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Pro-immigrant activists with Occupy Denver file suit against DIA and DPD, challenge airport free speech “permit”

DENVER, COLORADO- Civil liberties champion David Lane has filed a complaint in US district court challenging Denver's office of the city attorney for instituting a permit process at DIA to prevent public protest. Holding signs has become impermissible at the airport, without the issuance of a permit seven days in advnace, although police are not bothering themselves about signs welcoming homecomers or seeking to connect business visitors with their limo service. That selective enforcement is unconstitutional of course, and the lawfirm powerhouse of Kilmer Lane & Newman is filing suit on behalf of two Occupy Denver plaintiffs. last Sunday, January 29, both were threatened with arrest by DIA police. While two earlier attempts to assemble had capitulated to DPD intimidation, the Occupy Denver activists stood their ground. Why did you file your lawsuit? "We know our rights. We want the POLICE to know our rights." 1. Full text of complaint: Case 1:17-cv-00332 Document 1 Filed 02/06/17 USDC Colorado Page 1 of 14 Civil Action No. IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO NAZLI MCDONNELL, ERIC VERLO, Plaintiffs, vs. CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER,? DENVER POLICE COMMANDER ANTONIO LOPEZ, in his individual and official capacity, DENVER POLICE SERGEANT VIRGINIA QUINONES, in her individual and official capacity, Defendants. ______________________________________________________________________________ COMPLAINT ______________________________________________________________________________ Plaintiffs, by and through their attorneys David A. Lane and Andy McNulty of KILLMER, LANE & NEWMAN, LLP, allege as follows: INTRODUCTION 1. Plaintiffs Eric Verlo and Nazli McDonnell challenge a regulation of alarming breadth that bans all First Amendment expression at Denver International Airport without a permit. 2. Plaintiffs are concerned citizens who believe that President Donald Trump has overstepped his executive authority by signing the January 27, 2017, Executive Order (hereinafter “Muslim Ban”), which permanently bans Syrian refugees from emigrating to the United States, temporarily bans nationals of seven countries (including permanent legal residents and visa-holders), and suspends all applications to the United States refugee program (even as to vetted entrants currently in transit). 3. Plaintiffs wish to express their disgust with President Trump’s (likely unconstitutional) Muslim Ban. They wish to do so in the same place that hundreds of thousands of Americans across the country have done: standing directly outside of the secure Customs and Border Protection (hereinafter “CBP”) screening area within an airport where immigrants to America enter into the main terminal after clearing customs. Plaintiffs, unlike many citizens across this great nation who have exercised their opposition to the Muslim Ban in airports by chanting, singing, dancing, and praying, simply wish to stand in silent protest, holding signs that express their solidarity with immigrants and the Muslim community. 4. Plaintiffs are banned from doing so by DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT REGULATION 50 (hereinafter “Regulation 50”). 5. Regulation 50 states: “No person or organization shall leaflet, conduct surveys, display signs, gather signatures, solicit funds, or engage in other speech related activity at Denver International Airport for religious, charitable, or political purposes, or in connection with a labor dispute, except pursuant to, and in compliance with, a permit

David, Goliath, and Eric Brandt

I must confess, I'm no fan of the Bible, I've never understood how a man's lips are moving and it is called the word of god. The same is true with the written word, the pen is in the hand of the human. But there are stories in the bible with a powerful message. One such story is of a small shepherd boy who goes down into the valley armed with a slingshot and a few small stones. The story of Eric Brandt. Eric Brant went down into the valley of the 16th street mall and waited there for the giant to come to him. Eric had baited his trap with a donut, he knew of the giant’s hunger for donuts. The giant lard ass cop came into the valley astride his motorcycle, he meant to dispatch Eric to the nearest jail. This lard ass cop had with him the power of the prosecutor, the court and a kangaroo judge. Eric had only the truth, a small sling shot and one small smooth stone, attorney David Lane who was with the gift of words. The giant raised his mighty sword to slay Eric. With one smooth motion Eric brought forth his smooth stone (David Lane) and sent the giant to the ground in a matter of moments. The Moral of this story: When you come into Eric's valley, you better bring more than the power of the state or he will send your donut munching ass back to yo mom-ma, minus yo head and ego.

Denver activists seek court injunction to stop jury nullification arrests

DENVER, COLORADO- Civil rights attorney David Lane will address Federal District Court on Monday seeking an injunction to stop the City of Denver from arresting activists distributing fliers to inform fellow citizens about the legal concept of Jury Nullification. UPDATE: An injunction hearing has been scheduled for 2PM FRIDAY, August 21, at the Araaj Federal Courthouse.

Denver’s 2015 Punch and Judy Show

Come One, Come All! Admission: FREE FREE FREE! Where: Denver Municipal Court When: Tues, Aug 11, 2015, 1PM. Featuring MARK IANNICELLI in his premiere performance and David Lane as his big stick.   As the drama unfolds, Mark will be charge with seven felony counts of jury tampering for passing free information to the citizen of Denver. David Lane, a seasoned defender of human rights, will protect Mark from the Judge and District Attorney, played by two Kangaroos. You won't want to miss the final outcome of this grand performance by the city of Denver.

Eric Brandt and the horrible, very bad judge.

WESTMINSTER, COLORADO- Eric Brandt was so sure he was going to jail he got a tattoo. The one-man-band of protest movements had court on August 3rd before Westminster Associate Judge Paul D. Basso, who'd declined on a technicality to give Brandt a jury trial. Eric calls him "Judge Fatso" and lampoons Basso on the courthouse steps and so didn't expect more than a brisk push into jail. Knowing they'd take his "Fuck Cops" t-shirt, Eric got a hasty tattoo. "It hurt. A LOT" said Eric, who did not intend to cease his protest behind bars. It's the identical logo, placed just below the sleeve-length of a jail smock, faced forward on the arm he extends to shake hands. Eric's lawyer, the formidable David Lane, joked that he was stung by Eric's lack of faith in his attorney. But Eric Brandt has suffered for two years battling alone against the whims of Westminster injustice. He's served jail time, been beaten, threatened, tasered so many times the seizures it induces no longer make him pee. And when Judge Basso took the bench the courtroom audience got to see the kangaroo court prepared for Westminster's public enemy number one. Even David Lane's sober motions and objections bounced off the stubborn hanging judge. Ultimately Judge Basso was smart enough to know he had to grant a continuance because discovery was only granted ten minutes before the session started. Discovery included internal affairs investigations of Sergeant Buckner, Eric's repeat accuser and frequent assailant. Judge Basso asked the sergeant if he'd signed off on their release. "Objection! You're not his lawyer!" Judge Basso ordered that the documents be surrendered to the court until he'd ruled on their relevance. "Objection!" The audience echoed "WTF!" David Lane's motions to dismiss, and for a special prosecutor, and for the judge to recuse himself for interposing himself as advocate for the city, were ignored. Each time the civil liberties expert cited legal precedence, Judge Basso would answer "it's been a while since I've read that one, but I remember its meaning differently." The city attorney and judge made clumsy attempts to feed each other cues. Eric Brandt was forced to wave speedy trial in exchange for his continuance, to give his attorney time to peruse the discovery evidence. David Lane objected that "my client has to choose which constitutional right to sacrifice." Westminster had hoped to jail Eric Brandt this week to prevent him from getting on this year's ballot for the city council election. They had to let him walk. A powerful attorney and a roomful of spectators got in the way of someone's Judge Roy Bean act. Eric was in tears as he thanked his supporters. His next case is Thursday, August 6, same accusers, same arresting officer. Same crime, telling cops to go fuck themselves. Eric will need the same court support. Trust me it's entertaining. Between Brandt and Lane, there is no end to the laughter, but I had no idea municipal court would be so suspenseful. The best

City of Denver wins court battle to ignore the homeless, one arrest made

DENVER, COLORADO- The trial of the Tattered Cover Five concluded this week. For three days a municipal court considered whether a complaint made against protesters drumming in front of the downtown Tattered Cover Bookstore should or should not curb the protesters' freedom of speech. And the jury really didn't get it. Not only did their verdict uphold the police's discretion to decide whose speech can be considered to be disturbing the peace, but the jury introduced their own arbitrary enforcement, judging some drummers guilty and some not, even though the complaint which prompted the charges was based on the "loud and unusual noise" generated by the ensemble. The jury had even heard testimony that defendants were threatened with arrest if we "so much as touched a drum." How then could this case be about disturbing the peace via loud noise? Defense attorney David Lane knew our acts of defiance were more accurately "disturbing the police." More obtuse than the Denver jury was the presiding judge, who resisted every rational objection and motion to insure that blunt authoritarianism always received the benefit of the doubt. I'll admit our supporters in the audience were glib throughout the trial as our lawyer David Lane could hardly sidestep using the dumb and dumber city attorneys for mops. But the judge always ruled in dumb's favor. It was as if courtroom 3H was an Affirmative Action program for logical fallacies, and the judge was a rubber-stamp for the rule of bad law. This was never more clear than in the trial's final moments, when extra deputies ringed the courtroom and then arrested an audience member. Just before the jury was to emerge with its verdict, the judge reminded everyone that filming or recording the jury was prohibited. David Lane voiced his objection at the buildup of officers in the courtroom without cause. As usual the judge was dismissive. Lane emphasized that in all his years this was an uncharacteristic show of force. The judge didn't care: "Objection noted." It was her usual refrain. As the officers moved closer to the audience to make their oppressive presence felt, the activism instinct to raise cell phones at the ready gave the officers their cause. This escalated into a standoff, with the deputies ordering an activist to leave the courtroom. His protestations of innocence were interpreted as resisting so he was led off in handcuffs, prompting of course more impulses to film the arrest. When more officers began targeting more cellphones, a voice of authority rang out. It wasn't the judge calling for order in the court. No, she was satisfied to let the deputes maraud through the audience and extract people with physical force without even looking up from her monitor. It was the sonorous voice of David Lane that brought the officers to heel. He said "Nobody can take anyone's phone." Lane's gravitas had never given the judge pause but it stopped the deputes in their tracks. "The most an officer can ask you to do is to put your

Ward Churchill wants his dollar back

DENVER-- Remember the dollar bill awarded to Professor Churchill last year because the jury took him at his word that return of his tenure at the University of Colorado was the chief demand of his lawsuit for unlawful dismissal? Judge Larry [K]naves vacated the award and the verdict, which is why Churchill v CU is now being reprised for the Colorado Court of Appeals. As Lawyer David Lane outlined for the reporters, Churchill wants the reinstatement of an original secondary claim dismissed without a trial, he wants to resume teaching at CU Boulder, and precisely for its symbolism, Ward Churchill wants that dollar back. This post's title is my guess at the Denver News headline. Actually, mention of the solitary dollar was made in court, but from the other side. Believe it or not, CU argued against having to reinstate Ward Churchill because it adjudged the small award to be indicative of the 2009 jury's intent. Instead of believing the jury's statement, that they chose reinstatement in lieu of awarding damages, CU pretended that the trivial remuneration meant they couldn't give a fig if the wronged professor got his job back either. Oral arguments were heard today by the Colorado Court of Appeals, in a temporary venue located in the Denver Post building, which until recently was also home to the Rocky Mountain News. Was this a supreme irony, or like the usual M.O. in matters of Native American affairs, a direct insult? Ward Churchill had to plead for redress with authorities under the roof of the establishment most responsible for having slandered him. How did it go? The room was packed, the judges did not appear to show their hand and promised a judgment would be forthcoming. Probably they say that to everybody. David Lane gave his usual masterful performance, parrying cuts to the quick from the three judges as if his client's claims were a foregone conclusion. Lane was ready with his trademark descriptive quips, Churchill's persecution dubbed a "torchlight parade" where the CU trustees fell over each other to grab the microphone to denounce his September 11th Little Eichmanns quote, even as later they claim quasi-judicial immunity for terminating Churchill without prejudice. Providing the perfect foil was CU's counsel Patrick O'Rourke, the down syndrome-coiffed wunderbreadkind, who has me convinced there's a niche for the incompetent lawyer shtick. How else to battle charismatic speakers like Lane, than play the everyman with a limp to elicit the jury's sympathies. Lingering on my mind, as CU's attack-defender lost his train of thought and asked a judge to repeat his question, was the news that O'Rourke is reportedly shortlisted for an appointment as judge, perhaps in recompense for his dispatch of Churchill v CU through the backdoor. O'Rourke raised the inanity of having been presented with no evidence that the Boulder campus suffered a chilling effect as a result of Professor Churchill's first amendment rights being violated. One judge ran with the theme, until Lane was able to politely corral the sophomoric philosophy quandary. I

Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct

Literary theorist and legal scholar, Stanley Fish, weighs in on the report of the "committee of faculty peers" that found Ward Churchill guilty of academic misconduct.   "The verdict did not surprise me because I had read the committee’s report and found it less an indictment of Churchill than an example of a perfectly ordinary squabble about research methods and the handling of evidence." "The accusations that fill its pages are the kind scholars regularly hurl at their polemical opponents. It’s part of the game. But in most cases, after you’ve trashed the guy’s work in a book or a review, you don’t get to fire him. Which is good, because if the standards for dismissal adopted by the Churchill committee were generally in force, hardly any of us professors would have jobs." In the New York Times column, Fish concludes his Churchill-exonerating analysis by claiming that he doesn't question the integrity of the committee leading the witch hunt, excusing their dishonesty with "they just got caught up in a circus that should have never come to town." Apparently Stanley Fish didn't see any of the lying douchenozzles on the stand, or read their vomit-inducing 125-page report trashing Ward Churchill's 30-year stint as polemicist laureate. Still, I appreciate Mr. Fish setting the record straight: Ward Churchill is not guilty of academic misconduct. I hope David Lane, Ward's wildly fabulous attorney, is gearing up to sue the stuffing out of the next bastard who publicly claims he is.

Churchill juror Bethany Newill explains

A few interesting things about the Ward Churchill jury came to light today (a sigh of relief from Pirate Ballerina!). The jury thought -- right up until the judge gave them their instructions -- they were to determine whether Ward Churchill was guilty of academic misconduct. When they realized they needed only to decide only whether the 9/11 essay was a substantial motivating factor in his dismissal, they agreed very quickly that it was. Although apparently the jury took their deliberations seriously, they didn't want to have anything to do with the damages portion of the process. They hoped the judge would do the job for them but when they found out that wasn't permitted, they gave it a half-hearted shot. This from Westword's interview with juror Bethany Newill: Once Judge Larry Naves reiterated that the jury had to tackle this task, Newill confirms that "the majority of us were in favor of giving him money," but they didn't know how much to award. "We were given a four-page set of rules to determine the amount, and there was also an option that we didn't have to do it. And one of the rules said there needed to be a preponderance of the evidence to show the financial effect it had on Ward Churchill. And there was no real dollar amount other than the loss of wages." Ultimately, the jurors followed the lead of David Lane, Churchill's attorney. "He said, 'What price can you put on a reputation?'" Newill remembers. "And we all decided that there's not a price you can put on a reputation. And even though this was protected speech, there are still consequences to your actions and your words. When Ward Churchill wrote that essay, he had to think that people would be affected by that, negatively or positively, and that he would need to reap the consequences on his reputation." Still, she emphasizes that "it wasn't a slap in his face or anything like that when we didn't give him any money. It's just that David Lane kept saying this wasn't about the money, and in the end, we took his word for that." No doubt, a jury of peers! Just not Ward Churchill's peers!

Churchill and his curiously vile detractors

DENVER- There's an interesting sideshow at the Churchill v CU case having to do with a cadre of unsavory Ward Churchill online critics. What they are writing is hardly interesting but their unceasing doggedness, repeating only ad hominem attacks, leads one to wonder who they are and what horse do they have, in not only this race, but in Churchill's ongoing activism. These are the same voices which heckled the DNC organizers, AIM, and the contra-Columbus actions. It's a little circle of shit-knitters, who cross-link or repost each other's comments from Blogspot blogs Drunkablog, Slapstick Politics, People's Press Collective, and riding point on the Churchill Trial, Pirate Ballerina. These are Little Green Football variety ditto-heads, and I hardly mean to draw attention to them, but their relentless character assassination seems to wag the local media dogs, and one might as well look into that. Meaning, more in a bit. Churchill amused the courtroom audience by illustrating his sarcastic use of quotation marks, as one might refer to the Rocky Mountain News as a "newspaper." It's not enough to conclude Professor Churchill has enemies. There are Native American casino owners who might be threatened by Churchill's revisiting of the past, there are rivals for Churchill's influence in the American Indian Movement. Obviously there are historians eager to retread what they've invested in the Master Narrative. Curiously, there are Zionists who are vehemently opposed to the discussion Churchill wants to provoke. And I suppose there are stupid white males who will stand for no diminishment of God Blessed America. These bloggers are the latter "Right Wing" variety obviously, and bring nothing to the table but personal attacks. But what sustains them, tasked as they appear to be, to hound Ward Churchill on a daily basis, year after year? There are players both on the national scene, and locally, who I consider complete bastards who merit every rebuke possible, but that doesn't mean I dedicate my every utterance when they so much as visit the bathroom.

Churchill lends trial his sonorous levity

DENVER- Court Room 6 is packed once again as Ward Churchill takes the stand to detail his wrongful dismissal by CU. His testimony began yesterday afternoon, and Attorney David Lane is outlining the basis for damages. Churchill isn't asking for money. Says he, "I want my job." Churchill testified that his publishing output is 5% of his usual, only two or three articles in journals, and four books under contract but still awaiting delivery. But Churchill is quick to reassure the room that the works are forthcoming, and he is upbeat, despite CU committee members having testified, sadly but triumphantly, of having reduced Churchill's reputation, thirty years and twenty books, to a pitcher of warm spit. Lane asked Churchill: "How does this make you feel?" "Angry" is Churchill's reply. "But anger is no new feeling for me." Cross-examination has begun, Attorney Patrick O'Rourke is inadvertently treating the jury to the very character assassination upon which Churchill has been making his case. O'Rourke's first question pretended to inform the jury that he and Churchill had become familiar over the course of these many legal actions, and thus direct questions would not be improper or disrespectful. But he loaded his question thus: "I'm going to ask direct questions, will you be willing to give me direct answers?" O'Rourke used a second question purportedly to frame his his line of questions. "Professor Churchill, is it fair to say that you've been accused of many things, of not being a real Indian, for example, and after your 911 essay, of a half million things it seems like, would that be fair to say?" "Uh, yes. Although probably not a half million..." "Well, I'm not going to ask you about any of those things, I'm going to stick to just the allegations made by the committee." Later O'Rourke questioned why a previous witness, Russel Means, had referred to his colleague as Doctor Churchill. "You don't have a PhD, do you?" He asked Churchill. "You only have a Masters, isn't that correct?" Churchill explained that he had been given an honorary doctorate, to which O'Rourke replied, "So it's just an honorary doctorate?" Asked Churchill: "Do you mean to dishonor it?"

America on trial, past if not present

DENVER- The Ward Churchill vs. CU trial continues today, featuring the much anticipated testimony of SCRUM hatchet chairwoman Mimi Wesson. But not before two dramatic points had already been made. First, that eugenics did play a part in the disenfranchisement of Native Americans, and second, that a witness brought from California by the plaintiff to talk about The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) would not be allowed to testify. The defense attorney objected that a Psychology School Dean was insufficiently "expert" on ACTA, and the judge concurred. You're going to have to look it up, and the Denver jury is not even going to hear about it. The audience is more sparse for this sixth day, as the trial enters its second of an expected three weeks. Although the subject matter is getting meatier. Last week's testimonies, cross examination, and one too many overruled objections prompted Churchill's attorney David Lane to call for a mistrial. Today's witnesses, the third one a hostile witness, will address the allegations made against Ward Churchill by CU. While arguments about plagiarism will entail discussing the methods of scholarship, accusations about fabrication of history will mean debunking Ward, or questioning the Master Narrative. The General Allotment Act of 1887 and "Eugenics" ALLEGATION A made against Ward Churchill by CU is that he characterized a 1887 legislative act as being "for the first time a formal Eugenics Code." CU maintains that this is a misrepresentation, mostly because the word is not mentioned anywhere in the act. Lucky for us, eugenics historian Dr. Lombardo is on hand to label that accusation "silly." Allegations A. Misrepresentation General Allotment Act of 1887, calling it a "Eugenics Code" B. Misre Indian Arts and Crafts Act, requires blood percentage C. John Smith 1614, started small pox epidemic D. Small pox epidemic in Ft Clark ND, from St Louis E. Plagiarism, work from pamphlet DAMN THE DAMS F. Plagiarism from Rebecca Robbins G. Plagiarism, Fay Cohen alegation, she never A-D from Prof Lavell E came from RMN F-G came from Prof Lavell. SCRUM chairperson Mimi Wesson, who did not recuse herself, even after it was revealed in an email: "I confess to being somewhat mystified by the variety of people this unpleasant (to say the least) individual has been able to enlist to defend him. I know people say it's the principle, but we aren't all out there defending Bob Guccioni's first amendment rights, although God knows he has them." and "The rallying around Churchill reminds me unhappily of the rallying around OJ Simpson and Bill Clinton and now Michael Jackson and other charismatic male celebrity wrongdoers." (well okay, I don't really know that jackson is an... more in a bit!

CU lawyer thinks it was Ward Churchill who may have violated 1st Amendment

DENVER- CHURCHILL TRIAL, DAY TWO. University of Colorado defense attorney Patrick O'Rourke wanted the jury to understand that Freedom of Speech was a complicated matter. He asked Dean of CU's law school, David Getches, to confirm "Is First Amendment Law hard?" "Yes it is." "Are you an expert on First Amendment law?" "No, I am not." O'Rourke also got former Governor Bill Owens to admit the First Amendment concept was "tricky." But no one could have conveyed it better than O'Rourke himself. He described how CU scoured Professor Ward Churchill's work "to look for First Amendment violations." Pretending to detail the school's concern for protecting Churchill's academic freedom, O'Rourke explained that when it was concluded that Churchill's 9/11 Little Eichmann essay was protected speech, CU set about to find other instances where "what he said might violate the First Amendment."

Churchill Trial starts off with a CU joke

DENVER- Opening statements were made and two witnesses gave their testimony today at the Churchill vs. CU academic freedom trial, while a hungry media waited. ROUND ONE, CHURCHILL. Details to follow.

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