn by indecision, my view switched from the photo of my beautiful, autistic son, to the photo taken years earlier of my beloved brother, a mentally ill, fully disabled vet. And I was jolted into the present. Weeks earlier, my brother had gone into a local fast food restaurant, and had been questioned by the police for his part in a fist fight that had occurred in the restaurant.

My brother had watched and listened to a man in the restaurant as the man loudly and angrily berated the “stupid nigger” Barack Obama. My brother, a gently and caring person, had gone up to the man and told him he disagreed with him about Sen. Obama, and was offended at what the man was saying, and how he was saying it.

The man then swung at my brother twice, causing my brother to punch the man in defense, knocking the man to the floor and bloodying the man’s nose. The man ceased his hate filled outrage, and the police were called in. A restaurant employee explained to the police that it was not brother who had instigated the attack, but rather it was my brother who was defending himself. The man was arrested, and my brother, feeling very guilty for having struck someone, returned home to tell me the story. I consoled him, and complimented him for his bravery in speaking out against such hatred and bigotry.

And now, remembering my brother’s courage and glancing at my deceased uncle and god father’s purple heart from World War II, I made my decision. Courage is vital if heaven is to be gained and democracy is to be maintained. Scared as I was, I returned to the computer and began typing my affidavit, the soon to be sworn to statement of what I had witnessed at the El Paso County Democratic Assembly days earlier.

The story was not a pretty one. Elected Obama delegates and alternates had stood outside for hours in the frigid cold, only to be kept from entering the high school where the assembly was held. They were turned away in number at the door by none other than the then head of the Colorado Springs ACLU, a former NSA man. This former NSAer reportedly later stated he was merely following the directions of the local Democratic party chairman.

Within days of my submitting my signed and sworn to affidavit to the Obama and party official who had requested information, with copies to state and national party officials and ACLU officials, my house and grounds and the neighbor’s house was broken into in the middle of the night. According to both my neighbor and my brother who resides with me, the intruder appeared to be eager to be both heard and seen, and did not attempt to run and hide when spotted. This is the first break-in we have experienced since living here.

I went to the police station and added my brother’s citing of the intruder onto the neighbor’s report to the police the neighbor had made at the time of the incident. The police officer asked me if, to the best of my knowledge, anyone was attempting to intimidate me, my brother, or my neighbor. I gave the officer a copy of my affidavit, and told him an attempt to intimidate me had been made by the ACLU chairman immediately prior to my submission of my affidavit.

The officer then advised me to go as public as possible with the information I had. The officer state that his grandmother had been among those at the the Democratic assembly and, along with so many others, had wondered just what was going on.

Shortly thereafter, a representative from the local Democratic party notified me that the platform committee, to which I had been elected at the recent assembly, had been disbanded. It was hardly a surprise when three months later, two peace demonstrators were arrested at the Democratic state convention, which was held in Colorado Springs. The demonstrators were standing outside an area which was taped off by police, and were being cheered on and waved at by Obama delegates and alternates who were entering the World Arena building where the convention was being held.

The demonstrators were arrested, handcuffed, and transported first to a nearby station, then transported and left miles away from where the convention was being held. The support poles of the banner they displayed (“Dems – please stop funding the war in Iraq”) were destroyed by police. Significant rooftop audio surveillance occurred prior to and during the arrest, but was denied and not produced during the motions for discovery at time of preliminary hearings. Prior to going to trial, charges were dropped by the city, just as charges were eventually dropped by the city after the first trial against peace demonstrators (google Colorado Springs St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2007, n.b. “Police Brutality”) resulted in a hung jury.

This is not one person’s story – this is a city’s story, a state’s story, an entire country’s story. The coup d’etat of which President Eisenhower warned us during a radio address on his last day in office is well established and is going to be extremely difficult to undo. The undoing of the military/industrial/corporate coup will require courage and persistence of the highest order.

Forty fusion centers nationwide, and super fusion centers such as Colorado Springs, will continue to strip away basic civil rights by means of surveillance, and infiltration of peace, justice, and political organizations. These centers will not go away easily. The return of a free and non-spin press will not just happen. Improvement in education nationwide is essential if democracy is to return and survive. We must discontinue simply educating to enable every child to eventually get a bigger and better paying job so as to produce a bigger and better consumer, but rather we must provide truly meaningful education that turns out perpetually self-educating, critical thinkers who are impervious to spin and manipulation.

The need for change list goes on and one, and as long as President elect Obama hangs tough and maintains the heart, brains, and courage that are so necessary to oversee the change, hope we indeed survive. Then he can and will indeed lead us our of La La Land, and forward to the top of the mountain of all our dreams.

God bless and protect Barack Obama and his oh so wonderful and brave and bright family. And, please God, bless and protect not just America, but the entire world and all our sisters and brothers in it. Peace and love be with you and with us all.

Rita Walpole Ague

ACLU: Police provoked first DNC arrests

den-mon-ua-masks
The ACLU has uncovered a police report which reveals that the first gassing of protesters at the DNC was in response to actions by an undercover provocateur. The police explain their ruse was to extract the infiltrator from the crowd without blowing his cover, but those who were there saw the maneuver’s real purpose. The Denver Post wrote DNC police staged confrontation that prompted pepper spray

After two trouble free marches that day, this incident began when a group organized by Unconventional Denver stepped off the curb at Civic Center Park. Police who had been encircling the group on the grass, formed a phalanx to block their passage and immediately donned gas masks.

The demonstrators were confronted from the North and West, to keep them from leaving the park area. At any time members of the crowd could opt to step back unto the grass. This fact challenges how the Denver Police are attempting to explain their actions with the protest infiltrator.

Because the report brought to light by the ACLU revealed that the first target of the pepper spray was an undercover officer, DPD offered this story. They were trying to extract their officer without arousing suspicion. When another officer misinterpreted the scuffle, he unleashed the pepper spray. Protestations and more spraying ensued. That’s the official story.

Witnesses can attest that there were plenty of other undercover agents in the crowd, the rest of whom were able to melt away. Why the special treatment for this one?

Well, there’s another hypothesis for the police actions. It’s textbook crowd management. I’d say “riot control,” but it means inciting a riot in order to control it. Police use infiltrators to start fights in order to justify their use of violence to intervene. Often this can be as simple as an infiltrator to play stool pigeon while the police jump in to make the arrest. The crowd moves to protect what it thinks is a member unfairly targeted by the officers, and this reaction gives the police justification to crack down.

It that what happened at the DNC on Monday? Not even. While the undercover officer struggled against being “arrested,” before there might have been a reaction from the crowd, another officer “mistook” the event for a protester resisting arrest. His assault with pepper spray led to the crowd reaction which prompted indiscriminate spraying.

I can attest to two details which reinforce the likelihood of this latter scenario. Number one, all protest participants were always free to retreat from the street. It’s the path I chose in fact. My photographs illustrate my vantage point from curbside. Two, DNC activists were always savvy to the police infiltrators. We gave them as wide a berth as possible at all times. It’s likely the crowd never fell for the one who provoked the escalation of violence at Civic Center Park. In fact by the DPD’s own admission, the step up was a “mistake” on the part of one of their men.

Here’s raw surveillance footage which shows the chronology of the spraying.

RNC marchers charged with felony riot

RNC arrests Monday
SAINT PAUL- These people have been herded from the streets to a park by the river. As riot troops close in, people were told to place their hands on their heads and that they are being arrested. Watch as some are tear gassed as others, credentialed journalist embeds, are issued gas masks. Elsewhere, Amy Goodman is arrested and later released. Two of her producers are being detained on FELONY RIOT charges.

This follows the arrest of an ABC reporter in Denver. Not a legal precedent hopefully if the ACLU can help it:

DENVER – Following news reports and a video showing Denver law enforcement agents ordering a reporter off a public sidewalk and pushing him into the street and later arresting him, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado called for renewed protection of the First Amendment guarantees of free speech and a free press.

The following can be attributed to Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union:

“The physical removal of ABC reporter Asa Eslocker from public property and his subsequent arrest are a blatant assault on the First Amendment. Arresting a reporter for simply doing his job is both unconstitutional and un-American. That free speech is curtailed during the Democratic Convention underscores the need for continued protection of civil liberties, regardless of the party in power.”

The following can be attributed to Mark Silverstein, Legal Director of the ACLU of Colorado:

“The arrest of Asa Eslocker is the latest of several troubling incidents in which law enforcement has mistreated dissenters or others exercising their right to free speech dissent during the Democratic National Convention. On Monday hundreds of people were rounded up by police, detained without access to attorneys and denied the most basic due process protections. Arrestees were flexi-cuffed together so that they couldn’t even use the bathroom alone, and in at least one case a woman was forced to walk barefoot and in leg shackles into a courtroom. The First Amendment is supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy, but some law enforcement agents in Denver have shown a complete disregard for the right to free speech.”

NMT coverage of DNC 2008 protests

R68 STORM iN THE QUEEN CITYAt right is R68’s CMYK guide to DNC protests, STORM IN THE CITY, colored mischievously enough to read STORM’N.
 
Below is a guide to the NotMyTribe posts on the Denver DNC. We covered preparations, betrayals, security, the Saturday training, Sunday rallies, Monday actions, Tuesday marches, Wednesday escalation, Thursday Invesco, and Friday exit.
 
We’ve linked the posts so they can be perused in chronological order, as well as by specific focus.

PREPARATIONS:
Public debate
R68 planning
ACLU court case
Arguments
Judgment
Blogger role

TROUBLE MAKING
Unconventional Action
Publicity
Looting
Planning meetings

DOUBLE-CROSS
UFPJ
ARD
Tent State
Green Party
McKinney rebuttal
People Call For Change
Nonviolence
Dividing movement
Disrupting R68

SECURITY ANTICIPATION
Tent State no go
Detention plans
Recent DPD undercover brutality
Police Liaisons

DNC -2, SATURDAY: TRAINING
Training
Family day trip
fodor guide
videotaping
Instructions
Call out

DNC -1, SUNDAY
Rally
Fox disruption
Antiwar march
UA downtown action
Plain-clothed surveillance
UA park disruption
Plain-clothed surveillance
Provocateurs
Recap
Photos

MONDAY: DNC DAY 1
Freedom cage
March to courthouse
Levitating Denver mint
UA tries to leave park
Arbitrary arrest
Containment downtown
Standoff
Provocateurs
Recap
Photos

TUESDAY: DNC DAY 2
Early arrests
Anarchists
Puppet parade
Evening unrest

WEDNESDAY: DNC DAY 3
Lost park
Hassling street kids
IVAW march
Self-policing the protest
Pepsi Center
Marie
Photos

THURSDAY: DNC DAY 4
Immigrant rights march
March to Invesco Field

FRIDAY
Aftermath
RNC plans

DPD DNC provocateurs shy from camera

DENVER- Monday PM, DNC Day 1. Undercover Agent Provocateurs.
Undercover copsCirculating among protesters with video cameras is one thing, walking around like you want to start trouble is another. Can you spot the faux troublemaker? This image doesn’t show his professional ass-kicker boots. The two Unconventional Action participants facing him saw I wore an ACLU t-shirt and urged me to document this provocateur‘s actions.

Actually, in the image above there are two undercover cops in the foreground, moving past the two onlookers facing us. Everyone’s dressed the same, with some unsubtle differences. The cops are dressed EXACTLY the same, like best friend tweens at the mall. These two wore black backwards baseball caps, black hoodies, black bandanas, with spare bandanas worn at the knees as flair, substantial black backpacks, dark glasses, jeans, and heavy black boots. And of course, they have way above average muscles compared to the rest of the people drawn to a political protest.

Getting suited up
So I kept taking pictures of this cop and his partner. Their stereotypical getup caught my eye, but the fact that I interrupted them suiting up to cover every further inch of their faces is what made me nervous. I wanted to keep using my flash hoping they’d feel detected and would go away. But I didn’t want to push it so far that they’d instigate a pushing match with me to have me arrested.

Watching
As tension grew at this standoff with the police, the line of riot police kept closing in. At the same time, these two started obscuring their faces and stepping in closer behind the first line of protesters. The job of agent provocateurs in these situations has been documented at the WTO and the FTAA etc. They push people into the line of policemen, initiating an “attack.” (And LO it happened this night.)

Ready for anonymous action
I kept taking picture after picture to deter them. Even if it they didn’t shove me, the riot police would begin clubbing everyone on their cue.

Leaving camera flash
Finally they wandered off, either chased by the camera, or called off by their commander. If the DPD indeed wanted no riot, what were these undercover cops doing? I suppose their chief role might be to be recognized as police muscle, frightening everyone more.

You can tell by the fascist riot uniforms that the DPD has no qualms being feared. Police can terrorize even more effectively when people come to understand you follow sinister scruples.

UPDATE: Here’s what began that afternoon.

Green Party-pooper insubordination more embarrassing than imaginable

And I thought I hade a vivid imagination. Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney has issued a press release detailing her explicit intention to participate in the Sunday DNC rally. The letter is very diplomatic but it spells out the ultimatum she was given by the Colorado Greens to desist. Cynthia McKinney for President Compelling reading. On a related note. Cindy Sheehan will also be joining the lineup. This represents a significant divergence from her close allies Medea Benjamin and UFPJ’s Leslie Cagan. It shouldn’t be that way.

If you’re not inclined to read McKinney’s letter, and I’ll add it’s as direct as her speeches, I can summarize the threats made and actions taken. Spoiler alert. For agreeing to speak at a rally organized by R-68: Resignation threatened. Fundraiser, place to stay, withdrawn. All scheduled engagements canceled. Assistance to get on Wyoming ballot, withdrawn. Every effort to remove her from Colorado ballot, threatened. McKinney was also informed she had been last choice candidate of Colorado delegation. So there.

Are we witnessing someone’s hissy-fit nervous self-immolation? Could be, but it packs the wallop of a suicide bomber. Local party gutted; bystanders, fellow Greens, burned; vital preparations annulled just months from the election. Third parties probably attract people who have difficulty with authority. In this case with irreparable consequence.

Cynthia McKinney & Rosa Clemente Announce Their Participation in Anti-war, Anti-human rights Abuse Events Before the DNC
August 14, 2008

As the United States activated Navy ships and the Air Force to begin an airlift of non-specified goods into the former Soviet state of Georgia, and military exercises began in the Persian Gulf near Iran, I received communications from certain individuals among the Colorado Greens who were organizing campaign support events there, suggesting that I not participate in an anti-war program being organized by other individuals in Colorado.

Perplexed, I began to do my research to understand the nature of the fissure that I seemed to be placing myself in the middle of. The communications to me about not participating in one of the scheduled events became more and more shrill. The events ran through August 26th. When the lineup of speakers, including Rosa and me, was announced for the events in question, I received multiple communications stating in various ways that the sender from the Green Party of Colorado, was on the verge of desperation over the matter. Within a few hours, I was reading messages stating that the Green Party of Colorado would be ruined if I participated in the End the Occupations/End the War march and rally slated to take place on the morning of August 24th on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol, or if Rosa participated in a Freedom March and Rally for Human Rights and Political Prisoners at Civic Center Park the following day.

An article appeared in a local Colorado newspaper stating that Rosa and I would not appear at the events for which we had been scheduled. Rosa responded to our Colorado Green Party contact that yes, indeed, we were appearing at the two events. Both Rosa and I then received messages demanding to know by a time certain what our plans were, and asserting that the Green Party of Colorado would be totally ruined if we associated with the group sponsoring the events. In addition, we were told that at least one resignation and sustaining membership would be tendered to the Party, and that Rosa and I could expect no support on the ground in Denver from the Green Party of Colorado, including a planned fundraiser and a place to stay.

Without receiving any additional response or information from either Rosa or I, the correspondent sent a message informing us that all Green Party of Colorado events previously scheduled for us had been canceled. Further, the message stated that ballot access petitioning by Green Party of Colorado would cease in neighboring Wyoming and that all efforts would be made to remove Rosa’s and my names from the ballot in Colorado. The message also noted that the Colorado delegation overwhelmingly supported Elaine Brown at the Green Party Convention.

With the e-mail messages flying “fast and furious,” I hope I have mentioned the highlights of this episode in somewhat chronological order. What Rosa and I would like to address now, is the ideological and rational order that produced this outcome. At the very first Green Party debate held in San Francisco earlier this year, I pleaded for unity of action and purpose as we face the challenges that confront us as a country. Rosa and I are proud to join with others who are sick and tired of war, occupation, human rights abuses, and the continued incarceration of our political prisoners. We are proud to join with others who are willing to do something about it. In the context of activities in Denver, that means cooperating with some organizations new to us and others with which Rosa and I have had a long-standing relationship. Let me explain some of those relationships.

I am proud to have received a Backbone Award from the Backbone Campaign, one of the co-participants of the anti-war, anti-occupation events in question, according to the organizers.

Rosa and I are pleased to have received the endorsement of M-1 of Dead Prez, who put out a video of endorsement and is rallying other conscious Hip Hop, Generation X voters to the Green Party with Rosa and I as its nominees. Rebel Diaz was on the stage with Rosa as she accepted her Green Party nomination for Vice President. Both Dead Prez and Rebel Diaz are participating in the events in question, according to the organizers.

Fred Hampton, Jr.’s mother, a victim of COINTELPRO, came to Georgia in the mid-1990s to help me gain reelection after a malicious redistricting case that went all the way up to the Supreme Court. Ward Churchill has traveled to my Congressional district to educate my former constituents on the COINTELPRO of yesterday and the COINTELPRO of today. Natsu Saito introduced me to other victims of COINTELPRO. I asked Kathleen Cleaver to co-author a report that was submitted to Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights at the time of the World Conference Against Racism, on the unsolved murders of Black Panther Party members who were victims of COINTELPRO. Fred Hampton, Jr., Ward Churchill, Natsu Saito, and Kathleen Cleaver are all participating in the events in question, according to the organizers.

As a Member of Congress, I supported the release of all political prisoners and welcomed information from the American Indian Movement about Leonard Peltier. I have at many times in my political career been allied with the ACLU, and have always supported Pam and Ramona Africa and the MOVE Organization. The American Indian Movement of Colorado, King Downing of the ACLU, and Pam and Ramona Africa of MOVE are all participating in the events in question, according to the organizers.

Mumia Abu Jamal has endorsed the Power to the People Campaign and my Green Party candidacy. According to the organizers, Mumia will transmit a message to all of us participating in the events in question.

Finally, I have appeared on various stages with many Palestinians; I have proudly spoken at rallies organized by Larry Holmes. Debra Sweet with World Can’t Wait was among the very first to my knowledge to organize around impeachment as an imperative and I support hers and all other impeachment groups in their efforts. And finally, I have known Ben Manski for a long time as a socially conscious activist who is also a member of the Green Party. According to the organizers, a Palestinian refugee is slated to speak at the events in question, as well as Larry Holmes, Debra Sweet, and Ben Manski.

Rosa and I have not been given any rational, ideological, or strategically-acceptable reason by the Green Party of Colorado to dissociate ourselves from the movement that this country so desperately needs and that these individuals and organizations participating represent, as we all attempt to hold the Democratic Party accountable for its complicity in all of the crimes of the Bush Administration. Therefore Rosa and I will keep our appointments in Denver and we hope that the members of the Green Party of Colorado will attend our sessions and listen to what we have to say. I have faith that by taking principled stands against war and occupation, human rights abuse, the prison-industrial complex, and in support of freedom for political prisoners, the Green party will emerge stronger.

Cynthia McKinney
Green Party Nominee for President of the United States

Rosa Clemente
Green Party Nominee for Vice President of the United States

R68 announces speakers to counter DNC

DENVER- The Recreate 68 Alliance has announced its lineup of speakers for the DNC rallies. Among them: Pamela Africa (MOVE), Kathleen Cleaver, Rosa Clemente, Ward Churchill, Jenny Esquiveo (spokesperson for Eric McDavid), Fred Hampton Jr., a recording from Mumia Abu Jamal, Cha Cha Jimenez, Ron Kovic, Cynthia McKinney, Ricardo Romero, Natsu Saito, and a spokesperson for the Cuban Five.

Sunday, August 24:
End the Occupations/End the War March & Rally 9am – 2pm
West Steps of the State Capitol Building to the Pepsi Center
This will be Denver’s largest anti-war, anti-illegal occupations march and rally.

Speakers (Alphabetical):
Ida Audeh – Palestinian Refugee
Kathleen Cleaver – Black Panthers
Ward Churchill – Long-time Author, Activist, and Scholar
Mark Cohen – Re-create 68 Alliance
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. – Prisoners of Conscience Committee
Larry Hales – World Worker’s Party and Re-create 68 Alliance
Larry Holmes – Troops Out Now Coalition
Ron Kovic – anti-war activist, veteran and author of Born On The Fourth of July
Cynthia Mckinney – Green Party United States Presidential Candidate
Glenn Spagnuolo – Re-create 68 Alliance

Bands:
David Rovic – State Capitol Steps, kicking of the rally
M1 and Stic Man from Dead Prez – State Capitol Steps, prior to the march
Blue Scholars – Concert at State Capitol, after the march
Jim Page – State Capitol Steps, during the rally

Monday, August 25:
Freedom March and Rally for Human Rights and Political Prisoners,
10am – 2pm Civic Center Park to the Federal Court House

Speakers (Alphabetical):
Pamela Africa – MOVE Organization
American Indian Movement Spokes Person- Leonard Peltier Defense
Rosa Clemente – United States Vice Presidential Candidate for the Green Party
Kathleen Cleaver – The Panther Nine from San Francisco
King Downing – National Coordinator of the ACLU’s Campaign Against Racial Profiling
Jenny Esquiveo- Spokesperson for Eric McDavid (Political Prisoner)
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. – Prisoners of Conscience Committee
Mumia Abu Jamal – Current Political Prisoner (Recorded from Death Row)
Cha Cha Jimenez- Founder of the Young Lords (Puerto Rican Resistance Prisoners)
Ricardo Romero – National Coordinator for the Mexican Liberation Organization
Natsu Saito – Author, Activist, and Human Rights Scholar (Guantanamo Inmates)
Spokesperson for the Cuban Five

Bands:
** Special Guest Band To Be Announced **

Monday, August 25:
Festival of Democracy, entertainment start time – 3pm
Civic Center Park (free concerts)

Bands:
Savage Family – From Illegally Occupied U.S.
Dinigunim – San Diego
DJ Cavem – Five Points, CO
Moetavation – Five Points, CO
DJ Asar Heru – Brooklyn
Karma – Barbados
Whiskey Blanket – Boulder
Midstate Music – Chicago
Dario Rosa – Boulder

Special Guest Speakers and Poets Between Acts

Tuesday, August 26:
Festival of Democracy, entertainment start time – 3pm
Civic Center Park (free concerts)

Bands:
Debajo Del Agua – Denver
DKO-Electric Horns – Denver
Melanie Susuras Band – Denver
Rebel Diaz – Bronx
The Night Kitchen – Boulder
From The Depths – North Carolina
Black Sheep Brigade – Boulder

Special Guest Speakers and Poets Between Acts

Poets for Monday and Tuesday:
Isis, Ladyspeech, Bianca, Lucifury, Allende, Bobby LeFebre (members from Nationally Ranked Slam Nuba Team 2008)

Additional Speakers Throughout the Week:
Deb Sweet – World Can’t Wait
Mason Tyert – SAFER
Timothy Tipton – Rocky Mountain Caregiver’s Cooperative
Ben Manski – Bring the Guard Home
CHOIR – ‘Acapella Choir with a conscience’ from Oakland/San Francisco
Ramona Africa – MOVE Organization

Tuesday, August 26:
Liberation Soirée at Dazzle, 930 Lincoln St. – 8pm Start Time
A benefit concert and party for the Festival of Democracy. A “No More Politics as Usual” Party.

Bands:
Rhythm Vision – Denver
Rebel Diaz – Bronx
DeeJay SD & K DJ Above

Tuesday, August 26:
Phoenician Kabob Restaurant on Colfax and Ivy, 7pm:

Larry Everest – Author of “Oil, Power and Empire”, speaking on “What’s Behind the US Threats on Iran, and How Can We Stop Them”

This is a list of bands and speakers. Protest activities will be going on every day, all week. For more information and scheduled activities go to www.recreate68.org.

Bush leaves US a half-trillion more debt

Bushco not only exhausted the treasury, but a half-trillion dollars more Americans don’t have. Is that someone you’re comfortable having a beer with? Someone who commits more spending to himself and friends, and leaves the debt to the next addressee? Credit card companies call that fraud. So long suckers! It’s graft plain and simple. Especially since the money wasn’t burnt up in a war, or blown to the winds by Katrina. No, this money was funneled, by the supertanker load, to Bush and Cheney cronies in oil, weapons and banking.
 
Think there’s not more damage Bush can do? Think the Kucinich impeachment call is after spilled milk? The ACLU can think of five barn doors we need to block immediately while Bush’s burglary is still in progress! Mukasey’s declaration of universal war for one!