We Control These Streets: Denver Again Demands Justice for Ryan Ronquillo

RyanMarchOn Saturday October 25th, a gathering of anti-police militants comprised of a wide cross section of people from various communities across Denver and the region, took took to the streets of Denver to demand vengeance for the police killing of Ryan Ronquillo.

Ronquillo, a 20 year old Chicano youth, was murdered by Denver Police outside the Romero Funeral Home in Northwest Denver, on July 2. Ryan, along with dozens of other members of the Chicano/Mexicano community, was attending a funeral for a friend who had recently passed away. While sitting in his car, attempting to decompress, two unmarked police SUVs crashed into the front of his car, and non-uniformed officers jumped out of the vehicles, opening fire just seconds later.

Ryan was killed, with over a dozen shots to his head and body. Witnesses claim that Ryan was pulled out of the car, still alive, and then left to choke on this own blood as police refused to offer medical assistance on the scene.

Since Ryan was killed, there have been a series of militant protests, benefit shows, potlucks, and public meetings held to build a movement for justice for Ryan. Local anarchists and anti-police organizers have been at the forefront of this organizing, working alongside Ryan’s family and friends to build strong responses within the community.

Marches up until this point have resulted in confrontations with the police, continuously pushing the police from the streets and ending with participants controlling the terrain of struggle. These marches have been times of extreme anger and also jubilation. We have cried, bled, fought, laughed and cheered at these events, building stronger ties than any prison cell or police baton.

It was within this context that militants took to the streets on the evening of October 25th, in the latest action to mobilize the community on behalf of Ryan and his family.

FTPBikeThe marchers met at Barnum Park in Southwest Denver. Ryan was from this neighborhood, and his family still calls Barnum their home. This Park served as Ryan’s old stomping grounds. The march organizers, comprised of family and friends, thought Barnum Park to be a fitting place to start this march. Almost no political street activity happens on the Westside of town. West Denver is often overlooked by the majority of typical political organizers and organizations in the Metro area. It has been a priority, however, of those doing the work to support this struggle, to bring this conflict back to the Westside.

A group of 50 or so people assembled at the park and after some short speeches, hit the streets of the Westside, shutting down traffic on Federal Boulevard, a major thoroughfare in the Westside. The march received massive support from passing motorists, with fists raised high in the air, and shouts of “Fuck the police” meeting the crowd as it marched North, snaking its way toward Downtown.

The crowd turned East onto 8th Ave, heading through an industrial district on its way to the La Alma Neighborhood, just South of Downtown. Up until this point, the police had not made any contact with the march. As demonstrators crossed the bridge leading into La Alma, several police cruisers formed a small barricade at the bottom of the hill at the East end of the bridge. As the crowd neared, and angry shouts met the officers, they quickly got back inside their cruisers and sped away.

Riot clad Gang Unit officers shadowed the march several blocks South, paralleling the demonstration route, but keeping their distance.

MarchSignalDaPigsWhen the crowd turned North onto Santa Fe Drive, the home of the Denver Arts District, the police decided to make contact. Following the demonstrators, police attempted to speak over their megaphone at the demonstrators, but were shouted down. The marchers refused to vacate the streets, despite the growing police presence.

The marchers continued, despite police harassment. Some more abrupt turns and snaking, and the crowd marched past the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center. The crowd immediately started chanting the name of Marvin Booker, a local street preacher who had been murdered at the jail in 2010. The Booker family just recently won their lawsuit against the City and County of Denver, resulting in a jury awarded $4.65 million.

The crowd then turned, occupying the street between the jail and the Denver Mint. A parked police cruiser was attacked, tires slashed, mirrors destroyed, and window shattered. The crowd continued, with police keeping their distance behind.

Some more turns and snaking, and the crowd was on the 16th Street Mall, a main downtown point of congregation for demonstrations, parties, and other large crowd gatherings. By now, night had fallen, and the mood of the march had evolved. More people joined the marchers, as hundreds of people looked on. The mall was busy, as it was a Saturday night. And many people shouted their support for the marchers.

For a five block stretch, every trash can and any other unsecured piece of furniture either was thrown at a capitalist institution, used as a barricade, or set on fire. As the crowd and the rage continued to grow, an ATM was attacked, to many cheers from the crowd.

IMAG1053It was shortly after the ATM was destroyed and many trashcans set ablaze that the police decided to attack the march. Several officers attacked the back of the march, snatching a comrade and beating Ryan Ronquillo’s mother to the ground. The marchers immediately stopped and turned, challenging and confronting the police officers. Some rocks were thrown, some blows exchanged, another comrade’s arrest prevented. The Gang Unit finally assembled and the riot gear came out.

Another arrest was made as the police charged the crowd. Yet again, however, other comrades were unarrested, and the mood of the crowd continued to turn against the officers. Some pushing and confrontation later, and the police were backing up, giving ground to the demonstrators.

Now the demonstrators controlled the intersection. Police cruisers and vans were surrounded, and some attacked, and the police quickly withdrew from the streets, demonstrators smacking and hitting their vehicles as they left Downtown to the demonstrators. Cheers of joy and defiance erupted, and a quick rendition of the Supreme’s “Na Na, Hey Hey” was sung and shouted at the retreating officers.

The marchers decided to disperse at this point. One more arrest occurred during the dispersal, bringing the total to three comrades who were captured.

Our arrested comrades face a variety of charges, from Throwing Missiles at Police Officers to Felony Assault on an Officer. A fundraising page has been set up by the Denver Anarchist Black Cross for our comrades who faces the most serious of the charges. Please consider donating here:
http://www.youcaring.com/other/legal-defense-for-aaron-skipworth/257364

Denver Anarchist Black Cross will continue to provide updates on the cases of our comrades. For updates on the legal defense initiative, please visit Denver ABC’s site at denverabc.wordpress.com

More actions are coming. We will not be deterred. We will never leave the streets in the hands of the police. Until all the streets belong to us!

Solidarity for Ryan!
Solidarity with the rebels of Ferguson!
Solidarity with all those who fight the police!

Videos available here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQvMtJx6lmc
http://vimeo.com/110104676
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mll_RYghu7Q

Photos:
http://4npictures.tumblr.com/post/100968907516/march-for-justice-for-ryan-ronquillo-denver-co

Support for arrested comrade(s):
http://www.youcaring.com/other/legal-defense-for-aaron-skipworth/257364

-Denver Community Defense Caucus/Denver ABC
November, 2014
denvercommunitydefense@riseup.net

Interfaith Rally to Stop Legal Lynching in Seattle – Black Man Found Guilty of Escaping Lynch Mob! –

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Seattle Municipal Court (600 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98104)

Longtime Seattle anti-racist activist, Matt E (aka MC Bypolar The Toxic Cherub) goes in for his sentencing hearing at 9am at Seattle Municipal Court on 5th and James, downtown Seattle on Thursday November 13th. The sentencing is for guilty verdicts he has from escaping a lynch mob over a year ago. Three others have also been arrested and charged with Contempt of Court for their vocal support of Matt E during the racist, unfair trial. This whole thing is a blatantly clear example of white supremacy, as the state (police & the courts) have worked in collaboration with a racist vigilante mob in an attempt to destroy the life of yet another Black person.

For full story, see video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-EEWLUe_Ow
and read
https://stoplegallynching.wordpress.com/ 

Tentative schedule:

8-9am Morning/breakfast gathering
Gather outside of courthouse for light communal breakfast and ceremony, prayer, meditation and ritual from various faith communities*.

9am- ? Matt E goes in for sentencing hearing.

1130am-1230pm Lunch gathering
Rally, speaking and further contributions from faith communities. Update on Matt E’s status.

430pm + Evening rally
Update on Matt E’s status. Decide together community responses to results of sentencing hearing. Further contributions from faith communities welcomed.

*Please contact stoplegallynching@gmail.com if you would like to participate in some spiritual capacity. We are looking for people of all faith traditions. To contribute to in this respect, one need not belong to a formal religion or spiritual tradition. If you have something you believe in and you make your life about that belief, so long as it is not something fascist, please get in touch if you would like to share.

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/564696166996552/?pnref=story

Mexican prisons: Comrades Amélie, Fallon and Carlos sentenced locally

Fuego a las Prisiones!

Fuego a las Prisiones!

On November 6th, 2014, in the proceeding under common law, Amélie Trudeau Pelletier, Fallon Poisson Rouiller and Carlos López Marín were sentenced to 2 years, 7 months and 15 days in prison, and ordered to pay damages of 108 thousand pesos, on charges of attacks to public peace and aggravated damages committed by gang.

In the following days the defense will appeal against the sentence. This judgment runs parallel to the sentence of 7 years and 6 months handed down to the comrades on the 31st of October, in the federal case trial, that has already been appealed.

Freedom for all! Down with the prison walls!
and complicity with Carlos, Amélie and Fallon!

National Week of Action to #FreeRasmeaNow

From Committee to Stop FBI Repression:

Though Rasmea has been unjustly convicted, her struggle is far from over. Read Monday’s report from court here.

Monday in front of supporters in the courtroom, US marshals placed Rasmea in handcuffs and under arrest. She will be detained until her sentencing, which is set for March 10, 2015. Our immediate and urgent task is to fight for her release from jail. The Rasmea Defense Committee with Students for Justice in Palestine is calling on Palestinian and Palestine solidarity organizations and others committed to opposing political repression across the United States to participate in a national week of action to win her freedom now.

 

Participate in the week of action Wednesday, November 12-18!

  1. Write to Judge Drain and urge him to send Rasmea home.
  2. Organize a protest at your local federal building or on your campus.
    • The SJP National Ad-Hoc Steering Committee calls on all SJP chapters to participate by organizing actions on your campuses on November 14, 2014.
    • Please send in the details of your protest plans so we can share – justice4rasmea@uspcn.org
  3. Write letters of support to Rasmea.
    Rasmieh Odeh #144979
    St. Clair County Jail
    1170 Michigan
    Port Huron, MI. 48060
  4. Organize a fundraiser to help fund Rasmea’s defense.
    • NSJP also calls on all those who are able to donate money to Rasmea’s legal defense fund, so that they can continue to zealously represent her and prepare for an appeal.

When publicizing your actions on social media, please be sure to use the hashtags #Justice4Rasmea and #FreeRasmeaNow

Day 1: Report from the political trial of Rasmea Odeh

From Samidoun:

First Day of Rasmea Odeh Trial (Report from the Rasmea Defense Committee) 

ResmeraNinety supporters of Palestinian community leader Rasmea Odeh filled an overflow courtroom today for the beginning of her trial in Detroit, MI. They came from Chicago, Minneapolis, Grand Rapids, Ohio, Milwaukee, Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Detroit, and were barred from the main courtroom because dozens of potential jurors were seated there. The proceedings began with defense attorney Michael Deutsch asking Judge Gershwin Drain to reconsider his decision not to allow Rasmea to testify about the vicious physical and sexual torture she experienced at the hands of the Israeli military. Judge Drain refused to change his mind, guaranteeing that when she takes the stand Rasmea will not be free to tell her full story.

The jury selection followed, with 32 potential jurors taking seats in front of the attorneys for questioning.  Supporters were surprised to notice that an overwhelming majority of potential jurors were white, even in a downtown Detroit courthouse in Wayne County, where local residents are mostly Black and Arab. Many of the jurors stated that they were from Oakland County, where the population is over 77% white.  Judge Drain asked questions of all the potential jurors, including some that were submitted by the prosecution and defense, respectively.  They were asked if they had heard about the case the news, and also screened for potential bias, with questions posed as to whether they held any negative beliefs about Palestinians or Muslims.

After the jury was selected, Rasmea’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse for a rally and march to the federal building. Chanting “DOJ Let’s Be Clear, Rasmea is Welcome Here!”  the supporters also heard statements from Frank Chapman of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Jess Sundin of the Rasmea Defense Committee, and representatives of Students for Justice in Palestine from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and Kenyon College in Gambier, OH.

Supporters of Rasmea recommitted to rally outside the courthouse at 8am and enter together every day this week.  Tomorrow, after opening statements, the prosecution will begin to call its witnesses, including agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of the Homeland Security, and the State Department.  In response to this we continue our call to all supporters of Rasmea to pack the Courtroom every day of her trial!

Come to Detroit for the trial!

Angela Davis OpEd says, “Free Rasmea Odeh!”

Article in The Nation by Charlotte Silver

Jess Sundin of Rasmea Defense Committee interviewed in Detroit Metro Times

Martyr’s Ball 2014

martyrs ball promo 2014

We’re back! Although we don’t have the once lovely, now giant hole in the ground, called the 27 Social Centre (RIP) to party in this year, we’ve lucked out to be able to host this event in one of Denver’s oldest DIY spaces, Rhinoceropolis!

Come on out on November 15th and help defend and support social justice movements in Denver and beyond!

This year we have special musical guests
RAMSHACKLE GLORY
(coming all the way from Tuscon, AZ!)

MEGA GEM

THE REPERCUSSIONS

SIDHE


and more TBA!

Enjoy a night of music and food to commemorate Haymarket Day, the anniversary of the execution of the Haymarket Martyrs, four anarchists executed during the height of the struggle for the 8 hour day in 1887. We will remember fallen comrades while also helping to raise funds for contemporary social justice movements active in Denver and across the globe.

In the spirit of remembrance, we are encouraging attendees to come dressed as a martyr or fallen comrade from a social justice struggle. We are also encouraging participants to contact us in advance to let us know who they will come as, so we can compile educational materials about many of the martyrs represented at the event!

All funds generated by the event will go to benefit with Denver ABC Mutual Aid Fund, a project that aims to provide financial support to members of social justice movements in need of economic relief and assistance.

Doors open at 6:30 PM
Bands start at 7:30 PM

Games, pinata smashing, limited edition screen printed posters and a costume contest interspersed between sets!

$10 suggested donation, nobody will be turned away for lack of funds

For more information about the event you can contact us at denverabc@riseup.net

 -————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Check out this old post from four years ago about the history of Martyr’s Ball.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A big part of the work Denver ABC does is raise funds to support those who are locked up for their beliefs and action towards liberation.  Our biggest event of the year is Martyr’s Ball, a dance where radicals dress up as political martyrs and fallen comrades.  Coincidentally, some of the very first Anarchist Black Cross chapters (then called the Anarchist Red Cross) organized similar events.  Boris Yelensky, an anarchist Russian immigrant to the US, wrote an extensive history of ABC entitled The Stuggle for Equality.  In it he recounts some of those dances.

Arestantin Ball

From 1908 to after the Russian Revolution of 1917 the New York Anarchist Red Cross numbered in the hundreds.  Their largest event of the year was the Arestantin Ball (Prisoners’ Ball).  The event became so big that

“every year a larger hall had to be found to accommodate the people who wished to attend, and even then hundreds were often turned away because there was no room for them. The mention of the Arestantin Ball arouses vivid recollections of those early days of the A.R.C. Thousands of gay people, full of vigor and hope, danced all kinds of Russian dances; the hall itself was decorated in the spirit of the event, and, in order to remind the dancers that in faraway Russia and Siberia people were suffering for a cause we all believed in, there would be tableaux in which young men and women would appear dressed in Russian prisoners’ garb, with their hands and feet chained and with soldiers and policemen in Russian uniform guarding them.”

Philadelphia ARC began organizing their own Prisoners’ Ball in 1912.  To spread the word, ARC members would go to other dances in the city dressed as prisoners and pass out leaflets for the upcoming event.   At the Jewish Daily Forward’s annual masked ball anarchists arranged to erect a tent which depicted three scenes: Russian political prisoners being marched through the Siberian tundra to their place of confinement, life inside a Siberian prison cell, and lastly a re-enactment of Russian political prisoner Egor Sazonoff’s suicide.  The costumes and dramatic depictions of political persecution were wildly popular and when it came to the costume contest the crowd went wild for the Philly anarchists, but since it was a Socialist organized ball they were instead given second place and the $25 prize that went with it.  Still, the ARC left its impression on the ball participants and its own Prisoner’s Ball was wildly successful, and continued to be for several years to come.

Bouren Ball

In Chicago, the ARC was founded in 1909 and its membership swelled to 300 during the Russian liquidation going on in 1917.  They organized two balls a year, the Bouren Ball (Peasant Ball) on Thanksgiving Day, and the Arestantin Ball in March.

At the Bouren Ball organizers mocked the institution of marriage and creatively raised even more money during the ball.

“ Long wires were strung across the hall, from which were suspended various fruits which represented the “forbidden fruit” of the Garden of Eden. Around the hall were booths in which stood members of the organizing committee, dressed as priests of the various religious denominations, as well as girls in peasants dresses and young men in the uniforms of policemen and soldiers. The girls would propose marriage to the men with whom they danced, and when the men refused them the girls would call upon the policemen or soldiers for help; the men would be arrested and taken before one of the priests, who would perform a ceremony of marriage, give the girl a ring and collect a fee from the man. Afterwards the girl would demand a divorce, and the man would be brought before the judge, who would ask for a second fee for dissolving the marriage.

In addition, any man who wished to twist one of the forbidden fruits from its wire would be arrested and fined. These fees and fines brought in most of the proceeds of this event.”

The ball ended with a Grand March, led by a giant rooster, followed by the “representatives of the State and of Religion,” and then by those in peasant costume and the general public.  Like our own Martyr’s Ball, prizes were given out for the best costumes and the girls who had been married and divorced the most by the end of the night.

In 1913, the Chicago Arestantin Ball was taken to another level when Philly anarchists were in town and together with those in Chicago ARC came up with the idea of “living pictures” from Bolshevik Russia.

“There were representations of street demonstrations, fights at the barricades, arrests, political prisoners on the march to Siberia, life in prison, and, at the end, a grand tableau of Hope. This was in the form of a pyramid; at the bottom lay the defeated Tsar, with his brutal police and army officers and priests, on the pyramid itself stood peasants, workers, intellectual and students, representing the people of Russia with their longing for freedom, and on top was the statue of liberty with a torch in her hand- played by a school girl named Emma Avedon whose long Blonde hair, spreading over her shoulders, made her portrayal extremely effective. This final tableau made a deep impression; one could see on the faces of those who watched how deeply they were moved by the memory of what they had lived through and by their hopes for a better future in their homeland.”

When DABC formed, we decided in part to take on the name Anarchist Black Cross to intentionally link our work to the generations of anarchists and other radicals who have struggled before us to resist state repression and bring about another world.  It’s exciting to learn from and be inspired by those anarchists before us who also raised important funds in creative and festive ways.  The ways that art, satire, music and celebration were used a hundred years ago shows just how similar we still are to those who came before us.

Jacob Church of Nato 3 getting out of prison and needs your help!

brianchurch
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/prison-release-fund-for-jacob-church/232093

On May 16th, 2012, just prior to the NATO summit in Chicago, three Occupy
activists were arrested and eventually charged with 11 felony counts,
including four under the never-before-used Illinois terrorism statute. Brian
“Jacob” Church, Brent Betterly, and Jared Chase came to be known as the NATO
3. The case went to trial in January of 2014, and the NATO 3 were acquitted of
all of the terrorism charges. Unfortunately, the jury found them guilty of two
felonies each—possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit
arson and possession of an incendiary device with the knowledge that another
intended to commit arson. They were given sentences ranging from 5 to 8 years.

Jacob is the first of the three to be released. He is scheduled to return to
us in early November! Please donate to his release fund to help ease the
transition after 2 and a half years behind bars. Donations are needed to help
pay for Jacob’s living expenses while he works to get back on his feet during
the immediate aftermath of his incarceration. – See more at:
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/prison-release-fund-for-jacob-church/232093#sthash.Hhj2W2qs.dpuf

Background at https://freethenato3.wordpress.com/about/

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