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Occupy Denver Meets the Winter by Phillip Reynes
It was cold and snowing as I drove downtown to the capital. When I say cold I mean bitter cold and when I say snowing the word dumping comes to mind. Thank goodness it let up just as I parked. I was cold as I walked to the park from the place I parked all the while wondering what the turnout would be for the rally and march. The turnout was small but considering the weather it is what I expected.
Despite the weather some had stayed all night sleeping on the sidewalk and covered only by a tarp atop their sleeping bags. You know they had to have had a very hard night.
One group of three people sat meditating and I loved their sign as well as their discipline. They sat in the meditative sense for over an hour, unmoving, still, calm: all the while their sign made their point “Occupy the Moment.”
Tea party types where in the crowd as well as their affiliates – you know the ones, the free market ideologue who think capitalism is some sort of divine religion – spouting their usual bull shit about rent taking and small government as well as their revisionist interpretation of the constitution.
Saturday, December 31 at 11:30pm - Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 1:00am
Outside & inside La Plata County Jail (Durango, CO)
742 Turner Drive
(Not in or near La Plata County? Organize NYE noise demos outside prisons, jails, and detention centers in your area!)
Join us in making a ruckus outside (and inside!) La Plata County Jail in Durango, CO this coming New Year's Eve (& *every* NYE!).
This easy, safe, and simple expression of solidarity can have amazing positive impact for those behind and inside the walls and bars of the incarceration system. Let's make some noise and let them know that they're not alone and not forgotten.
(Note: Remaining on public property for a noise demo outside a prison, jail, or detention center is perfectly legal. As long as participants remain on public property, they are not placing themselves at legal risk.)
Bring noise makers, drums, instruments, sound systems, your voice, your friends, your family, your lovers, and your indomitable spirit of resistance.
This event, which we hope to make a yearly event in our community, is inspired by the North American call out for a day of action against prisons in the New Year of 2011, which remains relevant unchanged:
Noise demos outside of prisons in some countries are a continuing tradition. A way of expressing solidarity for people imprisoned during the New Year, remembering those held captive by the state. A noise demo breaks the isolation and alienation of the cells our enemies create, but it does not have to stop at that.
ARMY SETS PRE-TRIAL HEARING DATE FOR BRADLEY. VIGILS AND RALLIES PLANNED AT FORT MEADE MD, WORLDWIDE.
Solidarity Rally in Durango. Saturday, December 17th, 2011. 1PM. 11th St. & Main Ave.
The United States Army has scheduled an Article 32 pretrial hearing for PFC Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence specialist accused of releasing classified material to WikiLeaks. The pretrial hearing will commence on December 16 at Fort Meade, Maryland.
This will be PFC Manning’s first appearance before a court and the first time he will face his accusers after 17 months in confinement. In a blog post this morning, Manning’s lead counsel, David Coombs, notified supporters that the pretrial phase is scheduled to last five days.
Here is the full text of his update:
“The Article 32 hearing for PFC Bradley Manning will begin on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland. The hearing is expected to last approximately five days. With the exception of those limited times where classified information is being discussed, the hearing will be open to the public.
The primary purpose of the Article 32 hearing is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case as well as to provide the defense with an opportunity to obtain pretrial discovery. The defense is entitled to call witnesses during the hearing and to also cross examine the government’s witnesses. Each witness who testifies is placed under oath; their testimony can therefore be used during the trial for impeachment purposes or as prior testimony should the witness become unavailable.
The Tea Party-associated group “Free Markets, Free People” will be at Occupy Denver this Saturday. We need to have a strong presence to stand up to their lies. Market capitalism isn’t in crisis; market capitalism IS crisis. Capitalism oppresses queers, women, people of color, and of course the working class. So all you socialists, communists, autonomists, anarchists and radicals of every sort, be at Occupy Denver on Saturday. Bring your bodies, your signs, and your chanting voices! A! Anti! Anti-Capitalista!
Love and solidarity,
some north Denver radical queers
Newspaper readership has been in steady decline over the past few decades. There are consequences. Today we have far fewer reportorial journalists. Fewer journalists are covering fewer newsworthy events. And fewer and fewer newspapers continue to print, while many that do have been merged into larger corporate conglomerates with imposed ideologies.
There have also been contingencies. Less reporting based journalism has reduced the amount of accurate, complete information available to the public. This it true in both scope and scale. The industry-wide transition from providing a public good to maximizing efficiency and profit has eroded the knowledge base of Americans. Today our news cycle is driven by argument and opinion rather than facts and public education. The result to society is a usurpation of political power, economic understanding, and societal reasoning capacity.
The Free Press clause of the First Amendment is a core human right. In the letter to Edward Carrington, Thomas Jefferson states that “the basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” His notions stem from the people’s role as censors of the governors who, while subject to being led astray and prone to error, will right themselves and the governors through the presentation of full information provided by public newspapers.
As Thanksgiving and Black Friday (biggest day of shopping in the year) approach, and inequalities get put on more revolting parade than ever before, it's easy to feel like there's nothing you can do. That's why we're calling for a weekend of pranks, mischief, jokes, gags and action aimed at mockery of consumerism, commercialism, corporations, capitalism, and other bad words that begin with "c" (and the other 25 letters of the alphabet). Let your imaginations run wild! The possibilities are endless.
ALL THANKSGIVING WEEKEND! BRING YOUR CREATIVITY!
From Submedia.tv, included in the latest (s)edition of the Stimulator comes:
Occupy the Machine - Stop the 1%, Literally Our Bodies Will Be our Demand
Imagine if we could stop the 1%, literally, not symbolically. It's time to put our bodies between fossil fuels and what's left of the planet, while there's still time left.
The focus on financial inequality versus the devastation of the earth is a false split. The 1% would have no wealth to steal without exploiting humans AND without exploiting the land. Without the landbase no one has anything, not the 99% and not the 1%. How much will it matter if our homes are not foreclosed if the Earth is unlivable due to runaway climate change? There's only one home for all of us and we are almost done destroying it. Announcing, Occupy the Machine. We invite all occupiers to read the Occupy the Machine Open Letter, give feedback, and if you feel moved to do so, present it at an Occupy General Assembly or committee meeting near you.
http://deepgreenresistance.org/o... (Thanks Frank Lopez!)
Several hundred people marched from of Civic Center park and through downtown – down the 16th St mall and then back - Saturday afternoon. This was the eight Occupy Denver's eighth straight Saturday march of the Denver Occupy Movement.
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The marchers — this was one of the smaller of the weekend gatherings — was happy and energetic as it waited to leave the park.
Police officers were in patrol cars and on bikes throughout the park and on the march. There was the usual heavy and over the top presence that we have come to expect on the marches.
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Before leaving the park, demonstrators were urged to remain peaceful and reminded to respect fellow demonstrators who may be protesting a different idea. The croud had at least two demonstrators with signs mocking the movement to Occupy Denver. I had to wonder if they where police provocateurs personally if for no other reason then my memory of the Denver spy files.
Hello all our dear elf friends! Tired of Santa getting all the profit from our handiwork?
The holiday season is rapidly approaching and some of us elves couldn't help but think that with all this Occupy business happening across the U.S., maybe it was high time we occupy something ourselves! Santa has commodified and profited from our jolly nature and nimble hands long enough. So, we invite all of you to join your elven friends and comrades on December 17th, 2011 at 3PM in Hungarian Freedom Park (Speer & Downing) where will we gather and then proceed to march directly to where Santa resides next to the beating heart of capitalism and consumerism.
We're elves right? So bring your holiday spirit, magic, and mischievous nature!
Our demands are simple: Elves desire everything for everyone. We desire liberation. We will stop at nothing to gain it.
Occupy Wall Street has captured the imagination of the humans for the last two months. There have been moments of inspiring victory, like the General Strike in Oakland, and then moments of gut wrenching repression, like the lethally armed eviction of the Occupy squat in Chapel Hill. Victories and losses. Steps forwards and steps back. This is the nature of the social war for humans and elves alike. Our collective capacity to dream outside of our own alienation and commodification is awakening from a long slumber!
Capitalism is taking its dying breaths. These are the death rattles our fallen comrades dreamt of years ago.
For Immediate Release
November 13, 2011
Contact: Colorado Street Medics, firstname.lastname@example.org 303-570-9362
Denver Police Department officers clad in riot gear spray the crowd with fire extinguishers and pepper spray to clear Civic Center Park chasing demonstrators to the street
November 12, 2011: After riot police stormed Civic Center Park and chased protesters to other locations, one demonstrator was observed being struck by officers and falling motionless on the traffic median dividing Colfax at Broadway.
Colorado Street Medics immediately attempted to access this patient to assess and provide first aid. SWAT officers refused to allow the medics access to this patient. The officer commanding the line refused to acknowledge medics when they attempted to explain concerns for the unconscious, unresponsive patient.
Police allowed an untrained bystander access to the patient, but refused to allow medics from Colorado Street Medics to access the patient. Officers threatened Colorado Street Medic volunteers with arrest if they attempted to approach the patient. When asked for their name and badge number, the officers refused to provide this information stating, “We don’t have to. That is not the law.Colorado Street Medic volunteers attempted to explain concern for serious bodily injuries as the patient lay on the traffic
median unconscious and non-reactive to heavy traffic, bystanders and sirens around them. When SWAT officers pushed the medics away, Denver Paramedics had not yet arrived to treat the patient.
November 13, 2011
It’s 11:07 on a Sunday morning, and yet again the 27 Social Centre in Northwest Denver is full of people. Folks are talking to imprisoned comrades on the phone, coordinating with court observers who just left a long bond hearing for 20 arrestees, entering yet more names and case numbers into online databases, and trying to feed each other and take care of our kids.
Police have been rolling by slowly and regularly, in increasing regularity on the streets surrounding our building. We tend to get a lot of roll by cop traffic, but today definitely feels different. They drive really slow, eyeballing everyone and anyone coming or going, and their numbers only seem to be increasing.
Last night, 21 more folks from Occupy Denver were arrested. Crowds were pepper sprayed, shot with pepper balls and rubber “less-lethal” rounds, and beaten with batons and fists. Street medics treated many injuries (yet again) and our legal observers reported many gross attacks on individuals, some not even affiliated with the demonstrations.
It was a windy but otherwise beautiful day when I arrived at the occupy Denver sight before the march. There where only a few people there when I arrived but despite that tensions where running high as people argued about the chalk gratify that covered the sidewalks. Some of it was indeed offensive and even racist but this was only a small part of the gratify. The argument seemed to revolve around how much should be removed. The person doing the removal, a supposed occupy Denver person, decided that anti-police and pro-Marvin Booker slogans where offensive to and so, after much arguing and debate some of it heated, the erasure of the gratify was abandoned.
The debate seemed to follow the same old lines. One side is anti violence and defines that as no anti police insults, threats or resistance beyond following the systems rules. This side clearly believes in the system and thinks that what is going on can be corrected through the system and within the systems rules. The others side has given up on the system and while they do not want violence they also no longer the system we have today will be responsive. They eel the 1% and the law protect the rich and exploit the poor. They view capitalism as having taken over not just the economy but also the justice system, the education system. They do not believe the 1% will give up anything without a fight.
This later group, feels real pain. Education is out of reach financially as well as health care and they see their families and friend suffer from this as well as a justice system that is like a whore – meaning that if you have money you get off or at least a fair outcome and if you don't it's prison and fines and never having an opportunity to ever “pay your debt” and re-join society.
Ignite! #3 is finished, printed, and circulating Denver as scheduled. Including reports on Denver's rowdy O22 demonstration, a squat raid, more #OccupyDenver coverage than you can shake a stick at, local underground action communiques, and a piece on anti-fascism and freedom of speech. This issue is 16 pages which is way longer than we ever though Ignite! would be. Might have to switch to a bi-weekly format...
Big thanks to The Hammer for reviewing our second issue here. This is also the last issue that will look this shitty. We are learning and probably getting better. #4 is gonna look fly as fuck. Submission deadline, once again, is going to be the 28th. Get those texts and pictures to IgniteDenver@riseup.net for publication. Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for a potential meeting in December to draw more people into the paper's creation.
I have been a part of Occupy Denver in some capacity since the week of the first GA. I am making this statement as an individual woman and participant, though I am a collective member of DABC. I want to be clear about the distinction there so there is no misinformation about what I have to say. I speak for myself and no one else.
“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance.” bell hooks
I have been the target of oppressive and patriarchal behaviors since I first entered the space of Occupy Denver. I have been pointed out and labeled as violent, though I have never even been involved in a physical confrontation with a participant or the police. I spoke out against the oppressive and aggressive behavior of one security guard/marshall and recommended that he be removed from those roles of power until he complete some kind of an accountability process. I was shut down as was anyone else who spoke against that individual, but more specifically the women who spoke out against him. This is only one example of the type of oppressive patriarchal behavior within #OD.
We have an enemy in our midst. We, who have been so willing to exhaust our time, energy, and resources, have been undermined by militant pacifists. We compromised, and continue to compromise, our homes and our jobs and our bodies for the sake of revolutionary possibilities, only to find those who belong to the cult of “nonviolence” ironically leading us to the guillotine. We have come to find out that the revolution will be televised, will be spun, will be manipulated, and will be spoon-fed to the very powers that we purport to be against. The treasonous and faceless laptop activists from Occupy Denver, also known as the PR/Media team, have taken it upon themselves to identify “violent” protestors from the events that transpired on October 29th of this year.
This day began with absolute beauty. We protested through the streets together, we danced together and we sang together. We saw old friends, met new friends, and together we momentarily shifted the power back to the people through our words and our love and our sick ass dance moves. Upon our return to Civic Center Park, we attempted to expand this “public space” by pitching tents together, when the violent arm of the state reared its ghastly head at all of us. Cops in riot gear stormed in with no notice, tearing our tents down. We reacted. We resisted. And for a very brief period, our words and our voices overpowered the 10 or so cops that we had engulfed in a circle of bodies.
Against police violence, here and everywhere, and in solidarity with all victims of police brutality around the world…
On the night of Halloween, October 31st 2011, and into the early hours of November 1st, the Durango Police Department used excessive force (pepper spray and bean bag guns, painful and dangerous weapons) against unarmed, peaceful zombie marchers. This kind of unrestrained, irresponsible behavior MUST not be tolerated in our community.
On November 1st, in phase one of our community response to this unacceptably brutal behavior on the behalf of DPD, community members attended the Durango City Council meeting to express concerns during the public comment period, and were laughed at and summarily dismissed by city officials. We are here to say: We will not go away, and we will not be silenced! We demand accountability!
For phase two of our response, we’re calling for a rally against police brutality at Buckley Park, on the corner of 12th Street & Main Avenue in Durango, starting at 2PM this coming Saturday, November 5th. Around 5PM we will march to Fassbinder Park on 17th Street & Main Avenue, home of Occupy Durango*, for a General Assembly.
This date has greater significance in popular culture as well, and actions will be taking place around the world on that day. Let us stand in solidarity with the global uprising currently underway! Join us!
Please bring signs, bannners, sidewalk chalk, noise makers (etc.), your friends, and of course, your indomitable spirit of resistance.
(If you have videos or pictures of last night’s police violence, please upload them to the internet and post them here!)
Self Defense for Activists :
Remember Remember the 5th of November!
Guy Fawkes Day, Saturday, November 5th.
Caravan meets at the 27 social Centre at 11:00am
The 27 social centre is located at
2727 W. 27th Ave, Unit D. Denver, CO.
If you have a car, please consider providing a carpool.
Otherwise, meet us there!
Class Begins 12:00pm @ the Gumm Gymm
For those of you planning on going to Occupy Denver, the class is only about an hour so you should have plenty of time to return before any of the fun starts, as most confrontation tends to begin in the mid afternoon. Indeed, this will help your understanding of the situation and people to better defend themselves.
12860 W. Cedar Drive, Ste. 212
Lakewood, CO 80228 .
Bring loos-fitting clothing and prepare to take your shoes off!
This is the second of ongoing classes for activists hosted and led by Bradd Gumm. (Beginners are still very welcome, each class covers a new, different skill.) These classes will focus on Mixed Martial Arts, especially Jiu-Jitsu. The purpose of these classes is to give activists tools for self-defense and disengagement/cessation of violence with a minimum of legal risk.
Bradd Gumm is has been a national professional lightweight Mixed Martial Arts fighter since 2006 and has a very good record, of 22-8-2, making him one of, if not the top fighter in his class for Colorado. Longtime vegetarian and now committed vegan, Bradd is offering his skills to movements for liberation for free as another of his contributions to justice and social struggle.
Participants will also be provided with a basic overview and access to additional detailed legal, social, and martial art information and resources, including awareness, avoidance, and deescalation techniques.
Last week amidst the speeches and mic checks there erupted from the crowd of 2,000 folks the sounds of pure awesome. The march kicked off with "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," playing in front of the jail while a black flag was placed at the top of the metal sculpture in the courtyard. The dance party made flashy appearances throughout the march as it snaked through downtown. Beastie Boys "Fight For Your Right to Party," echoed between the 16th St. Mall buildings while boring and pointless speeches occured. Apparently those people didn't get the memo that capitalism is dying and it is time to dance on its goddamn ashes!
That being said, Denver, it is time to shake your anti-capitalist asses once again! The playlists are set, the banners are at the ready, and this Saturday at noon the Occupy Denver march will once again become a space to sassily dance out your rage against systems of violence and oppression. How about we take the old "who's streets?" chant to the next level?
There are some real debbie downers out there at Occupy Denver who seem to think it is a great idea to start doxing or snitching on anyone who doesn't fit the feel-good liberal, upper-class, boring-ass agenda of non-resistence. There is a campaign to start doing this at Occupy Denver to anyone who is confrontational with the state. Apparently dance parties are confrontational. Well, Occupy Denver, dance parties should be confrontational! Expect to see ass shakin' and booty bumpin' all up and down that riot line!
Much of what has been said and written about the police crackdown of Saturday night has been speculation, misinterpretation, patently false, and/or abject lies. For this reason I offer this first hand account of the initial escalation at the park. It should be said that I do not identify as a member of Occupy Denver, nor do I agree with many of its goals, nor its constant self policing and paranoia. I am merely an individual who resides in and loves the city of Denver, a city slipping rapidly into a police state, home of the most brutal police force in the states, who regularly murder and assault members of this community, who are so actively and shamelessly welcomed into Occupy Denver’s “99%”. I do not strictly agree with or adhere to an explicitly nonviolent philosophy, but I am well versed in its principles. To stand by passively and watch one’s friends or community members be brutalized by a pile of state sanctioned maniacs without intervening is not nonviolent. Nor is it violent to attempt to stop such an assault by physically restraining the attacking cop for long enough for the victim to get out of harm’s way. And all over a few tents. You’ve referred to us as violent, as provocateurs, and as agent plants for getting beat up trying to get one another out of the police melee. We’ve been apologized for and called “marginal at best,” simply for dreaming of holding our ground in a public space against a fascist state apparatus. Everyone has their own perspective, their own experience, and their own version of what went down that afternoon; this one is mine. As a witness in the thick of the initial onslaught, what happened was this, this is how things got crazy, and got crazy fast: After an invigorating march through the streets of downtown Denver, during which some took the opportunity to throw a kickass roving dance party, the crowd of over 1000 arrived at the capitol building feeling empowered.
Chemical Weapons for Occupy Denver
There is a lot of bad information circulating around Occupy Denver about chemical weapons and how to treat them. Here are our protocols that we use for Tear Gas and Pepper Spray. Circulate very widely.
Please use this information to prepare yourself and your friends. To run as a Street Medic, please attend a training. You can also attend health and safety classes taught by Street Medics for more in depth education.
***Remember that none of these effects are universal. People respond very differently to chemical weapons***
***ALSO! These weapons are primarily weapons of fear. One of the best things everyone can do is help spread calm to panicking people, walk away from the scene (don't run!) and get people to medics.***
There is a lot of bad information and stupid protocol out there. Be aware when you go online or read things.
- NEVER wear contacts to a demonstration.
- Dress in layers