Tag Archives: Unconventional Action

ACLU: Police provoked first DNC arrests

den-mon-ua-masks
The ACLU has uncovered a police report which reveals that the first gassing of protesters at the DNC was in response to actions by an undercover provocateur. The police explain their ruse was to extract the infiltrator from the crowd without blowing his cover, but those who were there saw the maneuver’s real purpose. The Denver Post wrote DNC police staged confrontation that prompted pepper spray

After two trouble free marches that day, this incident began when a group organized by Unconventional Denver stepped off the curb at Civic Center Park. Police who had been encircling the group on the grass, formed a phalanx to block their passage and immediately donned gas masks.

The demonstrators were confronted from the North and West, to keep them from leaving the park area. At any time members of the crowd could opt to step back unto the grass. This fact challenges how the Denver Police are attempting to explain their actions with the protest infiltrator.

Because the report brought to light by the ACLU revealed that the first target of the pepper spray was an undercover officer, DPD offered this story. They were trying to extract their officer without arousing suspicion. When another officer misinterpreted the scuffle, he unleashed the pepper spray. Protestations and more spraying ensued. That’s the official story.

Witnesses can attest that there were plenty of other undercover agents in the crowd, the rest of whom were able to melt away. Why the special treatment for this one?

Well, there’s another hypothesis for the police actions. It’s textbook crowd management. I’d say “riot control,” but it means inciting a riot in order to control it. Police use infiltrators to start fights in order to justify their use of violence to intervene. Often this can be as simple as an infiltrator to play stool pigeon while the police jump in to make the arrest. The crowd moves to protect what it thinks is a member unfairly targeted by the officers, and this reaction gives the police justification to crack down.

It that what happened at the DNC on Monday? Not even. While the undercover officer struggled against being “arrested,” before there might have been a reaction from the crowd, another officer “mistook” the event for a protester resisting arrest. His assault with pepper spray led to the crowd reaction which prompted indiscriminate spraying.

I can attest to two details which reinforce the likelihood of this latter scenario. Number one, all protest participants were always free to retreat from the street. It’s the path I chose in fact. My photographs illustrate my vantage point from curbside. Two, DNC activists were always savvy to the police infiltrators. We gave them as wide a berth as possible at all times. It’s likely the crowd never fell for the one who provoked the escalation of violence at Civic Center Park. In fact by the DPD’s own admission, the step up was a “mistake” on the part of one of their men.

Here’s raw surveillance footage which shows the chronology of the spraying.

When policemen don their gas masks

COLORADO COLLEGE- A friend of mine, not without influence at CC, shared my alarm at the police security buildup at the Denver DNC.
Mass response
Ultimately however, he considered the development to be of concern chiefly to those inclined to protest. Less relevant to those disinclined.

To those already disinclined? It’s a growing number.

He’s a lawyer. What would he have to protest?

I know our sense of well being with our system of government is predicated on an atmosphere of civility, where we count on justice to prevail. If we are wronged, law will intervene. Or, we can march straight over to some municipal building, register our grievance, and initiate the mechanisms by which to achieve redress. These rights are granted us by the Bill of Rights. Citizens concede our recourse to violence, and likewise, the state agrees not to obliterate us with its disproportionate might.

But what happens when some part of those agreements are abridged? Let’s say a court rules we cannot have redress. Let’s say the court decides against the law? What then? What if we are denied access to our representatives who legislate the laws? What if the enforcers shrug us off? To where do we take our voice? So quickly, a mutual agreement to remain civil, becomes rule by brute force. You voted for who? You expected what? Says you and whose army?

Hundreds of paramilitary police lining the street to fend off handfuls of political dissidents is more than overkill. Corporate and government strongholds are already impenetrable. Offices and lobbies and parking facilities restrict public access. Legions of combat police on the sidewalk is an altogether other escalation. It says, stay at home, you have no recourse. Behind us is a dead end. You’ll just get in the way.

Masks
Helmets and batons protect the police from the people. Gas masks protect policemen from who? From their own excessive means? In warfare the use of gas is forbidden.

Undercover surveillance has uniform too

den-sun-under-civilian.jpgDENVER- DNC day 0, Undercover observers.
 
Could this NOT BE A COP? My goodness the cops had undercover uniforms too! White shirt, tan cargo shorts, white socks, running shoes, camera and backpack. This bicyclist was helping to track Unconventional Denver as they veered from the permitted parade route along 16th Street Mall.

den-undercover-videotape.jpgAnother barrel bellied gentleman was recording the Sunday antiwar rally. There were hundreds of police video cameras out there, not held at the ready for something to happen, like the other videographers, but constantly pointed. Wouldn’t that be recording a bunch of nothing, unless you’re simply trying to document faces?

I have another theory, which comes of imagining dozens of surveillance cameramen each shift, clocking out and depositing multitudes of digital videotape cassettes, marked by location, time, and perhaps incident. Would that seem to be a nightmare to organize? I’m thinking these cameras were up to something else.

Two cops a tapingThese two square pegs were videotaping the Sunday UA Lincoln Boulevard standoff. The person in the foreground is an example of what real participants look like. His camera is waiting for something to capture. The rear two have cameras aloft, whether they’re paying attention our not.

Third cop a watchingThe yellow shirted boy scout gestured to this third duffer behind them. I’m not sure the signal except that he stepped back as I photographed.

I wonder if these cameras held aloft haven’t been retrofitted to give live video feeds, instead of recording unto individual DATs. I bet they’re transmitting wireless signals to a communications truck nearby, where not only are the images being recorded into a data bank, likely they are being monitored for a real-time sense of what’s happening in the crowd. That might explain why the cameramen were seldom seen panning or changing their angle. It might also be possible that they were receiving their instructions through the camera viewfinders.

Undercover plantNow this guy isn’t wearing the day uniform. What’s he doing? I include him just for contrast. He’s wearing the black colors of a provocateur or plant and sure enough when the antiwar march came its closest to the Pepsi Center, suddenly he broke his silence. Where before he’s stood back, observing the morning rally. Now he was moving through the marchers offering instructions. Many of the organizers were trying to create something of a circle in front of the Pepsi Center entrance. This “marcher” who held no banner, and wore no political message, was now helpfully urging everyone to continue past.

Fish out of hot water in peaceful crowd

DENVER- Sunday DNC day zero, Civic Center Park, agent provocateurs
den-sun-under-agent-cops.jpgI made it a sideline to take photos of potential police instigators at the DNC protests. What excuse can law enforcement make for planting undercover agitators in a peaceful assembly? Encouraging lawlessness is how Pinkerton thugs used to bust up efforts to organize unions.

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They stand out like black-clad thumbs. And they’re making the crowd nervous. I’m still not sure these thug cops aren’t planted to be noticed on purpose. They serve as sheep dogs, moving the flock along with just the faintest of aggressive postures to trigger fear responses.

three
Now would you say they’ve been joined by a female officer of similar demeanor?

three more
Isn’t this fun? Can you detect another TRIO moving along the same walkway? Hint, they’re closer to forty something.

DPD DNC provocateurs shy from camera

DENVER- Monday PM, DNC Day 1. Undercover Agent Provocateurs.
Undercover copsCirculating among protesters with video cameras is one thing, walking around like you want to start trouble is another. Can you spot the faux troublemaker? This image doesn’t show his professional ass-kicker boots. The two Unconventional Action participants facing him saw I wore an ACLU t-shirt and urged me to document this provocateur‘s actions.

Actually, in the image above there are two undercover cops in the foreground, moving past the two onlookers facing us. Everyone’s dressed the same, with some unsubtle differences. The cops are dressed EXACTLY the same, like best friend tweens at the mall. These two wore black backwards baseball caps, black hoodies, black bandanas, with spare bandanas worn at the knees as flair, substantial black backpacks, dark glasses, jeans, and heavy black boots. And of course, they have way above average muscles compared to the rest of the people drawn to a political protest.

Getting suited up
So I kept taking pictures of this cop and his partner. Their stereotypical getup caught my eye, but the fact that I interrupted them suiting up to cover every further inch of their faces is what made me nervous. I wanted to keep using my flash hoping they’d feel detected and would go away. But I didn’t want to push it so far that they’d instigate a pushing match with me to have me arrested.

Watching
As tension grew at this standoff with the police, the line of riot police kept closing in. At the same time, these two started obscuring their faces and stepping in closer behind the first line of protesters. The job of agent provocateurs in these situations has been documented at the WTO and the FTAA etc. They push people into the line of policemen, initiating an “attack.” (And LO it happened this night.)

Ready for anonymous action
I kept taking picture after picture to deter them. Even if it they didn’t shove me, the riot police would begin clubbing everyone on their cue.

Leaving camera flash
Finally they wandered off, either chased by the camera, or called off by their commander. If the DPD indeed wanted no riot, what were these undercover cops doing? I suppose their chief role might be to be recognized as police muscle, frightening everyone more.

You can tell by the fascist riot uniforms that the DPD has no qualms being feared. Police can terrorize even more effectively when people come to understand you follow sinister scruples.

UPDATE: Here’s what began that afternoon.

Portrait of an anarchist

Anarchy: a theory that regards the absence of all direct or coercive government as a political ideal and that proposes the cooperative and voluntary association of individuals and groups as the principal mode of organized society.
DNC-protestors-anarchists
From the moment I saw them I knew what they were. Scattered around in small groups, surrounded by bicycles and backpacks, sharing food, tossing frisbees. Some were dressed in black. A few had tattoos. They were young, and clearly dangerous.

How dare they question the status quo? We have over 200 years of American history and the two-party system is working just fine. They should be proud and grateful that they live in the land of the free and the brave. Like I am.

So why is it that I’ve never felt less free, or more cowardly, than I do right now?

Maybe instead of standing shoulder-to-shoulder in front of the young anarchists to impede their progress, the cops ought to walk beside them or, better, just let them lead.
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DNC-protestors-anarchists
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DNC-protestors-anarchists
DNC-protestors-anarchists
DNC-protestors-anarchists
DNC-protestors-anarchists
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DNC-police-state

Preemptive arrests of exuberant youths

RichardDENVER- Richard Cressman, at left, was forced to disperse with the Unconventional Action marchers. He complied and was chased down the sidewalk with a bicycle cop trying to run over his heels shouting “MOVE, MOVE, MOVE” like a sweeper broom. When Richard reached the safety of the onlookers another police officer commanded “ARREST HIM!”

The Unconventional Action kids, who some might stereotype as “anarchists,” mounted another attempt to RECLAIM THE STREETS. Marching in front of the legislative building where they met an immediate police block of their march. Police in riot gear had been intimidating them all day and now countless officers poured out of vans and around corners. Within the first minute officers were donning gas masks.

The UA kids backed off into the park, leaving the officers to maintain their phalanx and shout orders to onlookers to clear the sidewalks. Meanwhile the UA group escaped over Colfax at a fast clip. More officers blocked their way within two blocks away from the park. A long standoff ensued. Reportedly 35 arrests were made, no violence except on the part of the police.

Monday DNC counter-hoopla highlights

(Even from the great distance from which this photo is being taken, we’re being given 10 seconds to leave the area or be arrested.)
Riot formation at Capitol
DENVER- Highlights: Freedom Cage repudiated. Tent State practically a no-show. Exciting un-permitted procession to Federal Courthouse. Alex Jones attempts two disruptions of R68. Code Pink headquarters at Mercury Cafe decisively pro-Obama. Daily Kos “Big Tent” visibly party operatives only. Unconventional Action provoked into trouble again. More undercover cop pics. Some provocateurs, including two ready to commit violence. Details and great pics soon.

1. The Free Speech area, dubbed the FREEDOM CAGE is literally out of sight of the Pepsi Center, and adjacent a beige DPD mobile unmanned tower whose function is yet to be known.

2. Twenty Tent Staters stayed overnight in the cage because it’s open 24 hours. The Tent State encampment in the park was also small, with often nobody there to represent them during the day. People stopping by for the advertised TSU “classes” found school was out.

3. March to Federal Courthouse was fast and exciting. At one point the lead banner was carried OVER a police cruiser. The un-permitted procession avoided an attempted head-on confrontation with a police squad. By the march’s end the group attracted all varieties of riot clad police who encircled our rally at the courthouse doors. The event was entirely peaceful and eventually the cordon shrunk back.

The only disruption was a visit by TV journalist Alex Jones who’d come to heckle, and was not quickly enough repulsed. He repeated that performance at the Denver Mint levitation a few hours later. That interruption worked out better for R68, because instead of distracting from speakers, this time it galvenized the crowd as they had to repeat protracted chants to drown out the disturbance. 75% of the block was lined with police.

More in a bit.

Sunday highlights from the people’s DNC

Police phalanx
DENVER- More to each of these stories later, including plenty of photographs. These have been 13-hour-days on the streets, not counting the time to write it down. Highlights? Fox News ambush interview repulsed at rally. Two more Fox attempts thwarted at parade. Documentation of undercover police officers. Unconventional Action exuberance versus DPD police throwing their weight around. Full story soon.

Unconventional Action takes to street

DENVER- Let’s start with the second confrontation. DNC disruption-minded Unconventional Action held Broadway Ave beneath the Capitol building, prompting riot police to close in.
UA second confrontation

Unconventional Action to RECLAIM THE STREETS
3PM 16th Street Mall
Pole position on mall

No Hope in Capitalism

No Hope in Capitalism

Its the System Stupid

Departing from permitted route
“To locations downtown, particularly near delegates’ hotels, where coordinated direct action and protests may take place after the End the Occupations march.”
Bandanas

Queer message

Show of arms

Protecting the Sheritan

Marie watches

Through park

First Confrontation:
Unconventional Action moved up from Civic Center Park, unto Lincoln Ave and stayed. Mounted police were the first responders.
Mounted Police

Horses were used to advance against the crowd and split it.
Parting the protesters

Eventually Unconventional Action relinquished their position and moved over one block.
Pushing crowd back

Second Confrontation
Back to Broadway Avenue. After riot troops formed their line, UA marchers stepped up against them.
UA move toward cops

This lead to some tense moments. Police commanders could be heard instructing each other “if anyone (unintelligible), shot them.” Just as abruptly, Unconventional Action broke off and marched North, beckoning all to follow. “Off the sidewalks, into the streets!” Few takers.
UA moves North

Riot police jumped on SUVs and gave chase.
Cops take chase

To be continued…