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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
In 2010 a group of Nazis or Neo-Nazis in the Denver area created the Denver chapter of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), proudly displaying their group on their website, including a contact form for membership requests. The white-supremacist, white-separatist, nationalist, and thoroughly fascist group took pictures of their members, announced events, and even managed to successfully receive an ?adopt a highway? sign from the Colorado Department of Transportation. In response, area anti-fascists removed all of the signs from highway 85, outside of downtown Brighton. They even sent a communique to the media, but the story was not picked up. No other communication of the action was made, on the internet for example, for fear that any site that hosted it would be associated with certain people or groups that might be targets for retaliation. Later, the Department of Transportation replaced the signs. So again anti-fascists took them down again. However, with the launching of rockymountain antifa, we feel that the cat is already out of the bag, and that any retaliation is already risked, so there is no harm in publishing our actions. Since the replacement of the signs by CDT, and their subsequent removal, the CDT has not replaced the signs again, effectively denying the NSM their message of hate.
On August 28th, 2010, a march against police brutality http://westdenvercopwatch.wordpr... took place in Denver. That night, in solidarity with the spirit of the march, and in resistance to police terror, a small group decided to do something concrete. Some police cruisers parked outside of the police-infested and occupied City Park Police annex off of 22nd Ave and Colorado were attacked, their tires slashed. No report was made of it by the participants at the time because the action was considered too small to be news-worthy. However, after similar, small actions such as a police car window smashed http://colorado.indymedia.org/no... and parking meters destroyed, http://colorado.indymedia.org/no... were reported, this action might be worthy of mention.
For more than a month the meme of Occupy Wall Street has captured the political consciousness of America. It has spread to cities across the country, and even across the globe. This movement has a vague criticism of Wall Street and "Banksters," but those are symptoms of the real crisis. Capitalism is the crisis, the disease. Wall Street, banks, and corporations are symptoms of this disease.
In Denver, the occupation has lacked this anti-capitalist analysis. Instead many occupiers have chosen to turn to the rhetoric of the 99%, which is an erasure of systemic oppression and violence and an acceptance of those in the upper-classes that remain complicet in those oppressions. If this movement continues to deny and erase capitalism as the root cause of these economic and social injustices, this movement will die. It is already being cleverly recuperated by those who seek to harness and control the power of the people.
Occupy Fillintheblank is about economic justice, yes. But, it is about the truest form of that. It is inherently anti-capitalist and must embrace itself as such! This movement is about a reclaimation of that which has been stolen from us and resold to us. It is about reimagining the world which we live in and what it might be like to live without alienation, commodifcation, oppression, and violence.
That being said, join other anti-capitalists this Saturday at the Occupy Denver march. Meet at Civic Center Park at 11:45am and look for the signs that aren't about middle class rage, but are instead about equality for all!
OCCUPY DENVER - EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE. BECOME THE IMAGE OF THE FUTURE.
Last night, under the cover of the season's first snow, a bank and a cop shop (snitch station) were attacked by masked individuals in the Five Points area of Denver. This action was taken in soldiarity with the Oakland Commune and Atlanta under siege, with Denver squatters, and with occupiers everywhere. The banks are an obvious target, as too should be the lapdogs of The Capitalist State, the Police Department. Their days are numbered so long as our resistance intensifies. Revolt, Occupy, Fight Back! Smash all banks and all borders, no love for snitches! With Love, The Terry Merrorista Brigade
The Other Way to “Occupy Denver” As weather gets colder, DPD pushes homeless and occupiers further into a corner. Hancock plans to make sleeping on the sidewalk a crime and talks about ejecting the homeless from the 16th street mall. Meanwhile, as Occupy Denver concedes more and more ground to the authorities every day there are many that are beginning to doubt its effectiveness. The point of Occupy Anywhere should have never been to make a symbolic plea to our leaders to do the right thing, moving them with our dedication and now, as the winter begins and those sleeping outside have no other coverings allowed but tarps, moving them with our suffering.
As wars rage around the world for oil, natural gas and lithium among other things we sit at home wondering why all the lives and money is wasted while the economy forcefully widens the chasm between America's rich and poor. As protests spread from state to state and go global we hear the all too familiar three words from politicians “I get it.” They are among the first signs from certain politicians and their parties proving the exact opposite is true. As jobs become harder to find, politicians launch and extend conflicts meant to enrich wealthy corporations overseas all the while bringing us stagnation and regression back home. Oh that's what they meant by change.
Traditions can be good things giving an anchor in life providing a measure of social and communal stability. They may be occasions for immediate and extended family to come together and bond over history, familial creed and ethos. They can be a time for larger groupings of people, however spread out they may be, to remember what they have in common. They can even inform us a bit as to our place in the world, where we fit in and maybe who we are.
Of course, they aren't always exactly what we need all the time to help us find our way. Traditions can wear themselves out and become counterproductive. At such times things once counted on to be one way can morph before we realize it. As we return to comfortable traditions we may find ourselves confronted with the reality of a situation now useful to forces no longer aligned with our best interests.
UPDATE: DPD Raids Squat, Support Needed
Posted on October 24, 2011 by denverabc
Please Post and Forward Widely
Sunday afternoon a squat in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood of Northwest Denver was raided by over a dozen officers from District 1 of the Denver Police Department.
Witnesses report that the raid was very violent, with at least 8 officers repeatedly beating one of the arrestees, and eventually using paramedics to sedate them while they laid face down, bleeding, in the street.
Four people were arrested, one being sent to a hospital in an ambulance to receive medical care. As of Sunday night, three of the arrestees are facing 2nd degree Burglary (a class 3 felony) and $10,000 bonds. The fourth arrestee’s charges remain unknown because she is still hospitalized. All four have been active participants of Occupy Denver.
How to Help
•Contribute to our bail fund! Contact DenverABC at DenverABC@Rocketmail.com for information on how to donate to the fund.
•Courtroom solidarity! Bond hearings will be Monday (10/24), 10am, at the Van Cise- Simonet Detention Facility (Colfax and Delaware). Future hearings will be posted on denverabc.wordpress.com
•The first solidarity action will be Monday (10/24), 5pm, at the Van Cise facility.
•Stay in the loop for future solidarity actions and opportunities at denverabc.wordpress.com. We are also on Twitter and Facebook. Also request to be on our announcement list by emailing us.
Frustrated with the way the so called “occupation” is going? Tired of self important politico assholes telling us how we can or can’t resist the tyranny of capitalism? Appalled by the vague and confused list of demands of self appointed leader-activists, who only seem to want to perpetuate the status quo? Sick of the divisive false dichotomy of violence vs. nonviolence? Feel disconnected from a toothless movement so scared of confrontation that they call us agent provocateurs for saying “Fuck The Police!”, and meaning it? Tickled by a movement which calls itself an occupation but refuses to occupy? Well you’re not alone! We are everywhere! All around this (illegitimate) country (and world) right now there are people just like you and me, people who’ve been fighting colonization, repression, and exploitation for some time now, all the while wondering when discontent will manifest on this kind of popular scale. Some of us have recognized these “occupations” like the one in our city as empty rhetoric which serves only to take momentum away from a true resistance effort. In Denver alone we are many, and we have yet to realize and unleash the potential of our empowered discontent. We want nothing to do with talking to the mayor about patching up the economy, and we know with tears in our eyes and fire in our hearts that only those blind to police violence can ever put themselves in the same social category as these pig thugs. And we WILL NOT settle for powerless resistance. Denver can do better! This is a call for a new kind of occupation, not in opposition to the current “occupy wall street” charade, but in spite of it. To be fair, some of these occupations have not fallen in the same bullshit ideological traps as this one.
Thanks to West Denver Copwatch for this video.
Per Denver ABC, there were a total of 50 arrests. 46 individuals have
been arrested, four of them twice. All were charged with misdemeanors--none with felonies.
One person was hospitalized, though several others were injured by pepper spray, pepper balls, and blunt weapons used by police.
It was late afternoon when I learned that the protesters of the Occupy Denver movement would be evicted tonight and so I made my way to Lincoln Park to see what was going to happen. I have covered a lot of demonstrations for COIMC over the years but this was the largest since the DNC three years ago. It also seemed to have good public support with passing cars laying into their horns to show support and people waving to the demonstrators as they passed. It was a good thing to see so many people from all walks of life gather together to let the unhappiness and dissatisfaction with the capitalist greed and the conservative base in American politics that has done so much harm to so many.
The tents and info shop like stands where well organized and clean, contrary to reports in the capitalist press to the contrary. Tents with slogans like 99% written on the side. Signs expressing anti war and anti-imperialism sentiments abounded as did signs questioning the capitalist control of government. There where slogans and art work, pastels in crayon and pencil, on the sidewalks. I should also mention that it was a beautiful night and that the capital itself is beautiful.
#OccupyDurango Friday October 14th & Saturday October 15th,
Fassbinder Park, 17th Street & Main Avenue in Durango, CO
Rally at 4PM Friday October 14th, on the corner of 11th Street & Main Avenue.
March North to Fassbinder Park around 5PM to set up occupation.
Bring tents, sleeping bags, warm clothes, camp chairs, blankets, food, water, musical instruments, other camping supplies, signs, banners, flags, boom boxes, noise makers, your friends, family, and lovers, and your indomitable spirit of resistance!
General Assembly at 4PM on Saturday the 15th
@ #OccupyDurango in Fassbinder Park!
The author, Glenn Spagnuolo, is the cofounder of the Recreate 68 Alliance, a member of the Transform Columbus and All Nations Alliances and a long time social justice activist from Denver, Colorado
“Occupy Together, The Division of a Community”
Writing a critique of the Occupy Together movement has been a difficult task for a radical that continues to work for, and appreciate, a full uprising of the people against an unjust government. Since the beginning, many of us have been watching closely the developments from the “occupation of Wall Street” struggling with our own inner conflict of action or inaction in the face of a movement that is beginning to capture the public’s imagination. I write this from Denver, Colorado with my experience based in the solidarity actions of Occupy Denver in mind and influence of thought.
Dear Governor Deal,
I am writing as the survivor of a murdered family member to ask you to spare the life of Troy Davis. I understand the feelings of people who favor the death penalty, though my religion forbids it, because 29 years ago, my only brother, Paul, was murdered. My entire family narrowly missed my brother's fate. The killers came looking for Paul at my parents' home, while my children were visiting there, just minutes after Paul had left. If Paul's killers had arrived in time to find him, they would have left no witnesses. So I understand the feelings of the McPhail Family, and their friends and supporters. But my loss has taught me something else that is just as important.
Death is the most final thing in this world. Once someone dies, by whatever means, that person is not coming back. Neither Mark McPhail nor my brother will ever be back in our lives or able to continue their own lives. So in taking a human life, we are doing the most serious act anyone can commit. And I use the word "we" for a reason. The execution of any person is the collaborative act of our entire society. It is "we" who kill that person.
It follows that such a radical act, if it is to be done at all, must be done in the complete certainty of the condemned person's guilt. And in the case of Troy Davis, that certainty does not exist.
You are aware of the issues. You know about the witnesses who have retracted their testimony. You know about one of the two witnesses who did not retract--himself a suspect in the murder of Officer McPhail. And you are fully aware that the prosecutor and several of the jurors, who did the best they could at the time of the trial, now say that, in light of all the facts we have today, Mr. Davis should not have been convicted at all.