Full disclosure. I am a co-founder of Recreate 68, a part of the Transform Columbus Day Alliance (and its offshoot the All Nations Alliance) since their inception, and a long time Denver organizer and activist involved in, among other things, work on police accountability. So I don’t think anyone should be surprised that I agree with what most of my brother Glenn says. I hate to discourage people who are becoming politically active for the first time, which seems to be the case for many of those in occupied Denver. But I too have seen the lack of respect at the GA’s for diversity of tactics, a lack of respect that has hampered organizing efforts way too often in the past. I too am disturbed by the evident ignorance on the part of those involved in OD of the long-standing efforts by many in this community to address issues of social and economic justice, and their failure to try to reach out to those—particularly indigenous communities, other communities of color, and unions—who have been at the forefront of those struggles and have been most severely impacted by the recession. Like the previous poster, I too have heard some disturbing things about the very undemocratic, and just plain unorganized, way the supposedly democratic GA’s have been run. As I say, I would and have always encouraged new people to get involved in the struggle. But they need to do so in a way that recognizes the issues Glenn raises, and that respects those who have been carrying on the struggle when it wasn’t so “trendy.” And I’m just not seeing that so far at Occupy Denver.
I am not here to discuss Glenn Spagnuolo. However, I have personally seen letters from Occupy Wall Street members to members of Occupy Denver used to enforce non-violence only fundamentalist arguments. Those website are made by a few members and do not represent brick and mortor organizations, but people who own the Occupy Denver Twitter Account as well as the website have taken positions and deleted comments, blocked members, etc. New SDS doesn't count for much, and speaking in support can be taken out of context and does not mean that they agree with the specific organizing strategies.
But as to the other commentators, it's hard for people to want to go to the Friday GA given everything. People are threatened with being "Doxed" for not promoting strict non-violence-only-fundamentalism, when that is against the Occupy New York principle of pprivacy. Furthermore, the idea that problems with internal security should be addressed to the police by identifying those who make you insecure is deeply troubling. Firsltly, the police operate with violence and the threat of violence in almost everything they do. To actively solicit their help is creating violence, and not only that, the violence that you create you are also outsourcing or otherwise making the police do your dirty work for you. Secondly, it is totally against the concept of unity, solidarity, autonomy, self-empowerment, and totally destroys solidarity.
When GAs have multiple facilitators, rules are bent for some and not others, decisions are not abided by, past decisions are used to brow-beat current ones, interruption is common, and people are isolating and turning on each other, etc. we should question what good coming to them can accomplish.
"Until then, I choose to sit back and enjoy the show." That's doubtful, but hope you're so lucky, Denver. Sorry you guys still have to deal with this gremlin. Watch the documentary "Convention" about the 2008 DNC and you'll realize, though Spagz may be a fed, he's definately not a clever one, so the damage he tries to cause is easily avoided.
I love how he quotes Cornel West, considering brother West has been to and spoke out in support of Occupy Wall Street, as has Noam Chomsky. He claims SDS and the Weather Underground would be fuming. Odd claim since Tom Hayden (co-founder of SDS,) Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn (Weather Underground) have spoke in support. Not to mention a number of the organizers who initiated this process are former members of new SDS.
Spagz may not be a fed. Maybe he just has no concept of how to organize, or both. Probably both. At best he simply makes shit up. No one from Occupy Wall Street has told Occupy Denver to do shit. There hasn't even been contact. The General Assembly in NYC has a few more important things to do than send down directives to the 150+ cities autonomously organizing their own GA's.
And on a final note. "Occupy Together" is a website. A website with information about where occupations spring up. It's ran by two students. They're not telling anyone shit ethier. Occupy Denver, don't worry you don't appeal to the Denver version of Brandon Darby. Worry when you do.
Compañero de lucha, it's been a long time since I've seen you in person, and it makes me very happy to read your thoughts, which very closely (though not completely) mirror my own.
I appreciate your words, "When Occupy Denver’s non-violence becomes truly committed to a principled revolutionary change, then and only then should it be applauded. If this occurs, maybe some of the radicals may even consider joining you."
My question is, how will this group get there? When will radical organizers (and I really mean organizers, not twitterers) who are indigenous, queer, immigrant and of color come and just own (decolonize, as it were?) the space and make it what we really want it to be?
What will it take? Adoption of St. Paul principles? Something else? I'm willing to spend a couple hours this Friday at 5pm to try to answer this question. My (potentially naive) hope is that something concrete comes out of it, because otherwise it will be a damned shame. But I'm at least willing to try. Maybe I'll see you there.
Is it possible for people to come by the occupation at 5pm on Friday and try to work this out? Gen Assembly tonight agreed to set up a seperate meeting to try to work this out.
The way I keep approaching this issue is that we need to have an occupation where every member of the 99% can feel safe and welcome in joining us. I think this contains the idea of a compromise that we can work out and satisfy everyone.
So, if its possible, can someone come by the occupation on Friday at 5pm to try to reach such a compromise?
I still think this is important. Both in terms of trying to strengthen locally this movement that continues to grow across the country.. And, if we can learn how to solve this sort of issue that's been dividing activists in this city for years, I think all of our causes will be stronger for this. Any dialog like the one proposed for Friday can help, if only for helping each side to hear and understand the other side.
And if we can agree to meet to try to work this out in person, I think it might help if both sides tried to cool down the internet rhetoric until we can talk face to face.
I was the permit holder for the Oct 1 march and some of these comments are directed toward me exclusivly, if not knowingly, so I will respond directly (another group is also crafting a response).
Background: To the best of my knowledge, both the "US Day of Rage" and "Occupy Wall Street" ideas came to fruition during a firestorm of activity on Twitter inspired by Jeff Jarvis' use of the hashtag #fuckyouwashington. People from all walks of life, from all over the world, joined in expressing their anger, frustration, and outrage for every greivance imaginiable. The date was set, Sept 17. I waited from home to see what would happen in Denver.
Sept 17 came, and only a handful of people locally expressed interest online. Only two of us managed to meet in person that day. Together we set the date for Oct 1, for another city was also having a protest. We picked the Capitol, because it is easy to find and a natural location for people in this metropolitan area.
On Monday, Sept 19, I started the permit application process. I put the name "Denver Day of Rage" on the permit - simply because neither Occupy Denver or Occupy Together had been created yet (and I am not that creative). It was inspired by the original hashtag, at least for me. As to why I filed a permit, I wanted a public announcement (to reach a wide audience). Also, it was my hope the the press would engage (which they did). Furthermore, I wanted it to be clear this was about government/political greivances to this wider audience.
To be quite honest, I never expected this local effort to gain so much attention and to gain momentum so fast.
What you may not know about that Sept 29 Denver General Assembly meeting is this: young white women talked excessively of violence, using the word over and over again. I personally found it very alarming for many different reasons.
I would like to clearly state that I, in no way shape or form, implied retalitory agression toward anyone.
As a final note, I would like to share that I, too, am Native American but that I have not felt welcome in these indigenous communities which seem to shun "outsiders."
It is my hope that we can come together. I think I can speak for the group when I say, we are an open and receptive audience. Please also keep in mind that many of these events happened in the first week of our inception (we are now at week two). We are all babes in this process of direct group action.
any pictures, videos, or reports of the Occupation.
With your permission, we would love to print this in next months issue of Ignite! If you would be
okay with this, please email us at ignitedenver (at) riseup (dot) com.
I agree completely with this article, and it is made especially more relevant with the unprecedented recent S&P downgrade of the U.S. This is the reason that investors and individuals want to buy silver and gold to preserve their spending power and protect themselves from a potential devalued dollar. Who knows where this financial craziness will all end, public uprising, stock market crash?
Using a non-lethal weapon like Taser guns were widely used by some law enforcement officers for the reason that maybe it will reduce the risk of death because it doesn’t use bullets at all. Though Tasers are allegedly non-lethal, an increasing number of fatalities have been associated with stun guns in spite of community outcry against their use. The proof is here: Public outrage has not stemmed Taser related deaths. Check this out to support your post!
Solidarity from antifascists in Durango!
Here's something you might find useful: http://www.splcenter.org/get-inf...
Maybe this needs to be re-printed?: https://blackcatsabotage.wordpre...
The top three reasons for homelessness are:
1. Loss of a job.
2. The high cost of housing.
3. Break-up of a family.
EACH of these reasons, counted individually, is more prevalent than all other reasons combined. So let's cut out the innuendo about alcoholism and drug use. I think most readers know plenty of people who are substance abusers and have housing. They have housing for the same reason you do, Gentle Reader. Either they have the money to pay for it, or someone else who has the money is willing to provide housing for them. So let's talk about the real reasons why so many vets are homeless.
For returning vets, job loss is a given. They were soldiers. Now they have come home, thank goodness, but that makes them unemployed. This is the Number One reason among all homeless and applies, automatically, to the returning soldier.
The high cost of housing is another reason that applies to all homeless, including those who are returning soldiers. And publicly funded, so-called housing programs don't help. Extremely few housing programs list homelessness as a qualifying factor. Many do not accept homeless persons at all. And those who do often have requirements that exclude most homeless and/or make us compete with wealthy persons who can easily afford private housing.
As for joblessness, there are few jobs for anyone, anymore. And what jobs exist are unlikely to pay a living wage. This is not because anyone lacks training, education, or a will to work. It is because corporate business would rather sit on huge piles of cash than create jobs and pay workers. They are making money without putting people to work. Unfortunately, they can do whatever they want and are accountable to no one. The only solution to the employment problem is an end to a system dictated by capital.
In fact, the largest demographic group among the homeless is not vets, but mothers with children.
Many civilians have killed. Moreover, a lot of soldiers have sacrificed, until when do we have to suffer? The vets returning from the Afghan and Iraq wars are confronted with severe road blocks, at times, in adapting to civilian life. Among other problems such as mental distress suffered in combat, the new generation of vets has a higher rate than normal of homelessness and joblessness. Here is the proof: Homelessness and unemployment plague new veterans.
Thank you for sharing with us.
Concerning panhandling, an ordinance to ban this practice has been approved in some cities. This is a broad issue as it tackles human rights and freedom of speech. On the other hand, a suit has been introduced by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Virginia city of Charlottesville for enacting a panhandling prohibition. The prohibition on panhandling, or asking individuals for cash, is said by the ACLU to violate the right to free speech of the five homeless guys it is representing. I read this here: Lawsuit filed by ACLU over Charlottesville panhandling ban.
glad to hear some folks showed. there are some badass folks in the springs and I hope they find each other!
It was a small gathering. A couple of folks met up, discussed the particular challenges of building anti-authoritarian community in Colorado Springs, and what it would take to gather more like-minded folks in the area. Also played some hide-and-seek.
This won't be the only event of the year. May it be the smallest and the quietest. Check back for more...
Peace, love, anarchy...
I missed it. I guess that's what I get for not checking back often enough. :( Hopefully it won't be the only get together this year. Can anyone report back what happened? How many people showed up?
Thanks for the post. A loan gives access to capital with minimal up-front payments so it enhances cash flow. Indeed, every state has its own bill regarding loans.
thanks a lot for doing this. it's great to see people acting in the street in any capacity.