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Activist Corey Donahue is free, despite supra-judicial ploys to halt his release.

DENVER, COLORADO- Occupy Denver veteran Corey Donahue was released from county jail on Thursday, thwarting two surprise court filings to keep the activist in custody for additional months. Donahue had negotiated a global plea deal to serve concurrent sentences for his outstanding charges of inciting public protests in 2011 and 2012. Yeah, those aren't crimes, but when you're an involuntary guest of the Denver jail, your stamina for disputing bogus accusations wanes with every bogus meal. Municipal court judges are as vindictive and perfunctory as the petty officials pressing the original charges. Engaging that crowd is not reciprocal, so it's especially unrewarding if it means enduring protracted incarceration. Having cleared his cases and completed the good-behavior obligations of a 9-month sentence for the nut-tap crime, Donahue was due to be released Thursday. But that morning, the Lindsey-Flanagan justice center activated an additional 2012 case which lawyers had been prevented from negotiating because the Division-3D judge withheld it from the docket. Neither private attorneys nor public defenders had been able to compel 3D to address that lingering case number. On Thursday the case mysteriously engaged... As a result, on Thursday Denver sheriffs demanded a large cash bond and they scheduled Corey for an in-custody court appearance the next day. When funds were rushed to the bonding office, an even larger bond was imposed for a 2011 case specifically stipulated to have been dismissed by the terms of Donahue's global plea. Can they fucking do that? No. And yes, everyday. Municipal court despots are not accountable even to their consciences. We've seen Lindsey-Flanagan chief justice Martinez confabulate on the witness stand in federal court to suit his duplicitous machinations, and his minions embellished on his lead. Usually their victims, locked in the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center across the plaza, are powerless to decline their sadism. Clearing up this clerical error would take until after Christmas, so it seemed more in the holiday spirit to give Denver their blood money and take the courthouse to task afterward, from the relative comfort of being out of custody. WTF.

Springs municipal judge gives blessing to lucrative yet illegal I-25 speed trap.

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.- Local municipal court judge Matthew Ramirez was presented with evidence today that the city is operating an UNJUSTIFIED SPEED LIMIT TRAP in the construction zone at the intersection of Highway-24 and Interstate-25. Though drivers are regularly cited for exceeding a 30mph speed limit, the posted speed does not meet the 85% compliance rule, nor the "pedal test" for enforceable speed reductions. Both are characteristics of improper and legally unenforceable "speed traps". Plus, it turns out, 30pmh is not even the minimum speed required to cross under I-25 before the traffic light turns red. At 30pmh it takes a motorist 8.75 seconds to cross the intersection from West to East. But the traffic light allows only 2.75 seconds! No wonder drivers don't want to slow down. Upon seeing the video, instead of calling traffic engineers to set appropriate speed restrictions and adjust the timings, Judge Ramirez instead put his stamp of approval on CSPD's very lucrative speed trap. YES, I got a speeding ticket. Haha. And yes, today I was found guilty. I'm not upset so much as disappointed that the judge made himself complicit with the city's scheme. I know that "speed trap" has come to designate anywhere that police monitor traffic speeds, sometimes in hiding, and issue tickets. But I'm not using the term in the general sense. "Speed trap" has a legal definition which describes a scenario where police are ticketing motorists who have been forced, by circumstances under the control of the police, to violate the law and thus become eligible to be asked to contribute to the local administration's fee based tax. "Speed traps" are abuses by law enforcement to maximize citation revenues without having to come across and apprehend offenders operating autonomously to local fundraising schemes. On August 31 of this year, I was clocked going 43mph in a 30mph construction zone. Except for a vague feeling that I had not been "speeding", I had no intention of fighting the ticket. I support the enforcement of speed limits and I accept that being pulled over is more or less a random hazard of going with the flow. No objection. But my recent attendance at municipal cases brought against activists has meant a lot of time spent in courtrooms where I couldn't help but notice that many, many drivers were being cited for the same ticket as me, crossing the same intersection, their fines doubled because it's a construction zone, almost all of them taking a plea. My decision to plead not guilty led to a fruitful survey of legal abuses perpetrated by our traffic courts; on the part of the city attorneys, on the part of the police officers, and on the part of the judges. It was worth the fight and I assure you it's not over. Hundreds, if possibly thousands, of motorists have been ticketed, and are still being ticketed, like I was. Unless they're riding the brake as they approach the intersection, they are considered speeding. Often, hitting the brake at that approach

Steve Bass found guilty of camping not occupying, but could jury have ruled otherwise without hearing his defense?

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- You may have underestimated the importance of today's Camping Ban trial. The local media, social justice community and rights watchdogs missed it. But judging from the police force on hand and the elaborate lock-downs placed on the jury pools, it was evident the City of Colorado Springs thought a lot was at stake. I've written already about the draconian motions to prevent defendant Steve Bass from explaining his motives, including a ban of the word "Occupy." Today the court made audience members remove their "Occupy Colorado Springs" t-shirts, but let the cat out of the bag by the palpable gravitas with which the court officials and police handled jury selection. Except for the absence of TV crews outside, you'd have thought Steve Bass was Hannibal Lector tripped up by an urban camping ordinance at "what happened last year in October at a park downtown." Yeah, even mention of "Acacia Park" was giving away too much, the prosecuting attorney preferred to call it "115 W. Platte Ave." Every so often a prospective juror would stand up and say "I presume you're referring to OCCUPY WALL STREET?" like he was solving a riddle, but instead of the door prize that volunteer would be dismissed from the pool for knowing too much. After a trial that lasted one third the length of the jury selection, Steve Bass was found guilty. He offered no testimony, his lawyer, the very capable Patty Perelo, made no closing statement, because what defense could be made? Steve and his council elected not to have him testify, because to begin with, he'd have to swear to tell the whole truth, and if he explained he could only tell part of the truth, he'd be slapped with Contempt of Court. We thought the jurors might have been curious, after seeing the city's 8x10 glossy pictures with the circles and arrows telling what each one was and hearing not a peep from Bass, but they didn't express it, and left after giving their verdict. This is Colorado Springs. One of the prosecution's witnesses, the arresting officer, nearly spilled the beans when he identified the defendant as someone he couldn't have confused for someone else, because he'd said he'd encountered Bass many times in the park and shared many conversations. "Oh?" the defense attorney Perelo perked her ears and asked, "and WHAT did you talk about?" "Um... homeless policy, mostly." That's all HE could say. He couldn't explain why he'd encountered the defendant so many times, or what the defendant was doing. Attorney Perelo couldn't push it, because that would be leading him into forbidden territory. His testimony for the prosecutor was delivered straight from his notes. There were two police witnesses, a map and several photographs, showing the tent and another showing just the poles. Was this necessary for a conviction? Because it necessitated explaining to the jury that said poles were in their "unerected state". Not to be confused with the tent which was "fully erected", which the judge pronounced like expressions

Steve Bass to get his day in court, but he can’t say what he was doing or why, & above all he can’t mention “Occupy”

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.-- Municipal Court Judge Spottswood W. F. Williams heard a final motion today before the AUGUST 10 trial of Occupier Steve Bass, charged with violating the city's camping ban. The prosecution motioned to forbid from trial, "discussion of political, economic, or religious beliefs or ideology as a purported justification for the alleged acts", and even "arguments related to the belief that the defendant's conduct was constitutionally protected", and in true Colorado Springs fashion, the judge GRANTED the city's motion! YES THAT'S RIGHT, now if Bass wanted to say he wasn't "camping," he can't say what else you would call it! In effect, Defendant Bass is prevented from explaining WHY he was occupying, or even THAT he was occupying, because saying "OCCUPY" is expressly forbidden. The judge will play it by ear whether to make an exception for himself during "voir dire" if selecting impartial jurors might require asking their opinion of "Occupy". That's IF BASS GETS A JURY AT ALL, because next, Judge Williams prompted the city prosecutor to research whether Bass was entitled to a jury of his peers for the infraction of camping... The issue had already been resolved in an earlier hearing. Unable to find definitive wording on whether a camping ban violation invoked the right to a jury trial, the court ruled to proceed as if it did. But at today's hearing Judge Williams related that in the interim over a casual dinner conversation, another judge informed him that the law read otherwise. So he put the question again to the prosecution. And again the citations came up inconclusive. This time however, with the clerk advised to continue the search, the decision stands at "pending". If Judge Williams opts to eliminate the jury, the forbidding of political or constitutional discussion is a moot point, actually two. There won't be a jury to confuse, nor a judge either, because Judge Williams decided, by allowing the city's motion, that the defendant has no arguments to make. Case closed. If the judge gets his way. The point of today's hearing was to hear not a judge's motion but the city's, a "motion in limine" used to reach agreement about what arguments can be excluded from the trial, often a defendant's prior convictions which might prejudice a jury. The core of the city's motion was this: ...that the Defendant be ordered to refrain from raising the following issues at the Jury Trial... 1. Discussion of political, economic, or religious beliefs or ideology as a purported justification for the alleged acts, or as an issue to be evaluated by the jury; 2. Presentation of facts or arguments related to the belief that the defendant's conduct was constitutionally protected expressive conduct; 3. Presentation of facts or arguments with the primary purpose or effect of proselytizing for the occupy movement, or otherwise using the Courtroom as a public forum; 4. Any reference to settlement negotiations with the Defendant prior to trial; The city is guessing that because defendant Bass has passed on all opportunities to dismiss his case on

#Occupy Colo. Springs Municipal Court

OCCUPIED COLORADO SPRINGS- Attention local media, if you're looking for authentic spokespeople for Occupy Colorado Springs, you need look no further than today's front row. Holding the big sign is first arrestee Steve Bass, to his right: three times arrestee Iraq vet Jack Semple, arrestee Amber Hagen, arrestee Raven Martinez, and arrestee Thomas G. Also pictured, former Colorado Congressman Dennis Apuan, Occupy founding member Jon Martinez and Socialist activist Patrick Jay. Not pictured, Joel Aigner and Hossein Forouzandeh who were speaking at a UCCS occupy teach-in. Here's a video of the Saturday arrests of veteran of Fallujah Timothy "Jack" Semple and Amber Hagen of the 7-11 incident. Worth the watch. ROCKSTARS! Mark your calendars, upcoming arraignments are scheduled November 21, 29 and 30. Raven addressed the Colorado Springs City Council today on the unconstitutionality of the no-camping ordinance being enforced to curb the Occupy protest. Here's what she said: As a citizen of the United States, one has a given right to life, liberty, & property. These rights are protected by both the 5th & 14th Amendments to the Constitution. In Bolling v Sharpe, The Supreme Court interpreted the 5th Amendment's due process clause to include an equal protection element. The 14th Amendment states: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of LIFE, LIBERTY, or PROPERTY, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Knowing that sleep is a necessity of Life, every American citizen has a right to sleep, regardless of status. “HOMELESSNESS” is considered a status. The camping ordinance ultimately denies one the right to sleep, therefore the right to live, based on their status. How many people have been arrested for setting up a canopy, with blankets & food, to take a nap or have a picnic on public property. Now if a homeless person sets up a canopy, has blankets and food with them, will they be told to take down their canopy under the current camping ordinance? If so, then the ordinance is based on status, therefore unconstitutional. If not, then it leaves too much discretion in the hands of the individual law enforcement officer, making the ordinance over-broad and unconstitutionally vague. When one is homeless, where can that person sleep? If they set up to sleep on Public property they would be violating the current city ordinance, they will be told to leave and told of a shelter to go to, being their only alternative. This amounts to incarceration in the shelter without a violation of law having been committed. This also violates ones right to due process in that it allows for arbitrary enforcement. When you criminalize a non-criminal act of necessity, you greatly increase the possibility of that person committing other crimes, as well as decrease that persons ability to obtain employment. State v Folks, No. 96-19569 MM found that a city ordinance which punished innocent conduct, such as sleeping/camping on public property, violated

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