Ignite #4 – December 2011

Without further ado, we present Ignite! #4 – December 2011! This month’s paper contains a year-end review of local struggles and projects, a how-to on how to dodge paying fares on the local LightRail, updates on October’s squat arrests, an announcement encouraging the  establishment of community gardens, news from around the world (the FAI is like, so hot right now), editorials concerning the local and national Occupy*, a call-out for an Elves’ uprising on December 17th, and an article addressing local gentrification efforts. We’ve made some tweaks to the design, namely having gutters to the text columns which makes the minor improvement of the reader actually being able to read the paper. How progressive! The majority of the articles featured in this month’s issue will get their own digital, linkable posts on this blog once we get around to it.

This month’s masthead, which we change every month to feature a photo from a local action, is from a suspected condo arson in Ft. Collins that caused $10 million in damages. The deadline for the next issue will be January 4th. Print editions can be found at the 27 Social Centre in Northwest Denver and in our experiences have generally been passed around and found in weird places. Keep leaving them on the bus, shops, cafes and schools folks, we appreciate the distribution. As always, we appreciate tips, critiques, contributions, comments, reviews, and scoldings.

Squat Raid Case Update

The four arrested during October’s squat raid had court on Thursday, November 30th. Three of the accused, Jonathon, Victor (recently released after a stint on a concealed weapons charge) and Sam all saw their charges dropped from felony 2nd degree burglary to misdemeanor trespassing offenses. Amelia Nicol was not present for the hearing. Jonathon is still being detained on prior legal offenses.

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Three New Local Social and Occupy* Prisoners

There are three people who will be serving stints in jail due to local social movement activity. Writing them can help keep their spirits up and let them know that there are plenty of people on the outside that love and support them. Thanks to the Denver Anarchist Black Cross for most of this information.

Robert Huffman
0000642981
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Held on a probation violation after being arrested at Occupy Denver.

Jonathon Shepard
0000766365
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Arrested during the squat raid in late October. Jailed due to complicated legal history.

Victor Jaime
0000769138
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Also arrested during the squat raid, Victor was picked up during police action against the Occupy Denver protesters and charged with allegedly carrying a concealed weapon.

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Anti-capitalist Christmas – The Elf Revolt! December 17th 3PM

Call-Out posted to Colorado Indymedia:

Hello all our dear elf friends! Tired of Santa getting all the profit from our handiwork?

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.

There are some who refuse to awaken their humanity and instead choose to continue their participation in systems of oppression and state funded violence. Some of those people might be just a moment away from opening their eyes and waking from the nightmare that is the American dream. Others may be all too blinded by their addiction to the crisis and that which they can gain from it.

Elves and humans are not so different from one another, though those who hold us in subjugation would have us believe otherwise. Our differences are our strength! Regardless of whether you’re a self-proclaimed anarchist elf or a human who voted for Obama and is feeling regretful, you are welcome here! Elves from the North Pole refuse to believe that elves from the South Pole are illegal and stand in solidarity with their migrant elven comrades! Those in power wish to divide us and segregate us from one another. They use false divisions like species, race, sexuality, gender, and others to dismantle our collective power. No more! We will break our own chains by dismantling the lies we’ve been fed our whole lives. We will create a liberated world of equality.

Join others in solidarity against capitalism. December 17th, 2011 at 3PM. Hungarian Freedom Park. Downing and Speer.

Bring signs, banners, voices, jingle bells, and big dreams of liberation ready to become a lived experience!

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Issue #3 – November 2011

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.

Ignite! – Issue #3 November 2011 PDF

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Anti-Capitalist Dance Party Saturday at Noon

A call out for an anti-capitalist dance party at noon on Saturday during the weekly Occupy Denver march was posted to Colorado Indymedia. It is awesome and goes as follows:

A! Anti! Anti-capitalista! The Revenge of the Dance Party.

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!

One last note, this week the Occupy Denver-ites have voted to have this march be in honor of “fallen heros,” and veterans of the U.S. military. Yeah, you read that right. The only veterans us anti-capitalists support and honor are those that have quit the job, resisted, fought back against the imperialist and colonialist agenda of the military, or since leaving the military have dedicated themselves to an end of war and exploitation. There will be bumpin’ and grindin’ for THOSE vets no doubt!

Alright, you get it. We’re dancin’ in the streets again!

Meet at the Federal Reserve (we didn’t pick this lame spot) – 12PM – Saturday, November 5th.

UNTIL ALL ARE LIBERATED! EXPECT US & OUR DANCIN’ SHOES!

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The Terry Merrorista Brigade Attack Bank, Cop Shop, Issue Communique

A communique was posted to Colorado Indymedia on Thursday, October 26th. The action and communique are commendable, a gesture of solidarity to the Oakland Commune, Atlanta occupiers, and the squatters arrested in Denver last weekend. Titled “Escalation”, we are posting it in full:

“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”

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Squat Raided in Northwest Denver, 4 Arrests, 1 Hospitalized

Update 10/28/11 @4:39PM: Bond has been posted for Amelia. She will be out on Monday at the latest, today at the earliest. Jonathon is still locked up pending huge money and collateral payments. Unfortunately, the DA went ahead with charging all four of the squatters with felony 2nd degree burglary.

Update 10/27/11 @7:17PM: Jonathon will be held until at least November 9th because of prior legal issues. The State will not grant him bail. Amelia is still in jail and has a court date at 8AM tomorrow morning in room 2300 . It is unclear at this time whether or not the district attorney is going to file charges. The Denver Anarchist Black Cross is still soliciting donations to get Amelia out and keep Jonathon with a healthy commissary account while he is in.

Update 10/26/11 @ 10:38AM: Sam and Victor are free! They were released yesterday afternoon and in the arms of friends and comrades. Amelia and Jonathon are still in jail, but folks are talking to them daily and putting money in their commissary. Currently no charges have been filed, all the arrestees were being held for investigation on 2nd degree burglary charges. This means that Amelia and Jonathon could be released within the coming days provided the district attorney is unable to file charges.

Update 10/24/11 @ 9:24PM: Sam and Victor have been bonded out and will be released in the morning. Amelia’s court date is tomorrow morning at 10AM in room 2300 in the Van-Cise Simonet detention center. Johnathon is still in custody pending a $5,000 bail.

Update 10/24/11 @ 4:00PM: The Westword has published the names of those arrested in the squat raid last night. Ignite! was privy to this information before they published it, however, due to respect of the privacy of the arrestees we were holding off on publicizing their names until a legal strategy had been formed. Here are their names and statuses: Sam Carlson and Victor Jaime are being held on $3,500 bail, and Johnny Shepard is being held on a $5,000 bail because of his previous arrest and bond status from events at Occupy Denver.

Amelia Nicol, the same person who was arrested at an anti-police march in May and recently beat attempted murder of police officers, arson, and other charges last month, was the squat occupant who was beaten by at least 8 pigs and hospitalized. They are being held on $5,000 bail as well, and have a court date at 10AM tomorrow in courtroom 2300 at the Van-Cise Simonet detention center. The four local homeless youth are all charged with 2nd degree burglary, a class three felony, for squatting in a house in the Jefferson Park neighborhood that had been abandoned for several years.

Update 10/24/11 @ 12:49 PM: The police had sealed off two blocks near the squat in order to clear a “suspicious bag or package.” The person who was hospitalized has been transferred to protective custody in the jail and will have a hearing tomorrow in room 2300 at 10AM. The three arrested during the raid had hearings today where their bonds were reduced. Two of them are eligible for bail, and the Denver ABC is working on amassing $700 to achieve this. If you are able to help in any way, please visit their blog and send them an email.

The third person arrested has outstanding cases after being arrested at Occupy Denver earlier this month and is being held due to their complicated legal situation.

Please stay tuned to this page and follow @DenverABC on twitter for more updates.

Update 10:19pm: There will be a solidarity rally for those arrested tomorrow at 5PM on Colfax and Delaware. 3 of the arrested have been booked on second-degree burglary charges, which are class 3 felonies. They are being held on $10,000 bail each and have a court date in room 2300 in the Van Cise-Simonet detention center at 10AM tomorrow. Those looking to help should email the Denver Anarchist Black Cross. The fourth, who hasn’t been booked, is still unconscious in the hospital. Their charges are unknown at this time.

from the Denver Anarchist Black Cross:

About an hour ago, 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. At least 3 people were arrested, an another person was taken away in an ambulance.

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.

The squat raid comes less than 24 hours after a rowdy and effective nighttime march against Police Terror, which saw hundreds of participants snake through Denver, blocking streets, confronting police, and shutting down the commercial district of downtown Denver on a busy Saturday night. Reports from media indicate that several bank windows were broken, and hundreds of stickers and other graffiti redecorated the city landscape. One arrest was reported, and DABC is organizing support for this person.

Our comrades from today’s arrest need your support! We cannot be fooled into thinking that this is not in some way a retaliatory attack for last night’s actions. Members of the squat have been active in the Occupy Denver movement, and have been active in other local community organizing.

If you can offer support, we need it. Denver ABC’s resources have been strained and tapped from the 48 arrests from last week’s Occupy Denver protests, and now with an additional 5 arrests that we’re trying to support, we’re really hurting.

Things we need:

-Money for bond for our comrades! Charges, bond amounts, etc.. are unknown as they have not yet been booked, but we need to start collecting money, as we know we’ll need it.
-Volunteers for court observation, running errands, helping bond folks out, etc… our collective members are worn out, overstretched, and in need of help with this. Especially from folks with vehicles.
-Food for folks working legal line, and generally on 24 hour legal support mode. We love pizza, pop-tarts, snacks, soda, etc… anything to keep us going.
-You! If you can be available for any future court solidarity, solidarity actions, or other events, please let us know! We apologize to folks who have contacted us in the last week who have not heard back about these things. We’re super stretched right now, and will be hitting you up in the next day or two.

Can you help? Conatct us ASAP: denverabc@rocketmail.com or ABC legal line: 720-328-3431

Please stay tuned for denverabc.wordpress.com

Soli!

DABC CREW

More info as it comes in, this post will be updated when updates are available.

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Report from Denver’s O22 Demonstration

by Ignite! Collective

The second annual October 22nd Anti-Police Terror Demonstration in Denver was a priority when Ignite! first began publication. Receiving coverage in October when it was announced, it was a notable action due to the history of five demonstrations preceding it in a coordinated campaign utilizing a plethora of tactics and strategies to engage the notoriously brutal and repressive Denver Police Department. Up to this point, Denver has seen rallies, vigils, unpermitted street marches, vandalism, brawls, court campaigns, press conferences, and many other events in the context of the anti-police struggle. O22 in 2011 was shaping up to be a pivotal and defining action.

Set with a backdrop of a $365,000 effort to monitor and suppress the Occupy Denver satellite protest which has been ongoing since the end of September, O22 gathered at the entrance of the Denver Zoo at 6PM on the 22nd as promised. Fifty arrests had taken place the weekend before, straining the resources of local radical legal support collective the Denver Anarchist Black Cross. Regardless, a crowd of around 100, mostly donning black, listened to a short speech before merging between four banners held alongside the entire demonstration and flanked by several bike riding/walking protesters and two drummers. The National Lawyers Guild brought legal observers and the Colorado Street Medics had a much-appreciated presence as well. Taking the streets in plain view of a half-dozen police cars and nearly twenty cops on bicycles, the march took East 23rd Avenue towards York. Early chants resembled past demonstrations: “From Denver to Greece, Fuck the Police” and “Oink! Oink! Bang! Bang! Every Day the Same Old Thing!” were standards the crowd returned to whenever things got quiet.

Despite the police tail and blocked intersections, the march stayed tight, snug in between the banners, until it reached the main thoroughfare of Colfax Avenue, where the crowd massed to 150. Riot cops riding on the outside of SUVs began a circle of the neighborhood while the bike cops tried to confine the march to just the westbound lane of Colfax. One of the police officers was overheard saying to a colleague that they were afraid of being pushed into traffic by protesters shortly after several people holding banners rebuffed bike police intimidation by pushing the banner outwards.

There are several things to be said about the tactical overlay of this march as compared to the last two. In May, the strategy of wrapping the demonstration in banners to protect participants from being picked off by the police was employed more or less successfully other than an arrest after the dispersal. In July, however, this wasn’t employed as strictly and three demonstrators were arrested early in the protest despite a brave fighting effort on behalf of members of a small black bloc that day. At O22, this was emphasized before the march and largely followed by everyone in the streets that night. The police had a very hard time pressing the demonstration even though the protest was unpermitted and shutting down major streets for upwards of an hour and a half. This march, although not defined by its radical participants, was definitely noteworthy in its export of radical Black Bloc tactics and anti-capitalist sentiment to a more generalized crowd. More than 80% of the crowd was dressed in black and/or masked, marching with their arms linked, and between anti-police slogans the demonstration had spirited “anti-capitalista” and “the US government is illegitimate” chants. Another favorite was “the police are the army of the rich,” which was featured on stickers passed out to the crowd and chanted in defiance of the city’s previous dialogues on the issue.

Unbeknownst to organizers more than six weeks ago, when fliers for O22 were starting to circulate around town, Occupy Denver and lesser so the annual “Zombie Crawl” sapped a lot of the police department’s resources. Riot cops had been deployed earlier in the day to police a large but completely peaceful Occupy Denver weekend march, as well as monitor the roadside encampment which hardly does anything to merit police action any since last weekend’s arrests. The 16th Street Mall crowd on Saturday night, swelled by “zombies” and regular nightlife types, played directly into the O22 demonstration’s aims of direct action and confrontation.

After making a loop around the Civic Center Park, picking up a few dozen Occupy Denver protesters and several zombies, the march hopped through 15th and Cleveland, the site of the 2008 DNC Black Bloc arrests, and made their way to the 16th Street Mall. Some in the crowd, thinking the march was over and preparing to disperse within the teeming horde of the mall, began to meld into the crowd. Much of the march, however, kept going. The police began to back off, although it is unclear why. While they kept their distance at about a half-block behind the march, someone(s) sprang into action and dropped an American National Bank window. The cops had no reaction; they hardly even got closer to the demonstration.

The march kept picking up more people (upwards of 600) and began zigzagging down different roads between 16th Street and 15th Street, roaming down the street spraying graffiti, putting up anti-police stickers and smashing several more bank windows. There was one arrest, for defacing/destroying public property, which is from putting up stickers like the arrests in July. Early (likely panicking/ratings hungry) media reports also claimed that trash cans or dumpsters had been set on fire, but at this point it is unconfirmed. The march erratically made its way back towards the park to debloc and join the occupation, confusing and frustrating a police department that has thus far covered all sides of these demonstrations very vigilantly. After observing their tactical short-comings and lack of willingness to engage the crowd physically (especially considering crowd cover on the 16th Street Mall, limiting chemical and other “less-lethal” forms of suppression), it may mean they were running short of resources due to the uptick in social movement activity during the last month.

O22 was a success for a movement that has seen a number of them lately. All defendants captured during previous marches have beaten their cases or walked away with miniscule charges and no further involvement in the legal system. Police were outmaneuvered and outsmarted several times during the course of the evening, a trend that has continued since agitators behind the issue originally took the streets. It is unclear where the movement will go presently, as it is too early to expect demonstration to be called, but the police haven’t gotten any better behaved. Because of this, it’s doubtful those filling the streets to confront the police department will taper their behavior anytime soon, either.

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Removal of Bus Shelters Another Facet in City’s War on the Poor

from Ignite! #2:

Some may have noticed the removal of several bus shelters on the Colfax and Broadway intersection. The stops, widely used by working class people and youth, service approximately 10,300 riders per weekday. The city removed them sometime in mid-August due to requests from law enforcement that the shelters were being used to traffic drugs, and that it was very difficult to watch these locations for drug activity on CCTV due to how they are built.

The timing is suspect: removing the shelters in a time when the heat is presumably supposed to die down but before harsh winter climates begin to move into the area. Car culture routinely makes issues for riders of public transportation seem small, but the reality in Denver is that thousands per day use public transit. Rain, sleet, snow, or hail people take buses and trains in this town.

The reasoning is spotty. Why punish riders of public transit for the service provider’s poor security or the police department’s ineptitude? That’s not even scratching the surface of why there are people selling narcotics in the first place.

Even more sinister is Denver cops’ blatant disdain for people down on their luck in the first place. An anonymous rank and file officer gave new mayor Michael Hancock a written suggestion obtained by local weekly Westword that they scale back humanitarian services to the homeless, as it is only encouraging more homeless people to migrate to the city. The unnamed officer goes on to say that he “won’t bring his family [to Denver] because of this filth.”

The whole area is widely known as a popular place for houseless people to sleep, especially when shelters are full and the weather is cold. In the last eighteen months, well over one hundred people forced by various social and economic conditions to sleep outdoors have died in the city of Denver. Removing these shelters is a cheap shot directed towards a humanitarian crisis in the region. To do something like this specifically to accommodate the vast surveillance system implemented by the State and sustained since the Democratic National Convention is frankly repugnant.

Unsurprisingly, the city of Denver once again applies a “band-aid solution” to a complex problem. This pattern of behavior is business as usual in a local government that panders to short-term boosts by fleeting stories in the corporate media, living and dying in an echo chamber of press conferences.

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