Tag Archives: Coloradans For Peace

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.

Coloradans4Peace condemn COS parade

–And why not? The rationales for the Iran and Afghanistan wars have been repudiated by the Obama administration. What place has this city to celebrate them? The wars have been declared illegal by international magistrates. How then can Americans presume to cheer their soldiers’ actions? Regardless the jingoism of the Colorado Springs community, to idealize militarism, while thousands of innocent civilians suffer under its boot every day, is unconscionable. A bigoted majority of Lamborn voters want to lynch a certain black man, should we give them a permit?

Activists have so far failed to construct a real American Antiwar Movement

Despite the grass roots sentiment against all the bloodshed that Bush and now Barack Obama are engaged in, activists in the US have ever failed to construct a real Antiwar Movement. Do you consider that to be a harsh judgment on my part? Then please consider the fact that the US is moving towards the end of what will a decade long occupation of Afghanistan, and yet there has not been one antiwar demonstration, on even a local yet alone a national level, that has focused on opposing this!

As Barack Obama escalates US war making further and into one more new country, Pakistan, the misleaders of the so-called US ‘Peace’ Movement remain totally silent and inactive about it.

Further, there never was any public antiwar reaction to the occupation and demolishing of Somalia, the Israeli destruction of Lebanon in 2006, and also the US moves against Russia with its Georgian adventure at big time war starting, that boom-a-ranged back into the faces of the Republican Klan, absolutely not because the ‘Peace’ movement ever did or said anything in opposition to that war in Southern Ossetia. And even with the issue of blatant US use of torture, the opposition to government terrorism remains scant and ephemeral.

The US public is utterly demoralized and unaware of its own power, thanks to ‘Peace’ misleadership itself, which seems to believe that only tiny groups of religiously motivated New Agers can come together and only for the most milquetoast reasons. Let me illustrate with the local PPJPC (Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission) and their PPJPC May calendar of inactivity. Look at it and weep! They simply plan to not mobilize themselves against THEIR President. Sad to say, the national groups they affiliate with are about on the same wave length, too.

Instead of being leaders, the misleaders who call themselves ‘Peace’ activists are leaders in public apathy and not challengers of it. Instead of smashing the War State, they seem to want to be junior partners to it. They are about as alternative as National Public Radio, KRCC, and The not so Independent are here in the local area. In short, they are not opponents to war making at all.

Without an end to the permanent War State of our American ruling class, there will be no economic or political stability to build a future for us in America. In fact, without an end to this constant construction for the War machine, the Earth is headed for a Dead End. We are currently just sleep walking toward oblivion and there simply is no way to sugar coat that basic fact. Wake up, American Antiwar Movement. You have to organize yourselves, because,People… nobody else is going to do it for you. Join and work with Coloradans for Peace here in Colorado Springs.

Which would you find more insulting?

COLORADO SPRINGS- I’m not sure which is the more insulting, being accused of murder, or being likened to a hayseed Howdy Doody with nothing between his ears.
Ear to ear mental floss

However cold-blooded the death merchants may be, calling them murderers to their faces is plain rude. The recent Space-weapons Symposium was an opportunity we couldn’t resist to do just that, but I will never assert that our message was for everyone.

If some peace advocates are uncomfortable with a condemning tone, there are plenty of alternative approaches. But the sanctimonious rancor with which protesters chose sides on Monday, in favor of what they considered a more charitable theme, invites a counterpoint.

First let me say that an advantage to having two distinct messages at the scene meant that at first glance, one protest could be confused for being a counter-protest of the other. Which meant we were able to draw the attention, if only for the seconds it took to realize their curiosity was mistaken, of even the many trying to avert their eyes.

This year, the Citizens for Peace In Space group elected to chide the Space Symposium attendees, those warmongers in space-sheep’s clothing, to “Stop Truth Decay,” using handouts and a puppet to illustrate a complementary pun: “Mental Floss.”

Get it? Well, you probably needed to read the flier. There was also a giant toothbrush, and before and after teeth.

The mental-floss demonstration involved a large paper-mache smiling country bumpkin agitating a string, pulling it literally “in one ear and out the other,” to and fro. For some reason I associate that with some sort of international gesture for a person you think is empty headed. As twirling your finger in the vicinity of your ear expresses disrespect for another’s sanity.

If I were a space technology scientist, even if only accidentally murderous, I think I’d prefer being called a homicidal bastard, sooner than a grinning doofus.

Which is to say, I subscribe to both themes, and the spirit demonstrated by the Truth Decay team was convivial, but judging messages based which opens, rather than shuts down communication, which peace contingent then was being the more condescending?

CPIS Stop truth decay vs CFP silly murderers

Actually, a surprising number of attendees took pictures of our MURDERERS banner, many of them posing with us, sooner that stand next to the puppet, much less take a flier.

Of course, I’m not sure what that indicates about the efficacy of either message.

National Space [Weapons] Symposium

Unveiling latest military technology
REMINDER! The military-industrial complex converges this week on the Broadmoor Conference Center, in the guise of “Space Symposium 2009.” The biggest mercenaries, profiteers, mass-murderers and top brass will gather over cocktails in the late afternoon, after weapons exhibitors have set up their displays. Local news is already hyping the event, this year’s emphasis is, we kid you not, EDUCATION! Citizens for Peace In Space (CPIS) is reprising their STOP TRUTH DECAY street theater at 5pm on Monday, Coloradans 4 Peace has reserved a more pointed message, to begin at 4pm, before the death-merchant revelers retreat inside.

We will also be bannering the arrival of school buses, Tuesday through Thursday, between 8am-10am. Springs schools have organized field trips to the Space Symposium exhibits, without revealing the context of the massive malevolent industry behind it. In the past, the school children crane their necks to see us, but teachers have been able to dismiss the odd protesters as Peace Luddites, giving the children no clue as to why we might be opposed to the event. This year our message will be more succinct.

In the past, organizers have expressed not knowing where to stand, nor when, to be seen by the school buses. But not this year. The days of containing the protest message to only inoffensive slogans, or coordinating with police as to where it’s permissible to stand, ARE OVER!

Coloradans For Peace join ANSWER in DC

answer coloradans for peaceUPDATE MARCH 21 MARCH ON PENTAGON: Students & Communities Mobilize to March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers

Students and community organizations from across the country are mobilizing to be in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, March 21 to make their voices heard in the March on the Pentagon and the Corporate War Profiteers.

The PentagonMarch.org website now lists 64 departure locations in 20 states, many of them leaving from college campuses, including: University of Iowa, Georgia State University, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Central Connecticut State University-New Britain, University of Connecticut-Storrs, Berkshire Community College, and more!

Visit the PentagonMarch Transportation Page to find the departure location nearest you, or to sign-up to list your campus’s or city’s travel plans!

Read more about the exciting plans for March 21st:

The March on the Pentagon on Saturday, March 21 is shaping up to be a dramatic and highly significant demonstration. Many thousands of people are coming to Washington, D.C. to make their voices heard.

March 21 will culminate in a dramatic direct action where hundreds of coffins—representing the multinational victims of militarism, Empire and corporate greed—will be carried and delivered to the headquarters of the Corporate War Profiteers and Merchants of Death.

From the Pentagon, we will march to the nearby giant corporate offices of Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Corporation, General Dynamics and KBR (the former subsidiary of Halliburton).

The march will start close to the State Department in Washington, D.C. (assemble at 12 noon at 23rd St. and Constitution Ave. NW).

Please make an urgently needed donation today by clicking this link to donate online through our secure server, where you can also find information on how to donate by check.

All out for March 21! Jobs Not War! Schools Not War! Occupation is a Crime!

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Palestine, Occupation is a Crime!

Occupation is a crime
A.N.S.W.E.R. has 7 Reasons to March on DC. We can borrow them!
– The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening.
– 350,000 U.S. troops and US-paid contractors still occupy Iraq.
– Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with backing of Washington.
– Obama’s Justice Department is continuing the policy of renditions.
– Air strikes on Pakistan are killing an increasingly number of civilians.
– The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually.
– More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed.

7 Reasons You Should March on the Pentagon on March 21, 2009

The war in Afghanistan is expanding and widening. President Obama announced last week that another 17,000 troops are on their way to Afghanistan. Only 18 percent of Afghanis support this escalation and only 34 percent of the people of the United States approve of the added troops despite the president’s popularity, according to the Washington Post/ABC poll announced on February 17, 2009. This is a colonial war. The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was not involved in the decision to add more occupying troops into his country. Rather, he was “informed of the deployments in a telephone call with Obama” on February 17, according to the Washington Post (February 18, 2009).

About 350,000 U.S. troops and U.S.-paid private contractors (mercenaries) still occupy Iraq. The Iraqi people want the occupation to end. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is insisting that only two of the 14 combat brigades in Iraq exit in 2009. The war and occupation of Iraq costs $430 million each day. If the U.S. government were to end the military occupation, any and all future Iraqi governments would return to a position of political independence from the economic and political dictates of the United States. Iraq’s anti-colonial legacy has created a political reality that prohibits the country from becoming like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia–an out-and-out dependency on U.S. imperialism. That is the real reason that the U.S. government fears a complete disengagement from Iraq and an end to its military occupation.

Israel’s Siege of Gaza remains in place, with the full backing of Washington. The U.S. government has continued to fund Israel’s war and blockade against the people of Gaza. The Pentagon provided the funding, and technical and logistical support for the establishment of the Israeli war machine, including its massive cluster and white phosphorous bomb arsenal, and the country’s large cache of nuclear bombs.

The new Justice Department has announced that it will continue the policy of renditions, meaning the CIA and Pentagon will capture and kidnap individuals anywhere in the world and transfer them to other countries. “The Obama administration appears to have determined that the rendition program was one component of the Bush administration’s war on terrorism that it could not afford to discard.” (LA Times, Feb. 1, 2009)

The new administration has stepped up the air strikes that are killing an increasingly large number of Pakistani civilians. Unmanned drone bombing attacks violate Pakistani sovereignty and are creating an ocean of resentment and anger inside of Pakistan. The U.S. government has no right to carry out these drone bombing strikes in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. The people of the United States would not accept the legitimacy of other governments ordering air attacks in the United States. We must openly and loudly reject such tactics by the government that speaks in our name and spends our tax dollars for such aggression.

The real Pentagon war budget is over $1.3 trillion annually. This is greater than the combined total of most of the other countries in the world, including all the NATO countries, and Russia and China. Some label this “waste spending” because it spends precious resources to build exotic and high cost weapons, a new generation of nuclear weapons, and space-based war fighting capabilities, while filling the coffers of the big investors (i.e., the biggest banks) in the war corporations. Pentagon contracting is often based on guaranteed “cost-plus” contracts that reward price gouging since corporate profit is based on a fixed percentage above their expenses. Another label for this process is “extreme corruption” and theft from the public treasury.

More than 20 million people are now unemployed and under-employed. Nine million families are either in foreclosure or are at risk of foreclosure this year, according to the statistics just released by the government. Forty-seven million people are without health care. College tuition hikes are soaring and millions of students are at risk of being forced out of school. The people want change. They don’t want a simple tweaking of Bush’s criminal foreign policies. They want to put people’s needs before corporate greed. They want an end to wars of aggression that are wreaking havoc, death and destruction abroad, and diverting urgently needed resources in the service of semi-colonialism and Empire.

STOP ISRAEL Sunday, January 18, 1PM

IDF killings continue. Soldiers are being given “free-fire-zone” license!
Meet this weekend, SUN, Jan 18 at 1PM, Acacia Park, at the torii gate, a traditional site for antiwar protest.
The Shinto arch at Nevada Ave and Bijou Street commemorates our sister city of Fuji-yoshida, Japan. The plaque reads: “the purpose of the sister city relationship is to promote understanding between the people of our two countries and cities”

JUST SAY NO to the WS Bailout Bandits

Plaza of the Rockies brokersMEET -AFTER WORK- TUESDAY at the corner of SMITH BARNEY and MORGAN STANLEY, where DAIN RAUSCHER meets BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON at the Plaza of the Rockies Building. That’s where Colorado Springs needs to voice its objections to a bailout for the Wall Street extortionists. Don’t hand over America’s wealth to the money traders! Scribble your sentiments on the back of whatever poster-board is lying around your office and meet at TEJON & COLORADO from 4:30-5:30PM. Bring determination to tell them NO! (You can RSVP with TrueMajority.)

Some poster suggestions from ML:

Eat the Rich
Eat the Oligarchs
Eat the Plutocracy
No Corporate Welfare
Socialism for the Rich
Bailout is a Sellout
Fight them on Wall Street so we don’t have to fight them on Main Street
Scrape the GOP off the Treasury
No welfare surge for the rich
Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?
Let the Banks Burn
Jail (arrest) Paulson
Give bankers bail-not Bailout
Rescue Main Street not Wall Street
Private Debt=Private Liability
$1 Trillion Bailout = 20% Inflation
No cash for crooks!
Don’t blame me- I voted for Kucinich
Leverage This
Bailout: The Audacity of DOPES
No Cash for Trash
You Broke it- You Bought It

Trespassing into the booster zone

Peter and I are now described as having been confused about where to express Free Speech at the May 17 state convention. We are being arraigned today at 1:30 at Municipal Court because the Democratic Party is sticking to the trespassing charges. Peter’s and my confusion had to do with how anyone, the World Arena, the Dems, or the police, could decide SUBJECTIVELY what speech belonged to what zone. Peter and I were waved into a Free Speech Area, then told to leave the better part of it because we weren’t “boosters.” Not in this America they can’t.

Riot police were standing by on Saturday

State Democratic Convention riot police contingent redeployed to concert brawlCOLORADO SPRINGS- Channel 5/30 News reporters were called away from the World Arena last Saturday to cover a stabbing at a public music event at the flea market. A fight broke out in a crowd of 2000 people and the first responders found themselves undermanned. Fortuitously, riot police had been standing by at the Democratic State Convention. At 1:30pm, this contingent (or fraction) was redeployed to provide backup. The KOAA TV camera captured the hardware the CSPD had anticipated needing to provide convention security on this otherwise harmonious and peaceful, uncloudy and idyllic Colorado Springs Saturday at the World Arena.

The riot police arrived via a sleepy Mountain Metro Transit bus.
Deployed by city bus

Anticipating a violent confrontation.
Upper body armor

Full and half plexi-glass shields.
Two types of shields

Do CSPD officers wear caps anymore?
Kevlar helmets

Looking for provocation.
Waiting with knuckles dragging

Showing their number.
Police line

“Coincidentally, a ‘crowd control’ team of police officers equipped with riot gear was already on standby across town at the State Democratic Convention.”

FRI-SAT Demo State Convention Demo

FRIDAY UPDATE: As usual our Stop Funding the War message was welcomed unanimously. Democratic delegates smiled, cheered and thanked us for “keeping at it.” Their enthusiasm was no doubt bolstered by the overwhelming honks we elicited from the rush hour traffic.

Michael Moore’s people picked up on Mark’s YouTube grab of the KRDO spot, for dry runs leading to the DNC. Join the demonstration FRIDAY 3-6pm at the DoubleTree Hotel and SATURDAY 7-10am in front of the World Arena. Details at PROTESTCOLORADO.ORG

Freedom of Speech in America IMO

Free Speech -use it or loose it.Reprinted from vol 30, no 2
Active For Justice:

As one on the receiving end of a rather abrupt truncation of free expression in last year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, and having participated this year with a toned-down message calculated to least offend, I don’t offer healthy prospects for Freedom of Speech as this nation progresses forward.

Even as the populace gets excited about a potential Obama victory, the candidate himself has been aligning with the disasterous policies of the current administration. Indeed Barack Obama has voted with Bush thus far. I predict therefore that voices for social justice will still feel the call to protest, and likewise the government’s need to silence dissent will continue.

More and more headlines tell of Americans deprived of their voice. Most recently a man was denied entry to a shopping mall on account of his t-shirt, despite courts deciding people have that right. Such indignant citizens are regularly arrested and detained, to be released without filing charges. The pattern has become to keep activists from public view until after whatever they are protesting has passed. Municipalities weigh the risk of incurring civil suits against the imperative to obfuscate criticism.

The PPJPC will have an interesting opportunity to test its members’ First Amendment protection with the 2008 Democratic State Convention coming to Colorado Springs. This will be no mere protest of a visiting dignitary, nor a picketing of a military facility. The convention will bring thousands of delegates together to the World Arena on May 16 and 17, where they will formalize the platform for their state party. The delegates will be skirting a panoply of issues, all of them relevant to the populace outside, many dear to us. Social justice groups from all over will be well served to take this opportunity to communicate with these delegates on the sidewalks and in front of TV cameras.

Citizens expect the Democratic Party to be more responsive to their constituents than Republicans, but the Democrats certainly haven’t
shown it. The state convention will be exactly the place to address such representative responsibility loud and clear.

The Colorado Springs city manager and CSPD have already begun expressing what they’d like to see, or not see, by way of public
demonstrations. They approve of the minimal turnout for the Bush protest of 2005, where activists were kept to Venetucci Boulevard. The
city is offering to host a forum to listen to public opinion while the convention continues without interruption. As yet there has been no
public mention of restrictions.

The World Arena sits on land stewarded by the El Pomar Foundation. Certainly the facility was built with participation from the city. The
street which connects Cheyenne Meadows Drive to Frontage Road, though it is marked “private,” has city curbs, signs and culverts. Whether the grounds are public or private could bear to be challenged in court. But as trends go, the police could feel safe in designating Free Speech Zones at certain areas of the grounds.

We don’t have to push it that far. The World Arena parking area is surrounded by several well situated public egresses from which to
demonstrate a message. We can choose to be seen by cars entering and exiting, or by pedestrians walking to and from their nearby hotel accommodations. There are places to hand out fliers and places visible to the convention doors. There is even a location prominent to where a national candidate, or two, could arrive, if the party deems it strategic to make a show for the Colorado delegates.

Efforts are underway to coordinate activist groups from Denver and Boulder to join us, to push the convention goers toward more
progressive, and in our case, moral ideals. This should prove a good measure of what Coloradans retain of their Freedom of Speech, and will be a good exercise for refining a message if we choose to participate in Denver demonstrations planned by our national colleagues at the Democratic National Convention this August.

PROTESTCOLORADO targets the 2008 Colorado State Democratic Convention

The City of Colorado Springs has interesting plans for you if you feel inclined to raise a citizen’s voice at the 2008 State Democratic Convention to be held May 16-17 at the World Arena. The city is hosting a public forum or two, scheduled to run at the same time as the convention, for the public to vent its concerns without having to disrupt the Democratic Party activities. Possible demonstration areas for the 2008 Democratic State Convention As for protest, they are hoping to see no more than the 2005 Bush visit demo which police contained to the west side of Venetucci Boulevard. This time however, there will be no presidential secret service prerogative to commandeer public property.
You may be excited about Obama, but has he promised anything substantive on issues dear to you? Come let the Democrats know what you think of their centrism –when it leaves unresolved immigration, economy, labor, environment, health care and war. Join the fun on Friday evening, May 16, as the delegates arrive, and all day Saturday May 17.
No permits are needed. Check PROTEST COLORADO for updates on logistics. Make this Representative Democracy a Participatory Democracy!