Who is this El Paso Sheriffs undercover infiltrator provocateur? We don’t care!

El Paso County Sheriffs Undercover OperativeCOLO. SPRINGS– Lawyers for the city are fighting defense team efforts to expose who, how, when and why local law enforcement agencies infiltrated a campus political activist group. The 2017 undercover operation was revealed in CSPD bodycam videos, but city courthouse lawyers and judges are preventing the evidence from being made public.

Alerted to the October 17 evidentiary hearing meant to shed light on the bodycam video, journalists and news crews instead witnessed stonewalling by city attorneys but made to look like a disorganized defense. They saw municipal Judge Kristen Hoffecker blame the defendants for not submitting to a sham proceding, when the judge should have confessed that the defense’s subpoenas had not been honored.

Today the city learned that our defense team went around them and served the subpoenas directly, requiring the responsible law agency parties to testify as witnesses at an evidentiary hearing on November 3. Now the city wants to use a November 1 status hearing to quash the subpoenas.

What’s the big deal? The city asserts the confidential identity of its undercovers is a stake. That is of course the least of it.

The city’s own evidence against the defendants, accused of marching in the street on March 26, 2017, documents police officers deciding to issue tickets. What’s clear from the video is that the police issued tickets, not to cite wrongdoers, nor to halt law-breaking, but to 1) “identify everyone”, 2) arrest an undercover agent, and 3) disperse a lawful assembly. It’s all on tape.

When defendants first grasped what they were seeing on the bodycam video, they brought it to the attention of the various municipal court judges who take turns directing the daily court matters. Asked to produce the written reports generated by the officers on the video but missing from the discovery evidence, the judges declined. Asked to subpoena the officers involved, the judges declined. After each defendant’s pro se arguments were rebuffed, one motions hearing after the other, the defendants sought legal help. Actually Judge Hayden Kane II did eventually grant a hearing to look into the video, but he told us he’d already watched it in private and was not inclined to find it relevant, so defendants were not encouraged that his opinion would change.

In the meantime civil rights lawyers were highly interested in the police activity documented by the video. They submitted 20 pages of argument for the dismissal of charges against the defendants, citing outrageous police misconduct in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 23. They requested that the sheriff, the police chief, the commander of CSPD intelligence, and others named and unnamed, be subpoenaed to testify at an evidentiary hearing on October 17. That didn’t happen, as everyone saw. The subpoenas didn’t even go out.

The October 17 hearing misfire was simply the latest of months of attempts by the defendants to bring this story to light.

This time around the city wasn’t given the chance to sit on the subpoenas, they’ve been served directly. On November 1, will Judge Hoffecker invalidate the subpoenas two days before the witnesses are compelled to appear? The question reporters can ask is should she?

The city’s argument will be that the police undercover operation, however illegal, does not have anything to do with the guilt or innocence of the socialists charged with marching in the street. Outrageous police misconduct is a matter for federal court, that’s true. But have a look at the video. Notice that the first marcher fingered for arrest, the only one assigned an arrest team, was the undercover “Mark Jackson.” When the police shouted their warning that all who remained in front of City Hall would be issued citations, their only unequivocable target was Jackson.

Without the motive of arresting Jackson, whether it was to provoke the crowd or to embed their infiltrator, and until the order “LT wants everyone identified”, the police weren’t going to make any arrests. What does that say about the supposed guilt of the accused?

The police had already told the socialists “you’re free to carry on with your rally so long as you don’t step back unto the street.”

What the socialists were doing on March 26 was the essence of protected speech. But senior officers not on the scene had a crime of their own up their sleeves, and they needed an arrest or two to set it into motion.

Should we get to the bottom of this story, or let the city pretend it didn’t happen until the defendants get to turn the tables in federal court?

One presumes that undercover agents are only performing the intelligence function of surveillance, monitoring protest activity for hints of criminal behavior. At worse, we call them agent provocateurs, trying to encourage illegality, and believe that everyday nonviolent activists should know better than to be entrapped into illegal acts.

But undercover officers are much more disruptive than that. Undercovers sow dischord and mistrust among strangers who’ve come together to advocate for a common cause. Infiltrators pit activists against each other and confound organizers with sabotage. They volunteer for responsibilities then drop the ball. They complicate discussions with irrelevant, impractical, or illegal suggestions. When their ideas are rejected they express frustration by demeaning their fellow participants for being unmotivated. When “Mark Jackson” was found out, and it took many weeks for everyone to become convinced he was an undercover, he berated everyone for every personal failing in the book. He accused individuals of paranoia, ineptitude, or lacking courage. “Get back to me when you decide you want to DO SOMETHING” were his parting words.

Police infiltration harms every citizen effort to organize. The Code of Federal Regulations mandates that police agencies have suspicion of real crime before embedding infiltrators.

If CSPD or the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office or the Department of Homeland Security or the Colorado Bureau of Investigation has proof of a crime brewing among the Colorado Springs Socialists, wouldn’t we all benefit to know about it? We would if their motive is truly crime prevention.

The real identities of “Mark Jackson” and his partner “Aimee Walter” doesn’t matter at all. Who they work for is paramount. Are they “with the Sheriffs” or contracted or embedded from another agency? As the video shows, Jackson’s jittery hyperactive behavior while detained in the cruiser doesn’t give one much confidence about who law enforcement is entrusting with a loaded weapon in a crowd they hope to be inciting to riot.

The city’s determination to quash the question of whether or not such evidence exists points to police malfeasance, not the Socialists’.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Colorado Springs police infiltration operations against social justice activism should be brought to heel sooner rather than later.

According to Judge Hoffecker’s order: November 1st at 2:30pm will be the city’s next chance to quash the subpoenas. If they do not succeed, the evidentiary hearing is scheduled for November 3rd at 8:15am.

City plan to snuff socialist infiltration hearing blows up in courtroom’s face

El Paso County undercovers
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO– If you attended today’s evidentiary hearing about the police infiltration of a local student group, you are no doubt left wondering what happened. Where were the defendants and why was the judge so angry? The outcome was not what either side wanted, but still it was a huge false step for the city. The defense was not provided the police witnesses it requested, but the prosecution was prevented from quashing those subpoenas outright. As a truant co-defendant, I had a unique vantage point on today’s anticlimax and I apologize I was unable to explain it in person.

Today’s hearing, it turns out, was supposed to exclude the defendants. The review of evidence relating to the police infiltration operation was intended to happen outside of public view. The lawyers signed the setting slips, not the defendants, who were kept uninformed of the October 17 hearing. The judge had specified lawyers only, to keep the details and identities of the undercovers confidential.

Can courts exclude defendants from their own hearings? Not really, but anyway.

It turns out the judge wanted privacy because she had no intention of conducting the hearing at all. Without an audience to offend, this judge planned to summarily quash the defense motions to make police administrators testify and that would be the end of it. Objections be damned, let the lawyers take it up on appeal. Push this hot potato off a year or two.

However, through documents obtained directly from the courthouse, the defendants did learn about the hearing. So the defendants made plans to attend the hearing regardless of a judge’s preferences, and they publicized the event for what it promised to be, a scandalous exposé of CSPD intelligence overreach. Subpoenaed to testify were El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey, Lieutenant Mark Comte of the CSPD Intelligence Divison, and Sergeant Clayton Blackwell, among others.

Colorado Springs prosecutors did not inform the defense team that they had no intention of honoring those subpoenas. Instead they planned to motion to quash the subpoenas and truncate the hearing. The city attorneys did not file those motions beforehand nor give the defense any indication they were contesting the subpoenas.

I can only surmise that the city prosecutors began receiving calls from the media about the anticipated testimony of the sheriff and chief of police, because it wasn’t until late morning on the day of the hearing, after our press release went out, that the city emailed the defense team to say that “Sgt Blackwell is on vacation.” Blackwell wouldn’t be attending the hearing, they said, and by the way, his was the only subpoena delivered.

To which I imagine our legal team said: WTF?! Now we needed a hearing to learn why the city thought it could unilaterally decide to whom to deliver our subpoenas.

It’s one thing to disrespect the rights of defendants. Our municipal court does it ALL THE TIME. Everyday, sadly. In fact, it’s done it repeatedly to the very defendants in this case, before we got lawyers. But it’s quite another thing to trample on our rights when a civil rights attorney is involved.

If Blackwell was on vacation, the case needed a continuance. And if subpoenas were going to be quashed, we needed a motions hearing. Oddly, the judge was demanding our defense attorneys show up in person. To arrange a continuance?! Riiiiiight.

Our lawyers quickly let us know there was to be no hearing. Since the defendants weren’t supposed to attend today’s hearing anyway, we deemed it prudent not to attend the prosecution’s switcheroo. Without defendants, whatever the prosecution planned couldn’t proceed. Meanwhile the defense lawyers weren’t going to abide a Podunk Springs Judge Roy Bean throwing the law book out the window. If subpoenas aren’t going to be honored, you have to present the legal basis beforehand. Them’s the rules, Hayseeds.

So the courtroom audience, including journalists and media crews who had to leave their television cameras outside, were left to witness a Colorado Springs judge fuming at being out-thunk. The defense lawyers weren’t there to let her quash away with her gavel, without regard for the Colorado Rules of Proceedure, and the judge’s original scheme excluded the defendants so as a result there were no defendants present to accept her rulings. The judge could do nothing but seethe and lecture the audience about big lawyers disrespecting municipal courts. Nevermind that our courts are corrupt mechanisms that trample rights for breakfast. (The ACLU recently released a report damning Alamosa’s city courts: Justice Derailed. Believe me, the identical abuses of power occur in Colorado Springs.)

Nevermind too, what today’s court hearing was supposed to be about: Outrageous Conduct on the part of CSPD and EPCSO, and violations of the Code of Federal Conduct. Today’s defendants were arrested on March 26, 2017, but not for walking in the street. The socialists were arrested because the Intelligence Division wanted to “arrest” an undercover officer, maybe two, in order to give them deeper cover as they infiltrated a student-led group just formed in Colorado Springs. The CSPD body-cam video released to the defendants already proves this. We wanted the decision makers responsible to explain it.

Instead of a comedy of errors spotlighting local law enforcement ignoring the people’s Bill of Rights, the courtroom audience today saw another facet of our corrupt judicial system. They witnessed a judge prepared to ride roughshod over further rights that protect citizens from authoritarian zeal. You may not care how police abuse “socialists” but the whims of a municipal court despot affect everyone caught in their dragnet, be it a ticket or a zoning dispute. Even with an expensive lawyer, you are powerless to object when a judge pretends there are no rules.

What the judge saw today was a courtroom filled with supporters of the defendants and a media interested in their story. She saw that she and her gavel are not going to make this story go away.

The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs, in a Nutshell.

JesusGET THIS. I heard a reverend-person yesterday lecturing newish activists about their need for nonviolence training, which she was volunteering to lead. She was also offering rubber wristbands for her graduates to wear at demonstrations, so that police could differentiate between protesters. She told us she’d ask officers to scrutinize those not wearing bands as being the potential troublemakers. This, she assured everyone, would make it more difficult for outside groups to waylay the action. I kid you not. And she’s a church leader praised locally as something of an activist! HA! That’s a RAT!

I recognized the Springs “outsider” buggaboo so I thought I’d relate where it came from in a little piece I’ll call The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs. Ready? It won’t take long.

So what violence have I seen in my fairly full-time participation over a dozen years, multiple wars and as many elections? ZERO. That’s right. I’ve seen a lot of brutal handling by police, but by the hands of protesters? Nothing.

Yep. The History of Violent Protest in Colorado Springs. The End.

For as much as local church leaders harp on nonviolence training, which includes, by the way, nonviolence bounderies that forbid even confrontational speech, you’d think they’d seen a need for it. They haven’t. For EVERY preacher and or disciple regurgitating nonviolence edicts, I’ve never seen ONE counterpart advocate for, nor commit, violence. It’s almost a laugh, if the practice wasn’t so damaging to public demonstrations. Colorado Springs street protests have been defanged to nothing, police needn’t bother to show up and they don’t. As a result, neither do protesters.

And it isn’t just that nonviolence dogma declaws the public beast. Religifying activism alienates intellectuals and atheists who woud prefer not to suffer the foolish god-justified claptrap. Monotheism is the engine which has always perpetuated privilege, enslavement, colonization and capitalism. Wtf.

Not satisfied to deputize citizens with the equivalent of TSA pre-boarding approval, clergy want to deprive their charges of the element of surprise. The Springs antiwar community keeps direct contact with law enforcement. I’m guessing protestations, if any, are now simply phoned in.

I JUST WANT TO PUNCH these nonviolence religion freaks for mutilating the impetus of budding activists. A newcomer’s anger is what drew them to protest in the first place. Of course as ministers that is their function. Social injustice is job security to church employees. They are about as likely to remedy inequity as the Pope. Sermons aim to temper their sheep’s natural anger at injustice. But enough about those assholes.

No matter the issue, antiwar, the environment, racism, homelessness, in Colorado Springs I’ve seen absolutely no public demonstration escalate to violence. Why then the ready queue of spiritual nuts so eager to innoculate every next wave of concerned citizen before they can even take to the street? It goes back to something that happened at an antiwar demonstration in 2003, although the lesson being drawn is not based on what really happened. That’s the bugaboo.

Palmer Park, 2003
In 2003 George W. Bush was about to initiate an illegal war against Iraq and public demonstrations were coordinated across the globe. In Colorado Springs nearly 2,000 people assembled in Palmer Park along Academy Boulevard. The Springs rally looked to eclipse the antiwar events planned in Denver, so some people came from Denver, or so it’s believed. In reality, the Springs antiwar community had an average age of 75 and hadn’t seen new faces for decades. The sight of younger participants led many to believe they were from elsewhere. Plus some of the younger protesters wore black, so word spread they were Anarchists. Scary.

For the usual reasons, the CSPD decided to close Academy Boulevard. When rally-goers realized their protest wasn’t being seen because motorists were no longer driving by, some decided to lead the crowds southward toward an intersection where traffic was still passing. Being that Academy Boulevard was cleared of cars, the most obvious route was on the street. There was no sidewalk and the park was congested with the parked cars of the attendees. No matter. The police formed a line and ordered the marchers back.

The police began to spray tear gas as the protesters retreated. Clouds of gas enveloped the crowds as they dispersed and struggled to get in their cars. The cars were gased with families and small children inside them, unable to drive away.

Across the globe that day, only two cities used tear gas against their antiwar protests: Athens and Colorado Springs. That’s how old timers like to tell the story. They’ll add that the police crackdown was prompted by unruly outsiders being violent with police. By which they mean, refusing to get off the street. Being assertive of one’s rights somehow became translated to mean impermissively violent.

Had these Emily Posts ever seen the footage of Selma?! These nonviolence sticklers are MLK idolators, yet just like Selma’s whites, they blame the victim.

Palmer Park, 2003

Protests in Colorado Springs immediately diminished in popularity and never again drew large numbers. Apparently when organizers called their members the apprehension was always “will it be safe?”

And so from that day, nuns and other clergy met regularly with Colorado Springs police to talk to them about protest plans, lest CSPD be surprised and overreact. That hasn’t stopped police from dragging us across streets or assaulting us in parking lots or on sidewalks. Oh to have merited it even once!

NOTE: I have omitted a couple of insider details about the 2003 rally because I wanted to relate the experience of the average participant. Yes, the event was advertized statewide and drew opponents of Bush’s war from along the Front Range. And yes, there was a strategy among frontline protesters to try to block an intersection. Most attendees didn’t know either of these facts. The local peace community was so insular that all new faces were looked upon as interlopers. But my point remains, there was no violence. Our freedom to assemble, wherever two thousand people need to go, is not abriged by congress nor by traffic laws. Rebuffing law enforcement’s attempt to disrespect civil liberties by standing, walking, sitting, or shouting, is not violence.

St Patricks Day, 2007

Nonviolently submitting to state violence is supposed to move onlookers to empathy. In 2007, was the Colorado Springs public moved by the police brutalization of nonviolent 70-yr-old Elizabeth Fineron, who later died of complications of her injuries? No, they cheered the police.

Sacrificing yourself may work in democracies with an empowered populace, but against fascism, as against the Mongols or Manifest Destiny, it’s abrogation of responsibility and suicide.

Incorporating the dogma of “nonviolence” into what would otherwise be straightforward protest becomes problematic when nonviolence folks want to differentiate themselves. Those who are “othered” are then presumed to be planning violence. That’s a very serious charge. Inciting a riot is a crime. Plotting to overthrow a democracy is sedition.

Non-nonviolence does not equal intending-violence. For example, I do not advocate violence, I advocate solidarity.

I do not oppose people asking for NV training, or undertaking it, though I would prefer that nonviolence wasn’t marketed to newcomers who wouldn’t have thought to have needed it.

Why should “nonviolence” even have to come up, for example, at a discussion about a SIT-IN? Agreeing to sit is already a gesture which has capitulated the option to resist. A crowd can’t charge from the seated position. You can’t even defend yourself. The nonviolence is inherent.

Religious NV training is really about nonviolent communication, a whole other can of rotten worms. There is no evidence that Gandhi, MLK or the Flint factory sit-ins practiced that aberration.

If the challenge is to show public opposition to the sit-lie ordinance because it further oppresses the homeless, public energies need not be exhausted by habitually passive religious leaders and their idea of what direct action needs to be.

Yes, the anticipation of the supremacy of nonviolence over state violence is a religious expectation. Against fascism you’re asking for a miracle.

If preachers were activists they would lead their flocks into the street. Circulating among activists, those church leaders are opportunistic missionaries, looking for recruits among the disenchanted.

To be earnestly inclusive of faiths and non-faiths, leave you diety at home. Show respect for the “others” who don’t need the voodoo rationalizations you require to muster moral courage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


DATE ISSUED: 05-17-10
SERIAL NO: 013-10(P)

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

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

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

Here is the Coloradans For Peace press release:

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

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

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

Take a look at this picture, Torture Freaks…

Frank Cordero, 2007That’s a Colorado Springs Police Officer holding an elderly man in a Choke- Hold and jamming his thumb under the Real Man’s ear and jaw to enhance the pain.

During that particular assault six others, mostly elderly or disabled persons, were assaulted by the Pain-Loving Uniformed Sadist Squad.

One of them is a retired Judge.

Offering me Free Legal Advice?

I don’t think so.

I think our new-found Friend is offering a Threat to use the powers of the FBI to silence any form of dissent or failure to agree with his positions.

UNDO THE COUP begins at home

COLORADO SPRINGS- Rita wants to remind local Democrats about which way to push Barack Obama, come January 20 after the inauguration, and before then, at the local Democratic Party precinct meetings. Whether we have expectations of Obama or not, if he doesn’t know what we want, how’s he supposed to deliver?

Here’s the full text of her latest communique:

by Rita Walpole Ague

With the Obama inauguration about to happen, may we all come to rest and live in peace and justice and true democracy. Recent comments made by Obama coordinator Bob Nemanich re. the anti-democratic stance certain of his old friends, do not surprise me in the least. Failures of our democracy to function as a democracy are not new, and have been around for awhile – some say since 1947. I recall when the FBI was doing warrantless wiretapping of the Kennedys and MLK, plus countless of their supporters and followers. Such blatant anti-democracy tactics have now reached new levels of power lust and greed under the oh so fascist, manipulative Neocons.

Consider Neocon “spook” surveillance and infiltration into so many organizations and efforts, certainly including numerous peace, and justice, and political and governmental organizations and operations The first such governmental operation that comes to my mind is the democratic and fundamental act of voting and having that vote count. No big secret – vote fraud’s gone broad based and high tech.

Here’s reality, as painful as it may be to face – we’ve lost democracy. And the “change” our almost president Obama has promised to render must first and foremost address this loss of democracy, and all the constitutional violations that go and have gone unchallenged and all too often hide and have been hidden under the guise of “security against terrorism.” In the words of the head of Grandmothers for Peace International, we must become our own media, a job Bob Nemanich did so well following the Democratic assembly when he, acting in his co-ordinator position with the Obama campaign, sent out an email far and wide with a request for info. on the intimidation and disenfranchisement that occurred at the Democratic county assembly in February, 2007.

Bob wanted identified who it was who had stood at the door and turned away countless elected delegates and alternates, many of whom had dangerously been kept standing outside in the bitter cold for hours. How tragic it is that question even had to be asked by Bob and the party vice chair Jay Ferguson, since the Democratic party chair, John Morris, was most certainly aware who this person at the door was – former NSA operative and then current chair of the local A.C.L.U., and now chair of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, William Durland. Certainly Morris knew who Durland was and what he’d been assigned to do, just as Morris knew and knows who Durland is and what he does when Morris recently authorized that complaints re. voting “irregularities” be sent to Durland.

And how tragic it was and is that Morris, supposedly a staunch Democrat and chair of the local party, praises people such as El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink, the same official who ousted me from his office in Oct. of 2006 as I attempted to cast an early vote and refused to take off my small “Grandmothers for Peace” button. Very recently and far more outrageously, Balink attempted to disenfranchise Colorado College students and keep them from voting, attempting to intimidate their parents with a threat of IRS involvement. Disenfranchisement and intimidation. Isn’t there a pattern?

And what role has and does Colorado Springs being a major “fusion center” play in these and all the other totally undemocratic and unconscionable incidents we’ve experienced here in Colorado Springs – for example, the tear gassing of peaceful demonstrators as they gathered prior to our entry into the Iraq war? Similar tear gassing occurred at that time only in one other city on earth – Athens, Greece. Then there was the brutalizing of the peace demonstrators during the 2007 St. Patrick’s Day Parade – their offense was wearing a uniform of sorts, green shirts with peace signs. They peacefully marched and rode under permit in the parade, and suddenly were brutalized beyond belief. Guess what? No national press coverage, even though one of the top stories of the year happened that day – the dragging in the street by a cop of Elizabeth Fineron, a physically disabled former nun, until she was raw and bleeding on her thigh and stomach, an act of torture still available for view on the internet and in photos which appeared in the Independent. Talk about terror!

Cursed until the day of her death with post traumatic stress disorder following her being so brutalized, Elizabeth died a year and a month later, the victim of a fully “infused” Colorado Springs Police Department. Next came the arrest, handcuffing and removal of two peace demonstrators at the 2008 Democratic State Convention, along with the destruction by police of the support poles for the banner. Their true offense was standing outside police lines, holding up a banner that asked: “Dems, please stop funding the war in Iraq.” Waiting to enter the arena to take part in the convention, elected delegates and alternates cheered the demonstrators, as simultaneously, unidentified persons, standing on a nearby hotel roof with a hyperbolic dish, surveilled and recorded the entire arrest incident. The official offense the police initially charged the peace demonstrators with was “obstruction,” but that charge was almost immediately abandoned and replaced with the charge of “trespass.” Guess who would be the party to bring and pursue such a complaint of trespass? You guessed it – the leaseholder of the convention site, the Colorado state Democratic party!

And then came the request by the head of the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, at that time but no longer located behind the Independent in a building which the Indy owns, for police to appear and question and possible place under arrest four individuals, myself included, who sat in folding chairs in a streetside parkway outside the J&P office for an hour one spring evening and discussed the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. We considered what “infusion” style police tactics might be (and unfortunately were) used on peace demonstrators. Once again, it’s difficult to miss the pattern of disenfranchisement and intimidation.

Rather than standing watch on the constitution and democracy and asking the hard but vital questions that are the basis of all good critical thinking, the U.S. has allowed itself to be spun by the greed and power mongers and their corporate controlled mass media into a state of “La La Land.” Not only was Elizabeth Fineron a victim of a fully “infused” Colorado Springs Police Department, but the peaceful older disabled woman, an Obama supporter, a teacher who dedicated herself to peace and justice for all, was a victim also of a naive, consumption preoccupied, unquestioning and not sufficiently concerned U.S. populace.

It’s increasingly apparent that what all this spells: COUP! Certainly we all, under the leadership of our man Obama, need to address the Neocon-insurged “IT’S THE ECONOMY, STUPID” peril we find ourselves in. But until we place as our number one priority the return of true vs. token democracy, and do what it takes to “UNDO THE COUP,” we’ll continue to be at the mercy of the military/industrial/corporate power and greed mongers who, like Bob’s old school friends, think we Americans are stupid, should not be able to vote, and believe democracy is a quaint, antiquated, naive institution. Our democracy, which has been tortured, waterboarded, and all but done away with over the years, will be beyond resuscitation if we don’t clearly concentrate on the root of the problems underlying the economic and total undemocratic mess we’re in today.

Let’s keep the faith, and Obama-style hope. Let’s honor of all our U.S. brothers and sisters who, along with Elizabeth Fineron, have donned a uniform and fought and died for their country – for democracy and the constitution, for lasting peace and fundamental justice. Let’s rejoice in the not so minor miracle that’s happened – the election of Barak Obama. Let’s celebrate his inauguration. Let’s push hard and fight peacefully but firmly for the change we so desperately need. And let’s never stop reminding our soon to be President Obama that we’re counting on him to bring about the change he’s promised – the change we so need and long for.

President Obama, congratulations, and never forget – we want to help you and your appointees to UNDO THE COUP!

Rita Ague

Come march in favor of elections for all

ON MONDAY OCTOBER 20th, at 12:30pm, Colorado College students will hold a PUBLIC MARCH to mark the first day of EARLY VOTING in the 2008 presidential election. Students will assemble at Worner Center, and march straight downtown to the El Paso County Registrar. This action will call attention to the need to go early to the polls, in case voters encounter challenges to their registrations. I’m more encouraged simply that students are taking to the streets because I believe, like Emma Goldman, “If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.” Would Goldman be so revered a social reformer if people didn’t recognize, deep down, the wisdom of her words?

Students at Colorado College have in years past faced regular disenfranchisement at the voting booth because local election administrators chose to muddy the qualifications for whether out-of-state students could vote in El Paso County. This year, plans to enforce a similar policy were leaked, and the county was forced to deny its intentions. As yet, student organizers do not know what to expect on November 4.

In the past, El Paso County has been such a God-forsaken Republican bastion that election rigging was probably unnecessary. It’s conjectured that this year, facing a growing Democratic electorate, local officials will be so eager for the region to hold to its conservative-idiot tradition that they will justify any means to do it.

I’ve seen the Republican partisanship on display at even ordinary county meetings. The Clerk and Recorder, Bob Balink for example, wears his Republican allegiance like a soccer fan. It would be no exaggeration I’m sure to speculate that Bob Balink will bite off your left foot sooner than let progressive ideas contaminate his hillbilly heaven. He travels to the Denver legislature on a regular basis to report back about what the crazy Democrats are trying to do. Every county commission meeting begins with his scouting tips about what progressive threats his Republican colleagues face over the horizon.

Conservatism in Colorado Springs stands for cronies, imbecilic cretins and the clan. In the 1930s the Pikes Peak region was the Colorado stronghold of the Klan. I’ve no doubt a lot of these guys still have their clan robes. In fact most recently the Minutemen, the post-9/11 incarnation of the KKK, held its recruitment meetings in a Colorado Springs Police Substation community room. It included, I kid you not, a recruiting inducement lifted verbatim and without irony, from the KKK.

Maybe a daylight demonstration of public unwillingness to be represented by bigots –who continue to parade about as if their support is unanimous– will push their politics back into the stagnant backwater of their fenced no-immigrants-welcome backyards where it belongs.

COS drops convention trespass charges

Park sidewalk
COLORADO SPRINGS- At this morning’s motions hearing in Municipal Court, the city attorney asked Judge Spencer Gresham to dismiss their case. Due to “discovery issues we cannot resolve” and “internal misunderstandings,” the city dropped the trespassing charges against Peter Sprunger-Froese and I. So let’s see. They arrest us in front of hundreds at the World Arena, detain us until our chance to protest the State Convention is over, put us through five court appointments, then decide we shouldn’t have been arrested? And they didn’t even say that.

It was rather hard to stomach. A city prosecutor explaining that complications with the evidence led them to conclude the case wasn’t worth pursuing. No apology, no admission of error. Simply that taking us to trial was now thought be too inconvenient.

This after claiming there was no additional evidence from World Arena surveillance cameras, no tape from a the police observation van across the street, no recordings from the spooks with parabolic dishes above the Hampton Inn, no better audio track and additional footage to accompany the chopped up inaudible video they did offer us, no transcript of the public meetings beforehand where contradictory descriptions were given of a planned demonstration area.

This after maintaining that a “Free Speech Zone” was clearly marked when their own video showed that it wasn’t.

This even after fighting our request for a jury trial.

We walk into court and the same stonewalling city prosecutor declares that the City of Colorado Springs has decided to be magnanimous and drop the charges.

To his credit, Judge Gresham did ask if the city’s request was based on finding the new evidence exculpable. No, your honor, said the city prosecutor, this was just about the mounting difficulties of complying with the requested discovery.

The judge asked if the defendants had any objections. Our attorney said no.

This was not something we’d discussed as being an available options, but our lawyer answered on our behalf. Peter and I would be apprised later that voicing any objections would have been deleterious to being cleared of the charge. Otherwise, we for damn sure had objections!

Can you usurp someone’s free speech only to admit later you had no cause? There was no apology actually. Can they do that? I am Goddamn incensed that my rights were shoved aside, handcuffed, escorted, photographed, fingerprinted, detained, driven to the other side of the city, made to wait for a ride back to my car, denied the chance to return to what I was doing before I was arrested, now it turns out, for no cause!

What about the repercussions? I’ve got friends thinking I’m a troublemaker, when in fact I didn’t make trouble. It was heaped on me by uniformed misapplication of authority. Can they do that? Others are now sheepish about expressing themselves publicly because those police officers acted illegally. That’s the chilling effect of law enforcement given too much power. Now what? Honestly I’ve got friends who in the past have shown great courage in the face of repression and injustice, made into sheepish cowards who think speaking up means being insufficiently peaceful.

This is the result of the City of Colorado Springs police making arrests however they damn please. Is that going to stand? How many more acts of police intimidation are we going to tolerate before the chilling effect silences everyone?

Probably you’ve discerned where the meat of this case might have been found. It would seem to be what the city wants to avoid coming to light. It’s where a civil case is going to find incredibly flammable fuel.

New chairwoman of PPJPC Board calls the police on members of her group!

Called to the sceneAfter over a year of meetings between PPJPC office staff with the police here in Colorado Springs and a purge of the former activist Chair of the group, it has been obvious that the Pike Peak Justice and Peace Commission was already in a state of steep decline.

The group is hemorrhaging money from its overpaying their office staffers who are glued to protecting their salaried positions at the expense of the rest of the membership, and its misuse of its office itself, which is almost always closed to the public. The group has no internal democracy at all, and it is very difficult to work with the proprietors of the club But tonight, we really got a glimpse of what a mess this group has become, as member activists tried to come together in a meeting at the office to decide how to protest the US government plans to start war against Iran, and how to participate nonviolently at the Denver Democratic Party Convention?

Re-keyedUpon arrival at the offices, we found that the locks had been re-keyed, and the place where the spare had always been kept was hanging open as a kind of insult to us who had planned to meet inside. This, despite the fact that the key had stayed the same for years, and the Directors have secretly made the decision to vacate the present offices at the end of next month! Evidently they found it so imperative to keep us from using a meeting space inside the office that would not be controlled entirely by the paid office officials, that they dished out the money to the locksmith.

Lock-boxWe decided then to sit outside and meet there instead, hardly being anything other than the non-violent pro-peace activists that we are. In fact, even though we are members of the PPJPC, we had to meet outside the space that our dues had helped pay for!

We were not a large group at all, simply because the office staff and new Chair of the group had already done what they could to keep the meeting from being publicized to its own membership. They have no plans to participate in the national protests against a War Against Iran, and did not want others to get involved in this activity. In fact, they plain just hate it when we try to democratically decide our own activities rather than taking their own orders about what should be planned by them.

It wasn’t a particularly interesting meeting, and we felt quite stymied. We had been accused of setting up another organization, but that was not the case, and the office staff well knew that. We have not paid with our time, energy, and money to build this group, just to let them run it into the ground without any effort on our part to do alternatively. We agreed among ourselves that despite being locked out by an undemocratic group of PPJPC paid workers who have hijacked the group with the help of a few Board people, that we would continue to try to build the PPJPC.

Finally, meeting over with, we had almost packed up all our signs and equipment, and what comes rolling our way? Well, if it wasn’t the Colorado Springs Police Department, who said that the Chair, that it was she who had complained to them that we were trespassing and to come over and threaten us if we did not disperse!

What a road this group has traveled since seeing one of its former Chairs literally cry in front of the mayor and city council of the city, about how we proPeace activists were peaceful and misunderstood by the community and city government. He was, in fact, the Chair of the Board that helped put the current one in charge since he has moved to another city, and his pick is the woman who is now calling the police on the members of her own group!

The office salaried trio inside, those raking in tens of thousands of dollars in wages a year as they drive the group into bankruptcy, have organized themselves into a barricade against any change happening. It is really sad to see all this donated money go to waste, as the Chair can presently organize not much more than just calling the police on members trying to meet to plan antiwar activities in the city.

Officer PaladinoThey must truly be laughing and snickering at the mayor’s office, and the Chief of Police’s office? What a sad spectacle the PPJPC is becoming under this clique that now welds power over the group. All those meetings with this little clique of self important office troopers has really paid off, in helping the police mainly dismantle this group today. The cops that came by thought the whole situation worthy of a laugh. They were ‘the good cops’ though, and Officer Palodino would have done it entirely differently, no doubt.

CSPD forced to give unwarranted tickets

COLORADO SPRINGS- Of course it’s imperative to take a hard line on dishonest officers of the law. But I have mixed emotions about these two: 2 MOTORCYCLE COPS FALSIFIED TICKET NUMBERS. They weren’t issuing unwarranted tickets. No, they were in trouble for wanting NOT to give out unwarranted tickets. Should that be discouraged? Let’s give the officers a medal for bringing a bad bit of law enforcement policy to light. But I want to see a third policeman in bigger trouble. incredibly, “A police spokesman said there are no ticket quotas.”

Wouldn’t you say that policemen who lie to us about how laws are being enforced are about as bad as it could possibly get? “Lt David Whitlock said no such order exists in the General Orders that govern Colorado Springs police.” Why were the traffic officers compelled to falsify their ticket numbers? The forked-tongue spokesman “could not rule out the possibility of a ‘minimum performance standard.’

There it is. Totalitarian doublespeak. We don’t torture people in jail, we just have ‘minimum comfort requirements.’ What assholes!

We don’t want quotas by any definition! We may laugh about means to keep police officers from the donut shops, but it’s up to their supervisors to make sure they are doing their jobs. We don’t need them returning with scalps to prove they’ve been busy, regardless whether their victims were law-breakers. Can we mandate that traffic cops write forty tickets a day if they don’t encounter 40 infractions on their rounds? By relying on revenue from traffic citations to meet their budget requirements, the CSPD may be encouraging worse falsification. False charges, false witness, false arrest.

How exactly did management catch up with these two? Was there a budget shortfall when forecasted ticket earnings -based on the policemen’s paperwork- did not match the Municipal Court takings?

MySpace censors Bush AFA protest story

MYSPACE.COM- Radley created an adjunct MySpace page on which he recounted his experience protesting President Bush’s recent AFA visit. Now the page is gone, Radley is being denied access, and MySpace will not explain their actions. Here’s what he wrote:

Bush sucks… anyone for Denny’s?

Well, before I begin this blog. I would like to place a disclaimer in front of it.

Disclaimer: I’m not really an extremist. I try to stay out of the political and social disruptions in the world. Mostly so I can form my own opinion and not argue with zealots of any kind.

That being said, I’d like to tell you about my last “peace protest” with Eric Verlo.

At first, I must admit. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to help Eric on June 7, the day Bush was arriving to Colorado Springs to give some speech for the Air Force Academy. I suppose this was due to his supposed “liberal shenanigan” reputation amongst reviews placed upon him by the Gazette, the Independent, and/or the Independent.

Also, I forgot to mention about his recent arrests by the Colorado Springs Police Department for his “peace protests” at the St.Patty’s Day parade, and the democratic state convention.

Perhaps I was feeling adventurous, or I ‘m too much of a nice guy. I decided to do it. Even though the thought of getting arrested did go through my mind.

As a matter of fact, when I left the house at six in the morning, (very unusual, let me remind you) my stepfather said, “call us if you get arrested.” Nervousness sets in.

When I got there, I really had no idea of what was going on. All I really remembered was I said yes to meeting Eric on June 7 2008.

The plan was to place a sign up for GWB saying “mene mene tekel upharsin”. The quote “mene mene tekel upharsin” was taken from the bible in the book of Daniel saying, “numbered, weighed and divided.”

Here are some pictures of the event.

I’ll be honest. In retrospect, I’m very glad I went. I didn’t get arrested either. The cops were unbelievably nice to us.

I learned two important things from this.

1. It was surprising how vehement and aggressive some people can get about voicing their anti-peace protest opinions. A few people where yelling at us with their usual republican psycho babble. Statements like ,“Give BUSH his day!” or the common place middle finger.

This gave me an idea. This is good. Too good. My current film “The Republican” is a independent film that ridicules the absurdity of republicanism. By the way, Its currently in production and expect a gorilla marketing campaign coming very soon to Colorado Springs.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that from witnessing the reaction of one of Eric’s peace protests makes this an almost perfect place to premire my film. For anyone who knows anything about the film industry knows no there is no bad publicity. As filmmaker John Waters says put as much sex and violence in your first couple of films, so you start getting people’s attention.

2. the second thing I learned was something about my boss Eric Verlo. To be flat out honest, I don’t think I really knew Eric at all until this event. Even though I’ve been working for him for years. He came across to me as just one of your average guys who wants to slove the America’s problems, just like everyone else. Not someone these political pundits take as some extremist liberal. Its interesting how the media labels you into groups, I wonder what mine might be in the future?

So, afterwards we all came to the conclusion that bush sucks. Eric sort of suggested in a non sequitur way “anyone for Dennys?”

Libertad! Mexico wants freedom from US paid asesinos

Imagine if today the federal government had taken over the Colorado Springs Police Department, the Denver PD, and the Boulder PD? Imagine if that followed the federal government having taken over even more and bigger US cities’ PDs?

The US Drug War’s spillover into Mexico is just like that and yesterday the Mexican federal government took over the narco infiltrated police forces in Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, and Reynosa. Just before, it was in Tijuana and some neighboring cities south of California that the police HQs got taken over by the army.

That does not mean that the Mexican military are the good guys Down South. They most certainly are not. They are the American government’s puppet henchmen directed by America’s puppet Mexican dictatorship. In all, they are a bunch of asesinos (assassins) and tortureros (torturers). The government there has a lot in common with Dick and Dubya’s.

The Mexican state of Oaxaca is where resistance to the US puppets remains strongest at this time despite last year’s repression. You can watch an 8 minute film of one of the latest marches for freedom there.
Youth March for the Liberation Of Political Prisoners

And how nice to see young people that are not passive and demobilized.
Libertad! Libertad!

Militarizing society everywhere

America’s ‘War on Drugs’ is creating disaster across the planet. This week it came home to my neighborhood, as the Colorado Springs police closed down a whole block on Madison Street, of all places, to do its Swat Team training. Helped in this endeavor by the local Jewish Synagogue, who loaned them a house to use, about 20 cops, 5 dog terrorists, and 12 pig mobiles wasted the afternoon away playing with their toys.

Switch now to a new Brazilian film, Tropa de Elite, that shows how this nonsense plays out in the poor neighborhoods of that great South American country, as the very same militarized policing units act as death squads, all in the name of ‘fighting drugs’.

Switch to Afghanistan where a US occupation army pretends to be fighting the spread of opium.

Switch to Colombia, where the US death squads pretend to be fighting cocaine.

It’s time to get the police out of all our neighborhoods, cut the Pentagon down to size, and fight the expansion of Fort Carson into yet more of SE Colorado. Aren’t you tired of them militarizing society everywhere?

D.C. Capitol police versus Colorado Springs police

Charges Dismissed Against African-American Minister Targeted and Tackled by Capitol Police

Meanwhile, here in Colorado Springs the city continues to go after a woman with multiple medical problems needing multiple hospitalizations since the day they roughed her up at the annual city’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, even though she was not found guilty of any wrong doing at her first trial! Why?

The amazing thing about this effort to get Elizabeth Fineron convicted of something (this will be the third set of different charges the city has accused her of) is that the Colorado Springs police didn’t want to arrest her in the first place, they just wanted to rough her up, which they did by hauling her fast across the pavement. When she finally managed to struggle back up she was outraged and wanted to know if she was under arrest? The answer from the police was NO.

However, Elizabeth had just been deliberately humiliated by this police brutality in front of a large public crowd, and like the Reverend Yearwood Jr. in Washington D.C. had gotten upset by his rough treatment, Ms. Fineron was also upset, as any normal person would have been at that point. She did not feel that the police should just be allowed to treat her as if she was nothing more than a big bundle of trash to haul around at their free will, and demanded ‘to have her day in court’.

Still, the police refused to arrest her, at that time perhaps feeling some shame at what they had done to her? Elizabeth though, went from policeman to policeman stating that they had manhandled her for no cause at all, and that she wanted to be arrested alongside the other people being roughed up. They kept saying that she was not under arrest at all.

At last, one cop reluctantly told Elizabeth that if she tapped them with a finger they would call it assault and arrest her, though they wished she would just go away. Elizabeth’s response was simply to say NO… You guys beat me up, an elderly lady in poor health for no real reason at all, and now you want to act as if that was all right????… and she touched a cop with her finger tip… softly. Some arrest, huh? A real dangerous lady that the cops are now wasting our city tax money on for the umpteenth time to get her in the press… It is all very sad.

The city has decided not to retry 5 of the others their police roughed up, but goes after Elizabeth still, and Eric Verlo? As amazing as that seems?! Who can begin to try to understand their reasoning there? And all this time the Colorado Springs head cop, Richard Myers, has been playing with the Justice and Peace people as if the police is out to protect everybody? It just is not convincing at all, Police Chief.

At this point, not even the pro-war, Far-Out Right Wing Gazette editorial staff wants this idiotic attempt at prosecution to go on. Today, they came out with an opinion piece asking that no retrial of either Verlo or Fineron be launched. It was couched in their usual vile rhetoric, but still they thought it insanity to go through a trail again. They had the courage to take a position.

But where is the city council and mayor on this one? They like to talk nice, but have refused to speak out against city prosecution of the folk that police under their managerial direction roughed up. They are mum.

Shortly after St. Pat’s Day, the police had a riot in Los Angeles and beat up on people there, and even that notorious city not known for having their police under control disciplined some police for their actions. And now, the Capitol police admitted that they had gone wild taking down the Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. as they did. What’s wrong with the city government and its officials here in Colorado Springs? It’s certainly not for lack of other municipal areas’ more positive examples that they act as they do.

The sad thing about this, is that the city council and mayor have expressed a desire that the city not be put in a bad light but they are completely unwilling to do the things necessary so that the city does not stand out and be seen as being a more intolerant and disrespectful place nationally than is the norm. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. That’s certainly the message they are giving out by wasting tax monies on yet another trial. Or, actually it will be two trials this time, as both the prosecution of Eric Verlo and Elizabeth Fineron will have two separate trials. It’s all very crazy…

Stop wasting our city tax monies on this nonsense, and come up with some legislation that would demilitarize the annual city St Pat’s Day Parade. By continuing this prosecution with yet another trial, you are using tax money to promote the idea that marching soldiers, Hooter girls, and politicians downtown is A-OK And city monies are to be allowed to promote such, yet city monies will stamp down hard on any counter social message trying to come out alongside the business as usual stuff.

Not all this city is made up of intolerant people who want liberal ideas censored using city tax monies. Not all this city wants its police to be used to rough people up and then to harass them using the judicial system afterwards. Get with the times, for they have changed since you in the city council used our tax monies to pay John O’Donnell to organize your march of squads of soldiers in a supposed Iraqi War ‘victory’ parade through downtown from the same spot your police assaulted Elizabeth Fineron for expressing a counter social message.

Police Chief Richard ‘Liars’ Myers

In the last week I have had 3 opportunities to see the new Colorado Springs police chief, Richard Myers, do his job as public relations head of the law enforcement division of the Springs City Government. Because of what I have seen of him in a little less than one week, I feel that Myers is totally deserving of having ‘Liars’ Myers become his new nickname.

Having testified at a city council meeting post the police attack on the peace contingent attending the city promoted St Patrick’s Day Parade, I received an invitation to attend a meeting held last week with Lionel Rivera, the mayor of our city, and other top officials of city government including the police chief, Myers, himself. This came about because I had stated at a city council meeting that I felt that the personal security of me and my family was endangered by the actions taken by the police at the St Pat’s Day Parade.

These police are employees of city government and receive their direction from city government, therefore I had informed the municipal government of Colorado Springs in my testimony, that I held them personally responsible for the uncalled on police assault on our peaceful group, and I asked them to take personal responsibility for what had happened. The assaulting actions of the police had threatened me and my family with physical harm and/ or unlawful arrest during that parade, and their behavior needed to be changed in the future for me and others to feel in any way safe.

At this meeting, Chief Richard Myers and others of the city government attending, had assured us of the pro-peace community, that the police and city government were only concerned that ALL citizens would have their safety assured (even us), and asked us to help work with them to help bring that about in the future. They made great effort to assure of us of their supposed sincere concern that we, too, be kept safe from assault by those who might disagree with us. They assured us that the altercation had been an embarrassment to the city, and that they had a desire to work together with us instead of against us in the future.

I must say, that this appeared to us as pretense on their part, since we had not been in the least endangered by anybody other than the police themselves at the parade. They ambushed us there, and seven of us continued to have our security endangered, since the city and the police insisted on pressing criminal charges on these seven of our friends, even though it was the police’s own use of uncalled force that was at issue. Never the less, we agreed with them to work together to stop this abuse of police force from further becoming an even more hardened pattern of local law enforcement in the future.

Some few hours later I then attended a projected forum held at a nursing home, that was to have been a part of conciliation court ordered as settlement for a previous attack by the police on a group of peaceful protesters at Palmer Park way back in the year 2003. The court had ruled against the city of Colorado Springs, where the police had tear gassed and assaulted people in an unlawful manner while protesting the beginning of the Iraqi War. The court had ordered that the police and the citizen plaintiffs against the police assault of 2003, hold a joint forum together in order that the police could help absolve themselves of their guilt in this uncalled for police attack on peacefully mobilized citizens, and extend a discussion to help assure that nothing similar would once again occur. Of course, it already had.

What happened at this planned court settlement forum, is that when the plaintiffs showed up to attend this event (most arriving from Boulder), the city of Colorado Springs and their police had taken it upon themselves to give themselves the power to have the final word in how this event would be condensed and edited for a later official release to the public. The plaintiffs said that this was contrary to what was agreed on previously through the court, and that they would not participate with a farce. Attendees from the local peace community then walked out, too, when the police and city encouraged us to take the plaintiffs place on the panel assembled for this forum. Talk about dishonesty here!

Actually only one fool answered the police/ city call to participate on the supposed peace community panel for this forum. The forum did not actually much get off at this point, and was terminated within minutes. Nobody from the peace community wanted to be tagged as scabbing on the plaintiffs who had been victims of the police back then.

Move to just three days later. The mayor and his police chief, Richard ‘Liars’ Myers, together had put on the tail end of the city government meeting agenda the official telling of the tales by the police ‘investigation’ of itself. They had not informed us of that, and had planned to pretty much be alone with the press to try and convict ( in the press) the Seven pro-peace folk facing criminal charges.

What makes this so reprehensible, is that they had spent, and would spend also with this report, much time accusing the St Pat’s Day Parade peace participants of having engaged in dishonesty and trickery. Further, they had repeatedly told us in our private meeting the week before supposedly aimed towards obtaining community-city government-police reconciliation, that none amongst themselves could comment on events relating to the St Pat’s Day Parade arrests. So what happens now?

Here, at the city council meeting where nobody from amongst us could counter until the day after, the new police chief, Richard ‘Liars’ Myers gave about 20 minutes of detail by detail comments before the public about the arrests. His account was so full of lies and distortions, that it would be impossible to even begin to detail them here.

Suffice it to say, that after pretending several days earlier to be holding a discussion with us where he and other police present told all of us that they could not comment or respond due to it somehow being counter to due legal process if they did so , that ‘Liars’ Myers then went ahead and did just that, and nobody in the city council saw fit to tell him that this was wrong and dishonest after having pretended that this was against police rules and regulations to enter comment about matters being currently discussed in court.

This is total sabotage of any effort to build public trust in the police. This is a new police chief whose only comments before the city council were lies, distortions, and denial of any police responsibility for their excess at the St Pat’s Day Parade. Instead of admitting that the police had used force when it was absolutely not necessary, he pointed the finger at the pro-peace participants who were roughed up and criminally charged. True, he did also point a finger, for a sec, at the official organizer of the event, John O’Donnell. This was supposed to impress the public as being even handed, it is supposed. Myers said that O’Donnell could have responded differently, which is as comical an understatement as any I have ever heard.

He whined about 35 cops on duty that day as not being enough. Oh brother! They could have policed that event with 3 police, and not 35 and the results would have been much, much better. What a self serving pile of nonsense we heard.

The most interesting part of the session was when several council members tried to figure out just who in the city was in charge of issuing the permit to John O’Donnell, supposed private organizer of this event, to hold the parade through downtown streets? The answer? Why the city police themselves. Go figure? It turns out that the city government of Colorado Springs is hiding behind their police who are hiding behind John O’Donnell, the contracted out organizer for the city, who then turns out to be directed by the city and city government regulations themselves! And then this circle of irresponsibility points their joint index finger at the private citizenry for being supposedly deceptive! It kind of takes the cake.

The city government of Colorado Springs is responsible to hold their police in check. They will not be able to do it hiding behind the phony smiles and lies of Police Chief Richard ‘Liars’ Myers. They should release to the public the official police transcripts of communications between them and parade organizers. There the truth stands, and it is not like the official smoke screen version at all. Meanwhile, there is little reason to pretend to work together with Police Chief ‘Liars’ Myers. He lost our confidence in him being an honest player in a little less than a week.

Statement regarding The City of Colorado Springs responsibility for its police attack on the St Patrick’s Day peace marchers

Statement regarding The City of Colorado Springs’ responsibility for its police attack on the Saint Patrick’s Day peace marchers
As has now been widely reported, the citizens that decided to march in the peace section of the city’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade were violently dispersed by city police officers. Many of us received no notice at all to disperse, let alone a reason for why the already paid permit for was being declared invalid. What process or procedure was there in place for revoking this permit, other than the police telling us to get off the city street in an abrupt manner?
Our only ‘notice’ for most of us, was actually to turn and see some of our friends and companions being manhandled by police officers, wrestled brutally to the ground, and threatened with tasers and choke and pressure holds. Most of the officers involved gave no verbal identification of themselves, and it was hard to see any name tags in this abrupt melee instigated by city police officers.

The City of Colorado Springs police acted in reckless disregard to our rights, our health, and appeared to relish the opportunity to stick peaceful people in a heavily tax subsidized city event, with criminal charges, instead of engaging in trying to resolve an issue in a way where nobody would be hurt.

What was especially egrarious to us, was the fact that officers in their 20s and 30s were assaulting people principally in their 60s and 70s, in front of children, some below the age of 10. Why was this done? What real and solid rules had been supposedly broken by us? Why the millisecond notice and in this rough a manner?

Afterwards, some of us made efforts to look for the rules we had been charged in the media with breaking. We looked for literature and we looked for web sites that might fill us in with info and guidelines for participation about this event? What we found was nothing. We wondered how was it that in such an unclearly organized event, with an unclearly identified organizer, the police moved in on us like a hurricane?

What we discovered is unsettling. The press afterwards repeatedly declared that police were asked to remove us by ‘event organizers’. Such was the story that city police spokepersons gave. So the search began to find and identify the ‘event organizers’, and to try to find their relationship to the city itself. What we came up with, was that a rather shadowy company called O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc had declared themselves the private party involved. They were in charge of issuing the permits. So we wondered, just what were the costs involved, and did the city itself pay much of the cost of Saint Patrick’s Day? And we also wanted to find out what other events were organized by this company?

What we found, is that the organizers, that call themselves a private company, were not really the priciple oraganizers of events they are involved with in this city at all. In fact, other events supposedly ‘organized’ by O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc were actually mainly organized by the US military, plus local Colorado Spring’s city officials in many different municipal departments, using both federal and local tax monies.

In short, that O’Donnell and O’Donnell’s principle role other than passing out permits, is mainly to pose as private organizers of what are really heavily publicly subsidized events in our area, promoted mainly by government agencies, and having largely a pro-militarism message. In short, O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc. is nothing much more than a small outsourcing of city and federal organizing projects, events oftentime more paid for by the tax monies contributed by all the citizens of the community than by the few few dollars picked up these hidden individuals posing as private organizers.

For an example of how this operates, ‘The Welcome Home Parade’ ‘organized’ by O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc. in 2004, was actually paid for almost entirely by city and federal government moneys, and in fact, like the Saint Patrick’s Day parade itself, was heavily slanted to being pro war/ pro uniform/ pro we support the troops (read war) message. As to taking no ‘social stands’ in public parades , the O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc ‘private’ ghost front for the city actually does take political stands, and that has been consistently pro war, pro militarism, pro military industrial complex.

To give another analogy, O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc operates with the public citizens of Colorado Springs, much in the way that Halliburton and other Pentagon fed private contract operators do in US occupied Iraq. Just as Halliburton is nothing more than an extension of US government operations in that country, O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc. is little more than an outsourced extension of the government of the City of Colorado Springs. In fact, the City of Colorado Springs was more the public provider of where to go for permits, than O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc was themselves. Part of the city building of this celebration, was merely privately outsourced to O’Donnell- O’Donnell, Inc., that’s all.

In short, we reject the legal fiction that the police were responding to a private call to eject ‘gate crashers’ at a private event when they attacked us. We have a right to these public streets, too, especially when an event is in actuality more a municipal government operation than not. And the Saint Patrick’s Day parade is just that.

We demand that the city fully disclose municipal costs for this public event, and disclose publicly how much of the entire bill was paid by the city, and how much was paid for this shadow operation calling itself, O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc? Further, we believe that the city has a duty to fully publicize the regulations for participating in an event subsidized by tax dollars.

If guidelines are hidden from easy view, then how can the police ask citizens to abide by rules that have not actually been seen? It is not enough to just have permit purchasers to see, one time in small print, what others cannot ever see for themselves. We are not our brothers keeper, and if a guideline is only shown to one person out of say a hundred, this is not full disclosure of the regulations. Instead of hiding in the shadows, the municipal government of the City of Colorado Springs has a duty to admit its fundamental role in the organization of this annual parade. This they are not yet doing.

We ask that all charges against particpants in this event be dropped, and that the city government fully disclose its financial involvement with O’Donnell and O’Donnell, Inc. Who pays for the policing of this event, the legal procedures against any of those charged with crimes due to this event, the publicity, the office space to issue permits, the costs of interrupting the normal routine of the downtown area, etc.? Certainly it is not the price of the permits paid by participants that does so alone. In fact, in large part, it is the municipal government itself that does, and that’s what makes this more a public sponsored parade than a private one.

Contrary to what some of the media have charged, those pro peace people in our city would no more crash a private event than the overwhelming majority of other Colorado Springs citizens would do. But the Saint Patricks Day parade is hardly much of that, and politicians tooting their own horns, mini-military squadrons of little kids draped out in olive green military fatigues, corporations advertising their commercial products, and all the other manifestations of people making a multitude of ‘social statements’, only underlines the reality of our argument.

This is in fact a public event in large manner publicly funded, and the city police should not try to hide their abusive actions against some participants behind the skirts of a pretense that they were mereley urgently mobilized by a private sponsor that the city government really had mainly outsourced the giving out of participant permission slips to.

Further, we would ask that the individual owner of the shadow company O’Donnel and O’Donnell, Inc., come forth, and together with us and the city government make some small effort to keep this conforntation from becoming a permanently embedded confrontation within our community. What could well have been a small problem solved via a short discussion with the parties involved, now risks becoming yet another permanent festering sore inside our diverse city. There is still time to stop this from happening if there would be the will to do so. The police should drop the 7 charges filed against the pro peace participants, and let us all move on with our lives without further bitterness. We are all deeply divided in how we feel about this war, and we don’t need to add further to that if we can avoid doing so.

The Colorado Springs government is hiding behind its subcontractor

The city of Colorado Spring subcontracts its organizing of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and then claims that its police assaulted us for crashing a private event! Wrong. The St. Patricks’s Day parade normally pushes an only partially hidden militaristic agenda claiming that it is just a big green party made possible by a private individual.
Article detailing O'Donnell organizing of the 2004 welcome home parade
Fort Carson veteran is St. Pat’s grand marshal

picture and comments taken from article at page 7 of pdf file archive of The Mountaineer, Fort Carson publication

Hidden away, though, are the multiple connections the city has with that particular person, and the significant municipal underwriting of the expenses involved, all paid for with your tax dollars. The CS Indy ran an article in 2002 that stated that the municipal underwriting of tjhe St Patrick’s Day parade’s declared expenses was close to 50% of the total costs to their subcontractor.

Of interest also, is how the Colorado Springs police blotter officially lies totally about the unfolding of events. Doubt that? Then go to their ‘Police Blotter’ and read the account. Anybody who has seen any pictures in the press of the arrests being made, can see clearly how the police lie totally about what took place.

The first lie there on the ‘Police Blotter’ is that they told the 45 of us that we had to leave. In fact, I was part of that group of 45, and never got any notice to disperse. My only ‘notice’ was to observe the police assaulting my friends walking quietly alongside of me inside that parade.

The second lie, is that all but seven of us obeyed the order to disperse (the one that I never received along with most of the others in our group), and that 7 refused. Then per police lie, they gave another order to disperse to these 7, whom were arrested only when again they refused. Anybody can clearly see from all photos, that the police had these 7 in choke holds up both high up in the air and flat on the pavement, too, even as the rest of our group was still fully standing beside the already handcuffed arrestees in the parade.

If the police will lie about this progression of what happened, then they will certainly lie about all their conduct in dispersing us. The cameras tell a totally different story than the ‘Police Blotter’ does, and the cop who wrote this false account of events to the ‘Police Blotter’ poorly thought about how obviously dishonest his account would appear, and how obvious from photographic evidence it would be that he was lying about the police attack on us and how it had been implemented by the police themselves.

Miscalculating non-violent for non-litigious

Not wanting to tell us his name
(Clarification: Esther has just been thrown to the ground. Eric is not on the ground by choice, and Elizabeth is about to be pulled away.)

In the aftermath of our dashed efforts at the St Patrick’s Day parade and the abrupt violence which shocked everyone, the seven arrestees took a conciliatory tact to reflect on the actions and reactions of that day before leveling recriminations. The issue after all was about promoting peace, not fighting back. Where did being gracious get us?

The police seized the opportunity to announce they’ve received no complaints about their manner, going so far even to solicit bystander videos as if to suggest that the documentation will support their conduct.

Though we’d given plenty of interviews, our quiet tone gave the local newspapers leeway to print untruths about what happened that day. The Gazette has now suggested the marchers acted to disrupt the festivities, to obstruct the parade, in a fashion intended to provoke arrests.

The Independent has been able to hide behind offering only the Police Department’s account, that the peace marchers were attempting to participate “without a permit,” and that to an “untrained eye” what might appear to have been a “chokehold” was actually a “pressure-compliant hold.”

Even the local internet jackasses have jumped in on the action to chide us for duplicity in obtaining our permit, giving an uncritical platform for parade organizer John O’Donnell to cry foul.

Well GOD-DAMNIT are you fascists in for a surprise! This treatment is more of exactly what we received on the parade route. And just like the policemen who thought they could set an example and brutalize us unto a side street, this disrespect is not going to stand.

Here’s where it’s going to get you.

Mr. O’Donnell and his partners in City Hall are going to face a civil lawsuit for violating the 1st Amendment rights of 46 marchers. They will face another lawsuit for conducting a public event which discriminated among the participants. You want to throw an all-white, good ol’ boy, pro-war parade these days, you better say so. You can’t of course, and O’Donnell and COS will never put green lipstick on one of these again.

I’m not saying the St Patrick’s Day Parade shouldn’t feature a Marine recruiter’s blow-up doll, or crew-cutted uniformed Pee-wee Killers for Christ, or Hooters sex-workers for gracious sakes. I’m just saying that you’ve got to allow room for another community aesthetic as well.

The Colorado Springs Police Department will face charges for violating the 4th Amendment rights of the seven arrestees, and of three more who were brutalized, with a measure of the 9th Amendment thrown in for the indignity. In the meantime we’ll explore what degree of police brutality is actually sanctioned by the city. I don’t care how much you may hate criminals, all persons have a right to be protected from physical abuse.

We may lobby for special rehab for certain of the policemen. I’d like to see that Officer Erwin “Jimmy” Paladino is not given the authority to remove a kitten from a tree before he’s had counseling.

The Gazette will be charged with slander, plain and simple. You don’t call a 65-year-old woman’s injuries “rugburn” and think you’re going to chuckle your way to market. Ms. Fineron and myself will have our day in court, we’ll demonstrate our actions were not premeditated and for discrediting our integrity we’re going after Hillbilly Gazette editor Sean Paige. Slam-dunk what an asshole.

The Independent’s slander is embarrassing. Michael de Yoanna needs to cover both sides of a story. Our permit was on the books, thank you very much. Quoting a police blotter to say we had no permit, without noting the error, is deliberately misleading. And let me say something about that “chokehold.” Two of our marchers, the very two in fact who were choked, were both corrections department veterans. Both knew precisely the illegality of how they were being handled, and calmly told their respective assailants as much.

The videotapes and pictures will bear out these facts. Perhaps this is the reason that the television media coverage was fairly balanced from the start.

Wanted for questioningSpecial note
The police will need the identity of this man that he can be charged with assault upon Elizabeth Fineron, leading to her fall and subsequent dragging across the pavement. As the Gazette put it, What a drag.

Let’s say a word about complaints to the police. If you want to complain about the police conduct, you’ll find they don’t have forms for that purpose. They walk you straight in to see an internal affairs officer and he’ll sit and interrogate you without the aid of a lawyer, or a tape recording that you can keep. Best to write a letter describing your complaint and send it in.

How the city council ‘Supports the Troops’ and their families- adding insult to injury

The Gazette today headlined their Sunday Metro section with an update about how a local family was doing with their lawsuit against the city. It is a case where a single dad was having a nervous breakdown and was breaking out the windows of his apartment in the nude, and his three children fled the apartment and called the police to get help for their dad. This was on May 2, 2003. And like so many of the cases where relatives have called the police in cases of this type, the help they asked for turned out to become their personal nightmare. The police came and murdered their dad.

Enter the sister of the dead single father, who took in the three children even though she was already caring for 8 of her own, PLUS caring for her mother who had a stroke shortly thereafter. She had a husband, but he was off in Iraq being paid to help destroy another people’s country. Still, despite all the work she already had piled up on here, she went out and sought justice for her murdered brother, and his now parentless children. She initiated a lawsuit against the City of Colorado Springs, whose police officers had so absolutely mishandled their work, work they are paid to do by our tax money.

Enter Mayor Lionel Rivera and the Colorado Springs city council. Rivera was elected just one month previous to this event. Rivera likes to pose himself as supporter of the troops. Here he had a chance to walk the walk, and not just talk the talk. What has he done for this military family and the 3 children now being raised by their aunt? Nada. He is in charge of the Colorado Springs police, and it was the police that murdered this man. Instead of assisting to right a terrible wrong, he has had the city fight the lawsuit on behalf of these children! And the entire city council has sat by, too.

Enter the settlement. The aunt, Carolyn Moore, decided that she had to settle rather than continue to fight for justice. She says that the settlement is an admssion of the police’s guilt, and she is right. What did the city of Mayor Lionel Rivera payout to the three now fatherless children? A grand total of $19,500! Well thank you Rivera! You know, as well as the entire city council does, that that amount for the wrongful death of one’s dad is an insult, and little more. Carolyn Moore says that it is not enough even to pay for the attorney fees. First, you head up the police force that caused the ‘injury’, and then you preside over the ‘insult’ of throwing peanuts out to the children. You think that quite generous, no doubt, since you have even tried to do less. And how gracious you are in helping out troubled families of our US soldeirs. Not. Instead, it is rather evident that you are merely a cheerleader for the corporations that make their profits off the misery that the Pentagon speads. When it comes to assisting the troops, we have to count you out.

Even now, Rivera, you have the ability to right this wrong. Prove us wrong about how we have stated your character as being. And The Colorado Springs city council as a whole, has the ability to right this wrong, instead of hiding in Rivera’s shadows. I don’t think that one can easily put monetary amounts to compensate for the wrongful death of a family member. But certainly, the amount should be in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, and not just $19,500 for three aggrieved children to supposedly get, instead of being raised by their dad. Have you guys no shame? Do the right thing now, and move to have these children compensated in a more just manner for their unjust loss.

No doubt, our representatives are just hoping that this issue goes away. Luckily for the injured children, there is a decent reporter at The Gazette newspaper that has followed up on their actions of denying recompense for this murdered man’s family. Once again, I would like to think our local paper for doing the right thing and publishing this report. Write to the city council and the mayor and encourage them also to do right, instead of continuing on their current sinful path. And write to the papers and show concern for this family. They deserve your help.

David Schultheis, World Class Dickhead

David Schultheis of Colorado Springs, Colorado State Representative of District 14, is a world class dickhead. Just four days after a family loses 3 children and has a fourth one severely injured in an automobile wreck, Schultheis wrote off to the Greeley Tribune, demanding to know if the the severely injured driver had proper documents or not. He inquired about her drivers license, insurance, and car registration, too, and all on the same day the third child died at the hospital!
You see, the family had a Hispanic last name, so that justifies this dickhead Anglo, in his own dickhead mind, to grill them publicly like that.

Schultheis was supported by Pastor Joy, of the Greeley for God ministry, no Spanish language services available, along with some other local Greeley folk allergic to Latinos. But the Hispanic community was appalled, along with any one else with even a speck of humanity about them.

Schultheis must be a student and associate of the so-called Jeff Henry (no relation to Patrick we are sure), local CS jefe of the racist Minutemen group. Speaking of that, a picture is worth a thousand words. I refer to the one picture, with Mayor Rivera passively sitting alongside Jeff Henry, that The Independent had in its previous edition. Beautiful shot, Indy! Rivera heads up a city council that allowed this hate group leader to hold a recruitment rally in a Colorado Springs police substation some few weeks back. So that’s why he is so content sitting next to this thug at a meeting about immigration ‘reform’, of all things. Jeff, can Rivera stay? You and David need to get togerhter and check out his papers first. lol… But I bet Lockheed will vouch for him.

David Schultheis, you got some stiff competition in the competition for Colorado Springs most eligible dickhead. But you win hands down. What a dickhead! Did you pay all your taxes and behave with your Page, Dave?

Ivy Leaguer accosts car stabs driver 2am

My attention was grabbed by a recent headline, IVY LEAGUER STABS BOSTON TEEN.
But let me tell you another story. In Colorado Springs, April 26, 2002, a friend of mine was driving back from a Thursday night concert in Boulder. Her girlfriend was half asleep, half intoxicated in the passenger seat. It was around 2am as they were driving through the Colorado College campus within a block of their home. Slowly rounding a quiet street corner, the girlfriend remembers something struck out at the car, perhaps a rock.
Lest I betray how this tale ends, I must point out that the subsequent events are entirely the recollection of the tired, inebriated passenger. The driver, Jocelyn Sandberg, 41, community activist, KRCC radio station manager and beloved on-air personality, did not survive the encounter.

Suddenly the car window was down and Jocelyn was having a shouted exchange with a youngish man on the street. Before the girlfriend could refrain her, the door was open and Jocelyn was getting out to confront the man. Jocelyn was very confident physically. Stocky, not butch, Jocelyn was back-on-her-heels jocular, the kind of girl it wouldn’t occur to you to offer to see safely to her car after dark. In fact Jocelyn usually worked a second job as a baker, walking there and back in the middle of the night.

The girlfriend remembers yelling for Jocelyn to return to the car. She watched as Jocelyn confronted the man at the curb. The man was in his mid-twenties or thirties. He struck Jocelyn, she fell to the ground face forward and he ran off. The girlfriend got out and ran to Jocelyn, but before she could get to her, Jocelyn had risen and taken after the man, north into the campus. Yelling after Jocelyn, she saw her disappear behind an administration building. Disgusted at Jocelyn’s typical stubbornness, the girlfriend returned to the car, climbed into the driver’s seat, and drove the last block home. While waiting for Jocelyn inside the house, she fell asleep.

When the girlfriend awoke an hour later, Jocelyn had not returned, so she called the police. By the time the officers arrived, Colorado College maintenance and security personnel had already discovered Jocelyn’s body. Jocelyn had bled to death on the SW side of Armstrong Hall, two hundred yards from where her car had been stopped. She suffered stab wounds in the face, neck and chest. The first cut may have been struck at the initial altercation at the curb.

Except for the girlfriend’s foggy description of the man, there were no witnesses. This was neither a robbery nor a premeditated assault. As for leads, Colorado College is a fairly insulated campus, buffeted by upscale neighborhoods, with very tight security. It’s not on the migratory route to anywhere, and the campus grounds present an inhospitable and unlikely hangout for transient males.

The girlfriend was of course considered the main suspect because it seemed improbable that a man could accost a moving car at 2AM in the morning. However other Colorado Springs residents can recall having snowballs thrown at their cars, in that same general area, by Colorado College students who would then dash off, leaving drivers unable to reciprocate their frustration.

When the police failed to produce any leads, the most persistent rumor was that the knife-wielding man had been a Colorado College student who was then perhaps whisked off campus by well-heeled, politically-connected parents. This could also explain the lack of concern shown by the college administrators. There was plenty of DNA evidence at the scene to test against the student population but such tests were not done.

A year later a stabbing in Boston revived that rumor. On April 12, 2003, a Saturday night around closing time, a Colorado College grad, Alexander Pring-Wilson, now studying at Harvard, was stumbling home drunk. On the way home he accosted a stationary car and stabbed the driver. Immediately after the event, still drunk, Pring-Wilson left this message on a friend’s answering machine:

“Hey, Jen. How’s it going? I just, um, I got attacked. I just got attacked by a group. I fended them off. I stabbed him a couple times and, don’t repeat this to police, um, but yeah, I’ve got a fucking killer headache. I just walked a couple of miles home. I think I’ve got a concussion. Anyway, I had a swell time tonight. I hope you guys made it home. Okay, bye-bye.”

Colorado Springs police were alerted to the stabbing death of Michael Colono and noted the similarities of the MO. Colorado Springs Detective David Edmondson inquired about obtaining DNS evidence from Pring-Wilson to test against the Jocelyn Sandberg stabbing case, Pring-Wilson’s lawyers refused.

Much was now made of the fact that Jocelyn’s witness described their assailant as weighing perhaps 150 pounds, not 200. And being 5′ 8″ instead of 6′ tall. But there was enough doubt. In a woman’s world, couldn’t 150 pounds denote a heavier person? And Jocelyn’s passenger was not making her observations from a sober perspective. Otherwise the age, hair and clean-cut description did fit.

When asked to present evidence of Pring-Wilson’s whereabouts on the 2002 date, lawyer Jeffrey Denner produced emails and credit card charges as proof that the suspect had been in Boston. Pring-Wilson had “accessed a Boston server” to send his mom an email. Likewise his credit card was charged on the next day. Naturally Colorado Springs police regarded this evidence as inconclusive.

But circumstantial evidence drawing Pring-Wilson to Colorado Springs grew. Pring-Wilson maintained a long-distance relationship with his girlfriend in Colorado Springs. And friends recall seeing him regularly at his alma mater. A fellow CC rugby forward estimates seeing Pring-Wilson back on campus “maybe 10” times in the two years following their graduation in 2000.
On a map showing the locations of Colorado Spring’s downtown bars, including Jose Muldoons which featured a Raggae band that night, and Pring-Wilson’s residence, the most likely route between the two points intersects with the corner where Jocelyn Sandberg’s car was accosted.
It should be an easy thing to prove or disprove: flight schedules, cell phone statements, Colorado College alumni events or no. Certainly his girlfriend Janice or his parents should be able to say either way.
  Walking off a drunk

Pring-Wilson’s family and friends are petitioning the governor of Massachusetts to reduce his sentence for the Boston stabbing. By their descriptions Pring-Wilson seems like a nice enough guy: accomplished, dedicated, compassionate, gentle -when sober, no doubt. No mention of his drinking. And according to everyone he was unassailably non-violent, notwithstanding having been captain of the Rugby team, playing forward, the offensive position. And how many gentle souls carry around four-inch Spyderco knives? Pring-Wilson’s drinking companions in Boston recall seeing the knife in the bar that evening. Seeing the knife in the bar?! Not everyone is agreed obviously that it’s such a common thing to carry around.

Could it be we’re talking about a sweet guy -with a drinking problem? Friends who haven’t signed the Pring-Wilson petition do attest that he was an obnoxious drunk. So we’re talking about an obnoxious drunk with maybe a chip on his shoulder and certainly a knife in his pocket. Maybe we’re talking about a 200 pound drunkard who cannot be dissuaded to do anything but whatever he wants. A person who parties hard, then wants to walk home, to walk it off, a couple of miles whatever, alone.

In October 2004 Pring-Wilson was convicted of the voluntary manslaughter of American-Puerto-Rican teenager Michael Colono and sentenced to six to eight years. The killing was found not to have been in self defense because the evidence indicated that Pring-Wilson had fisted his knife before the altercation began. Also, if he was jumped by the two teenagers as he claimed, Pring-Wilson came out of it relatively unhurt. Most damning, the knife blows were struck straight into Colono from a position above, not from wild slashing from a defensive position beneath, as Pring-Wilson claimed.

In their petition to Massachusetts Governor Romney urging him to remand their son to home-custody, the Pring-Wilsons threaten: “You must know that if any harm should come to Mr. Pring Wilson during the duration of his sentence you will be held accountable along with the Commonwealth of Mass.”

Strong words from understandably desperate parents, but who then shall be held responsible for the death of the Puerto-Rican teenager? Jose Cuervo? Spyderco knives?

Why do the parents not suggest, at the very least, that their son promise to disavow heavy drinking and knife-wielding? Nothing against gentle 200 pound rugby forward Alexander Pring-Wilson, it’s his knife-carrying drunken alter-ego that might be a danger. (Knives, drinking, middle of the night personas? A combination not unknown to the annals of crime or western literature.)

How often exactly did Pring-Wilson drink and insist on walking home alone, after his friends had taken cabs? Once a year? Spring break? One less aggressive drunk guy on the street with a deadly knife on Saturday nights would be a good thing for everyone.

There are also hundreds of Jocelyn’s friends in Colorado Springs who would like to hold somebody accountable for her death. Maybe Pring-Wilson could step up to the plate so that we could eliminate the possibility it was him. The sooner we can identify the aggressive man who stabbed Jocelyn Sandberg, the sooner we can prevent him from picking a fight with someone else’s car.