Tag Archives: Colorado

Sovereign constitutional oath activist Stephen Nalty sentenced to 36 years!


DENVER, COLORADO- Judge Michael Spear came down hard on judicial reform activists Stephen Nalty and Steve Byfield, who prosecutor Robert Shapiro insisted “can’t be rehabilitated.” The quiet Byfield received 22 YEARS, and this afternoon, so-called ringleader Nalty was given a sentence of 36 YEARS. For insisting that holders of public office file oaths secured by bonds as required by the US and Colorado constitutions. Their victims, judges and officials who were exposed for having sworn no oaths, testified about now having nightmares about the public coming to get them with torches and pitchforks. Which is of course what ought to happen, now that the bastards have retaliated against critics who were only trying to bring them into compliance.

The most severe remedy proposed by WE THE PEOPLE, the sovereign citizens organized to confront fraudulent office holders, was in fact resignation, or if necessary, banishment. Even so, the reformers were targeted by the FBI and its Colorado affiliates. A join anti-terrorism task force was deployed to infiltrate and entrap the “paper terrorists” who were then charged with criminal enterprise and racketeering, then held on quarter million dollar bonds. Now the two were given prison terms to exceed their lifetimes, ensuring both will die in jail. Because our system will not abide free men.

Why should you attend the Denver Nalty-Byfield ENTERPRISE TRIAL?

Why support the “We The People” public-oath sticklers who the state is prosecuting like a criminal enterprise? A few reasons: Solidarity. Because as hardheaded as they might be, defendants Stephen Nalty and Steve Byfield are still JUDICIAL REFORM ACTIVISTS. Sense of fair play. Half the courtroom gallery is filled with Colorado Attorney General staffers and FBI special agents chumming it up with jurors and briefing their THREE FBI UNDERCOVER WITNESSES while the defendant pariah side of the audience is warned by the judge that even a whisper will result in ejection. Thrills. Where else are you going to see this many federal agents pushing their weight around, barking at you in the hallways, swaggering gleefully about how much smarter they are than the defendants? Pathos. Come watch the Assistant Fucking Colorado Attorney General, Robert Shapiro himself, lead a team of prosecutors against the unrepresented defendants, watch Shapiro belittle them, lecture them, trivialize their difficulties defending themselves in jail, and pretend they can review “tens of thousands” of pages of evidence and “hours and hours” of undercover surveillance tapes in a single day. Because you can make a difference. Come push the FBI-guys’ buttons. Come witness and document the abuses of the overbearing prosecution team. Come lend public pressure on the judge, whose conscience is already bothering him about how unfair this sham trial has become.

Liens
You don’t have to agree with how Nalty and Byfield went about trying to reform the judicial system, but aren’t they mostly right? Judges ARE corrupt. Local officials ARE NOT accountable to the people. Law enforcement WON’T pursue charges of their own corruption and the media certainly won’t side with the reformers. When Nalty, Byfield and Co, served commercial liens valued at billions and trillions of dollar against officials who hadn’t filed oaths of office, it was an effort of last resort to get someone’s attention. No one was thinking, hey, maybe this eleven-figure dollar demand will slip through the cracks and the billions will be ours!

Each lien was calculated to represent the sum defrauded from and owed to the American People. Prosecutors can tap these defendants for conspiring and racketeering and extorting and attempting to influence public officials, but they can’t say the defendants aimed to obscond with one single penny. Throwing three undercover infiltrators at a twenty member judicial reform group, putting thousands of manpower hours into locking these defendants away, is gross abuse of authority and it’s hubris.

Authentic transgressions
As the sham trial goes on, the pieces are coming together on the cases of Nalty and crew. It turns out federal investigators labeled them “sovereigns” because they’ve held themselves not responsible for paying traffic tickets, property taxes, and the like. In the end I’ll grant you Nalty’s group may be guilty of those. I say “may” because such citations may have been retaliatory for their political beliefs.

As to the punishment, I believe adjudicators should take into account that the defendants acted not to enrich themselves, nor to flaunt the law per se, but to assert political rights about which they may have been misguided. Again I say may because the defendants are being tried, after all, according to a set of laws, which enforce a social contract, the terms of which the parties do not agree.

I use the word misguided as a nod to those who think the Nalty gang have acted like idiots. That’s easy to say, and easy to laugh, but no one’s yet figured out how to emancipate labor from the yoke of capital. You may regard interest and rent as your inherent debts. These sovereigns don’t and they’re trying to say so.

Economic slavery
Ours is a system of peonage to which this crew feels they never indentured themselves. The ersatz writs and liens they spammed to every official they encountered were the legal loopholes they thought could break the bank and liberate everyone from financial tyranny. While Nalty’s scheme intended insurrection, it wasn’t against democracy or the republic, it was against taxation without representation, the same beast Americans pretend to have overthrown with the Declaration of Independance.

Instead of tea into Boston Harbor, this crew dumped a bunch of junk paper unto the reception counters of Colorado public offices. Charge Nalty’s crew with littering maybe, at most, vandalism, though it’s hard to say these vandals caused even a scratch. Every public official who testified as a victim said they didn’t take the ersatz documents seriously.

The writs and liens looked officious, but weren’t attributed to known government or banking institutions. Likewise signatures were signed in red. Red was chosen to represent the signer’s blood, even though red is a color which automated banking systems reject as unreadable, therefore invalid.

Not one witness expressed confusion about the validity of the papers. They mentioned too the rambling diatribes in the text block.

To call the defendants “paper terrorists” wildly overstates the effect they achieved. They didn’t terrorize anyone. Governments like to accuse rebellious insurgents of “terrorism”, but that’s another paralegal threshold with which most common citizens, and certainly these “sovereigns”, disagree.

Real funny money
These guys did the equivalent of feed Monopoly Money into ATMs. No bank balances were changed and no real money came out. Counterfeit currency is one thing, but denominations of your own handywork pretending to be only that does not qualify as funny money in the illegal sense. I’m guessing forms submitted in a language foreign to bank clerks would be rejected out of hand. How are these any different? Irregular submissions, as one witness called them, need not generate calls to the FBI or the Colorado Joint Terrorism Task Force. I’ll bet that ATMs know to reject Monopoly Money. If they don’t, whose problem is that?

The trial of defendants Stephen Nalty and Steve Byfield is due to wrap up Friday. The prosecution will have taken seven days to present its case and Assistant Attorney General Robert Shapiro intends to object if the defense rebuttal takes more than a half day, maybe a whole. This trial is meant to intimidate the other defendants to convince them to take pleas.

Next in the pipeline is Bruce Doucette whose trial starts October 16. Defendants Harlan Smith and Dave Coffelt have hearings on October 18. If they do not take deals, Shapiro intends to enjoin their cases, to save time and money. He’s already convinced defendant Brian Baylog to take a deal and turn state’s evidence. Baylog is scheduled to testify against Nalty and Byfield shortly.

By now the condemnation of Nalty’s commercial lien scheme will have cost Colorado millions in man hours and legal expenses. You can fine a graffiti artist for having to restore an edifice to its original lustre, but you can’t expect him to bear the full cost if you chose a cleanup crew that wears Gucci loafers, most of whose jobs is to pat the other on the back.

Colorado’s overkill with federal agents and counter-terrorism experts is a problem of its own making.

 
The Nalty-Byfield trial continues through this week 8:30am – 5pm, at Denver’s Lindsey Flanigan Courthouse, in Division 2H, ironically, “Juvenile Court”.

Park County Sheriff Wegener releases incomplete CBI report on Carrigan, Wirth murders, calls it Final Report.


BAILEY, COLORADO- Under legal attack by the family of slain corporal Nate Carrigan, the Park County Sheriff has released the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s report. Trouble is, it’s 289 pages. Only. And while media outlets have been able to extract that alleged shooter Martin Wirth had a temper, was a womanizer, and made threats of a “shootout at OK Corral” based on interviews of estranged friends. What’s missing in the report is as obvious as if it was redacted. The report doesn’t connect any dots.

Sheriff Wegener’s interview is missing. So is the interview of neighbor Alice Plemons. Mentioned by omitted. Plemons’ video of the raid, not just missing, disposed of. But the biggest missing piece is Deputy Kolby Martin, absent from most witness accounts. In particular, how he got into Martin Wirth’s house. In all of the officers’ accounts, Kolby Martin wasn’t at the front door. But he was the only everyone saw get wounded.

According to the deputee interviews, Deputy Kolby Martin, armed with a Colt AR15, wasn’t at the doorstep with the four who breached the door. He approached the house from the back and just before the “green light to breach the door” he radioed Deputy David Leffner to abandon his “spotter” vantage point and join the officers at the front of the house. Then Kolby Martin was extracted wounded from the house.

Also missing is anyone who saw Martin Wirth until he was downed in the snow. No officers “saw” Nate Carrigan being shot. They can only record discovering he was mortally wounded. Deputies saw neither who fired nor when bullets hit Carrigan.

On the front drive, in order of their vehicles: Carrigan, Hancock, Wegener, then Leffner when called by Martin.

Approaching the house from the back: Lowrance, Martin, Threckel and Hannigan. Lowrance and Hannigan were called to join team at the door.

Preparing to breach door: Carrigan, Hancock, Lowrance and Threckel.

Armed with Colt AR15 assault rifles: Lowrance, Threckel and Martin.

Captain Hancock “opened up” his 9mm into Martin Wirth’s back, after Wirth was downed by Deputy DJ Hannigan. No dispute there.

There’s exhaustive documentation of bullets calibers, minus WHICH matched WHOSE rifles. Seriously. Deputy Koby Martin suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pulled from the house by fellow officers. Captain Mark Hancock was grazed in the neck and ear. Btw, he called paramedics before launching the attack. He wanted an ambulance on the scene in advance.

The CBI witness testimonies exclude those from key bystanders to the scene. Neighbor Alice Plemons was seen videotaping the event. She was interviewed, but it’s not in the report. The report mentions that her phone was seized, its contents copied, then returned to her, minus the video. CBI reports that the phone contained 51 photos, and no video. They told her if it turns up, to contact them. Kinda like OJ telling the public when he tracks down Nicole Simpson’s killer he’ll let us know.

CBI asked the neighbor why she hadn’t mentioned taking the video when interviewed earlier. But that interview, which would have revealed whatever she saw that day, was not included in this week’s FINAL REPORT. Another neighbor told TV reporters he witnessed a miitary assault like the Marines on Iwo Jima. If you know about Iwo Jima, you know we shelled the hell out of that island before we kicked in the door.

Denver Occupier Martin Wirth was shot in the back as sheriffs shot each other.


Much as it’s comforting to think our Occupy Denver comrade Martin Wirth went out in a blaze of glory, with bank repo henchmen in his gunsights, another truth seems to be emerging from the crime scene report and autopsy. Key details are still obfuscated, such as where were sheriffs deputies when struck by bullets and what caliber ammo were they firing? Evidence made public indicates that deputies fired many shots into Martin’s home trying to snipe him at his computer desk. Martin was not hit until he tried to make his escape up the hill out back. Our friend was shot with eleven large caliber hollow-points IN THE BACK.

The location of shell casings and penetration trajectories in the house suggest a shootout between someone who came up through the basement garage and others who breached the front door. Neighborhood witnesses have yet to recount in full what they saw. Martin is dead, but we are told the Park County deputies didn’t trim their force of enough trigger happy motherfuckers for locals to feel safe contradicting the official version of events.

According to the Final Anatomic Diagnoses conducted by a Dr. Galloway for David Kintz Jr, Park County Coroner:

Present widely distributed over the back involving the upper; mid; the lower; the left gluteal; and the left upper thigh laterally; are 11 entrance type of large caliber gunshot wounds showing circumferential marginal abrasion

Deputies claim Martin was levelling his gun at them when they shot him, except all eleven of their Hydra-Shok bullets struck Martin Wirth in the back.

WOUND SUMMARIES:

The autopsy reveals eleven entrance gunshot wounds involving the full spectrum of the back with a predominance of the mid-back. The autopsy further reveals five exit wounds involving the lower right neck and the mid and upper chest. A sixth exit wound is located in the upper abdomen, in the midline. At the autopsy, three bullets were retrieved outside the body. One bullet is found in the clothing related to the chest; a second bullet is found under the head while removing the clothing; a third bullet is retrieved from the body bag. Two large caliber bullets are recovered from the right and left anterior chest wall. One large caliber bullet remains deeply embedded in the left pelvis. The extensive internal injuries in this case associated with six anterior exit wounds preclude a precise definition of wound tracts.

The crime scene report described where Martin’s body was left for hours and the pool of blood beneath him, but does not say where Sheriff’s deputy Nate Carrigan was found, nor where two other deputies were injured.

The diagram below records where bullets struck Martin’s house.

If evidence supported the Park County narrative, all the facts would probably be public. Instead we’re left to speculate: whether officers sprinkled the home with empty shell casings matching Martin’s gun, or if deputies deployed with rifles of the same caliber as Martin’s so their rounds could be confused for his.

Martin Wirth made it clear he intended to defend his home from fraudulent foreclosure. He told a variety of people he wanted to shoot it out if it came to that. I’m not certain it did. One neighbor described the Park County eviction team visit on February 24 thus:

“They showed up like the Marines invading Iwo Jima. I think they attacked the house like the Marines landing on the beach.”

A death in the Fremont County Jail

I have to write an article about how the Fremont County Sheriff Department, with the help of the Ku Kl/ux Kounty coroner, judges, prosecutors, Medical staff at the Jail and even Paramedics, killed a man named John Walter, beat him to death, for daring to insist that he needed health care. They broke nine of his ribs, witnessed by the Paramedics, and threw him back in his “medical observation” dungeon and left to die. Two years ago.

Now there’s a lawsuit for wrongful death. They murdered the guy for talking back and not a single pig is going to be even censured for doing it. Just a civil suit.

And I’m a witness. I don’t know how the lawsuit will come out, never am optimistic about it, and these same Fascist Police State minions did the same thing to me, minus going all the way to the death.

So here’s the deal-io … I’m going to publish it in the court of public opinion. It’s safer to be way out in the open about such things. Makes it harder for the Fascists to toss one into their cell and wham bam thank you ma’am you’d be just as totally disappeared as if you went into Abu Ghraib, Khandahar, Bagram AFB or Gitmo. It took Mr Walters family two years just to get the ball rolling. And Mr Walters physicians, the ones who had prescribed the medications the Jail Private Nursing Corporation denied to him. When they broke his ribs he had already lost quite a bit of weight in a matter of weeks.

The Chickenshit pigs who did it were probably Sgt Greene and Corporal Maas. Sick sadistic bastards who get sexually aroused by beating up on helpless victims.

Just like cops around the world and throughout history. Fascism in full bloom.

People who don’t like that, like my t-shirt published on cafe press says, “y’all can just line up and take turns helping yourselves to a Texas Size all you can eat buffet of Kiss My Liberal Ass”

DEA agents strap on weapons to teach elementary school children about drugs

A Teller County reporter for TMJ snapped this photo of the DEA visiting a local elementary school to give a presentation advising children against the use of drugs. The DEA agents landed a helicopter on the school playground to join reservists already deployed. Despite having secured the perimeter, and disarmed the kids, weapons were the show and tell.

Eric Brandt found not guilty of petty complaints of Westminster Colorado. He’s being denied a jury at next trial.

Eric Brandt aka Fuck Cops
WESTMINSTER, COLORADO- Homeless veteran Eric Brandt has been arrested 36 times by police officers angry about his “fuck cops” sign, often the arrests are violent. So far Eric has beat the charges but the City of Westminster is gunning for him. Though Eric is now represented by civil liberty specialist David Lane, city officials, DAs, cops, and prosecutors converge on Eric’s court appearances determined to slip their fuck-cops problem into a jail cell. They may yet succeed, but Eric’s chances improve when the judges see he has public support. Though Eric’s message is characterized as repugnant in a court of law, in reality people honk and wave and ask to have their picture taken with Eric. To no-one else’s surprise, “fuck cops” resonates, especially as Denver cops keep killing unarmed arrestees. Eric won his July 23 jury trial, but he has upcoming court dates August 3, August 6, and August 13, to name just the next three. If Westminster can jail Eric for just one of these cases, they can keep him off the ballot where he’s running for city council looking to represent the homeless constituency. Come see the spectacle that is the usually incomparable David Lane sharing the spotlight with scene-stealing Eric Brandt, running hilarious circles around his dimwitted accusers. A guaranteed laugh-fest at the expense of the much-embarrassed Westminster grumps.

The next three trials will be held at the Westminster Municipal Court, at 72nd & Federal, just south of Highway-36. All start at 8:30am. At the August 3rd trial the judge is denying Eric the right to a jury…

Poster for 2015 Telluride Film Festival

TELLURIDE, COLO- The Nugget Theater boasts two in its window but posters for the 42nd annual SHOW have yet to be distributed. [Update: they’re at TFF online]. This year’s festival poster is by Laurent Durieux and stars the mining town in its box canyon backdrop, a chem-trail, a bear, and most implausible, a theater marquee and box office on the main street. As usual the festival lineup will not be announced until the Thursday before Labor Day.

Pueblo museum excises Mine Workers Union from Ludlow Massacre exhibit!


PUEBLO, COLORADO- 2014 marks one hundred years since the Ludlow Massacre of 1914. A variety of commemorations are planned before the formal anniversary on April 20. I attended one such event on Wednesday, a lecture by a CSU professor to footnote the “Children of Ludlow” exhibit at El Pueblo History Museum. I’m always excitied when attention is paid to Ludlow, a subject regularly left out of American schoolbooks, but I was disappointed to find key elements of labor history excised from the museum’s narrative. Literally. The United Mine Workers of America, the organization central to the strike, which supplied the tent city, and which even today maintains the memorial site, was mentioned only once, IN FINE PRINT! The Ludlow miners voted to strike because the mining companies refused to recognize the UMWA. Unmentioned. The horrors of the atrocity were not tempered, in their explicitness perhaps we think them enough, but there was also the apologist suggestion that some culpability belonged to the miners. I questioned one curator who admitted they were at pains to keep the story “balanced” and that the squeakiest wheel thus far has been the National Guard. Apparently the Guard is offended that its role will be misconstrued. What balance do they want, I wondered. Had they lost children in the “battlezone” too?

Children are at the heart of commemorating Ludlow and at the heart of this preversion of the massacre’s memory. Were they recklessly endangered by their parents and union organizers? Were they dragged into a battlezone? The museum seems to suggest as much, highlighting the beligerence of the miners, mischaracterizing the soldiers, and leaving the union actions largely unexplained.

First I’d like to declare how I tire of the objective irrelevance which results when academics seek the approval of government technocrats. I am also disturbed by educators who pretend blindness to subtle inferences which shape a political takeaway. To them, “remembering” Ludlow seems sufficient in itself. I can hardly see the point to remembering Ludlow unless we have discerned its lessons. Until we are remembering the LESSONS OF LUDLOW, our educators’ self-proclaimed raison d’etre will be self-fulfilling: “history will repeat itself.” This Pueblo exhibit suggests no lesson other than the exploitation of tragedy, and leaves me fearful about the Ludlow commemorations to follow. The anti-union, pro-military climate which prevails these hundred years since the massacre will make for a travesty of a remembrance unless someone with a worker’s perspective speaks up.

NOT BROUGHT TO YOU BY…
Let’s start with this exhibit, which alas has already escaped critique since September. Its full title, as evidenced in the photo above: “Black Hills Energy presents: Children of Ludlow, Life in a Battlezone, 1913-1914.”

I’ll bet curators thought it a measure of truth and reconciliation that the Ludlow presentation was sponsored by a local extraction industry business. Black Hills Energy trades not in coal but natural gas. In fact they’re among the frackers tearing up Southeastern Colorado. I think the irony more likely suggests how the UMWA’s starring role was left on the cutting room floor. There are generic mentions of “the union”, as at right, keeping a ledger of which families were assigned tents, but only in the fine print is the UMWA named as owning the ledger.

BATTLEZONES
More troubling is the skewed framing of the museum’s narrative. It begins with the subtitle, “life in a battlezone.” That’s taking a rather curious liberty don’t you think? The event we accept now as “Ludlow” became a battlezone on April 20, and the regional Coal Field War which followed was a battlezone to which both revenge-seekers and militia thronged, but the tent colonies in which 12,000 lived, 9,000 of whom were the children of the title role, were camps full of families. That they were straffed regularly by the guards makes them shooting galleries not battlegrounds.

Calling Ludlow a battlezone is like calling Sand Creek a “collision” or calling the Middle East a “conflict”. All of these mask the role of the aggressor.

I will credit the curators for offering a candid detail of horrific import. In a description of the day before the massacre, when the Greeks among the immigrants were celebrating Greek Easter, mention is made of the mounted National Guards offered this taunt: “You enjoy your roast today; we will have ours tomorrow.” No one should deny today that the events of April 20, which culminated in the torching of the tents and asphyxiation of women and children, was a premeditated act.

THE CHILDREN
Should the miners have put their children in harm’s way by defying the mining companies? How could they not? As immigrants they didn’t have nearby relatives to foster their children away from the random bullets. Also left unsaid by the display: many of the children had already been working in the mines and counted among those on strike. This was before child labor reforms.

Curiously, the exhibit did include a famous photograph of the notorious activist Mother Jones leading a childrens’ march through Trinidad. The caption explained that Jones wasn’t above using real children to advance the cause of Colorado’s coal miners.” Emphasis mine. While technically true in a modern context, it’s probably disingenuous to imply someone is using the children when a key issue of the demonstration is CHILD LABOR.

No really. Mother Jones was leading a march of children, many of them workers of the mines, for the reform of labor practices which abused children. This and subsequent campaigns eventually led to child labor laws. Is saying “Mother Jones wasn’t above using children” in any way an accurate characterization?

Compounding the inference that the Children of Ludlow were jeopardized for the cause, was the implication that the miners were combatants who contributed to the battlezone. As the displays progressed in chronological order, the first weapon on display was a rifle used by the miners. Immediately behind it was an enlarged photograph vividly depicting miners posed with two identical specimens.

Moving along the exhibit chronologically, anticipating the rising violence, the museum goers is apparently supposed to register that the strikers were firing too, if not first. Recent historical accounts have deliberated about who fired first. I think the motive is suspiciously revisionist in view of today’s dogma of nonviolence absolutism: if your protest devolves into violence, you deserve every bit of the beating you get.

Whenever it was that the miners began firing, the single militia and three guard casualties were not recorded until after the massacre took place, belying the narrative that the miners invited the massacre. Witnesses conflict about when the three union leaders were executed. I’ll give the museum credit for defying the National Guard in summarizing that among the casualties, three of the miners were “executed”.

PARITY OF WEAPONS
Students of the Ludlow accounts know that many of the miners were better riflemen than the soldiers. Many were immigrants who’d served in Bulkan wars and outmatched Colorado’s green guardsmen. That is not to suggest that the miners and their harrassers were equally armed, yet…

The only other weapon on display is a rifle of vintage used by the national guard. It shares a case with a uniform and sabre, lending it official authority. Also, the rifle is not presented as having been used at Ludlow, so it doesn’t project an aura of culpability. Missing is the machine gun depicted in the photograph of the machine gun nest which fired down upon the camp. It’s depicted with a caption about the Guard being a welcome presence. Missing too is the armored car dubbed the “Death Special”. Obviously the armor protected its operators from being hit by striking-miner bullets as it drove through the canvas encampment, straffing the tents with its mounted machine gun.

HUMANIZING THE PERP
Right after the photo of armed miners was the display at right, with a very contrived bit of spin catering to today’s military families. Although the photo shows soldiers actively aiming their gun at the camp, the caption assures us that the “Ludlow families feel relief with the arrival of National Guard”. This supposition is based on the fact that when the soldiers first arrived they were serenaded with the “Battle Cry of Freedom” and greeted with American flags. Most of the miners being immigrants, they were eager to show their patriotism, but the conclusion drawn here is a terrible mendacity. The miners and union organizers knew full well the purpose of the National Guard. They knew the strikebreaking role it played in famous strikes of the past. The miners feted the soldiers hoping to sway them from their eventual task. Protesters of all eras hold out this hope every time they face riot police.

A following paragraph suggested that by the time the massacre was committed, most of the soldiers had been mustered out and replaced with militia members and company guards. This is slight of hand. After the official inquiry, which was prompted by the public outcry, twenty National Guard soldiers were court martialed. All were acquitted. Is the Guard wanting us to believe they were acquitted because they weren’t there?

This attempt to put a friendly face on the National Guard, coupled with an abdication of effort to give the union its due, seems engineered to appeal to the average Pueblan of today, many probably related to an active-duty soldier and long since indoctrinated against evil unions. When I asked the lecturer about the omission of the UMWA, she prefaced her answer for the audience, explaining that unions of old were not like those despised today. I told her I thought failing to describe the hows and whys of the strike was a real teaching opportunity missed.

HISTORY COLORADO
It’s probably important to point out that the Ludlow presentation at the History Museum was developed with the assistance of History Colorado, which finally shuttered a contested display: a Sand Creek Massacre exhibit with a similar flavor of whitewash. Like labeling Ludlow a battlezone, History Colorado tried to typify Sand Creek as a “collision.”

Also typical of History Colorado is the propensity to address their exhibits to children. Programming for school bus visits invariably dumbs down what can be presented and I hardly think the compromise is worth it. If children ran the world, maybe Disney versions of history would suffice.

I’d like to have seen it highlighted that the Ludlow miners were mainly immigrants who were looked down upon by the residents of Colorado. If the museum audience were the “Children of Ludlow” in the extended sense, as a few descendants probably were, more of us were the children of the soldiers of Ludlow, or the citizens who cheered them on, or joined the militia or built the armored car at Rockefeller’s Pueblo factory. If we’re going to remember Ludlow, we ought to remember our role in it so we don’t do that again. It’s easy to pretend we were the martyrs. In all probability that’s who we will be if the lessons of Ludlow are discarded.

Prosecutors in the Blood Covered State of Colorado go for Blood to be extracted from the criminally insane

“It’s my determination and my intention that in this case for James Eagan Holmes justice is death,” Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler said at Monday’s hearing, which the accused attended. Mr Holmes’ parents sat holding hands in the public gallery. See Aurora suspect James Holmes should be executed, say prosecutors

Wait a second! Isn’t James Holmes insane, ‘Legally Insane’, and a grand example of how our society is unable to deal with those who suffer from mental illness? Why go for his blood by demanding the death penalty then? Well I guess that it is easier than trying to achieve any gun control in our WAR-addicted US society… Oh Yes it is!

So what will we soon see ahead? Nuclear war with North Korea as our native born US war mongers continue on with their decades long war against the Koreans? More ‘accidental’ killings at home? More criminally insane people going off berzerk like Holmes did? Sadly, we as a people, seem unable to deal constructively with reality and continue our death plunge toward the extinction of our own damned selves. Our local prosecutors meanwhile play out the role of being our ruling class’s ‘April Fools’.

Fracking protest message at Denver 350 rally cuts through nebulous “Forward on Climate” theme


DENVER, COLORADO- Score another success for Colorado Fractivists who crashed this weekend’s climate rally with their unequivocal anti-fracking message. The February 17 event was intended to urge President Obama “Forward on Climate”, to borrow his most recent campaign vagarity, but when official speeches began, and the prefab signs were distributed, it became unclear who might be trying to co-opt whom.

Gas
The 350.ORG sponsored march, coinciding with a rally and civil disobedience in DC, called specifically for a halt to the Keystone XL Pipeline and Tar Sands extraction which climate scientists have dubbed “game over” for hopes of averting climate disaster, but the dominant signage spoke vaguely of “Climate Action” and “It’s Time to Cut Carbon” and “Big Coal Makes Us Sick”, all of which are slogans used by proponents of natural gas. 350-ORG has been raising awareness of the imperative to reduce carbon emissions, while recognizing that the groundswell driving environmentalists across the country is opposition to oil & gas hydraulic fracturing.

It’s all the same fight to reduce burning of fossil fuels, but moderate allies like the Sierra Club haven’t been prepared to denounce their new-found bed partners urging consumers to get “Beyond Coal.” To her credit, local 350-ORG coordinator Micah Parkin incorporated fractivist groups into the Feb 17 rally, but Democratic Party panderers didn’t get the memo. A representative read a letter of support from Senator Michael Bennet and was able to sneak past: “I stand with Obama” and even “in favor of US energy independence” although that’s code for oil & gas exports, dependent on construction of the XL pipeline. But when Mark Udall’s representative referred to “clean burning natural gas” the crowd booed. Even as he pleaded “we’re on your side,” the crowd wouldn’t relent, making sure his takeaway would be that fracking compounded global warming, among its other horrors.

The highlight of the rally occurred immediately afterward when the master of ceremonies, a twelve-year-old rapper and member of the Boulder based Earth Guardians, thanked Udall’s rep affably but then assured the audience that “of course there’s no such thing as clean natural gas!”


Occupy
A word about Occupy Denver’s part in Sunday’s march. Occupiers took the black-tie invitation to heart and turned up in black bloc attire with bandanas and balaclavas. OD then pushed the envelope to the consternation of parade marshals, stepping into the street at one point, blocking cars at another, in the spirit of their banner which read “ONLY DIRECT ACTION WILL STOP THE PIPELINE.”

To what end, creating friction during an event otherwise running smoothly? Who knows. The demonstration was uneventful and garnered scant media attention. Mixing it up might have helped, or not. The turnout was large but not up for a confrontation. Occupy didn’t push it.

The irony of 350-ORG supporters being upset by the antics of the Occupiers, was that behind the masks were many activists who’d actually gone to Texas to stop the XL pipeline, who’d gotten arrested, some out on $25,000 bond. How unfortunate that those troublemakers weren’t recognized from the stage. It was a real missed opportunity, this having been a rally to, um, STOP THE PIPELINE. These rowdy boring-party crashers were actually its unsung, veritable heroes. What the crowd wanted to mistake for infantile grandstanding, was really the infantile audacity that stops pipelines. Yes you get in trouble if you step off the sidewalk. Do you think the police are going to let you stop the pipeline?

Broomfield Police play rough game of Cowboys & Indians with Idle No More Native Americans, literally

Photo by Jolynne Locust WoodcockBROOMFIELD, COLO.- Fellow Occupy members and I joined in a “round dance” flash mob at a local mall on Wednesday night, as part of the growing IDLE NO MORE actions whose First Nations grievances include the despoiling of indigenous treaty lands by tar sands extraction and the XL pipeline, and sovereignty issues about which Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is now on a 22 day hunger strike. Two previous round dances in Colorado had proceeded uneventfully but no sooner had we begun in the Flatirons Crossing Shopping Center, located between Denver and Boulder, that mall security and police began routing the round dancers out the door. It was a rather comical scene, peaceful dancers, many of them children, being blocked and herded straight out into the cold, no warning or explanation being given. Of course the round dance stopped in its tracks, people instead dancing in place, gently waving their signs, as security told them they had to leave or face arrest. Apparently, because we didn’t hear it. Drummers were let to finish the first song, after which they packed up to leave. Once the drumming stopped however, we were surprised to hear security and police officers relaying their instructions, that “anyone who looked Native American” should be made to leave.

Of course we questioned what we were hearing, and were then threatened with immediate arrest and ushered out the door. At the same time, police officers were running in a continuous line into the mall to conduct sweeps as many flash mob participants were still arriving from all directions. Many got lost on the way, or miscalculated the traffic they’d encounter, so arrived late. In essence however, people without signs, not singing or dancing or drumming or holding their ground, were summarily being ordered to leave the mall immediately, based upon the clue that they looked Native American.

If my “Cowboys and Indians” analogy seems kinda flip. Imagine squads of Broomfield and Westminster police, roaming throughout the FlatIrons Mall checking people’s faces to see if they qualify to be expelled. The mall wasn’t cleared of all shoppers, just those who looked indigenous. A fairly scarey game, considering that many of the Idle No More participants were children.

I can tell you part of the thrill for me, of the round dance flash mobs, as a European immigrant, is feeling the surroundings begin to fill with indigenous faces. That is turned around in the hostile atmosphere created by the police, as western law enforcement resumes its traditional role of hunting down those it pretends don’t belong.

I had invited a friend to bring her young family, part Native American, to join the dance. Thankfully they couldn’t make it. What if they’d had, and come late, and were walking through the mall full of shoppers, and were encountered by squads of police who sought them out of the crowd and inexplicably ordered them to leave the premises? What’s any American child to think of that?

I have a young nephew who just that day I’d seen playing in his policeman’s costume, with a new policeman’s badge he got for Christmas. What would he have thought of that?

Plus, how’s that for irony? Natives considered trespassers. Even the mother of a girl being detained, was not allowed past to inquire what was happening, because she didn’t fit the profile of Americans who have rights, or a profile the police thought should be afforded a status of dignity or respect.

Meanwhile, three female participants, one of them 17-year-old Idle No More organizer Cheyenne McCallister, were being detained inside.

When Occupy Colorado Springs activist Patrick Jay tried to document the actions of the police from outside the mall window, he was pounced upon by Bloomfield Police for not having removed himself sufficiently from the area and thus was held to be trespassing. When I tried to take pictures of his arrest, I was arrested.

Held in separate police cruisers we could hear over the police radio that fifteen Westminster Police Officers were on their way armed with “shields and gas”. An officer on the scene told the dispatcher to turn them back because they were no longer need. As we’d seen, the mall and even the parking area filled with police vehicles had been completely cleared. But then a report came that a Native American group was reconstituting itself in “Parking lot E” and so the officers in riot gear were summoned. We learned later that they did arrive to menace the crowd, which decided to reconvene across the street at a McDonalds instead.

And now consider the further travesty, when a local news crew arrived to cover the story, they told only the mall’s side, because the IDLE NO MORE folks were prevented from reaching the news crew because it would mean trespassing! They could only watch, then watch on television as the story completely misrepresented the facts.

Patrick and I were eventually booked and held for several hours, like the others, then released to a warm welcome from Idle No More organizers who’d waited the whole evening. Our court date is February 20, the two women and one minor have court the next day, February 21.

Photo by Jolynne Locust Woodcock
(First and last photo credit: Jolynne Locust Woodcock)
See more at Facebook/OccupyColoradoSprings

14 cents

Since cities like Colorado Springs are trying to make it illegal for anyone to ask for spare change on downtown streets and elsewhere, the State of Colorado in its infinite wisdom and kindness of the bosses has just now raised the minimum wage by 14 cents an hour! Whoopeee!!!!!! Now don’t go out and spend it all in one place, You Miserable Wage Slaves. And remember…. it’s real criminality to be asking anybody for an extra something or other. Shame on you if you persist in doing that.

The discussion about Fracking and the oily truth- gasoline, natural gas, and oil production are toxic to people’s health

Fracking has become a big topic of discussion and controversy right this moment, as giant corporations work with whore-like politicians right here in Colorado, to ensure that OIL OIL OIL production will continue nonstop to produce all those consumer items that make some Fat Cats super rich off the rest of us. But what are the costs when the inevitable contamination of the environment occurs? Riki Ott lets us know just what has occurred post BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. See her Unfinished Business: The Unspoken Link Between Dispersants and Sick Children in the Gulf of Mexico …Also, read about the Colorado woman pictured at the head of this commentary- Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

Hello energy; Goodbye ecologically intact Colorado… or how the oil shale industry is soon going to destroy Colorado’s now semi-intact ecology

Today the headlines are screaming out that the US will soon become the Number 1 oil producer in the world. That idea is based on the US oil shale industry becoming greatly expanded and oil extracted from oil shale deposits that are centered right here in the state of Colorado. ‘The Oil Shale Resource Base- The Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, has the largest known oil shale deposits in the world, holding from 1.5 to 1.8 trillion barrels of oil. Of that, roughly 800 billion barrels are recoverable — more than triple Saudi Arabia’s proven oil reserves. Present U.S. demand for petroleum products is about 20 million barrels per day, so 800 billion barrels would last for more than 400 years if oil shale could be used to meet a quarter of that demand.’ Taken from RAND Corporation- Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment

So what is the impact going to be to Colorado? A quick answer comes from wikipedia… ‘Environmental impact of the oil shale industry includes the consideration of issues such as land use, waste management, and water and air pollution caused by the extraction and processing of oil shale. Surface mining of oil shale deposits causes the usual environmental impacts of open-pit mining. In addition, the combustion and thermal processing generate waste material, which must be disposed of, and harmful atmospheric emissions, including carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. Experimental in-situ conversion processes and carbon capture and storage technologies may reduce some of these concerns in future, but may raise others, such as the pollution of groundwater.’ See Environmental impact of the oil shale industry

El Paso County Clerk Wayne Williams wants voter registration fraud evidence pulled from net

Romney supporter, 20-year-old Mormon Victoria Bautista, registering only Republican votersCOLORADO SPRINGS– A young voter registration activist, by admission soliciting only Mitt Romney supporters, was caught on video saying she worked for the El Paso County Clerk, mistakenly as it turns out. Local Dems have run with the story while Clerk & Recorder Wayne Williams and the Colorado Springs Gazette, both notorious GOP bullies, insist the viral video be taken down because it misrepresents the truth, missing the point about WHO was misrepresenting the truth. Whether the young woman spoke in error, she and perhaps others are representing themselves as county representatives, and the clerk’s damage control is revealing. After clarifying that his office does not employ partisan foot soldiers (although examples abound of Democrats being purged from his staff), Williams scolds only the video taker for “spreading disinformation”. He does not warn citizens to question volunteers who pretend official status, nor does he offer evidence of reprimands or special retraining. Of course all sides are protecting the identity of the 20-year-old Victoria Bautista. Why? At 20 she’s not getting any smarter, or educated obviously. I hardly think it serves our society to coddle anyone screwing with civic participation. Many of our current officials are evidence of what happens when you nurture mediocrity in politics. Are we so hard up we want idiots in authority? I think that’s a characteristic best pruned aggressively like you would rot.

Fascism on the Colorado State Seal

That’s Fascism on the Colorado State Seal. Seriously, not just “a” symbol of fascism but THE defining symbol, on the state ID, badges and vehicles. On the signs on state offices, parks, the arm patches of uniforms and on letterheads. Just below the gap between “OF” and “COLORADO” at top center is the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian/Coptic/Masonic symbol. That’s the symbol another fellow was showing me when my eye was caught by the one just under it. I had seen much smaller pictures and had thought it to be a calumet “peace pipe.” Instead it’s an Estruscan/Roman battle axe, with fascia, other rods fastened around the handle for reinforcement (like a splint) and to make the business end heavier, more mass for a more solid strike.

The Etruscans used it for all striking instruments and devised a political system around it. The civil government, police, military, industry and society at all levels bound together, fully integrated. A more modern way would be portrayed as a “political machine” with cogs and sprockets turning all together.

The Romans suppressed the Etruscan language but kept the technology and renamed it Fascism. The Nazis were a misnamed fascist group because, quite simply, they were ignorant dumbshits. Hitler and Ernst Rohm claimed they were commissioned by the Reichswehr to infiltrate them because they had “socialist” in the name. The Luftwaffe pilots got a lot of experience flying for the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese fascists, bombed Ethiopia and other places, like Guernica in Spain.

I’m… not real happy about that. I like Colorado and like most of the people I consider myself a citizen. One reason Fascism didn’t totally win was that Spain and Portugal couldn’t participate in WWII because their fascists were too busy slaughtering their own people.

I don’t want that here even if the US state and Defense and Commerce Depts DO give us Most Favored Nation Status in exchange for strategic military bases– oh that’s right, they do. Just like Franco in Spain. Well, then, it’s a damn good thing we at least beat them in Italy, right? I mean, it sure would be a tragic blow to the cause of freedom if Berlusconi was a Fasci– Oh yeah, that’s right…

But, yeah, that Etruscan axe was called The Fasces. They carried it into battle in symbolic gesture, like a flag only more useless. The Romans continues the practice. Mussolini continued it too.

So Aurora shooter James Holmes has “lawyered up” and “is not cooperating” – you’d think he did something wrong

If law enforcement spokespeople are to be believed, James Holmes has “lawyered up”, EXCEPT that he turned up at his arraignment alone, with a public defender. Does “lawyered up” mean something else, like invoking your right not to be interrogated without advice of a lawyer? Was the statement meant to fill in the villainous mold according to the public’s “law and Order” TV notion about how police can mistreat suspects? By surrendering himself, by warning officers about his boobytrapped apartment and now telling of the notebook he’d mailed to his university, James Holmes’ behavior seems to contradict everything the police are pretending. There’s nothing to defend about the Aurora shootings, I mean that outside the courtroom, but why add stripping ourselves of our right to remain silent as we cheer for James Holmes’ blood?

Colorado police brutality retrospective: the 1934 Relief Strike Battle, UP story “Girl Radical Leads Mob in Denver Riot”


If one image captures the “Relief Strike Riot” of October 30, 1934, it’s of Patrolman CV Satt who continues to fire his service revolver after he’s felled by a bottle thrown by a striking picketer. Although Colorado newspapers were anti-union, their accounts vary enough to reveal the escalation of violence for which the DPD was responsible and for which they and the newspapers I’ll bet have never apologized. This article will be the first of a series to unearth the newspaper accounts which documented the events of Oct. 29 through Nov. 3, 1934, mostly because the police tactics and media defamation are remarkably similar today.

(Caption on above photograph: “This remarkable photograph was taken when the rioting between Denver police and “relief strike” picketers was at its height at W. Jewell ave. and the Platte River yesterday. Patrolman C. V. Satt is shown rising after he had been struck over the head with bricks and a shovel. He has his service pistol in his hand, ready to fire at his assailants, but Sergt. Henry Durkop is restraining him.”)

INTRODUCTION: THE BATTLE
As with many “riots”, the confrontation of Oct. 30, 1934 was instigated by the abrupt arrest and detention of a union organizer. What follows is an entertaining eyewitness account which attempts to defame the picketers and laud the police officers for their restraint, although the other reports and photographic record suggested otherwise.


Colorado Springs Evening Telegraph, October 31, 1934, page 1, column 8: GIRL RADICAL LEADS MOB IN DENVER RIOT — FERA Project Pickets Spurred Into Battle by Woman Believed Imported Agitator By DAVIS CAMPBELL, United Press Staff Correspondent

DENVER, Colo, Oct 30 (UP)– A dark haired, attractive girl led demonstrators into hand to hand battle with police here today, as the picketers, under alleged communist leadership, sought to force a strike of Denver FERA workers.

The girl, who was believed by police to have been an imported communist sympathizer, was the spearhead of the rush of demonstrators who attempted to rescue their arrested leader, Gene Corish, 35, of Denver, from the hands of police.

I followed the demonstrators from the time they gathered with the intention of picketing the FERA projects. Police believed they planned to descend on a project at Alameda avenue and Cherry creek. Instead they headed for another at Evans street and the Platte river.

FERA Workers Fight Reds.

There they rushed into a group of FERA workers and sought to take away their tools. The relief workers fought back. But, by the force of superior numbers the demonstrators were winning the spirited battle when police rushed up.

Several picks and shovels had been thrown into the stream.

The police leaped into the midst of the hand to hand fighting. They seized Corish, who appeared to be the leader of the rioters, and dragged him to a patrol wagon.

Instantly the girl leader of the rioters set up a cry of “Don’t let the (here she used an unprintable epithet) have him” and she started toward the patrol wagon swinging a shovel someone had wrenched from a worker.

Others joined the rush. Bricks and clods flew thru the air toward the little band of a dozen husky policemen, outnumbered about 50 to 1 by the rioters.

The patrolmen formed a cordon around the patrol wagon, and retreated slowly toward it, fighting every step of the way, but using only their clubs and fists. They very apparently were seeking to avoid serious injury to anyone.

Officer Felled by Bottle.

Suddenly a beer bottle flew thru the air and struck one of the patrolmen (I learned later he was Carl V. Satt), squarely on the head. Satt dropped like a log.

A rioter stood over him with a shovel in his hands, apparently ready to swing another blow at the unconscious man.

Driven to desperation by this development, police drew their pistols and fired what sounded to me like more than 30 shots.

A rioter dropped, wounded thru the hip. He was Henry Brown, later found to be superficially wounded.

I think Patrolman Marshall Stanton shot him. Stanton told me later he believed this was the case.

I was certain, as I watched from some distance away, that I saw two other rioters drop, but, if others were wounded, they were carried along by their fellows and were not taken to hospitals.

Rapidly the ranks of the demonstrators broke, giving ground before the police fire. Several paused long enough to hurl bricks and rocks such as those which had already injured Sergt. James Pitt and Sergt. Henry Duerkop.

The police made 10 arrests in all.

Thru all the violence, FERA workers sided with police. They appeared determined not to give up their jobs.

INTRO 2: PHOTOGRAPHS
From the Rocky Mountain News, October 31, 1934, page 4


Caption reads: “A group of the “strikers” parading near the Cherry Creek relief project. Only 21 bona fide relief workers in Denver left their jobs yesterday to strike.”


Caption reads: “This view was taken just before police and so-called relief striker started their bloody battle at the Platte River near W. Jewell ave. yesterday. The arrow points to Patrolman C. V. Satt, who was struck in the head by a missile and critically injured. Other patrolmen are shown on duty around the patrol wagon, as one of the picket leaders is being placed inside.”


Caption reads: “During the heat of the battle. This view shows the action in the encounter between police and strike picketers on the Platte River yesterday. Two of the picketers, knocked down by policemen, are shown lying on the ground.”


Caption reads: “After the smoke of battle. This shows the battleground where strikers and police met yesterday just after all the action had ceased. Two strikers are shown down on the ground and beyond them is Patrolman C. V. Satt, who was perhaps fatally injured when struck by missiles of the strikers. He is prone on the ground but has pulled out his revolver.”


Caption reads: “R. W. Rankin, a relief supervisor, shown waiting for the ambulance after he had been struck over the head by a patrolman following a private fight at the strike demonstration held yesterday at Civic Center. He suffered a severe scalp wound.”


Caption reads: Henry W. Brown, who was shot in the hip during the encounter between the demonstrators and police on the Platte River yesterday. He is shown here as he lay on a cot in county jail after his wound had been treated in Colorado General Hospital.”

INTRO 3: NEWS HEADLINES

CS Gazette, (AP) Oct 29, 1934:
Relief Strikers March on Capitol – Governor Refuses to Talk to Crowd When One ‘Red’ Won’t Keep Still

Rocky Mountain News, Oct 30
‘Relief Strikers’ March On Capitol, make Demands – Threaten Violence at Projects Today If Officials Do Not Grant All They Seek
Will Rogers – Says Bread Line Is Encouraged by Deficit of New York Stock Exchange
Young Folk Lambast Older Generation For Getting World Into Present Mess – No Punches Pulled as Boys and Girls Have Their Say

CS Evening Telegraph, Oct 30,
RELIEF RIOTERS BATTLE DENVER POLICE
Agitators Shot and Four Officers Injured as Mob Tries to Foment Strike – Blazing Guns Disperse Communist Led Crowd, Radio Car and Gas Station Burned, Score of Attackers Hurt, FERA Workers Refuse to Walk Out
Girl Radical Leads Mob in Denver Riot – FERA Project Pickets Spurred Into Battle by Woman Believed Imported Agitator

RMN, Oct 31
POLICE ARMY WITH MACHINE GUNS WILL GUARD FERA WORKERS TODAY
Force of 300 Officers Will Use Bullets and Tear Gas If Necessary to Protect Relief Workers From Molestation – Agitators Threaten Violence After Yesterday’s Bloody Clash
Witness Says Police Fired When Driven Back to Car – Gives Graphic Account of Rush by Screaming Men and Women Who Volleyed Rocks at Officers

CS Gazette, Oct 31,
RESUMPTION OF VIOLENCE IN DENVER STRIKE FEARED
City Tense After Bloody Riot on South Platte – Barricade Erected at Table Mountain, to Be Visited Today by Agitators

CS Evening Telegraph, Oct 31,
DENVER QUIET BUT TENSE AFTER RIOTING
Mob Gathers But Fails to Carry Out Threat to March on projects – Police Precautions Against Further Outbreaks Nip New Demonstrations; Report Agitators on Way to Foment Trouble in El Paso County – Mob Gathers in Englewood but Fails to Carry Out Threat to March Against FERA Projects
Don’t Expect Any Agitator Trouble on C. S. Relief Jobs p1, c7
Mountain at Golden Resembles Fortified Castle as Workers Prepare to Resist Strike Mob p1, c7

New York Times, Oct 31
‘Hunger Marchers’ Routed at Albany; Rioting in Denver – Many Injured in Denver – Relief Strikers Attempt to halt Federal Project–One Shot Fighting Police, p1, c1

RMN, Nov 1
Relief Strike Riots Subside as Police Act – Agitators Fail to Start Anything at Various FERA Projects
Pretty Girl From Illinois Finds Denver Police Nice p4, c1

CSET, Nov 1
Roundup Ends Denver Relief Strike Threat – With Agitators Arrested, Leaderless Mob’s Spirit Broken; Plot to Spread Disorder in State Fails
U.C.L.A. Branded Communist Hotbed

RMN, Nov 2
File Charges Today Naming 15 as Rioters – Two of Group Face Fine of $1,000 and Year in Jail If Acts Are Proved, p14
College Students Battle Radicalism – Form Vigilante Committee at Coast School

The unconstitutional National Day of Prayer: yes, its advocates live here

Oh for God’s Sake. Is there no end to Colorado Springs’ dumbshittedness? The Colorado supreme court rules against the constitutionality of a national Day of Prayer, to the objection of, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, whose headquarters are HERE in Colorado Springs! Of course the annual proclamation is a violation of the separation of church and state, and the NDPTF doesn’t plan to appeal the decision, but they’ve put out the call for you to appeal it, and they want Governor Hickenlooper to defy the court. Who are these litigious theocratic fascists? Oddly the Gazette article paraphrased the group’s press release without attributing its statements to any spokesperson, perhaps the Gazette is embarrassed for them, you’d like to think. I shall not be surprised if next I learn that Colorado Springs submits an application everyday for its anti-intellectual prowess to be recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.

State of Colorado admits torturing prisoners

Solitary confinement is the favorite manner that the US tortures people with and the State of Colorado has just admitted to torturing people in this manner to the federal government, yet the Obama Administration will not begin to punish the governments in Colorado that use this torture method on prisoners held, since the Federal government uses it, too. The Obama Administration did ask that the State of Colorado not use it to torture TOO many prisoners with though. How nice. See Colorado to move 321 inmates out of solitary

Hey Mike!

After last week, it seemed this entry would be a pep talk for disheartened Colorado Springs Occupiers. Instead it seems it will need to be my own mind meandering around in an attempt to make sense of the new dynamic rising from the ashes of the original manifestation we had going here, which has surely been destroyed. It feels something like a kids cabin make of Lincoln Logs or something after he knocks it over to build something else.

It’s been over a week since the City shut our permit down and confiscated our ramshackle, wind-ragged tents down at Acacia Park. After a few days of curious and somewhat disconcerting quiet, Occupiers in Colorado Springs are reconnected, reinvigorated, and in many cases really pissed off. Yesterday a contingency of us made our way to the old Venetucci Farm south of CSprings to harass Colorado’s Gov. Hickenlooper at the groundbreaking ceremony for a solar garden project of the city’s publicly owned utilities company. About 20 Occupiers of Colorado Springs mic-checked the governor and briefly disrupted the speechifying before a group that was made largely of Occupy’s natural allies, raising the ire of some attendees, but most assuredly reminding Hickenlooper that he won’t be allowed to ignore the movement simply by leaving Denver.

Some Occupiers present , including i, were ambivalent about our project. Hickenlooper is something of a liberal darling, having supported projects like the SunShare solar garden in the past, and the crowd at the event was populated by many of Colorado Springs’s “liberal” elite. The business of interrupting at these proceedings is a little sticky, and may have cost some in support for Occupy among this crowd. On the other hand, some of the issues addressed by Occupy were aptly illustrated within the very brief span of our attendance. Jerry Forte, who wrangles close to $300,000 a year for himself without considering bonuses as CEO of Colorado Springs Utilities, spent a few smooth-talking minutes going on about how cool the city’s utility non-profit is, noting the great advance the two or three dozen solar panels undergoing installation at Venetucci Farm toward his goal of deriving 20% of city power from renewable resources by 2020 represents. Gee whiz! At today’s use rates, by 2020, the world’s inhabitants, especially in the U.S., will be stabbing one another over firewood if we can survive the toxic byproducts of the petroleum industry, or the potentially nuclear wars we are preparing for our next trick in the Middle East. Hmm–wonder what gas prices will look like if the Levant and its environs are sealed under a “sea of glass.”

Forte also sits on the board at the local branch of the United Way, where Bob Holmes’s Homeward Pikes Peak brought in around $650,000 last year, and still can’t figure out how to house or manage the low-ball ,(and variable), estimate of around 1,100 homeless residents in Colorado Springs. Hickenlooper, a million dollar winner in the American sweepstakes who loves to project an aw-shucks, up-by-the-bootstrap, populist kind of image came to his ability to start restaurant empires via the petroleum industry. He presides over a state that panders shamelessly to the U.S. military and its attendant industrial complex, both of which entities these days seem to be no more than acquisition arms of the energy and financial elite about which you may have heard Occupiers railing in recent months. Mike Hannigan of the Pikes Peak Community Foundation was there, and i’m sure he was butt-hurt by the Occupiers implication by their mere presence that his organization might be elitist or something. The CC student i spoke with on the way off the farm grounds was perplexed and hurt herself, expressing solidarity with Occupy, but begging that we not “do it again, ” referring to our admittedly rather obnoxious interruption. She will likely go on from CC to join the cultured pseudo-liberal aristocracy of our guilt-laden Western catechism spinning its wheels till the Apocalypse. Hannigan manages some $50m in assets, and to be sure the foundation does some good work, but all the back-slapping and genteel coffee-sipping over a couple of ultimately meaningless solar panels sure feels a lot like John Rockefeller’s habit of passing out dimes to street urchins late in his life.

I am not accusing Hannigan, Forte, or others of comparability with Rockefeller, who made his initial fortune by arson and murder. Consider this, though. No one seems interested in whether the numbers in the mix add up to anything substantive or not. None of the serious players mentioned above have ever questioned the 1,000% spread between some of the salaries involved at CS Utilities, and when and if they do it’s generally to argue that we have to pay such ridiculous amounts to attract the “best and the brightest,” even though recent history shows plainly enough that it’s painfully obvious huge salaries hardly translate into top performance. No one scratches his head over the disconnect between the high-minded goal of CS Utilities for 20% renewable energy within minutes of the utter collapse of projected petroleum reserves. And aren’t we Americans, including especially those of us with the clout big money wields, responsible for our own politics? Are we really a bastion of freedom and intelligent, realistically utilitarian process or is all that rhetoric just a roll of dimes to cover up our guilt every time we go down to Wal-Mart to perpetuate our slave economy, without which we have never lived? What’s the disparity between Forte’s salary and the annual income of the guy that made his spiffy shoes?

Occupiers love solar projects. But nothing’s ever about just one thing, and it seems to me it’s about as rarely mostly about the thing at the top of the presentation program. We Occupiers are often accused of stupidly purveying no solid agenda. it may be apparent that at least my Occupy agenda is complicated. The above connects Big Oil, Third World labor, charitable impulse, income disparity, under-girding Western guilt, competitive job markets, and spiritual malaise, among other things, including much that remains implied. Many Occupiers i have met personally are still perturbed at the scanty portion of the American Pie they find available on their own plate. We’ve brought this whole scenario upon ourselves, though, and the current program will remain fully unsustainable whether the polite society of charity in the Pikes Peak region dismisses us over our antics or not. That’s why Occupy in general will be not so easily dislodged from its place in history.

The bitch about saying all this is i really, really like most of the people i recognized at Venetucci Farms yesterday. I like Americans in general–but man, we’ve got problems, just like the homeless guys Bob Holmes and his philosophical brethren like to try to control all the time. When i talk to those guys in line at the soup kitchen, i tell them, “Man, ya really ought to leave that dope alone a little.” They know me, and they know i love them. Really. I do–and really, they know it. They know they’re fucked up, too. Sometimes i’ll tell the most torn down that they need to leave the dope alone completely, before it kills them. That’s what i’m saying about our society here in Colorado Springs, in Colorado, the U.S.A., and the whole world. I really don’t have a beef with the bankers, politicians, and half-assed, dime-roll charities of the world, or the foolish scrabblers grasping at the American Nightmare. They’re working a system designed by haphazard evolutionary processes to favor ruthless competition. But i am saying that we need to get serious about fixing all these interwoven problems that stem from deep down in human souls, because we’re running out of time. If we lose, and everything goes to Hell in a handbasket, if none of us learn a genuinely cooperative technique for living together with ourselves, and with the Earth before she rejects us, we Occupiers will be able to tell our kids we fought the deadly processes that brought us down with everything at our disposal. Even if it’s with our dying breaths. What will those of us that insist on competing our species to death be telling theirs?

Occupy is not going away, here in Colorado Springs, or anywhere else. We’re planning more and escalating prodding at the fat, lazy system and its symbiotic remorae. We hope the World listens closely to what we’re saying and its members genuinely look inward to find that bit of truth that remains, concealed behind layers of self-deception and avarice. Because, sure, we’re pissed off about injustice–who wouldn’t be? But we also really like humans, and other living things, and we don’t want to see them all go away.

Occupy Denver recognizes Colo. AIM, mixes metaphor to Unoccupy America!

This weekend the General Assembly of Occupy Denver recognized that its intended occupation was actually a re-occupation, of lands to which original inhabitants lay claim. On Sunday the GA consensus voiced its solidarity with the American Indian Movement of Colorado who submitted a statement for ratification. It’s reprinted below via The Sole Reader:

COLORADO AIM’S CHALLENGE TO #OCCUPYDENVER

An Indigenous Platform Proposal for “Occupy Denver”

“Now we put our minds together to see what kind of world we can create for the seventh generation yet to come.”

John Mohawk (1944-2006), Seneca Nation

As indigenous peoples, we welcome the awakening of those who are relatively new to our homeland. We are thankful, and rejoice, for the emergence of a movement that is mindful of its place in the environment, that seeks economic and social justice, that strives for an end to oppression in all its forms, that demands an adequate standard of food, employment, shelter and health care for all, and that calls for envisioning a new, respectful and honorable society. We have been waiting for 519 years for such a movement, ever since that fateful day in October, 1492 when a different worldview arrived – one of greed, hierarchy, destruction and genocide.

In observing the “Occupy Together” expansion, we are reminded that the territories of our indigenous nations have been “under occupation” for decades, if not centuries. We remind the occupants of this encampment in Denver that they are on the territories of the Cheyenne, Arapaho and Ute peoples. In the U.S., indigenous nations were the first targets of corporate/government oppression. The landmark case of Johnson v. McIntosh (1823), which institutionalized the “doctrine of discovery” in U.S. law, and which justified the theft of 2 billion acres of indigenous territory, established a framework of corrupt political/legal/corporate collusion that continues throughout indigenous America, to the present.

If this movement is serious about confronting the foundational assumptions of the current U.S. system, then it must begin by addressing the original crimes of the U.S. colonizing system against indigenous nations. Without addressing justice for indigenous peoples, there can never be a genuine movement for justice and equality in the United States. Toward that end, we challenge Occupy Denver to take the lead, and to be the first “Occupy” city to integrate into its philosophy, a set of values that respects the rights of indigenous peoples, and that recognizes the importance of employing indigenous visions and models in restoring environmental, social, cultural, economic and political health to our homeland.

We call on Occupy Denver to adopt, as a starting point, the following:

1. To repudiate the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, to endorse the repeal of the papal bull Inter Caetera (1493) to work for the reversal of the U.S. Supreme Court case of Johnson v. M’Intosh 1823), and call for a repeal of the Columbus Day holiday as a Colorado and United States holiday.

2. To endorse the right of all indigenous peoples to the international right of self-determination, by virtue of which they freely determine their political status, and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural futures.

3. To demand the recognition, observance and enforcement of all treaties and agreements freely entered into `between indigenous nations and the United States. Treaties should be recognized as binding international instruments. Disputes should be recognized as a proper concern of international law, and should be arbitrated by impartial international bodies.

4. To insist that Indigenous people shall never be forcibly relocated from their lands or territories.

5. To acknowledge that Indigenous peoples have the right to practice and teach their spiritual and religious traditions customs and ceremonies, including in institutions of the State, e.g. prisons, jails and hospitals„ and to have access in privacy their religious and cultural sites, and the right to the repatriation of their human remains and funeral objects.

6. To recognize that Indigenous peoples and nations are entitled to the permanent control and enjoyment of their aboriginal-ancestral territories. This includes surface and subsurface rights, inland and coastal waters, renewable and non-renewable resources, and the economies based on these resources. In advancement of this position, to stand in solidarity with the Cree nations, whose territories are located in occupied northern Alberta, Canada, in their opposition to the Tar Sands development, the largest industrial project on earth. Further, to demand that President Barack Obama deny the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, proposed to run from the tar sands in Canada into the United States, and that the United States prohibit the use or transportation of Tar Sands oil in the United States.

7. To assert that Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions. They have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions. Further, indigenous peoples have the right to the ownership and protection of their human biological and genetic materials, samples, and stewardship of non-human biological and genetic materials found in indigenous territories.

8. To recognize that the settler state boundaries in the Americas are colonial fabrications that should not limit or restrict the ability of indigenous peoples to travel freely, without inhibition or restriction, throughout the Americas. This is especially true for indigenous nations whose people and territories have been separated by the acts of settler states that established international borders without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.

9. To demand that the United States shall take no adverse action regarding the territories, lands, resources or people of indigenous nations without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous peoples affected.

10. To demand the immediate release of American Indian political prisoner, Leonard Peltier, U.S. Prisoner #89637-132, from U.S. federal custody.

Finally, we also remind Occupy Denver that indigenous histories, political, cultural, environmental, medical, spiritual and economic traditions provide rich examples for frameworks that can offer concrete models of alternatives to the current crises facing the United States. We request that Occupy Denver actively utilize and integrate indigenous perspectives, teachers, and voices in its deliberations and decision-making processes.

Submitted 8 October 2011

American Indian Movement of Colorado

P.O. Box 292, Sedalia, CO 80135