Tag Archives: Colorado Springs Police Department

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.

Taser use by CSPD not minimum force

Mark Lewis took this video in Acacia Park Saturday. His notes are below.

Police shot this man with a Taser in the park Saturday, July 12, while I was taping the IVAW Tower Guard action nearby. There had been a fight and one man was arrested earlier and you can see the paramedics attending to a woman on the ground behind the police, who was involved in the earlier fight.

This man was arguing with them about something and so one cop held him while the other shot him from about three feet, and they arrested him. He had stopped resisting and was talking to them, and had both arms behind his back at that point and the arrest and handcuffs could have been applied without this.

The waist-level attempted tackle from behind was poorly executed and did not pen his arms, so the cop could have been injured as a result. He could have also been shot with the Taser.

I don’t know what the argument was about and I don’t know what the guy did, but this is punitive use of a Taser to me, and not needed by the four cops that could have arrested this man without that level of violence. It is certainly NOT minimum force, which is the department requirement.

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?

Trespassing into the booster zone

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

Riot police were standing by on Saturday

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

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

Anticipating a violent confrontation.
Upper body armor

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

Do CSPD officers wear caps anymore?
Kevlar helmets

Looking for provocation.
Waiting with knuckles dragging

Showing their number.
Police line

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

Activists not arrested for trying to get into the State Democratic Convention

The mugshot photographer forbid me making a toothy smileTO CORRECT POLICE BLOTTER DISINFO
(A friend asked me casually “how far did you get?” I was disappointed to admit that Peter and I were not arrested trying to get into the convention.)
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The police team coordinating security at the Colorado Democratic State Convention used confusion and unreasonable exertion of authority to curtail public participation. Officers broke protest signs over their knees and used arrest, detention and relocation to keep dissenting voices from the public eye until the opportunity to demonstrate had passed.

The two protesters arrested on May 17 had posed no security threat. Neither were their voices disruptive of the convention goers. Their banner which read “Democrats please stop funding the war” elicited support from the attendees. Many delegates began booing the police actions as the two men were being arrested for questioning police directives which seemed to contradict previously negotiated access.

As the convention check-in began at 7AM, the two men entered the “Free Speech Zone,” walked to the edge of the police tape and unfurled their banner. The two were immediately informed by police officers that where they were standing was reserved for “boosters” only and that they must move back a considerable distance. A supervisor was called to the scene who simply commanded the activists to move. After declining to explain himself, he grabbed one activist by the wrist while SWAT officers subdued the other, grabbing his banner and peace flag and breaking the bamboo poles before throwing them to the ground.

Eric Verlo and Peter Sprunger-Froese were handcuffed and driven to an El Paso County sheriff’s station across the street, charged with trespassing, photographed, fingerprinted, and after a delay, driven 15 miles to a distant city police substation before being released in the parking lot and given back their phone. By the time the two were able to get a ride back to the convention grounds, it was after 10AM and all the delegates had entered the convention.

ABOUT THE MUGSHOT:
Perhaps you knew this already but you are forbidden to smile by the police photographer. In application this just means you can’t show your teeth. I couldn’t help but think of Tom Delay’s beaming mugshot head-shot, but I pursed my lips because I did not intend to let the CSPD portray me as a forlorn felon. When I learned that the mugshot had been published online by Denver’s 9NEWS, I asked a friend about the attitude I’d projected. in his words: “demented.”)

Dry Run at the State Convention

Police riot shieldsCOLORADO SPRINGS- Interviewers kept asking me ahead of time if the local Colorado Democratic State Convention was going to be a dry run for groups planning something big at the national convention in August. Their curiosity might have been piqued by the mention of PROTEST COLORADO on Michael Moore’s list of “more fun with dry runs” leading to the DNC. I told them I was aware of no such plans, but it became clear to me today that the news reporters had been on to something. There WAS a dry run in the works, and it was being carried out by law enforcement.

I was arrested at 7:05AM Saturday, through no planning of my own. There was confusion over where the First Amendment applied and where it did not. There was a “FREE SPEECH ZONE” which shared a police-tape demarcated area with a “BOOSTER ZONE” for those whose speech was regulated by the Democratic Party. Which part was which was not universally understood by either the public or many of the police officers. Police commanders alluded to previously agreed perimeters, while we asserted what we understood had been decided. Calling in a supervisor led not to a discussion but to the barking of orders, our mouths agape. The police seized upon the chance to arrest, process and hold us, until our opportunity to be heard had passed. We were mighty confused at the time, but in retrospect the police maneuver was carried out like clockwork.

It seems to be my habit to be blind sided by heavy handed authority. But I hope this does not detract from the principal dynamic at play. I am an ordinary American citizen, with an ordinary citizen’s right to express myself. Even playing within the post-911 limitations placed on our civil liberties, abiding by a “free speech zone,” my right to participate in our democracy is being muted by a false authoritarian concern for public safety.

DELAY AND RELOCATION
Particularly indicative of the police strategy was what they did with Peter and I after our arrest. We were taken across the street to the Quail Lake Loop El Paso County Sheriff substation where we were booked and cited first for obstruction, then for trespass. Forms and fingerprints were completed twice amid pleasant conversation and clarification of the “free speech zone” boundaries. We were informed that we would be free to return to the convention grounds, but that a subsequent breach of the rules would be treated with more severity. Then, instead of releasing us there, or at the nearby Sand Creek police station, an order was received to deliver us to the northern-most police substation in the city 15 miles away. Peter and I were dropped off in the parking lot of the Falcon Substation at Academy Blvd and Briargate, and only then was my cellphone returned with which I could try to arrange a ride. By the time we were able to return to our friends and vehicles at the convention, the 7-10am demonstration was passed.

SET UP?
Several weeks beforehand the CSPD had conducted public meetings for citizens to hear about the convention security measures. I attended none of these meetings, but gained a general understanding from a symposium held by the ACLU attended by a CSPD representative. Another CSPD commander turned up on Tuesday May 12 at the monthly ACLU board meeting to apprise our members again of the city’s plans. It was here we learned that there were two “Free Speech Zones” to be made available to the public. Of particular interest were the now graciously added grassy almond shaped areas adjacent the main steps to the World Arena. From this briefing it was decided to relocate our banners to those parts, as they afforded visibility to all delegates attending the convention, not just those coming from the hotels along Geyser Drive.

On Saturday we discovered that those spots were not being offered to us. And this was the source of the confusion. Despite being reminded that a roomful of ACLU members and lawyers had witnessed what the convention organizers had purportedly offered to be public areas, the police held steadfast that no such close-up access would be given. There would have been no confusion on Saturday if an advance agreement from either side had not been presumed. There would have been less disappointment on our part if an area accorded free speech rights had not been perceived to have been withdrawn.

PROTEST BY FOREKNOWLEDGE OF PERMISSION ONLY
The application of a Free Speech Zone was almost farcical. Police Officers stood at the edge of the World Arena property checking for credentials. Helpers beside them called down the line, warning that no one without credentials would be allowed unto the property. When it came my turn to be asked, I answered that I had none. They were already telling me I could not enter when I was able to get a question in edgewise. I asked: “what about the Free Speech Zone?” They answered: “Oh, you’re here for the Free Speech Zone” and they waved me through. Without a description of where it was, or that it did not extend to the limit of the police tape. An ordinary public would not have known to ask to enter the area, nor about its limits.
Police tape extended toward but did not include areas 8 and 9

FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Of course there would be no problem at all if we hadn’t collectively relinquished the principle of Freedom of Speech. Why has it become so critical to public safety to shield people from each other’s speech? It used to be Sticks and Stones from which we needed police protection.

SURVEILLANCE
The extent of the security measures were leading all to believe that a personage of important political stature would be paying the convention a visit. By five in the morning all the street corners were manned by multiple motorcycle patrolmen. Suited men in dark SUVs were conducting security sweeps into the wooded hillside. Traffic signs on the interstate were warning drivers not to stop or slow along the shoulder. Police vehicles of all stripes were patrolling the parking lots, junior policemen were positioned in pickup trucks hauling coolers full of bottled water. When we arrived at the parking lot, unmarked vehicles converged upon us but exchanged information with each other without having to get out to address us.

Later in the day, Mark and I returned to the Free Speech Zone so that he could videotape my account of what had happened. Another of our party watched as men atop the roof of the Hampton Inn followed us though spotting scopes and pointed what appeared to be parabolic listening devices in our direction. None of which could be considered excessive for security precautions at such an event, although pretty clearly our protests have shown themselves to be of little threat. It would seem the purpose of the exercise Saturday was to get in some practice.

Freedom of Speech in America IMO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Springs Mack the Knife

The Gazette reported this weekend that Alexander Pring-Wilson, now of Court TV fame, has won a second reprieve against accusations of knifing an Hispanic Boston teen in 2003. Pring-Wilson’s legal team has twice successfully confused juries by defaming the victim’s poor man’s past, detracting from Pring-Wilson’s drunken, unprovoked pounce with a knife.
The Jackknife is not named after Jack the Ripper, who was never caught. Is Jackie back in town?
In the fawning article about the family’s blue blood Wood Avenue heritage, the Gazette oddly shrunk Pring-Wilson’s 4-inch-blade Spyderco military jackknife to a “penknife!” We’re informed the CC grad will be spending the holidays in Colorado. And will the ex-rugby captain be drinking?
 
I say, won’t somebody visit the CSPD and ask if the Colorado College campus hasn’t any unsolved closing-time stabbing deaths among its cold cases?

Maybe Pring-Wilson can stop by the Police Department and volunteer the DNA sample he refused to give them from Boston. The CSPD were alerted in 2003 about the similarity of the Boston stabbing to the fatal assault on Jocelyn Sandburg in 2002, and have yet to be given evidence to preclude him as a suspect. But Pring-Wilson’s mother was a long time Colorado Springs prosecutor and, as the Gazette article reminds us, is from a very influential family.

In Boston, Pring-Wilson was stumbling home from a Reggae bar after closing time. He came upon a car parked next to a pizza joint, with two Hispanic teens who he thought were laughing at his drunken state. Pring-Wilson approached the car, opened the passenger door and began stabbing one teen as the other ran from around the other side to pull Pring-Wilson off. The driver had not realized that the pummeling he was witnessing involved a knife. Pring-Wilson claims self-defense, prosecutors are suspicious of Pring’s having begun at the onset with his knife unpocketed, blade open.

Before Pring-Wilson moved to Harvard, he attended Colorado College. The year after graduation he still returned to Colorado Springs regularly to visit his former-teammates, parents and girlfriend. Might one of his visits have coincided with Jocelyn’s murder, a weekend night in 2002, a little after 2am?

Jocelyn and passenger were just a block from home when someone threw an object at their car. Jocelyn stepped out to address the young pedestrian, he suddenly threw what looked like a punch but oddly Jocelyn fell face forward to the pavement. She got up to chase him further into the CC campus where her body was found later with multiple stab wounds.

If you trace a direct route between the bars of Tejon Street and Pring-Wilson’s house, as a drunk might navigate, you cross Jocelyn Sandberg’s car right in the middle. It happened at an hour when Jocelyn was returning from a concert in Boulder, and when a drunk would be turned out from a bar at closing time. And what an unusual scenario for an altercation: knife-wielding pedestrian versus car.

St Patricks Day denoument chronicled

Council must prevent parade pandemonium
John Weiss INDY editorial, Dec 6
Largest US Civil Disobedience Movement Underway
AfterDowningStreet.org, Dec 6
Ousted protesters unsure of trying luck at St. Patty’s parade
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, Dec 1
City attorney says prosecution is ‘not in the public interest’
CS GAZETTE, Nov 29

St. Paddy’s Day Two off the hook
CS INDEPENDENT, Nov 29
City Drops Charges Against Last of St Patrick’s Day Protesters
KRCC, Nov 28

The St. Patrick’s Day Two
-After a mistrial, the city decides to retry just a pair

CS INDEPENDENT, Oct 4
Two of St. Patty’s Day Seven Could Be Retried
-Charges dropped for all except Fineron and Verlo

CS INDEPENDENT, Sept 27

UPDATE: The Gazette article is still among the top commented.
Here’s a string of the initial comments, in chronological order:

hmmmmm wrote:
Well this proves that if you break the law, and they did, and complain and whine enough then you can get off. Very disappointed in our DA on this one. quote “When you consider dragging an old woman across the street and not lifting her up, it’s really hard to see how that’s doing nothing wrong,” Verlo said. end quote. When this “old woman” refuses to get up and follow police orders, Yes they did nothing wrong. It’s called the law, and they broke it.
11/28/2007 7:44 PM MST on Gazette.com

csaction wrote:
No part of this trial was ever in the public’s interest and the city prosecutors were the last to see that. Some of the police used excessive force and that ruined their case. The parade rules weren’t applied to everyone equally, and that ruined their case. You aren’t guilty of obstructing the street when the police throw you down in the street. Explaining that you have a permit to march, just like the year before, is NOT failure to disperse. Allowing every politico in town to make a political statement EXCEPT those with a message of peace, is NOT equal protection under the law.

The strangest part of the city’s position, other than the obvious lame claim that they could get a conviction but decided not to, is Ms. Kelly’s apparent distrust of the legal system: “everything the police did was justified and there was probable cause for an arrest, but getting a conviction is another story”.

It is NOT another story IF the police did nothing wrong and there WAS probable cause for an arrest, and that’s ALL been decided by a jury of their peers when they couldn’t prove their case to 6 people in this town.

Is she suggesting that the jury system is wrong or that we, the people, are too stupid to see that the police and city are always right, no matter what they do? Does she think we can’t sit on a jury and decide the ruling based on the evidence, and get it right? The jury already got it right and the city wanted to intimidate the remaining 2 people with the threat of a trial, until the last minute, to stop them from suing for the police brutality, already proven to a jury.
11/28/2007 7:49 PM MST on Gazette.com

mananamaria wrote:
Apparently a jury couldn’t agree anyone broke the law in the first place. As far as I can tell, the threat to file charges against Verlo and Fineron, who both may or may no longer have pending lawsuits against the city and then dropping those is pretty telling. Besides did our finest not learn appropriat compliance tools that avoid the spectecals of dragging old women across a street and flagrantly threateniing people with tasers?
11/28/2007 8:03 PM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
CS, correction–they had a permit to march in a parade, not to interrupt the parade with a demonstration. In addition, Kelly is stating that another trial would be a waste of resources because the outcome would be the same…there is no insuation here.
11/28/2007 8:04 PM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
…insinuation, sorry…
11/28/2007 8:06 PM MST

back2colorado4go wrote:
csaction, you have lost ALL credibility on these boards! And Manawhatever, you do not follow ANY of the facts about this. JWSTrue has it right. These people broke the law, and most people I know of agree that these people needed to be taught that what they did in public was a disgrace! The police PICKED THEM OFF OF THE STREET, and with resistance these people ended up hurting themselves! They are deceptive by lying for the permit and needed to be removed. No one, especially the children there to see the parade, needed to be subjected to these adults acting unruly and not listening to the police! You can protest many other ways without this sick little show! And I agree with the DA in one way though. For the little satisfaction we (the public) would get in prosecuting these people, it is not worth the cost and the publicity it would give these pathetic people in the process! And yes, juries are full of creepy people that let off murderers every day, so it is not so hard to see one that can’t decide this one! These people were LUCKY it was the police that dragged them from the streets after hearing how ticked some parade watchers were at these people when this happened! Way to teach our kids!!!
11/28/2007 8:21 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (4)

jwstrue wrote:
back2colorado4go, thanks for the support. Now we sit back and wait for jtrione to chime in…sometimes I think CS and jtrione are one in the same, maybe??
11/28/2007 8:50 PM MST on Gazette.com

tonytee wrote:
hey post person hummmmmm cops broke the law many times and have not been charged, people sometimes who break the law in history end up being heroes, sometimes the letter of the law is not always correct and golden, sometimes to make a difference in life you must break the law to make the world a better place to live and not not let the law become too powerful in trying to silence free speech.
11/28/2007 8:52 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (2)

pc12784 wrote:
CSaction, with the possibility of people like you in the jury pool, it is entirely reasonable to think that the jury would be too stupid to see that the police and city are right in this case. Your statement about excessive force still baffle me. If you don’t want to be dragged off the street by the police, MOVE when officers give you a lawful order to do so. It’s really quite simple. But JWS and back2colorado pretty much discredited everything you said in this thread anyway, so I rest my case.
11/28/2007 9:18 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (4)

lexiii wrote:
I wish they’d have gone ahead and prosecuted, but the county is trying to save money, and they are basically focusing on more important crimes, I think, which is a good thing.

However, I am not on the side of the protesters here, if there weren’t more important cases that need attention, I’d be screaming and hollering myself right now, but our jails are already over filled and we need the room for more violent offenders.

Even though they’re not going to be prosecuted, the stupid protesters still look stupid in the eyes of the public, that opinion will not change.
11/28/2007 9:37 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (4)

pastor wrote:
one thing I have learned about csaction is he is right and everyone else is wrong. Have anyone every read where he admitted he was wrong and said he was sorry. In his world the peace protest are always right and can do no wrong.
Here is an example of his world view “One more point: look at the list of issues that made the gazette change this blog. ALL rightwing issues. All rightwing hate speech. Vile, putrid, racist, sexist, Fox Noise, Rush Limpboy, dittohead, FotF issues. NONE leftwing.” ”
Mr. Rust, I see you like your peace activists stupid, brain addled, stoned hippies, with no fight in them, passively accepting any abuse from the enemies of the state. Or perhaps you like the theological activists looking for another martyrdom opportunity and willing to help any enemy nail them to the cross. Or perhaps activists that are just too stupid to see hypocrisy in the national (and local) theocracy proponents, or the threat that ALL theocrats represent to the peaceful majority. Sorry to disappoint. (not)” ” The theocratic party that wants to turn this nation into a theocracy, and is the Christian equivalent of an Islamic Republic, are who get criticized, along with the hypocrite, hate monger, adulterer, homophobe, foot tapping bathroom boys, and televangelist funditards. It has nothing to do with the religion and peaceful, loving followers of the Prince of Peace. It has to do with those straying from the message as much as the other Taliban, who want to turn back the clock on progress to created a biblical theocracy. It has to do with those that want to legislate “throwing the first stone”, battling those that want to legislate “thou shalt NOT throw the first stone”. The concept of the protection of targeted groups, is the application of that principle and those against it are NOT Christian, because it is the principle of their lord. BTW, preacher, I won’t cut you as much slack as the other guy. You know exactly what “Christian” Taliban means, you just defend them. I’ve explained this before and will not again.” all of these quotes are from him. FOR SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES CHRISTIAN ARE LIKE THE TALIBAN, WILL ALWAYS DEFEND HIS PEOPLE WHEN THERE ARE WRONG. So I am sure he will blame Christian for his friends getting in trouble, and that all of this is to silence his friends message.
11/28/2007 9:39 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
on the issues of the protester, they now know, if they disobey the police, they can get away with it by yell, that it is all the police fault. An make sure people like csaction spread their lies on line and in the newspaper, this is the normal blame the cops for our behavior.
11/28/2007 9:45 PM MST on Gazette.com

101abn wrote:
Once again, lazy DAs. I rest my case. Prosecuting the prostestors would probably cut in to the time they spend plea bargaining away other cases…
11/28/2007 10:10 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (2)

101abn wrote:
Neva Nolan. Nearly a HUNDRED COUNTS PLEA BARGAINED DOWN TO *TWO*. Did you watch the Channel 11 report on the clown with over a HALF DOZEN DUIs – INCLUDING KILLING A MAN – WHO LOST HIS DRIVER’S LICENSE, LEFT COURT, DROVE TO A LIQUOR STORE AND BOUGHT A BOTTLE OF BOOZE??? ALL FILMED AND CONFIRMED BY CHANNEL 11 NEWS CREWS. Our DAs are a BAD JOKE!
11/28/2007 10:26 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (3)

tonytee wrote:
actually lexiii i do not see the protesters as stupid in the eyes of the public, being one that is in the public i commend them for standing up for what they beleived in and taking it as far as they did, in this country too few people are sheep and will not step out and stand for what they beleive in that is why our country is in the dilemma it is in currently with politicians and fiancially, maybe more people need to step out of the box for what they beleive in instead of letting senior citizens do it for us, but maybe that is the only generation that has any guts left to stand up for something.
11/28/2007 11:50 PM MST

just1voice wrote:
Tony I think you are way off base on that one. Its not that people arent willing to stand up for what they believe in or that they are sheep following the flock. The majority of them do it WITHIN the limits of the law so it doesnt make headlines like these clowns did. Have you gone out and asked the “public” their opinion on what these people did? I have and as Lexi said, they look stupid and will continue to think they are stupid even though they wont be punished for it.
Besides, I can think of several other ways to punish a business owner besides sending him to jail so that is something the public needs to consider.
11/29/2007 7:10 AM MST on Gazette.com

skiracer wrote:
Tony – not sure exactly how you are in the public eye as I have never heard of you outside these boards and can’t find any information on basic internet searches. Someone mentioned on another thread you ran for a public office and lost. With the skewwed view points you have shown throughout the threads on this website and the apparent lack of a marketing plan I can see why.

Maybe the senior citizens in these case were convinced/brainwashed in to thinking they were standing up for a good cause. Heck, my grandmother voted for Clinton the first time around because she thought he was handsome and someone came around to her nursing home and told everyone there what a great guy he was and how his moral standards would help improve their lives in the retirement community.

The problem with what they did is that they lied their way into the protest (privately funded and run) and then refused to leave when organizers asked them to and then police asked them to. Arguing that you have a permit is not leaving. Step to the side of the road and then show your permit. But since it was privately run it doesn’t matter. Your permit can be revoked at anytime at the organizer’s discretion.

As far dragging rather than carrying an old lady across the street. I am going to guess that she was pushing 200 lbs if not more. Has anyone here tried to carry a oddly shaped, limp sack of potatoes weighing this much before. Now add some squirming into the equation and you can see why they dragged this person off the straight. Besides, I would be willing to bet that should she have been carried off we would hear about her injuring either her arms or her ribs.
11/29/2007 7:38 AM MST on Gazette.com

skiracer wrote:
And regardless of the cost, the DA should be prosecuting those who break the law. The problem with our legal system is not that too many people are getting 2nd chances, it’s that too many people never even have to plea bargain or go to court because of lazy prosecutors.

The DA just lost my vote when up for re-election. If you didn’t have enough evidence say so, but to say that you are backing out because you don’t have faith in the system you are supposed to uphold on behalf of the people is a bunch of BS.
11/29/2007 7:41 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

pastor wrote:
The next’s round of the peace protester hand book is to bring a lawsuit against the city and police for false arrest. I hope that everyone who hand entry for parade take notice and when this group try to entry next time, they make it clear to them no anti-war message permitted in the parade. If you bring in you anti-war or peace message (joke because they seem to end up in some type of fight with someone) you will be removed. This will stop them from cause trouble again.
11/29/2007 7:57 AM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
I went to war to push peace and democracy on other nations. In this nation, or atleast in this city peace is considered hate speach. This city had no case, thats why they lost and are hanging their heads in defeat.
11/29/2007 7:57 AM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
This city is changing, just drive on Fort Carson one day, count how many anti-war, anti-Bush stickers you see on people’s cars. It will shock you. But you people on this blog will probably just call those troops “phoney soldiers” or “anti-americans” or “unpatriotic”. We appreciate that. Thanks for the support. Go when Physical Training (PT) ends at 8:30am, you’ll see these troops in their cars where their PT uniform with with what you people call “propaganda” on their car. I love an America where our troops have the right to free speach, which you call “hate speach”.
11/29/2007 8:03 AM MST on Gazette.com

erniezippreplat wrote:
Break the law get away scott free with the Colorado Springs DA. Whoever run against the current DA next time around gets the five votes in my family
11/29/2007 8:08 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

lexiii wrote:
iraqwarvet, throwing yourself on the pavement during a family event isn’t speech, and it certainly isn’t peace.

If idiots want to stand up for peace, they need to be peaceable about it.

These protesters were no more peaceful than anyone else.

tonytee, the protesters were stupid. They acted like a bunch of tantruming toddlers. Grown men and women throwing themselves down like three year olds in front of little children, no less, because they were asked to leave and they didn’t want to leave.

Not only was that against their own message of peace, it was a bad example for the children concerning adult behavior, and it was completely inappropriate in the first place.

A family event is no place for a war protest, these selfish minded brainless old farts who think they’re still in the sixties need to grow up and find a more appropriate means of communication.

How can they send a message of peace when they, themselves, are not being peaceful?
11/29/2007 8:10 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

smackermack wrote:
GUYS your anger is in the wrong place!! It is the CITY ATTORNEY – not the DA who decided this!!! Read the headline and the first Paragraph of the article!!!
11/29/2007 8:55 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
No one want to silence the peace protesters right to speak, but we believe that there is a time and place for it. An most people believe that the St. Patrick’s Day parade was not the right time and place. Most people also seem to believe that if a cop asked you move you move you do not act like a baby. But I also must remind everyone that the peace protesters hand book, when the police ask you to move you drop an make a scene, so that it is caught on film, the reason is so you can make the police look like the bad guy.

Iragwarvet I have a question for you since you agree with the anti-war groups. Is it ok to block soldier return from the war? Is it ok to delay the soldier meeting with their family? Is it ok to destroy railroad tracks and stop the return of the military equipment from the war?
11/29/2007 8:56 AM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
TONYTEE, taking a stand or speaking out for what you believe in is one thing. Causing a disturbance during a public family event is quite another.

2 other bits:
– This country is in dilemma (according to you) because of corrupt politicians…
– This country is in dilemma (according to you) because of imminent recession…

Neither has anything to do with “stepping out or standing for”.

You wouldn’t happen to be one of the individuals who ran for mayor last term, would you?
11/29/2007 9:02 AM MST on Gazette.com

rambone wrote:
pastor wrote: “No one want to silence the peace protesters right to speak, but we believe that there is a time and place for it. An most people believe that the St. Patrick’s Day parade was not the right time and place.”

Oh, but it was the right time and place for an old pickup to drive in the parade with juveniles in the back, lifting kegs, acting like idiots?

Was it the right time and place for the police to scare the living daylights out of young children as they drug that poor old lady across the street by the back of her shirt?

Were you even there pastor? I was, and it was terrible that these fine police had to act like they were imposing martial law.
11/29/2007 9:11 AM MST on Gazette.com

davidb wrote:
Eric Verlo and Elizabeth Fineron should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. According to their own statements, they intentionally and premeditatedly challenged the police that day. Attorney Kelly, you do NOT speak for the public on this one. Do your job!
11/29/2007 9:20 AM MST on Gazette.com

rambone wrote:
lexiii wrote: “These protesters were no more peaceful than anyone else.”

Were you there lexiii? Or its this just another story you want to weigh in on? I watched the whole thing, from the moment they walked out of Acatia Park, to when they got beat down 1 block away. Their signs were just peace symbols, they were not yelling into the crowd. One more thing, that pig that drug that lady across the street is lucky to be walking on two legs today. Pull off that act in front of my kids is enough to get me sent to prison.
11/29/2007 9:20 AM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
Iraqwarvet, actually if any one in a position of authority sees an active duty soldier driving around with this propaganda displayed on his/her POV–they will more than likely be ordered to remove it and potentially face administrative action.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits any type of slander against the Commander-in-Chief–in any form or fashion. While military members may disagree with the policies and procedures set forth by the Commander-in-Chief, they are prohibited by law from open criticism of those policies/procedures or the CIC himself.

Yes, military members can exercise freedom of speech–but only accompanied by certain restrictions as outlined in the UCMJ.
11/29/2007 9:22 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

pastor wrote:
So it is ok for these people to act the way they did. So again it is the police fault for doing their job, an the protester are not responsibility for their actions. So when is it ok for the police to move someone who does not listen?
11/29/2007 9:27 AM MST on Gazette.com

lwirbel wrote:
Lexii, you still aren’t describing this event accurately. Some people, like the AIM Indians at Columbus Day in Denver, choose to get arrested and commit civil disobedience by symbolically blockading an event. Verlo and Fineron were parade participants who the parade marshall decided, after the fact, he didn’t want in the parade, who were removed from the parade. The courts have a very mixed record on the right of a parade organizer to set rules, particularly in an ex post facto way. St Patricks Day organizers in Boston and elsewhere have some limited rights to exclude in advance gay and lesbian marchers, but once they’re in a parade, you have only limited rights to take them out. What’s also relevant here is what the courts have said about Apple Computer’s right to define who is a journalist. The company wants to exclude some people in advance because it says, “they’re only bloggers.” The courts say, no, Apple, even if it’s your press conference, you do not have the right to decide who is a legit participant and who is not. The St. Paddy’s Day organizer was really bordering on the edge of legality when he decided to remove folks with peace shirts after allowing Bookman in (and like Rambone said, they weren’t yelling, just marching).
11/29/2007 9:31 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Rambone if the police tell you to move out of the way, you listen and sort out the problem once you are off the street. You do not act like a little child. Rambone read your past posting you are some one who has a problem with Authorize and police. I was not there but people I know and trust were there an witness the whole thing from start to finished. They witness the police asking them to leave and witness the people not listen to the police officers.
11/29/2007 9:35 AM MST on Gazette.com

skiracer wrote:
Smackermack – My bad on the City Attorney vs the DA. Guess I heard DA used and skipped over the first few lines of the article on my reread after reading other comments. Regardless, the DA’s office should still be looking at this as Colorado Springs is in El Paso County, which is covered in the area he is responsible for. At a minimum a better reason/story/lie needs to be provided to the people of the city regarding why these charges were actually dropped. Saying you have evidence to convict but we are not going to is the same as saying we will chose which laws we are going to enforce.

As for the City Attorney (appointed by our wonderful all knowing and responsible City Council). You should be fired for either lying in your statements to the Gazette or for not upholding the law regardless of cost. If you have enough evidence a crime was committed and the police were correct in their actions you owe it to those of us who follow the law to uphold it as well as to the police officers who just had their name dragged through the mud because you are either a liar or lazy.
11/29/2007 9:36 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Lwirbel my problem is how they acted once they were told by the police to leave. I do not agree with the message they were bring in the St. Patrick’s Day parade but that is my opion. I feel that there is a time and place for that message and this to me was not the right place. With that said, I still feel they were in the wrong once the police ask them to move out of the way. They had to two choices 1. to move out of the way and sort the mess out. 2. Do not listen to the police and risk getting in trouble. The choices was up to them.
11/29/2007 9:47 AM MST on Gazette.com

justanothervet wrote:
That is right . Every time the police or any authority figure tells you to do something than do it. No protesting allowed. No thinking allowed. Vote Republican.

BTW you can send your Tea Tax to the Queen care of the United Kingdom.
11/29/2007 9:47 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (2)

lwirbel wrote:
That’s the main difference between you and me. If there was a huge accident or similar crisis and the police were getting everyone to move, I’d high-tail it. If the police were asking me to do something that was clearly a violation of my rights, I would challenge them and ask for their badge number. Never kowtow to someone simply because they are in uniform.
11/29/2007 9:54 AM MST on Gazette.com

duncan wrote:
lwirbel, from your comments I can only conclude that you had no issue with the Valedictorian from Lewis Palmer giving her speech about faith AFTER deliberately misleading the event organizers about her intentions. Is that correct? Or are you blocking that piece of evidence out to make your case? I guess lies and deceit in the name of a “cause” are complete justification to getting ones message across.

rambone, your internet tough guy act is tired. By your own admission since you watched the whole thing you had your chance with “that pig” and you did nothing. I doubt there would have been any change if your kids were there or not. It sounds like you could have used it as an example to your kids of what not to do when they grow up.
11/29/2007 9:57 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

rambone wrote:
Selective discipline? I had three short paragraphs to you. You chose to only comment on some short sighted belief that the police are the rule makers. These peace activist had the permits to be in that parade.

Act the way they did? You admit you were not there. Last I remember, he told me/she told me wasn’t admitted in a court of law. So why are you even making assumptions?
11/29/2007 10:00 AM MST on Gazette.com

lwirbel wrote:
Duncan, I actually know Erica from Lewis-Palmer and I have mixed emotions about it, I don’t think her case will stand up in court because of those deceptions, though her intention was partially admirable. I think this issue will stand up in a civil-suit court because the marchers were NOT engaged in deception. Bookman has always been an activist bookstore, and no great deception is involved in putting on green T-shirts. What about the Boston parade, if a bookstore known to be lesbian applied to the Catholic group to march, would it be deceptive to somehow have a lesbian sign on that float? I would say no.
11/29/2007 10:05 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Iwirbel I have no problem with your statement “I would challenge them and ask for their badge number. Never kowtow to someone simply because they are in uniform.” But can you not do this by getting out of the way of everyone else, so that you are not causing a delay in the parade? by doing this are you not listen to the police and showing respect to them and everyone else.
11/29/2007 10:06 AM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
Quick question to someone in the know. What reason did the protesters use to apply for a permit under a business name that had nothing to do with their organization? Or is their organization called The Bookman?
11/29/2007 10:11 AM MST on Gazette.com

obxman wrote:
if the d.a.[could mean anything]had to pay for legal expenses in a failed prosecution,half these jokers would be out of a job.if civilians sue each other without merit,the losing party can be held liable for legal fees…..why not the government?!they don’t have to be right when they arrest you….you just have to be able to afford justice.
11/29/2007 10:33 AM MST

jwstrue wrote:
Come on Rambone…that’s like saying because airplanes crash, I have no respect for pilots and will never fly an airplane…you sound pretty libertarian to me. Perhaps you should relocate to one of those compounds in Montana or Utah. Be careful, you may need these guys some day…

lwirbel, most folks with common sense would not challenge authority while in the midst of a direct order–most folks would follow the appropriate complaint or challenge process. Sounds like you have the same problem as the protesters–there is a time and place for everything. When you are given instruction by a police officer–this is not the time to argue or challenge unless your desire is to be incarcerated. Yes, there are exceptions–but judgement and good sense is everything…
11/29/2007 10:35 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

lwirbel wrote:
Jwstrue, Eric has had The Bookman in the parade (and MLK parade, etc.) for several years’ running, usually has a sign about peace on the van, etc. He said something to J&P members a couple days beforehand, saying “Anyone want to be with the float?” Before that time, none of the peace groups had even thought about applying for the parade, whether or not they’d be allowed. The Justice and Peace Commission often has a float in the Christmas parade every year, allowed by the sponsors, usually with an alternative-energy theme, but no one ever thought of applying for some of these other parades.
11/29/2007 10:39 AM MST on Gazette.com

just1voice wrote:
Rambone, ignorance is bliss isnt? Why dont you check the app requirements for applying to be a cop before opening your mouth and making yourself look like more of an idiot. As for the State Trooper, he sure as anything could have made your day a whole lot worse by holding you and calling social services to come and collect your child. Dont think he had the right? Go and find out. Then you could sit here and complain about how he held you againt your will, kidnapped your child and made you look like even worse of a father than you probably are.
11/29/2007 10:41 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

jwstrue wrote:
Come on Rambone…that’s like saying because airplanes crash I have no respect for pilots and will never fly…you sound pretty libertarian to me. Perhaps you should relocate to a compound in Montana or Utah. Be careful, you may need these guys some day.

lwirbel, you may have the same problem as the protesters. There is a time and place for everything. Most folks, when instructed by a police officer to take some action, would comply and complain or challenge later. The only thing you will accomplish by direct rebellion is most likely incarceration. True, there are exceptions, but good sense and judgement apply here…
11/29/2007 10:44 AM MST on Gazette.com

just1voice wrote:
Here is the sad part of all of this. Hopefully everyone will live and learn. I guarentee you the parade organizer is amending his rules and regs and next he will not have this problem. I would imagine EVERY parade orgainizer is doing that so it is very unlikely that this “message of peace” they wanted to get out will not be seen again at any function like this. Why would you want someone hell bent on causing problems in your show anyway?
11/29/2007 10:44 AM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

jwstrue wrote:
…sorry, didn’t mean to repeat myself–couldn’t see the first comments
11/29/2007 10:46 AM MST on Gazette.com

jtrione wrote:
(laughing) Some of these comments get so hilarious. Makes for entertaining reading. And, just to clarify JWS, CSAction and I are two different people. I would think our approaches to various topics and our facility with the language would distinguish us in several ways, but, alas, not clear enough.

I cannot comment definitively on the actions that day, as truthfully, I was not there. I do, however, know that the sentiment at the time which drove and continues to drive this debate was that from the early moments of the war, Colorado Springs and our illustrious police department were forever enshrined in history as “Thugs of Intolerance”. We, the citizenry, witnessed the teargassing of peaceful protesters early on in 2003 and made the nightly news across the country for same.

So, I could see why the perception, real or not, existed during this parade event. The message which seemed to come through loud and clear from city government and the police force was “How DARE you liberal freaks question the certitude of our celestially ordained Bush administration and its actions in the world ? We will use EVERY means legal and illegal to keep you silenced.” So, no, all the comments below that those on the right welcome free speech are, frankly, prevarication. Conservatives during this period fell into a mindset that they could shout down or silence any dissent as they claimed to have higher moral authority, e.g. Bill O’Reilly’s infuriating habit of cutting off the microphone of those who disagree. The Gazette’s infuriating habit of editing AP news stories during that time to remove any possible anti-war opinions.

Those who are intellectually HONEST cannot dispute that such a pervasive mentality existed in this country for the last six years. Given that framework, it is not difficult at all to see the anguish from the left at a system which tried strenuously to silence dissent. And, for those on the right who are unable, for a moment, to see the frustration from the left, then, I’m sorry, but you would have to be CLUELESS to forget the Cheney-isms where he called into question the patriotism of those who dared to dissent.

Dunno, gang, hopefully we’re moving in the right direction. Remember, the bulk of the blame for the lack of unanimity toward the war effort falls squarely at the feet of the Loser in Chief who was unable to make a cogent case for military action and failed miserably at being a leader. A “leader” is able to rally people to his cause, not just browbeat them into obeisance. So, yes, maybe these protesters broke the law. I haven’t a clue. But, if they did, don’t they answer to a higher moral authority than some law designed to stifle protests of the left ? I think so. jtrione@mac.com
11/29/2007 10:59 AM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
Thanks Jim for the clarification. I apologize, I was being sarcastic. For those who aren’t familiar, the distinction could be difficult because you both speak in dissertational formats and CS usually follows in support of your views…

Your comments are sometimes pretty hilarious as well…especially when the disdain for Christianity and the liberal arrogance shines through–all in good fun though.
11/29/2007 11:14 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Hey Jim, how are you today, I would never confuse you with csaction (I know everything) you have always been respectful to me and other. I think you are off base here on this issue. I for one question those in leadership who are against the war,why? for declares we have lost, meeting with out enemies and using those who hate us talking points as their own. Those in political power who support the peace movement have done everything in their power to ensure our solider will lose this war in order to win this next’s elections. I agree that Bush has made mistakes which war time president have not. Right now we have a chance to win this war but instead of backend our troops and giving them the funds and equipment need to fight this war the democrat’s want to withhold money in order to keep theses peace protester happy and to make sure that we do not win this war.
11/29/2007 11:28 AM MST on Gazette.com

pondfrogz wrote:
Wow, it appears I missed quite a conversation. Have a good day all and remember, there’s no problem that a six-pack and a good game on TV can’t cure. Just my meaningless comment of the day before tackling my fiancees chore list from $%*# on my day off.
11/29/2007 11:30 AM MST

turdman wrote:
Rambone-You are as lame as Tony Boy. Whine, Whine, I got stopped and I want to complain because I got caught and it isn’t fair.
11/29/2007 11:32 AM MST on Gazette.com

turdman wrote:
Bottom line in this case is the protestors are cowards. They protested and were legally arrested for violating the law. Then they all complained because they got arrested for again, breaking the law. Now they will sue the city because they believe their rights were violated. This group is really no better than the Westborough Baptist bunch. I hope next year they go to Denver to protest one of their events, so they can get what they really deserve.
11/29/2007 11:39 AM MST on Gazette.com

just1voice wrote:
Rambone dont flatter yourself. It would take a lot more than your couch commando comments to get under my skin. I never said your opinion made you those things. However, your lack of knowledge does. That and endangering your own child, setting a horrible example, and your running your mouth makes you a bad father. Whats wrong did I get under your skin?

No Im not one of them but I would give just about anything to watch you go one on one with the officer that you call “a pig”. Then you could teach you kids something useful, like how not to get your tail whipped.
11/29/2007 11:46 AM MST on Gazette.com

jtrione wrote:
Hey, Pastor Roy. Well, respectfully, I will disagree on some points. How do you equate “protesting” with “wanting to lose the war” ? That seems quite the logical leap to me. And, for the record, I have never taken a position on bringing the troops home early — I’m ex-military and understand the difficult role they are playing which does not fit nicely in “bumpersticker arguments” one way or the other. As one who has worn the uniform, I often cringe at some MoveOn.org statements and positions as shortsighted and limited. But, I realize that we on the left, have our normal centrists and our own “lunatic fringe”. We have to somehow work with both to craft a clear, cogent message.

I, personally, have never seen withdrawal from Iraq as a viable option and agree that a permanent presence of 50K per year is likely for the next few decades. As far as the failures of this administration (arguably in the running for the top five worst since the founding of the republic), there are not enough electrons to waste on these blogs. Yet, what seems more telling to me are the HUGE legions of right-wingers who, TO THIS DAY, support this guy. How many Bush-Cheney stickers do we STILL see on cars here ? It boggles the mind. All I know is that it certainly attaches a ‘stain’ to conservatism that will last for quite some time. For the next few decades, “conservative” will be automatically linked to the policies and actions of the Bush Administration. Nice albatross, guys, heavy enough for ya ?

And, PR, the point of this article was whether or not the protesters were in the right or not. Perhaps, they are reflective of a sentiment, wholly pervasive at the time, now weaning somewhat, that TO EVEN QUESTION the actions of the Bush-Cheney elite was somehow tantamount to disrespect for this nation. “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.” Who thinks in such puerile, oversimplistic absolutes ? Republicans, that’s who. C’mon, to impugn the patriotism of Senator Max Cleland ? Seriously, how do they look themselves in the mirror in the morning ?

(laughing) I recall a comment at some point during all this when a secular progressive was asked about the disdain toward conservatives, especially religious ones, phrased as “you don’t need them to just be wrong, you need them to be evil”. As wrongheaded and awful as that statement appears, I think it’s dead-on. Perhaps where we liberals lose our footing is when we become unable to see the folks on the other side of the table as loving, compassionate humans who happen to be a bit misguided in their beliefs in our opinion. Maybe if we on the left felt that those on the right were truly championing our rights to hold (in their view) misguided beliefs, then protest incidents like these would be few and far between. But, when we feel that the cards are “stacked against us” by those in power and their representatives (the police), it’s easy to see the animus. jtrione@mac.com
11/29/2007 11:59 AM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Can someone please explain to me what this has to do with art.

“Fake mug shots of President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other White House officials are on display at the main branch of the New York City Public Library, and the exhibit has caused quite a commotion.
About six manipulated photographs of members of the Bush administration made to look like mug shots are lining one of the landmark building’s hallways, with each current and former official holding a D.C. police date-of-arrest placard bearing the date they made “incriminating” statements about the war in Iraq, The New York Daily News reported.”

This is an perfect example of what is wrong with the peace movement and those who are against the war.
They love to Forcing their views on people by saying it is one thing and doing something else.
What does this have to do with the above story. The answer is both enter something under a different idea or name, but when there their used it to express a political view.
11/29/2007 11:59 AM MST on Gazette.com

csaction wrote:
Well, the parade arrests are still a hot topic on the ole blog. Where to start? It’s an amazing amount of misinformation but more importantly the correlation to those that would summarily convict us is 100% with those that know nothing about the basic facts. Disagree all you want; you would be amazed at how much I disagree what what was done, but understand this: the neocon tactic of revisionist reality (war is peace) doesn’t work when you want to battle videotape and photos with ill-informed subjective opinions. The city prosecutor couldn’t make that work and neither can you kids.

Glad to see Lexi prove she was the MIA tractor gurlie. Thanx. Glad to see preacher roid make no sense as usual. So on a day of great vindication, I’m glad to see those that hate peace lose a small battle.

To address as much as I have time for: “”whining and complaining” does not defeat prosecutors in court, Evidence does.


Elizabeth and Eric were not “PICKED OFF THE STREET” but pulled off their feet by Paladino, who emmbarrassed the department in 2003 with the “Dairy Queen Dozen” arrests outside the city limits.

http://csaction.org/StPatsDay/31707.html

There was no lie on the permit. We were invited back after walking in the 2006 parade. No subterfuge, and O’Donnell said he had no problem with our message. The problem was with the lie he was told by the same person who lied to police about the permit.
http://csaction.org/StPatsDay/Odonnell.html

David B, all 7 were “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” in fact the charges were changed twice to make it easier, but the city didn’t make it’s case, so hung jury, then dropped charges. Patty Kelly is right that the outcome would be the same or they would loose outright with another trial. She wrong that the jury just didn’t get it. They did, except for the wife of the defense contractor who should have been recused at the start.

There are larger community issues of how private is a function held in the middle of Tejon and subsidized 50% for the cost of police? For such “private” events, does the 1st amendment apply, or does a permit void the constitution? If the constitution is voided by “private” events, does that mean our permit the next day, for our 4th anniversary rally mean that we could ban people we don’t agree with from Acacia Park? (like we would want to)
http://csaction.org/31807/31807.html

In the end, when we have become a total fascist state and have no rights left, (while the American equivalent of the Germans in 1938 sleep) you won’t be able to find anyone who will admit they fought those fighting for rights and peace just like you can’t find anyone who will admit they voted for niXXXon.

In the end, this is a great conversation for our city to have and any city in America, because we need to understand our system in it’s superiority and not get in the way of it’s progress in the world. The lack of understanding of how our constitution works is appalling, but this is progress.

I guess we’ll see all of you at the 5pm press conference in front of the courthouse?
11/29/2007 12:00 PM MST on Gazette.com

hmmmmm wrote:
For someone who complains about being lied about, you sure post a lot only when it comes to your ridiculous protest where your people broke the law and got treated accordingly. Your people refused police orders, were subsequently moved, forcibly as you left no other option, after your “old lady” asked several officers what it would take to get arrested, and then appropriately charged. Where is the mis-information in that csaction? Your people are not martyrs, not worthy of anything but contempt. A full video of the incident shows the truth, and as much of a spin as you put on this, your people are still wrong. Next time, don’t expect any nicer treatment when you pull the same stunt.
11/29/2007 12:06 PM MST on Gazette.com
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hmmmmm wrote:
Rambone, are you speaking from experience on the gangbang comment little guy? Sure sounds like it. Maybe the aggressive defense of the police is a direct result of your ridiculous aggressive contempt for them. You opinion is ignorant. Nice racist photo by the way, Mark Fuhrman is still in Idaho if you need a place to move to.
11/29/2007 12:09 PM MST on Gazette.com

coloradogirl wrote:
I am a true believer in that life is just not fair sometimes. Justice does not ALWAYS prevail. I don’t think this was a vindication, just an abandonment of justice in the best interest of the situation.

I applaud the City Attorney for “giving up” so to speak. It’s like arguing over a $700 couch in divorce proceedings. You spend twice that to the attorney’s arguing over it. In the end, it’s just not worth it and the bigger person has to give up. Just like in this situation. The City Attorney didn’t want to waste anymore money on such frugal matters.

I personally was a witness to the groups display at the parade and I’m just as disgusted now as I was then. I wish we could send the protesters over to Iraq and let them protest there. Now THAT would be worth watching….
11/29/2007 12:32 PM MST on Gazette.com
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hmmmmm wrote:
Been here 20+ years, have a BS in computer related fields. I did military work in communications and do this job to defend the good people of my city from people like you. If you like I can send you the links for “aggressive” and “defense” definitions in great big letters and really small words so you can understand.
11/29/2007 12:52 PM MST

turdman wrote:
Rambone-Come on dude just having a little fun! I am just shocked is all. I mean I have never heard a grown man whine like a school girl. If you keep pushing out that lower lip of yours when you pout, you should put some sunscreen on so you don’t get a sunburn.
Can we still be friends?
11/29/2007 12:59 PM MST on Gazette.com
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jeep4fun wrote:
If protestors wish to protest they should apply for a permit through the city as any march is required to. For protestors to ruin what should be a community event for the purpose of enjoyment is simply silly. I believe parade organizers have the right to prohibit those groups (which this was)who wish to disrupt parade proceedings. The police acted appropriately in this instance. I grow tired of seeing idiots place the police department in a bad light due to their poor choices and actions. If you wish to truly disrupt a community event then you have to pay the piper. If you disagree with a particular event or view, request a permit from the city for your own event, but let our citizens truly enjoy the parades provided without divisive and inciteful actions and messages
11/29/2007 12:59 PM MST on Gazette.com

turdman wrote:
Hey Rambone,
Since your not doing very well on this blog today, maybe you can go down to the Gazette Telegraph office and protest this blog. I mean really, we must be violating your rights in some way. Maybe CSACTION can go with you and video tape the whole event. He can can then edit out the truth and you two can have a local TV station air your story. Maybe a lawyer can take your case and you could win millions by suing us. Maybe an officer will drive by and you could sue the city as well.
Justice, isn’t it a beautiful thing.
11/29/2007 1:09 PM MST on Gazette.com

jtrione wrote:
So, Jeep4Fun, what I hear you saying is that some government functionary, probably a conservative Republican appointee, gets to decide who does or does not get to be included in an event for “our citizens” (your words)? Based on what set of criteria ? Who are those “special” citizens ? Thought we all had a right to peaceably assemble or to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Where do you find justification to abridge those rights or place boundaries on them ? Remember, if not expressly enumerated, then those rights reside in the people. Not in you, dear friend, or in local laws designed to limit speech. Talk about “special rights”. 😉
11/29/2007 1:20 PM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
Great points coloradogirl and jeep4fun….
11/29/2007 1:24 PM MST on Gazette.com

lwirbel wrote:
Jeepforfun, what you describe is not what the Constitution intended freedom of speech to mean. There are limits to allowing a soapbox speaker to stand on private property and say something. However, Mike the anti-abortionist has every right to show big pictures of foetuses on public land outside the World Arena, and it doesn’t do any good to say,
“He’s disturbing me because I’m going to see an entertainment event, Cirque de Soleil or Lee Ann Rimes or whatever.” James Madison and those writing the Bill of Rights wanted to make sure that freedom of speech WAS in your face, did NOT require a permit, and was bound to be incendiary and controversial. That’s the only way to protect it. Otherwise, our nation would be a larger version of Singapore.
11/29/2007 1:36 PM MST on Gazette.com

justhefacts wrote:
jtrione- This is not a “free assembly” issue. O’Donnell owns the right to the parade which means, he can deny access if he chooses. If the protesors want to make fools of themselves they can do it from the curb which is protected by the Constitution.
11/29/2007 1:38 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Jim, I may be wrong, but my understanding on these parade, when you applied for permission to be in the event you must fill out paperwork with what type of display you are going to enter. So if this is the case can not the group in charge make it clear on their paperwork, what type of display is permitted and what type is not? So if this group next’s year make it clear to all involve what will be permitted and what will not be permitted, we may be able to avoide this problem next’s time.
11/29/2007 1:38 PM MST

csaction wrote:
Hmmm, if you are a cop, thank you for your service and sacrifice.

Now, post the video. No one on earth has sifted through this evidence more than I have and I know every second of video and every photo. The lawyers and cops don’t know this evidence better than I do. You don’t need to post 165 videos on YouTube like I have, just 1. The one that shows what you say it shows. Just 1 video. 1 photo. 1 piece of evidence. 1 thing to back up what you say. You all have the same burden of proof as I do, so pony up.
http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=csaction

Factual correction: Elizabeth asked several officers to arrest her, AFTER being dragged, because she had already gotten the punishment (not by a jury of her peers) but from Paladino, and wanted the rest of her day in court. She knew enough about it to know she had no recourse for the thousands in medical costs without the system’s protection, which she insisted on. (not contempt for the system, but admiration)

Jeep, we followed all rules and got a permit. We paid for a permit the next day in the park, and decided NOT to have our protest rally for the 4th anniversary the same day as the parade, which would have gotten us much more exposure with the thousands downtown. We decided to do both the parade with the peace message, welcomed the year before, and then the protest the next day. (4th year) Separate things with separate intentions. Everyone didn’t participate in both.

We did not make the police look bad and I don’t think the department looks bad. I think we’ve lost the PR battle, not them, and people (other than here) are capable of seeing that a couple of cops going too far does not a department make. The rest did their jobs with respect and professionalism and garnered admiration from us all.

We deal with cops all the time, and for those old gray beards like em, we’re talking 40 years of activism. I admire police, have 1 in my family, 1 was arrested at the parade and 1 testified for us along with photo evidence. I respect the new chief, and I’m pissed about the budget cuts. The rogues hurt the force, the majority are a credit.
11/29/2007 1:41 PM MST on Gazette.com

jwstrue wrote:
Jim, this was a community event–someone has to be in charge or it wouldn’t be an “organized” event. Jeep4fun is merely stating those in charge should have discretionary authority when it comes to eliminating participants who are suspect. In addition this was not the time for an assembly, whether peaceful or not. Compare this to a recent public democratic debate when a heckler became disruptive–was the heckler allowed to remain in the debate audience?

Just the fact this group applied under a separate entity makes them suspicious from the start (my opinion). Some would view this as a sneaky attempt to disrupt the event by attempting to hide their identity from the start.
11/29/2007 1:41 PM MST on Gazette.com

jtrione wrote:
Pastor, Loring said it beautifully when he said that the Framers did not intend for anyone to limit speech. That person, authorizing a placard or not, is, by definition, infringing on the rights of free speech. O’Donnell’s claim that he could restrict displays of “social advocacy” during the parade is the problem. He does not retain any such right.

On public streets, the public can say whatever it wants, tasteful or otherwise. During PrideFest, would it be legal to restrict Phelps and his Westboro Lunatics from marching around with their tacky signs ? Of course not. Did the Nazis march in Skokie during the 70’s ? Heck ya. Freedom comes with a price tag that says “everything you see or hear may or may not offend your sensibilities”. Tough noogies. Deal with it. So, however misplaced an anti-war protest might be during a civic event, it is well within the purview of what the Framers intended. Period. Stylistically is that the best forum ? Well, that’s a question worthy of debate.
11/29/2007 1:46 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Iwirbel, this may shocked you and other but I am against those who do what do you call it “Mike the anti-abortionist has every right to show big pictures of foetuses on public land outside the World Arena, and it doesn’t do any good to say,” I believe this type of behavior does more wrong then good. I am against those who protest gay event with signs that use the f word or condemn them to hell, I am against those who hold signs calling our soldiers babe killer and such.
11/29/2007 1:55 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Jim are you telling me that if I show up for the Gay Pride event and want to march down the street with signs that say they need to repent. I have the right to do it and they must let me into the event? I am using this example to get an understand of what you are saying. I was always under the impression that the group in charge off the event has the right to say who can be involved with the event and who can not.
11/29/2007 2:02 PM MST on Gazette.com

justhefacts wrote:
CSACTION-I do not like what you stand for; however, your last post is the most honest thing you have written in a long time. I disagree with you on when Fineron poked and begged the officer to arrest her.
My point is this; The officers were there legally and had ever right to remove Fineron and others from the event. Just because she got dragged across the street does not make it excessive force. Refusing to leave the area after being ordered is a crime and the officers had every right to arrest them. If the city decides not prosecute that is their loss. Obvious the police dept agreed that there was no use of excessive force used by the officers because nobody got disciplined. We all know the police dept disciplines their own people.
The only good thing out of this whole incident is that none of these protestors will even disrupt the parade again. Thay will have to wait for another Palmer Park incident to spew their lies.
11/29/2007 2:03 PM MST on Gazette.com

csaction wrote:
The 2 issues are the heart of the matter. jtrione and lwirbel are correct. Follow the logic path. If the laws of the land don’t apply to a “private” function or property, then I can grow pot across the street from any school where I own property. Of course not. It’s illegal, and my private ownership does not circumvent the law.

Mr. O’Donnell gets the nonprofit (disputed) rate for police protection just like we did, the next day, in Acacia park. Half off. $25 per hour per cop, for 2 at a time, which is $50 per hour.

Acacia Park is public property, andthat designation does not change, when it is rented out for an alloted time. Anyone that disagrees with us about this war (and there are still some) can show up and protest our rally. They usually do. They are always offered water and respect. Our permit does NOT give us the right to say “the 1st amendment of the constitution does not apply for you today, so shut up”. (we, of course, would never even try that)

In the middle of Tejon, closed to the public traffic, for hours, with 46 police subsidized for thousands by the city through the tax payers, Mr. O’Donnell’s permit CANNOT allow him to do what I describe above.

Further, he cannot be allowed to apply his “new and improved” constitutional protections for free speech to ban a message of peace, BUT have military guards, political candidates, political parties, labor unions, and many other political issues raised at the same place at the same time.

I don’t think it’s difficult to see how far this would go if we were to allow it. You either understand the beauty of what the founding fathers did, or you don’t. You have to listen to me disagree with you. The Cost? I have to listen to you. (giggle) It’s a great burden some days, but the nation needs us all to be strong. LOL.
11/29/2007 2:06 PM MST on Gazette.com
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iraqwarvet wrote:
I love hearing people tell protestor how to protest. Like lexii, telling these people that they must protest a certain way. Or Pastor Roy using a totally different subject to illustrate what he means and making no sense. These are the same people who if they lived back in the 1950’s and 60’s would be hitting and beating the nicely dressed black men sitting at the lunch counters. Lexii tell the truth, you hate freedom? Please leave my country then. I defend the rights of all Americans, while you spit on the constitution.
11/29/2007 2:12 PM MST on Gazette.com
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justhefacts wrote:
Pastor-The event coordinator can prevent anybody they want from entering their parade, event or gathering as long as they have a permit to close the street. If the protestor’s wants to stand on the street corner and display signs they have the right to do so as long as they are not on private property or impeding veh or ped traffic. Westboro never entered any event, they just stood on the outside and protested.
11/29/2007 2:12 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
OK, If I am holding a parade and I want it to be all about St. Patrick’s Day . An I make it clear no political message permitted, how is that stopping some one’ s1st Admen tent, because I am sure next’s year and maybe the next’s parade in town this will be happen. Why? To ensure we do not have another problem like this.
11/29/2007 2:16 PM MST

iraqwarvet wrote:
Hey Pastor Roy, I’ll help you out. Next Friday night in Manitou Springs, Iraq Veterans Against the War will be putting on a concert at The Ancient Mariner. How about you come down there and walk around the place with your pro-war banners. And Pro-War doesn’t mean Pro-troop. Hold high your “Death to all who are not Christian, White, and American” sign. I promise not to kick you out. And so will all the active duty troops and veterans of this war that will be at the show. Deal?
11/29/2007 2:16 PM MST on Gazette.com
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jtrione wrote:
And, yes, Pastor, that’s exactly what I’m saying. You have the freedom to walk down Tejon during PrideFest wearing a giant A-frame sign quoting pithy silly verses from some retarded book of allegory talking about how all the other right-wing zealots want to create a permanent second-class citizen status for GLBT people. That’s your right, hon, and many have fought and died for you to exercise that freedom. You might get some perplexed looks, but more likely than not, you’d get propositioned or invited for drinks and a party. Tough noogies. Deal with it. Price of freedom sort of thing.
11/29/2007 2:19 PM MST on Gazette.com
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pastor wrote:
Iragwarvet I reposted this just for you since I had a question for you.
pastor wrote:
No one want to silence the peace protesters right to speak, but we believe that there is a time and place for it. An most people believe that the St. Patrick’s Day parade was not the right time and place. Most people also seem to believe that if a cop asked you move you move you do not act like a baby. But I also must remind everyone that the peace protesters hand book, when the police ask you to move you drop an make a scene, so that it is caught on film, the reason is so you can make the police look like the bad guy.

Iragwarvet I have a question for you since you agree with the anti-war groups. Is it ok to block soldier return from the war? Is it ok to delay the soldier meeting with their family? Is it ok to destroy railroad tracks and stop the return of the military equipment from the war?
11/29/2007 8:56 AM MST on Gazette.com
11/29/2007 2:22 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Hey Pastor, I counted 15 anti-war, Anti-bush bumperstickers today just driving through post going from gate 20 to the car wash near the B-street entrance. You should probably call the Post Commander and bring an end to this. But DOD Directive 1344.10 says they can, you know why? Because their Americans.
11/29/2007 2:24 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Now Jim you last posting was an insult to me why did you have to act that way toward me. I do thank you for your stands .
11/29/2007 2:25 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Iragwarvet sorry that is my 20th year of marriage dinner to one of most wonderful women in the world. Also I was not the posting about the soldiers getting in trouble. Oh by the way my nices husband had someone put one on his truck at night and he was very upset about it.
11/29/2007 2:28 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Pastor Roy, again asking a black or white question. But, I’ll try to answer it for you. No, I don’t think its alright to block troops. So what now? What brillant thing do you have to say now?

Now I have a question for you, did you think black men trying to sit at a all white lunch counter in the late 50’s and early 60’s was a bad way to protest segregation or did they make a point? Maybe you should read Thoreau someday.
11/29/2007 2:30 PM MST on Gazette.com

justhefacts wrote:
CSACTION-Once again your mudding the water. Nobody is talking about your right to protest. You just can’t jump into a parade without permission. If the coordinator, holding the permit, decides they don’t want you to enter their parade they can exclude you from participation. If you choose to stand on the curb and spew then go for it.
If a war vet decided to get up on your stage during your permitted event in the park and take over the microphone he could be arrested. If you, the event coordinator, decided he was not welcome you have that right to exclude him.
Pretty simple stuff.
11/29/2007 2:30 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Okay Pastor Roy, since you can’t make it, I’ll invite you to our next tower guard. You can bring your sign then, and its fine with us. Since it would be a good change, only two people actually had a problem with us 2 weeks ago. Or atleast only two people had the balls to come down to Acacia Park and say something. Pastor do you have the balls?
11/29/2007 2:34 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Hey justthefacts, I’ll ask you the same question. Shouldn’t the black men in the 1950’s and 60’s been arrested for doing that illegal action of sitting at the white-only lunch counters? You probably think they should have been beating by the police and angry white men, right? Oh wait, thats what did happen…sound familiar?
11/29/2007 2:37 PM MST

justhefacts wrote:
Hey Pastor when you go to the show this weekend don’t forget your “Hillary in 08” poster.They probably wii have quite a few for rent there. You might be able to buy a Hillary shirt from them also.
11/29/2007 2:37 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
They were peace protester who say they have the right of free speech, and that blocked the soldiers coming back from Iraq from seeing their family. As one soldier was quotes as saying “ We all wanted to be the ones to remove these people from our post” These protester destroy the railroad tracks going into the base and the Dem. Governor and Dem. Mayor stopped the police from doing there job and removing these people.
11/29/2007 2:41 PM MST on Gazette.com

justhefacts wrote:
Pastor- Don’t forget your “Hillary in 08” poster when you go to Manitou this weekend. Bring money also, they will be selling Hillary and Bill shirts there.
11/29/2007 2:42 PM MST on Gazette.com

justhefacts wrote:
Vet-pick a fight with somebody else. Your comment has nothing to do with this blog.
11/29/2007 2:45 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
justthefacts, for your information since we are a 501(c)3 we don’t endorse any candidates, but personally I won’t vote for anyone who voted for this war. Please go read H.J. 114 from Oct. 12, 2002. Senator Clinton voted for it. Can’t do it. And none of us are Democrats. So try not to pigeon hole us
11/29/2007 2:46 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Pastor, I read the news. I know what your saying and I didn’t agree with their actions. So what else do you got?
11/29/2007 2:47 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Oh by the way I drove by the Guard tower that week and I counted about 15 people and that was including the homeless people hang out in the park. So yes I did go by, on both Sat and Sunday during the day and I counted about the same amount of people.
11/29/2007 2:48 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
justthefacts, haha! can’t answer the question so you run. You are sad.
11/29/2007 2:48 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
JusttheFacts, why don’t you just show up. Why do you have to get someone else to do your work? I don’t like Hillary and never voted for Bill. I don’t vote for people who use the military as nation-builders. Sound like a current President?
11/29/2007 2:51 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
Justefacts so much for peace love people inside the peace movement, I took it what he was trying to do was pick a fight with everyone who is against the peace movement, By trying to call us raciest.
11/29/2007 2:52 PM MST

pastor wrote:
Justefacts so much for peace love people inside the peace movement, I took it what he was trying to do was pick a fight with everyone who is against the peace movement, By trying to call us raciest.
11/29/2007 2:53 PM MST on Gazette.com

peanuts wrote:
So now it is politically correct to try people, WHAT AN INJUSTICE!
11/29/2007 2:53 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
JusttheFacts, my comment has nothing to do with this blog? What do you mean by that? Americans protested in the late 50’s and early 60’s by doing something illegal, if you know anything about history, black men sat at lunch-counters in the south which were labeled white-only. They were beaten by both the police and angry white men. It was illegal what these black men were doing. Their is some history for you, since obviously your still in grade school. Now, were the Black men back then justified for what they were doing, or should the white police and white men have continued doing what they were doing? Should the Black men have just been arrested?
11/29/2007 2:55 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
So that would leave FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Bush, Clinton, and Bush. You would not vote for.
11/29/2007 2:57 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Pastor, I answered your question, why can’t you or justthefacts answer mine? I’m not saying your a racist, I’m just comparing the non-violent protests of the civil rights movement to what happened here on our streets of Colorado Springs, specifically what you people think is unjustifable behavior, since back then it was also considered unjustifiable behavior by the black men in the south. Whats your opinion?
11/29/2007 3:00 PM MST on Gazette.com

iraqwarvet wrote:
Pastor, again not black and white. I never said I’m anti-all wars. Just this one. Open your mind dude.
11/29/2007 3:02 PM MST on Gazette.com

rambone wrote:
hmmmmm wrote: “Been here 20+ years”

So this gives an implant like you the right to tell native born people like me were to go? I bet I got the California part right.

“BS in computer related fields”

I never heard of that degree. I that like,”I started but transfered when courses got tough”?

“defend the good people of my city from people like you”

Me, with no criminal record, military service, college educated? Yeah right, defend from people like me. Maybe what the people need is to be defended from rouge cops like you.

“for “aggressive” and “defense” definitions”

No thanks, but I would like the definition of the combined words. You know, the way you posted it earlier. Nothing over two syllables please, I don’t have all week for you to spell check.
11/29/2007 3:03 PM MST on Gazette.com
Recommend (1)

iraqwarvet wrote:
Oh yeah, Pastor, I’m only 35. I don’t really remember FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, or Nixon (even though I was two when he resigned).
11/29/2007 3:03 PM MST on Gazette.com

pastor wrote:
The issue is we have always been involved in nations building in one form or another.
11/29/2007 3:16 PM MST on Gazette.com

(And this is less than a tenth of it…)

To John Weiss, INDY peace ambassador

Dear John,
I’m sorry to have let you down in your efforts to negotiate a settlement with the city on the Saint Patrick’s Day affair. I have always valued your advice and I remain hopeful that the city will consider a reconciliation over this matter.

If it’s alright I’d like to explain my position relative to your proposed terms of a settlement offer to the City Council. I am absolutely in favor of foregoing any civil lawsuits, but this must be in exchange for an admission of wrongdoing on the part of the police department.

Why would the city or police department have to cling to the formality of denying culpability if there would no longer be a threat of a lawsuit? You’ve described that having the police attend a public discussion would be admission enough, but I fear that if I am so hard to convince, probably most of Colorado Springs will not grasp the subtlety either.

You may insist that the police department will never admit it conducted itself improperly. I say it must. Excessive force and reckless endangerment must be condemned.

As I’ve explained before, I have no interest in being awarded a public meeting only to give the police chief a forum to cross his arms and reiterate both that his men did nothing wrong and that firm policies are necessary when dealing with unpredictable crowds.

You also make the point that we cannot hope to reprimand Officer Paladino, owing to the strength of police union and the brevity of our police chief’s tenure, etc. The most we could hope for according to you would be to have an unspoken agreement that Paladino would not be assigned to protest or parade duty. Even that request you fear may out of the question. I say with all due respect, nonsense.

Officer Erwin Paladino was the direct instigator of our unnecessary arrests and the escalation of violence, Probably not by coincidence in 2003 he was also found to have acted outside his jurisdiction in the Dairy Queen arrests. Would it be enough to ban him from functions requiring crowd control? No! Paladino is on the New Hire Police Advisory Board. We must ensure that his dim regard for dialog and non-violence is not perpetuated with new officers.

What happened to my friends and I at the St Patrick’s Day parade should not have happened, and I fear that the repercussions may still be felt next year. As the city prosecutor persists in trying to justify the actions of its police, I have no alternative but to stand firm.

An expeditious settlement with the city might be better for public relations, but it does not address the need to assure the rights of citizens will be respected in the future.

I only wish I believed my own rhetoric

Marie argues with Officer Paladino
Freedom to express oneself, to think independently, was the lure that led the masses to our shores. Safety from abusive and intrusive government is the dream that continues to draw people to our borders. Our military men and women are in Iraq and elsewhere fighting for these same principles on behalf of those who cannot battle tyranny alone. Yet here in Colorado Springs, where so many are at great personal risk because of American ideology, we do not recognize the basic Constitutional freedoms of our own citizens.

It was a private parade, you say. The police were just following the orders of John O’Donnell, the parade organizer. Those people had no right to be there. What a load of garbage. The city was a partner in the St. Patrick’s Day parade. They blocked off public streets and used public resources. For the city and the CSPD to hide behind another organization’s insurance policy is not only cowardly, it is un-Constitutional. The ACLU won a recent case in Hawaii, wherein a “private” parade sought to exclude a particular group from marching. The conclusion: government entities can not shield themselves, nor take directives, from private citizens using public resources. The rest of the country seems to understand this.

In any case, the excessive force used by several of the policemen called to the scene is absolutely indefensible. Miscommunication, fear of public safety, parade crashing. None excuse what ensued. Not for a minute. Today it was peace activists; tomorrow it will be someone else. This type of unchecked abuse of power is a terrifying thing to witness. The lack of accountability by the CSPD illustrates that this thug behavior is tolerated, perhaps encouraged. If they are willing to behave that way in the presence of hundreds of spectators, can you imagine the treatment of those less visible? Are they taught to leave their humanity at the door when they don their uniforms and guns?

While I appreciate the attempts made by John Weiss to reconcile the community, his call to the activists to drop the threat of a civil suit is wrong. Where the people have no voice the court system is the next step. A hung jury in so simple a case shows that we are a town that is not as freedom-loving as our local daily newspaper professes. Perhaps, as in Hawaii, a higher court will possess greater wisdom. It is the next peaceful step in our cherished democratic process. The checks and balances built into the Constitution provide a measure of hope.

If there is no relief to be found by those who have sworn to defend the Constitution, then we will have to take to the streets. Systemic change is always resisted by those in power. If the populace had not banded together in the past to demand its rights, women would not vote, blacks and whites would be segregated, workers would toil in dangerous conditions, children would be chattel.

We should not live in fear of our local government, they should fear and respect us. They are public servants. We are a country of the people, by the people, for the people. We will not rest until our government, including those on Capitol Hill, abides by the Bill of Rights. Don’t mistake quiet acquiescence for peace. It is a reaction to oppression.

What the peace marchers need is not a call to lay down, but the rising up of their fellow citizens. They call for peace. Let the rest of us support them with a call for justice. As Thoreau said in Civil Disobedience, “Cast your whole vote, not a strip of paper merely, but your whole influence.” It is time for every concerned citizen to help stop the rampant abuse of power in our city and beyond. Without liberty and justice, there will never be peace. Here, there or anywhere.

Favorite photos of St Patrick’s Parade

Peace marchers are stopped
The shirts versus the skinheads as child and companion look on

Bookmobile moves up from the rear
Peace marchers catch up

Bringing the bookmobile to a halt
Officer Paladino halts bookmobile, Marshall Pete Page blocks paraders

Putting in the call to parade organizer O Donnell
Parade monitor Dougie Haig phones organizer John O’Donnell

We redouble our call for PEACE
We will not be silenced

Paladino extracts Eric from bookmobile
Paladino enters bookmobile and retrieves Eric by the wrist

Eric taken from the Bookmobile
Eric is subdued by Officer Paladino and co

Esther is told not to interfer
Paladino grabs Esther’s attention

Esther is pulled to the ground
and pulls her to the ground

Taking us down March 17 2007
Paladino releases Esther from arm-bar hold, girls cry

We receive a scolding
Officer Paladino will not tell us his name

Marie asks about our first amendment right
Excessive force officers?

Bystander video shows Elizabeth knocked off her feet
Elizabeth is twisted off her feet

Elizabeth is not exactly carried
Paladino carries Elizabeth off

Elizabeth is dragged past WAR NO MORE banner
without clearing the ground

Molly holds on to her banner
Officer Wrede breaks Molly’s banner and tries to take it

Eric and Molly being led off the street
Molly is led off by the throat

Bill and Frank are apprehended
Bill and Frank are apprehended

St Patricks Day parade t-shirts
Frank is moved using a pain-compliance hold (illegal choke-hold)

Colorado Springs hillbillies
Hillbillies applaud as-

Frank Cordero being held in an illegal choke hold in front of the kids
-their kids get a civics lesson

Officer fires taser as a warning
We are driven off at taser point

The police contigent forgot the theme was green
Men in blue wore wrong color to the parade

Elizabeth is not a happy camper
No dialog

Elizabeth leaves by ambulance
Elizabeth makes her exit

(Photo credit due Mark Lewis, Eric Barker, Kate Holbrook et al.
See all the pictures at www.CSAction.org.)

Charges that might stick

Paladino halts free expressionTo all supporters of the SPD7, please forgive our dropping our eyes from the ball. The city charged us with intentionally obstructing the parade, and we got caught up refuting the argument.
 
After the mistrial, we the defendants are now being led to understand that the city is pondering other charges, perhaps failure to disperse, perhaps resisting arrest. Fine. None of us failed to respond to a legal order, nor resisted arrest, even considering no one was being told we were being arrested. But that is to catch us up in another semantic argument.

Might I suggest charges that would have more traction?

If the city wants to find me guilty of trying to express myself, in a public place, in a parade run partially with public funds, policed by public law enforcement, they can find me guilty.

If the city wants to find me guilty of failing to stand idly by as friends and family were being dealt undue violence, in violation of the 4th Amendment, or with dignity, the 14th Amendment. Guilty.

Did we have the intention to march in that parade, as we had the year before, as we were permitted by the Bill of Rights, with every authority and respect accorded by law, to project our message of Peace On Earth to the 40,000 assembled there, most of whom, polls showed, would welcome seeing the sentiment spoken in public? Yes we did.

Does the city intend to show its citizenry and the rest of the country that freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, due process, and the enforcement of such rights don’t fly in Colorado Springs?

The travesty started with three opinionated dim-bulbs among the parade organizers, made worse by several violent police officers. If the city persists, they confirm that the blood-thirst, anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-civil-liberties conduct was endemic and systemic. As a resident of Colorado Springs, I’m going to do the patriotic thing and root that out.

I know what you did last spring

Taking us down March 17 2007
We were able to obtain these prosecution photos during the trial. Officer Paladino has finally released Esther from a painful arm-bar. The sign (obscured by a balloon from the Chipotle parade unit passing beside us) reads KIDS NOT BOMBS.

Eric taken from the Bookmobile
Esther asks the police officers why they are initiating such violence.

Esther Kisamore is brought to the ground
Esther is then pulled by the arm to the ground for having interfered.

Elizabeth, whom the police pretended was the peace marcher seen sitting down, was still leaning into the Bookmobile trying to find her walking cane.

Police foreknowledge on St Patricks Day

Raining on our parade April 17 Saint Patricks Day 2007
We used to joke around the fire at Camp Casey about whether we were being surveilled or infiltrated by agents or disruptors even, as has been done with historic regularity to opposition political groups and their organizers. Even to discuss it today with CPIS or PPJPC feels self-aggrandizing. We know ourselves that we do not pose such a threat that law enforcement would need to monitor our actions.

Let’s dismiss out of hand the idea that struggling activists in Colorado Springs would merit infiltration. So too wiretapping or bugging devices. Have we ever raised but a timid excuse-me to authority? Have we ever mobilized even more than a smattering of protesters ready to press our local leaders for accountability? We have not. We might grab the news on occasion, but in that respect we seem quite willing to telecast our intentions on the local news. To eavesdrop on us then would be redundant.

Alright then, how about email exchanges? Any need to monitor our email passing to and fro? Local ISPs handling the email could flag potential buildups of momentum. Is law enforcement in touch with them? Maybe, maybe not. Who wants to sort all that, or file the paperwork to get the analysis from Buckley.

At least an observer might want to watch our general mass mailings, for calls to arms. What about checking those weekly announcements at a minimum to see what we say we are doing?

And what about the websites? There are less than a handful of community websites which post and discuss upcoming actions. Would the police be looking at websites like this, or csaction.org, or ppjpc.org to try to sort out what’s up?

Police Chief Myers, in explaining the mishandling of St. Patrick’s Day, pointed the finger at the PPJPC and myself for duplicity in joining the parade. Myers explained that our websites made no mention of our intentions to march with the Bookmobile. Well, putting aside their erroneous conclusion, Myers’ statement confirms the answer to the last question: are the police checking in on us online? They say they do.

The police check the websites
If they had looked at our website, they would have seen what? Our calls for participation in the parade, our discussion of the parameters of the permit, our reservations, when we would be assembling, where we were parking, even the larger plans we had to conduct a peace rally in adjacent Pioneer Park. Those were plans we were still trying to juggle. I was hoping to gather onlookers from the parade route and have them join us afield for an impromptu peace rally. These plans were fully fleshed out and debated online, in multiple places. If the police studied our websites as they say they did, they would have seen our plans for that Saturday.

So even if the police weren’t infiltrating us, surveilling our meetings, wiretapping our phones, monitoring our communications, sifting our email, or reviewing our public announcements, they would have known from our websites that the PPJPC was marching with the Bookman, in green peace t-shirts, as we had done, announced and recruited for, online, the year before.

The police excuse of having been taken unawares on St Patrick’s Day, of being confronted with not knowing whether we had a permit, of stopping us in the parade route instead of earlier in the assembly area, begins to ring a little of falsehood.
Come to papa
The odds of us encountering a smiling Erwin Paladino of the CSPD, head head-cruncher of the 2003 anti-protestor police work, begin to look very improbable. The strategy then to throw us to the ground creating a scene, creating an obstruction themselves, making a lesson out of dealing with people stubbornly clinging to their rights, begins to look a little premeditated.

That is, if you believe the police are keeping their eye on us. We disrupt at the Broadmoor, we seek redress at our representatives’ offices, we banner the main streets, we interfere with military job fairs and recruitment strip malls. We show up at City Council and have them scrambling amok. We don’t plan any of this in secret. Probably somebody’s responsible for keeping themselves abreast.

So did Erwin Paladino draw the plum job of getting to apprehend us one block from the official parade start? Or was it a big coincidence? At the staging we could have rallied or prevailed from a dialog unhurried by the pressure of holding up the parade. At Tejon and St Vrain the police got to appear improvisational and exercise executive authority to take us down.

CSPD Officer Erwin Paladino of 2003

Come to papaHas it been made clear enough in the multitude of retellings of the events of St. Patrick’s Day 2007, that an Officer Erwin Paladino was the chief agitator in the police camp? He directed the arrests and handled most of them with two chief accomplices, guy with taser and guy of choke-hold. (Maybe not coincidentally the three men in blue in our T-shirt advert image at right.) The other of the fourteen policemen on the scene stood in the wings to receive us as we were removed from the parade route.

If the police had been interested in removing us efficiently from the street, the officers could have handled it on one swoop. Instead Paladino was let to do the dirty work, dirtily, throwing me to the ground, yelling at us pell mell, acting over-taxed when in fact the police outnumbered us.

Police misconduct, 2003
Imagine our surprise when Mark Lewis, reviewing the videotapes from the wrongful arrests of peace activists in 2003, discovered that the chief police bully in that case was the same Officer Paladino! You can hear him on the tape telling a woman she could walk to Boulder because he was impounding her car, then handcuffing her before she could even do that. She and friends were standing outside of a Dairy Queen, where they’d parked, after the tear-gassing of the antiwar rally.

The Dairy Queen Dozen won a settlement from the city of Colorado Springs, an admission that the police had acted improperly. And yet four years later, here’s the same wrongdoer, Officer Paladino, pulling the same uncivil behavior, the same abuse of authority, the same escalation of brutality, worse actually, in the midst of children and elders.

We’re told that any admission of wrongdoing on the part of CSPD could never include a reprimand of a particular officer, certainly not one like Paladino who wraps himself in a flag whenever there’s a fallen officer memorial.

To tell you the truth, I got the very strong impression, on St. Patrick’s Day when we were trying to learn his name from the other officers, that they weren’t too proud of his actions either. Most of the police bent over backward to treat us with consideration, as something of an apology for what went wrong on the street. Paladino would not tell us his name when we requested it, and when it came time to record it on most of our arrest forms, the officers filling out our paperwork pretended amnesia it seems, they didn’t want to betray his name either if he wasn’t brave enough to give it himself. That’s a man not likely respected by his colleagues.

Until our trial, until criticism can be brought on police misconduct, who might Paladino be mishandling today? We were fortunate to have cameras focused on us at the parade, and to have a large crowd protecting us with its gaze. What of the hapless vagrant in a dark side street? He bears the brunt of the policemen’s abuse of authority, regularly beaten and harassed by officers with aggressive personality disorders and the means and opportunity to vent them.

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.

2003 police over-reaction under-revisited

In March of 2003, as an invasion of Iraq loomed ever imminent, citizens of 800 cities worldwide mounted the largest peace rally in history. In Colorado Springs three thousand people assembled in Palmer Park to urge President Bush to chose diplomacy instead of war. The participants were peaceful, but the police incited frustrations by diverting traffic from Academy Boulevard which prevented drivers from seeing the anti-war banners and eventually used tear gas to prompt the crowd to disperse.

Colorado Springs was one of only two peace rallies in the world where police used tear gas that day. Many Springs families with small children were caught with no way to escape the gas. After a subsequent review, the CSPD admitted it had overreacted. As part of a legal settlement with the people they had arrested, the department agreed to host a public meeting to discuss matters of police conduct with respect to a citizen’s right to assemble peacefully. The meeting would involve a panel discussion on the issues and would be videotaped for public broadcast and for purposes of training incoming police officers. After four years of legal wrangling, the meeting is finally scheduled to happen this Friday, May 4th, at the Senior Center on Hancock and Uintah.

What an unfortunate coincidence that the arrests this Saint Patrick’s Day happened before Friday’s citizen-police meeting. As we are now well familiar, on March 17 at the annual parade, forty five permit-holding participants were prevented from carrying peace banners in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Ten of them were brutally removed and seven of those were arrested; I was among them. The police and parade organizers still admit no wrongdoing, but bystander videos and photographs captured the police display of excessive force.

In the aftermath of the arrests, the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission has asked the Colorado Springs City Council to hold a public meeting to address police department policy with regard to what happened that day. As yet they’ve only agreed to meet in private, to acquaint themselves better with peace activists.

While we welcome a better acquaintance, the PPJPC is not interested in obtaining a permission slip to exercise our right to self expression. We are interested in every American’s natural rights and civil liberties. We hope to establish an understanding that our city police department will implement a policy to honor and respect those rights. For that purpose we are requesting a public meeting where Colorado Springs residents who were alarmed by the heavy handed law enforcement can voice concern and give their input. The meeting on Friday will only address the police misconduct of 2003.

The Saint Paddy’s Day Seven, as we are being called, currently face charges in Municipal Court for obstructing a public event. The American Civil Liberties Union has agreed to represent us because at play are violations of multiple amendment rights. The police use of illegal choke holds, menacing with a taser and reckless brutality causing physical injury fall under illegal search and seizure and citizenship rights.

We are called called the Seven but in reality we are the Saint Patrick’s Day Forty Five, because forty five of us were deprived our first amendment right to freedom of speech. The parade is described as a private event, but it is held on public property and is underwritten with public resources. “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We are called the Saint Patrick’s Day Seven, but we are in reality the Saint Patrick’s Day Forty Thousand, who saw that day the attempted abridgment of a fundamental American right. A right which Americans aspire to extend to all people of all nations. Many of us watching that day had no idea we would have to fight for that right here.

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.

Complaints
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.

St Patrick’s interruptus for the record

A family affairMay I clarify the actions of the peaceful marchers at the St Patrick’s Day parade? My fellow participants sat down, not to block the path of the parade, but to resist the rough-handed treatment of me and Esther Kisamore who were being thrown to the ground by a semi-uniformed official with his police badge obscured. This officer was yelling at us to get out of the parade, without telling us on whose authority. He was commanding us to furl our banners, grabbing three which he broke over his knee. All of this is documented by bystander videos. Officer Paladino, it turns out, then tried to wrestle the keys of the bookmobile which I was driving, still without addressing us formally. He pulled me from the truck, pinned me to the ground, and threw Esther on top of me as she was urging for calm, to the horror of the young children marching with us and the hundreds watching.

Who was it that decided our peace message was any more political than the political candidates, political parties, or pro-war organizations parading their ethics in the St Patrick’s Day festivities? In the spirit of the occasion, just as we had done the year before, we purposefully refrained from our usual calls for President Bush’s impeachment or trial on charges of war crimes. Polls now show that our pleas for an end to the war in Iraq reflect the general sentiment of the American public. What parade organizer, or police squad, has the right to squelch that cry?

We sincerely regret the traumatic scene witnessed yesterday by so many children. Yet maybe it provided a teachable moment. They saw erstwhile Officer Friendly revealed as unbridled authoritarian brute, baring tasers and choke holds to enforce someone’s subjective political opinion. Before their young eyes, freedom of speech in America was manhandled and thrown to the curb.

Eric Verlo
Owner, Bookman Bookmobile
Chairman, Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission
Permit holder 21, St Patrick’s Day Parade

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.