Springs congressman Doug Lamborn tells citizens he answers to private propertied constituents not to public

Congressman Doug Lamborn's office at 1272 Kelly Johnson Way doesn't permit protesting
COLORADO SPRINGS- Local citizens have had plenty to protest with Congressman Doug “Obama is a Tar-Baby” Lamborn, so now the Tea Party bigot has put up a sign, NO PROTESTING. Lamborn declined to meet with community leaders from the NAACP on Monday, or Move-On organizers on Wednesday. Are you in Colorado Congressional District Five? Well, you may neither SOLICIT a meeting with your government representative, nor LOITER hoping to wait him out. Politicians like Lamborn who want to shove undemocratic corrupt legislation down people’s throats, and spout deeply offensive racist rhetoric out of sheer stupidity, have to hide where constituents can’t reach them.

Congressman Lamborn office park with AECom and other weapons industry swine
Situating your office where your constituents can’t reach you reminds me of former Senator Allard’s office in the Plaza of the Rockies, where security guards forbid entry to anyone who didn’t look investment-banker friendly.

The plaza complex is now the Booz Allen Hamilton building, the world’s largest weapons industry firms, chaired by James Woolsey and his wife, one of the Colorado College trustees. You’ll note that one of Lamborn’s neighbors is AECOM, another giant war profiteer.

At least Allard chose an office which was centrally located, only a block from Congressman Hefley. Doug Lamborn’s office is situated in an industrial office park where no one can hear you scream.

So is isolating yourself from you constituents now standard MO for legislative office-holders? Not really. Representative government is hardly where you want to take a stand against a public’s right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Especially someone espousing to be a patriot for the Tea Party.

Actually, if Lamborn wants to assert that his corporate representation gig is “private property,” I’d say the crafty bugger is right.

No shirt, no shoes? No representation.

Opposing war is not a crime: stop FBI suppression of antiwar activists JAN 25

COLORADO SPRINGS – JANUARY 25 – Protest the recent FBI raids and the DOJ grand jury subpoenas aimed at intimidating members of antiwar and Palestinian rights groups. Join Coloradans For Peace and compatriots beneath the windows of the FBI field office, located in the Plaza of the Rockies downtown, the complex where activists have been prevented from visiting their senator’s office, mostly a mall of investment bankers and brokerage firms. Not without irony, the main facade is named for war profiteer consultancy Booz Allen Hamilton. Come Tuesday Jan 25, from 4pm to 5pm. Meet on the NE corner of Tejon & Colorado.
Some consider the FBI to be the lesser of the US intelligence community’s seventeen known evils. Shall we draw the line at surveillance, infiltration and instigation of peace advocacy groups? Eric Holder’s Department of Justice won’t go after war criminals, torturers, or any facet of President Obama’s accelerated abuses on human rights. But they want to target humanitarian groups in hopes of tying their social causes to “terrorism, ” the traditional authoritarian label for political rival.

St Patricks Day Parade photos

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
COLORADO SPRINGS- Peace contingent in St Patrick’s Day parade.

(Click on images to see larger crop.)
St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Devon decorates last minute stand-in for the Bookmobile.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Assembling at staging area, last position.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Dancers, as MaryLynn and Dave look on.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Layla and Andy

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Kat, Debbie and Lily

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Sarah, Dave and Jake on Kazoo.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Friend of Ryan and Ryan.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Distributing the flags

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Mike looks back as we take off.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
With motorcycle escort.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Eric and Devon.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Video grab from Mike Coletta.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Lead banner. All subsequent photos by Devon.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Tony leads drumming

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Pattie (three screen grabs from Loring’s video)

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Layla and Andy

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Looking down parade route

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Eric waves Iraq flag

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Amanda rides ahead

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Behind Amanda, are Jonathan, Rita, Loring and Marie.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
More peace contingent two blocks back.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Jonathan, tricked out bike, and Don’t Tread On Me.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Flags of occupied lands.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Reflection in Plaza of the Rockies.

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
At disbanding point, this police officer suddenly begins shouting MOVE MOVE MOVE!

St. Patricks Day Parade 2009
Patty triumphant.

JUST SAY NO to the WS Bailout Bandits

Plaza of the Rockies brokersMEET -AFTER WORK- TUESDAY at the corner of SMITH BARNEY and MORGAN STANLEY, where DAIN RAUSCHER meets BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON at the Plaza of the Rockies Building. That’s where Colorado Springs needs to voice its objections to a bailout for the Wall Street extortionists. Don’t hand over America’s wealth to the money traders! Scribble your sentiments on the back of whatever poster-board is lying around your office and meet at TEJON & COLORADO from 4:30-5:30PM. Bring determination to tell them NO! (You can RSVP with TrueMajority.)

Some poster suggestions from ML:

Eat the Rich
Eat the Oligarchs
Eat the Plutocracy
No Corporate Welfare
Socialism for the Rich
Bailout is a Sellout
Fight them on Wall Street so we don’t have to fight them on Main Street
Scrape the GOP off the Treasury
No welfare surge for the rich
Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?
Let the Banks Burn
Jail (arrest) Paulson
Give bankers bail-not Bailout
Rescue Main Street not Wall Street
Private Debt=Private Liability
$1 Trillion Bailout = 20% Inflation
No cash for crooks!
Don’t blame me- I voted for Kucinich
Leverage This
Bailout: The Audacity of DOPES
No Cash for Trash
You Broke it- You Bought It

Local black man made to take his hat off

Statue of William SeymourCOLORADO SPRINGS- An early Pikes Peak Region African American settler is commemorated with a statue in downtown Colorado Springs. A plaque explains that William Seymour was one of many freed slaves who moved west after the Civil War. The statue is meant to honor all those “invisible” pioneers, ignored in the official histories of the city. What’s remarkable is that the statue of this black man is erected next to the Plaza of the Rockies, a bastion of conservative financiers.

The plaque explains a further improbability: the statue was funded by the Plaza. Otherwise known as the Booz Allen Hamilton building, the Colorado Springs home of Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney and RBC Dain Rauscher.

What caught my eye was Seymour’s fedora laying on the adjacent bench. It’s an artistic touch that blurs bronze with reality, but the metal hat also reduces the bench’s utility by half. That’s the first beef I had with it. Only one person can sit at a time to wait for the bus.

Then I pondered why Seymour’s hat was off. The gesture makes him look like a gentleman, fitting to have been the first African American to serve on an El Paso County jury. Seymour was also a founding member of a local Baptist church. Is the park bench meant to be a church pew? He’d have left his coat at the door as well.

Integrated as it is with the park bench, we have to conclude William Seymour is standing outside. We’ve encountered him, as the plaque suggests, on his way home. He’s taken his hat off out of deference to us. We honor he and his fellow “invisible” black pioneers, but we depict him in the lee of Plaza of the Rockies, knowing his place.

Other historical luminaries honored around the downtown have statues who’ve kept their hats on.

Ask Senator Allard to vote against escalation

There’s another action planned for the PLAZA OF THE ROCKIES, organized by MoveOn.org, to present petitions to urge Senator Allard to resist President Bush’s ESCALATION plan.
The event will be a press conference starting at noon on Wednesday. There will be two short addresses followed by a visit to the senator’s office. George Reichel and Kathy Kleinsmith are the organizers working with MoveOn. Mark Lewis and Eric Verlo will represent CSAction and the PPJPC. To sign up for this event, or to find out more, click here.

Will our petition do any good? Let’s keep an open mind. Senator Allard may be a conservative, pro-rich politician, he may favor giving poor people a good butt-kicking in the army, he may favor the US imperialist design on the world, he may think capitalism run rampant is the greatest thing since cucumber sandwiches, but to support the Iraq War you’d have to be a complete crook. Allard is not a crook, right?

Closed door policy at Senator Allard’s

Click for more pictures of the PPJPC petition march
This is building security manager Del Suhr blocking our way to Senator Wayne Allard’s office in the Plaza of the Rockies. He told us, in less civil words, what we didn’t understand about Iraq, that we were unpatriotic, that we were Taliban, and he refused to let us pass. In the end Mr. Suhr and his staff permitted two of us to ascend to the Senator’s office under escort.

I didn’t want to argue with the mis-educated man, so I suggested only that he might owe it to everyone, especially the dead, to look into the facts without an O’Reilly topspin. You’re rationalizing illegal war and immoral conduct Mr. Neuhauser and it won’t be enough to say later you didn’t know. Bush is going to hang, as surely as the rest of his cohorts, for the highest crimes against humanity, and you were following his orders, keeping the rails greased.

My friends and I were today trying to present a petition to our senator to urge him to reverse his endorsement of Bush’s torture policy. Torture is universally deplored, even our duplicitous leaders dare not admit they allow it, yet the Torture Bill exclusions and the mounting evidence show otherwise. And while victims continue to suffer at the hands of American torturers, you Mr. Suhr stand guard to hold off their hope of rescue.

When justice comes for those victims I’ll bet you will find playing stupid very humbling.

Who’s afraid of the Christian Peacemaker Team?

Motley crew
Lock up your daughters, it’s the Christian Peacemaker Team delegation!
By now the story is out about our visit to Senator Allard’s office today, particularly the effort we encountered to thwart our visit.

I’ll recap. After holding our daily noon vigil for the four CPT hostages being held in Iraq, a delegation of vigil keepers went downtown to visit the offices of three local congress members as part of the national SHINE THE LIGHT campaign. We walked with three yard signs and another sign of similar size held aloft. One among us wore a black hood over his head, to remind onlookers of the Abu Ghraib captives.

After a pleasant walk down Tejon Street, we first visited Congressman Hefley’s office where we received a warm reception. They’d seen the TV news report the night before. They also confirmed having received our emailed press releases.

When we tried to find Senator Allard’s office, our reception was quite a different matter. We nearly didn’t make it to his office.

Senator Allard’s office is located in the Plaza of the Rockies, a mid-sized office building with a large atrium. The building is home to many financial service companies such as Morgan Stanley, RBC Dain Rauscher, Booz Allan and Hamilton, Stewart Title, and Vectra Bank among others.

Finding ourself on the second floor of the atrium, unable to get to the floor above, our group fanned out to find a stairwell or alternative elevator. We were no longer parading with our poster boards, carrying them instead under our arms. But our identity as war malcontents was probably apparent enough and we could tell that a couple of the occupants of those glass offices appeared to grab their phones on seeing us walk by.

After my own fruitless search for Suite 300, I returned to find our group being confronted by two men in suits. We were being asked to leave the building. This was private property they explained and we were not permitted to protest on their property.

We answered that we were not protesting, but were merely trying to reach Senator Allard’s office. Could they tell us which way to Suite 300? They would not, “he’s not there.” They insisted instead that we leave. Private property and all that.

We countered that Senator Allard’s office was a public space, and certainly the conveyance to his office must be considered public. They did not agree. When we asked with whom we were speaking, the first identified himself as “Larry,” the chief security officer, the other was the property manager.

Finally we offered to relinquish the offending signs and take them outside the building. I ran the signs down to Pat and Esther who were waiting outside the front door.

I got back in time to hear the property manager arguing “if you knew your bible, you’d know why we have to be in the Middle East!” I learned afterward that I had missed him accusing the leader of our delegation, CPT member Bill Durland, of being “Taliban.”

Eventually the two building representatives agreed to conduct us to the Senator’s office, but only on the condition that Peter remove his hood. Though again we made our case that the Abu Ghraib hood represented an important message we were trying to communicate, in the end Peter agreed to take it off. He would be able to put it back on in the Senator’s office.

In the Senator’s office we were greeted by his assistant who offered to talk with us. But she insisted that the security official remain in the room, and she insisted that Peter remove his hood.

There followed a polite exchange whereupon members of our group spoke from their hearts about the illegality of the war in Iraq, the immorality of torture and other crimes related to the taking of captives without just cause, etc. Senator Allard’s assistant pulled out an old chestnut that Allard is still using at fund raising speeches. Apparently 9-11 caused more casualties that our fighting in Iraq, and that if we hadn’t fought the war in Iraq, the war would have come to us here.

Throughout this discussion, police officers were arriving. The first two arrived at the heels of another Allard staffer. They walked in the door without saying a thing, walked through the reception area where we were having our exchange, and went to stand in the office just inside the reception area.

The odd thing was that no one was addressing these officers, they were merely shown the inside office where they could hear our discussion and interrupt presumably if they were needed. A third officer arrived shortly, and then a fourth. We could see them waiting unsupervisez in the other room. One of the police officers wore the typical tight black gloves and left them on.

When asked who had called for the police officers, Allard’s assistant repeatedly declared that she did not. Although she also did not question any of the officers as to what was the purpose of their visit, and why there came another and another. Instead she proffered that the police were merely a routine measure of building security.

In the end, our visit felt more fruitless than constructive. I don’t know what we would have expected to communicate to one of the few senators who voted against the anti-torture bill. Allard’s assistant defended her boss by telling us that his opposition to the anti-torture bill was because he wanted a stranger one. We interjected that simultaneously Allard had expressed his approval of President Bush’s signing exemption.

In the end we saw the soft underbelly of the beast. and should have taken greater advantage of it. The Neocons may be formidable adversaries, but their supporters, the underbelly, are about as soft as they come.

Senator Allard’s office help kept insisting that they welcomed our visit, yet they seemed quite in step with the actions taken on the part of building security, actions which were not welcoming in the least.

Had our confidence not been boosted by the knowledge that our lead negotiator was an ACLU lawyer, we might not have been persistent enough to reach Allard’s office.

The routine scrambling of police officers certainly surprised us. Afterward I longed to have questioned one of the police officers in the next room. What was the nature of the disturbance described to them? What trouble were they fearing might errupt from a christian(!) peacemaker(!) team visiting their senator’s office?