Tag Archives: ARD

ARD, Tent State surrogate for DNC cops

IVAW ARD march
DENVER- Accounts of the Wednesday march from the Colosseum to the DNC are only getting half the story. Can I recount my small part? We were at the Pepsi Center entrance, laying the groundwork for the arrival of the IVAW parade and became concerned when workers positioned large dump trucks to block the way, to corral the marchers into the fenced gauntlet traversing the Auraria campus.

When I caught up with the already diverted march, I found out the coordinators had been on the lookout for me. Legal observers informed me that marchers were being forewarned of a man with a green banner who would be trying to instigate trouble. The message was being spread as if coordinators had intercepted this information from police scanners. In reality this was deliberate disinformation being given them by their police liaisons. The common goal being to keep out of trouble.

Well it wasn’t disinformation, because I most definitely wanted to disrupt this surprising and disastrous turn. I sought to prevent the march from being led like sheep into a dead end. But the ARD collective had clearly promised an uneventful march, and they were bent on delivering it. At every turn, at every temptation, they policed the march so the police didn’t have to. Stay on the sidewalk, stay off the grass, go this way unless you want to be arrested, etc. Like overly cautious boy scouts.

Navigating the Auraria enclosures, the coordinator monkeys would circulate alongside their restless marchers admonishing them “Hey guys, let’s keep the focus: on the vets and off the fence.”
Bullhorn
So let me be less harsh in my criticism of the IVAW. A number of them are bright, well-motivated guys, but they are governed by committee decisions made by the predominant lessers, some about as daft as soldiers can get. On the Wednesday march too often the bullhorn was in the wrong hands. I have no sense yet of what their dressed-to-the-nines Marine official spokesman was thinking. But the other corrosive element in the event was mentioned in a comment to my previous post on this subject. Tent State/ARD.

Tent State idealists helped coordinate the Rage concert and the march. The parade monkeys who kept everyone in line were Tent State/ARD workers bent on civil disobedience minus any trace of disaffected incivility. Who do they think they are, telling angry constituents that they must accept their lot in the police state?

If Tent State has any role in the planned RNC protests, we must forewarn the activists in Minneapolis. They’re collaborator scum, every bit as fraudulent as the Democratic Party of good cop to the GOP bad cop. If we can salvage anything from our Debacle in Denver, it’s to ferret out these Quislings. Tent State, ARD, UFPJ, Code Pink and the Greens. Derelict saboteurs.

I love the spirit and wit of Code Pink, they show determination and stamina, but ultimately no savvy. Their I MISS AMERICA gag is dead on, but it’s a lament, isn’t it? She’s gone, their America. Where the occasion calls for drums, Code Pink would march us into battle to the beat of Kum ba yah.

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

When preaching ‘nonviolence’ promotes violence

The division in Denver amongst groups supposedly building protests at the Democratic Party National Convention offers us a prime example of how excessive preaching of ‘nonviolence’ in a religious manner can actually encourage police violence against the protesters who are the most critical of the dominant political establishment.

Groups allied with the United For Peace and Justice coalition split off from Recreate ’68 claiming that the leaders were not sufficiently committed to being nonviolent. By doing so, they gave the police rhetorical backup for anything they might do at the DNC to protesters that come to protest the politics as usual agenda of the Democratic Party. This split was a divisive blow against having a united Left political organization focusing on advocating Progressive ideas at the big event, which the DNC represents in the US, and those who arrive to protest will find themselves in the streets with a split organizing leadership, all due to the rather sectarian religious rhetoric of the ‘nonviolence’ preachers.

The truth is, the Democratic Party tied leaders of the United for Peace and Justice don’t really want that much of a real protest at the DNC because most of these UFPJ leaders’ are tied to the philosophy of voting for the so-called lesser of two evils. They plan to encourage people to vote for the Democratic Party candidate. The non-violence issue has allowed them an excuse to make the protest against the Democratic Party smaller, divided, and inconsequential. Further it allows them to label their political opponents in the Peace Movement, those not tied to the Democratic Party like they are, as being unreasonable agitators who want confrontation, which is actually how the corporate press of this country wants to portray all protesters.

The reality is that there are no members of the Recreate ’68 coalition that are violence prone, and everybody wants the protests at the DNC to be nonviolent. However, the ‘I am more nonviolent than you’ preaching from the Alliance for Real Democracy crowd has obscured that, something that can only help create greater police violence and not less.

Wedging the mass into mass movement

A friend refuses to have anything to do with activists who will not commit to nonviolence. It’s not enough to denounce violence, they must swear it like an oath. The ARD has applied this literally. “I’ve seen it too many times” she says, violence erupts when there’s an insufficient commitment to nonviolence. Translation: too many are untrained to hold the line against violence. Meaning: people who taunt police officers, have knee-jerk self-defense responses, hurt the cause. But the same person complains that too few initiates are joining her [church].

Who can blame scholars for not wanting to discourse with the unschooled? I wouldn’t want to participate in a bridge tournament with an inexperienced partner. On the other hand, maybe I would, as I don’t play. Which I think is my point.

But I will question whether I have a handle on the bigger picture, or has she?

There is no growing your numbers in activism without inviting the participation of others less learned, less pure, and frankly less like you. Certainly in popular actions, you’d have to accept that not everyone will have the diligence or interest to adopt a spiritual ethos before expecting redress for a social ill. Union organizers don’t expect workers to sort out the ideologies themselves. It’s enough to impart on them the means and tools. It’s enough to have common goals.

In my opinion, you won’t widen your base of support if you make nonviolence training the prerequisite. A spontaneous movement of mass appeal will be bound by laws of human nature, including assertiveness –mistaken for aggression– and self-righteous indignation –anger. If you’re going to wait for our ever-degrading education system to supply minds fertile for a counter-culture re-adjustment… well, I won’t.

Or.

There will be no effective popular movement to initiate reform, until the masses are schooled to transcend violence.

Maybe either way, anger or transcendence, in hoping for mass-driven progress toward peace and justice, we’re not there yet.

The People-Call-For-Change PC4C wants to keep at-risk activists off the streets

THE PEOPLE CALL FOR CHANGE (PC4C.ORG) is asking to be added to the ARD collective and wants their activities endorsed and publicized. What are they doing for the DNC? The PC4C has scheduled forums during the convention, it would appear to keep folk off the street. Compelling subjects, but to what end? To energize people about what needs to be done, while the opportunity to do it is knocking/passing outside? Is values-based PC4C a social justice group? Is “change” a social issue? Why does it remind me of Obama rhetoric?

In Search of Values for a New Society
Saturday, August 23rd at 6:30pm to about 8:15pm
Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, 11th and Fillmore, Denver
Panelists: Dr. Vincent Harding, Gabriela Flora and Reverend Paul Kottke

These panelists will discuss the spiritual values, from both secular and religious traditions, that form the bases for the positions taken by progressives. They will show how these values are applied to domestic and foreign policy issues, laying out, in effect, a positive vision for our society.

Beyond Iraq: Creating a Just Foreign Policy
Monday, August 25th at 7pm to about 8:30pm
Capitol Heights Presbyterian Church, 11th and Fillmore, Denver
Panelists: Leslie Cagan, Hari Nam Khalsa and Dr. Ronald Forthofer

The panel will focus on foreign policy issues with an emphasis on Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan and trade issues. They will discuss the current situation, what can be done, and what a values-based foreign policy would look like. Following the panel presentation and q and a, there will be an opportunity for audience members to voice their ideas in a visioning session using Let Us Rise materials.

From Corporate Control to People Power
Wednesday, August 27th at 7pm to about 8:30pm
Park Hill UCC at 2600 Leyden St, Denver
Panelists: David Cobb, Dr. Richard Williams and Dr. James Hoffmeister

This panel will examine how corporate power and big money influence our government to the detriment of the people. A vision of an values-based alternative approach will be considered. In addition, some concrete steps that can be taken to rein in corporate influence on government will be presented. Following the panel presentation and Q and A, there will be an opportunity for audience members to voice their ideas in a visioning session using Let Us Rise materials.

Denver D’Alliance for Democracy

Alliance for Real Democracy
Here is current the schedule of ARN events:

———————————-
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23

All Day City Park
Set up at City Park

Afternoon (TBD) City Park
Resurrection City Free University
Non-Violence Training

5:00 – 10:00 PM Gates Crescent Park
Welcoming BBQ & Drinks for the Delegates

——————————-
SUNDAY, AUGUST 24

All Day Platte River & Cherry Creak Trails
AFSC Banners
AFSC is planning on displaying banners for about 100 yards in each direction from REI.

All Day City Park
Art Installations
A variety of art pieces representing progressive ideals.

(9:00 AM
Begin at the WEST STEPS OF THE CAPITOL.
End on Speer Blvd in front of the Pepsi Center.
End the Occupations March and Rally
March to end all illegal imperialist occupations in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Hawaii, North America, and others.)

1:00 PM Various Denver Locations
Funk the War: Dance for Peace
A creative action with an emphasis on music and visuals. Smaller feeder marches lead to a central location with a concert.

Immediately Following Funk the War/Dance Party for Peace City Park
Concert featuring: Son of Nun, Jello, Brian Harvey, David Rovics

7:00 PM Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Theater
Evening of Conscience: No Attack on Iran
Feature performances on opposing any moves towards a U.S. attack on Iran.

(Evening Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St.
Progressive Welcome to Denver)

——————————-
MONDAY, AUGUST 25

10:30 AM City Park
Town Hall Meeting
Brief ARD meeting to review the day.

12:00 – 6:00 PM City Park
Resurrection City Free University
A free university focusing on praxis and theory

5:00 PM City Park
Nomination of Partyless Youth Ticket
A chance for the youth to nominate a candidate that speaks to them.

Evening (TBD) TBD
Cynthia McKinney Speech
Speech by presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney.

6:30 PM City Park
CODEPINK Concert
A concert highlighting many powerful and talented women.

——————————–
TUESDAY, AUGUST 26

10:30 AM City Park
Town Hall Meeting
Brief ARD meeting to review the day.

11:00 AM Skyline Park
A Walk in their Shoes
Thousands of shoes will represent the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died.

12:00 – 6:00 PM City Park
Resurrection City Free University
A free university focusing on praxis and theory

3:00 PM City Park
Concert featuring Blue Scholars, David Rovics, and others.

Afternoon (TBD) City Park
Partyless Youth Platform
The youth will be given an opportunity to create their platform.

Afternoon/ Evening (TBD) Downtown
Operation First Casualty
Street theater that demonstrates the reality of war.

(6:30 PM City Park
Democratic Party “Watching Party”
Local Democrats will host a big-screen TV for non-seated Democrats to watch the Convention.)

————————————-
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 27

10:30 AM City Park
Town Hall Meeting
Brief ARD meeting to review the day.

12:00 – 6:00 PM City Park
Resurrection City Free University
A free university focusing on praxis and theory

12:00 Noon City Park
Concert featuring: Flobots, State Radio, The Coup, Wayne Kramer, Son of Nun, Jello, and others.

Afternoon (TBD) City Park
Partyless Youth Acceptance Speech
The Partyless Youth nominee will give an acceptance speech.

3:30 PM TBD
IVAW March to End the War
Iraq Veterans Against the War will march in opposition to the war in Iraq.

(Evening Buelle Theater
Cultural Events: Cornel West and the Flobots)

———————————–
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28

10:30 AM City Park
Town Hall Meeting
Brief ARD meeting to review the day.

TBD TBD
Immigrant Rights March and Rally
The march, with a national scope, will provide a venue for immigrants and their allies to demonstrate their decree for just and fair reform for our country’s broken immigration system.

12:00 – 6:00 PM City Park
Resurrection City Free University
A free university focusing on praxis and theory

(TBD INVESCO Field
Obama’s Acceptance Speech
Obama will give his acceptance speech to 75,000 people at INVESCO Field. ARD hopes to have a presence outside.)

—————————–
FRIDAY, AUGUST 29

All Day City Park
Tear Down and Clean Up
All of ARD will be needed to help clean and clear City Park

All Day TBD
Buses to St. Paul
ARD would like to help coordinate buses and carpooling to St. Paul for the Republican National Convention.

The DNC Alliance for Real Democracy is a counter-protest Fifth Column

Denver DNC 2008DENVER, COLO.- The Alliance for Real Democracy (ARD), formed to counter the scrappily-named Recreate 68 at the DNC, is in reality an unwitting fifth column, set up by Democratic Party allies to temper protest in Denver. The UFPJ and other sundry “non-violent” progressives are funneling their members into the less populist ARD actions to divert participation from the major DNC demonstrations. But the aforementioned underwriters aren’t providing any funding, surprise! Leaving the ARD to protest exactly what it’s supposed to: nothing.

Alliance for Real DemocracyI think it’s heartbreaking to watch earnest young activists, representing the organizations comprising the ARD coalition, trying to organize activities without any commitment from their national affiliations. And some of the more outspoken national leaders, keen to make appearances at the DNC rallies, are beginning to smell a rat. They’re making backup arrangements to coordinate with the boots on the ground, R-68.

A Fifth Column refers to a group of partisans, usually spontaneously organized, which forms behind enemy lines as a conquering army approaches. It is the additional “column” of civilian fighters which an attacker might count on to stab the defenders in the back. Franco boasted of his fifth column in the Spanish Civil War. The French Resistance represented a fifth column for the Normandy liberators.

America’s antiwar movement has had its steady divisions, between UFPJ and A.N.S.W.E.R. most notably, but the rift has become more critical with the advent of another hopeful Democratic election win. Four years ago it was Kerry, with groups like Moveon.org trying to tone down the antiwar rhetoric. This year it’s Obama, and the appeasers are out in battalions. As usual, it’s done in the name of “nonviolence,” where too vigorous protest is seen as insufficiently nonviolent for the Democrat’s fragile delusions.

When R-68 began the groundwork for DNC protests, they were vilified for evoking the Chicago 1968 police riots. R-68 repudiated the violence, but not surprisingly those statements have yet to be reported in print. Meanwhile the bad press gave UFPJ and other nonviolence apostles the opportunity to break away and form their holy alliance to give their members sanctuary from the ruffians, re unpredictable young people.

But will it really? The R-68 group includes Unconventional Denver and Disrupt 08, but neither have violent plans. Black Block script-kiddies will turn up no matter whose event. Police agent provocateurs will instigate violence no matter how pious your crowd.

Code Pink, IVAW, Veterans For Peace, and UFPJ are among the national endorsers of ARD. Tent State, SFPJ, and Students for a Democratic Society are examples of young activists getting caught in their elders’ tar baby.

Because it’s not enough to vote for Obama, you have to quash dissent for Obama. It’s the Alliance For Real Democracy For Obama.

Naturally Denver protest organizers, whether ARD or R68, have found themselves having to confer about time slots and permits, out of respect for the success of each other’s activities. As a result, the national head of UFPJ, Leslie Cagan, issued an email decreeing that no ARD organization member would participate in the major Aug 24 kickoff antiwar demonstration. This drew question marks from prominent activist leaders who want to be at the biggest rally.

Bi-monthly CONSULTA meetings were scheduled by ARD and R68 to coordinate efforts. But the morning before the second Consulta, Leslie Cagan flew in from NYC for an emergency meeting with ARD leadership to brief them on what not to negotiate. She followed this with a hastily scheduled press conference the next day on the subject of Iran, it appeared to preempt her rivals’ DON’T BOMB IRAN action planned for August 2nd.

Colorado Springs own PPJPC is an endorser of ARD. Their letter of support was read into the minutes of a recent meeting, and it read like the typical support they’re getting from everyone. I’ll paraphrase the PPJPC letter:

“We at the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission are honored to endorse your efforts at the DNC … due to critical funding shortages, we cannot offer you any monetary support at this time … Likewise, I’m sorry that I will not be able to participate in any events that week , but will try to interest our members in attending…” We’ll be with you in spirit, etc.

Why form a fifth column if you’re not going to support it? Because the ARD‘s job is to do nothing. Doing nothing is exactly how you stab activism in the back.