Housing Activist Arrested - Call In to Demand His Release!

Jacob Richards of  Housing First! No More Deaths (above)

An organizer of the Housing First! No More Deaths! campaign was arrested 09/29/09 during the group's weekly meeting, in an act of politically targeted police abuse of power. Housing First! No More Deaths! is committed to empowering people to actively and collectively work to address root causes of houselessness and create grassroots solutions. 

The arrest of Jacob Richards was an obvious act of retribution for his political activities. On 9/28/09, Richards assisted local houseless community members who were being harassed in a public park by two officers from the Grand Junction Police Department. The same two officers returned on 9/29/09 during the publicly advertised campaign meeting, asked Richards to identify himself, and arrested him on an unrelated petty matter.

Despite the fact that the GJPD has a working relationship with Richards and is in regular contact with him, they chose to arrest him in the public arena of a campaign meeting. In a phone conversation a few hours after the arrest, Deputy Chief of Police John Zen stated, “That makes it look like retribution for political activities.”

Richards has checked in with his community from jail, and has given us a further glimpse into the GJPD’s intentions. When he arrived at the booking area of the Mesa County Jail, the correctional officers at the jail commented that the GJPD officers shouldn’t be bringing someone in on a petty issue when the jail is already full to capacity. The arresting officers responded that Richards is a member of the “terrorist group” The Red Pill, and had to be taken off the streets. The Red Pill is Colorado’s longest running, volunteer run, alternative news publication covering news you won’t find in the mainstream media.

These actions are a blatant attempt by the GJPD to intimidate people involved with HF! and to disrupt successful community organizing. This comes after the GJPD was caught and admitted to sending two undercover police officers to multiple HF! meetings, and after a GJPD campaign of increased police harassment of the local houseless community in Grand Junction.

The intimidation of community organizers and the homeless community in Grand Junction is unacceptable and must stop now. Please call these following numbers to complain and help hold the police department and city accountable for their unacceptable actions. They regularly violate the human rights of the houseless and the community’s ability to provide safe and secure housing, and are now violating the rights of everyone participating HF!’s campaign to find safe and secure housing for houseless people this winter.

Call in on October 1st to demand Richards' release and voice your opposition to the GJPD's repression of dissent! Leave a message, ask for a supervisor, send a fax or email, be creative--but let them know that the whole world is watching! They will not silence our dissent!

DEPUTY CHIEF OF POLICE:
John Zen (970) 244-3560

APPROVING SUPERVISOR:
Cal Atkinson (970) 244-3560

ARRESTING OFFICER:
Myshell Bolton (970) 242-6707

MAYOR OF GRAND JUNCTION:
Bruce Hill (970) 244-1504

DISTRICT ATTORNEY:
Pete Hautzinger (970) 244-1730

Pete.Hautzinger@mesacounty.us

If you have been harassed or intimidated by any authority in Grand Junction, or denied services which you had a right to access, please contact Housing First! by sending an email with your contact information and brief description of what happened to confluencebooks@riseup.net or call (970) 245-4442.

 

UPDATE ON JACOB RICHARDS

To compound their repression of free speech, two GJPD officers and three patrol cars visited Richards' home the day after his arrest to further harass his housemates and co-organizers.  Two officers came to the door and stated that they were canvassing the neighborhood looking for someone who had stolen a bike in the area, and asked questions about who lived in the home.  OA resident of the home asked one of the officers if he was one of the undercovers who had been surveiling Housing First! meeting for several weeks this summer, to which he replied yes.  When they were asked to leave, they went to the alley behind the home, where 3 patrol cars were parked with more GJPD officers.  They left the area without asking any of the neighbors about the alleged "bike thief."

jacobs arresting officer

 jacobs arresting officer also made several super duper fucked up political comments including calling him a terrorist

more updates soon!

lottsa love from the junktown crew!

Phil M.

Can someone please explain more specifically the nature of the officers' initial "harassment" of the two houseless men and Richards' "assistance" of them?

Re: Phil M.

I was not there personally, but it's my understanding that a couple/few members of the local homeless community were being "contacted" by two GJPD officers in a public park that's a common hang out spot for this community, and the place where our weekly feeds and HF! NMD! meetings occur.  It's super common for the GJPD to "contact" individuals in this park, demand their IDs, and issue them petty tickets for things like smoking in a public park, stepping off the curb too abruptly, or other nonsense.  Again, I wasn't there, but it's my understanding that Jacob was reminding the houseless folks of their rights while they were being asked for ID by the police.  The same officers came back the next day, during the campaign meeting, walked up to Jacob and and arrested him.

thanks for the solidarity!

Thank you everyone for calling in to support housing activist Jacob Richards today! Citizens all the way from Hawaii to London let their voices be heard, telling the GJPD, the DA and the Mayor that targeted harassment and political repression will not be tolerated!

Within just a few hours of phone calls this morning, Deputy Chief Zen, Mayor Hill, Commander Atkinson and District Attorney Hautzinger had all "left the office for the day" or were no longer taking phone calls. Hopefully this means that we got our message across, loud and clear!

Thank You

 I was released yesterday at 2pm.  I was greeted by about a dozen friends and supporters. The obvious political nature of this arrest was very disappointing, i did have a warrant and it was a legal arrest but the way it was handled speaks to political retribution and/or intimidation.  The conditions in Mesa County Jail are really overcrowded, and people are being denied basic medial care. I went in to custody on tuesday and was weighed in at the jail at 193 pounds, upon my release on friday i weighed 187, and I ate everything they gave me.  All in all the experience further proves why we must continue to fight for the rights of the poor and oppressed, and not be silent witnesses to the every day terror and inherent violence of everyday life.  Thank you to everybody who called in and applied pressure to those in power.

In Solidarity

Jacob Richards

Post a news story please

 I'm sick of seeing myself on the top of this page. Will someone please post a front-page worthy story ASAP. 

Lots of love from Junktown

jacob

Sorry, No Worthy News

Sorry, Jacob.  There is no worthy news in cowtown.  Denver activists' largest claim to fame - the Columbus Day protest - was abandoned this year by CO AIM and their supporters.  There is no anti-war movement of consequence, except the native people of Iraq and Afghanistan, whose defeat of the US military makes America's protestors look feeble and self indulgent.  Who wants to compete with a sophisticated armed struggle for headlines?

delete?

well, i could delete it, but then it wouldn't be on CO IMC any more at all. someone must have the ability to bump it off. maybe if we vote it down?

Hi Rebel

Hi we could unpublished it if you want I can do that for you. It's been a slow news week and so it's been on top for a while but somebody will publish something soon. At any rate Rebel you have my email and if you want it unpublished send me a note and I'll do it or post you wish here either way

Phil

up to J

i'll leave that up to J, he can message me and request it be unpublished if he wants, then i'll forward the request to you. i'm okay with it if that's what he would like, but i'll leave it up to him to request it.

Where and how to move

This look a bit overdone:

WTF?

this is Rebel Insurgent.

just opened up a browser and came to CO IMC, and found myself logged in as "redandblack303"

no one else has been using this machine who would log in to CO IMC.

WTF is going on here?

(after hitting preview i am now logged in correctly, but until then it said "redandblack303" with 0 points)

wtf again

this time i was logged in as "GJUAA" when i opened up CO IMC.

but when i post a comment it returns me to my proper screen name...

WTF?!?

Me too

That has been happening to me too.  This login it said that I was

gabrielsawma

 

I'm running tor with firefox 6:00pm 10/16

Yeah I fully agree with you

Yeah I fully agree with you arrest of Jacob Richards was an obvious act of retribution for his political activities. debt

Thanks in advance! It still needs

When we went looking for an apartment here a couple years ago, we had two primary considerations in addition to the usual ones: walking distance from a Red Line subway stop, and fiber-based Internet access. The latter is easy to spot if you know what to look for, starting with too many wires on the

world economy

On Monday, Oct. 5, 2009, just after noon, about 60 activists were arrested at the White House for failing to obey a police order. The nonviolent “Civil Resistance” action was the largest such antiwar demonstration at this particular site, since President Barack Obama took office. Hundreds more participated in the event, but chose not to get arrested. Some of those arrested wore orange jump suits and black hoods. A few had chained themselves to the White House fence. “Peace Mom,” Cindy Sheehan was one of those arrested. According to the press release of the sponsoring groups the action was carried out in order to focus attention on ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan and the U.S. occupation of Iraq; stopping the U.S. drone bombings in Pakistan;woeld economy and to demand the closing, as a moral and legal issue, of the Gitmo and Bagram prisons. The activists also want the culpable members of the Bush-Cheney Gang brought to the Bar of Justice for their role in sanctioning and carrying out the illegal policy of torture