Over the past few months, Denver ABC has devoted a tremendous amount of resources and energy into Occupy Denver. Our collective has staffed a 24/7 legal line, coordinated the bailing out of almost one hundred demonstrators arrested over the last two months, and onsite CopWatch and Street Medics. We’ve made an earnest and largely successful effort to get supporters into the courtrooms for nearly every hearing and court appearance featuring our arrested comrades. All this has been juggled with attending the weekly marches and adding our spirit to the marches and General Assemblies as one portion of the 99%.
As of December 4th, our collective has decided to no longer support Occupy Denver. This means we will not be providing our legal line for Occupy actions; fundraising for the movement; encouraging our members, friends and allies to get involved; as well as serve roles such as CopWatch and Medics. This is in solidarity and coordination with other ally formations such as West Denver CopWatch and the Colorado Street Medics.
We want to be clear that our decision is not based on a generalized, absolute rejection of everyone involved in Occupy Denver. We are grateful for many relationships of solidarity that we have made through our work with OD and are confident those relationships will continue to blossom. Our commitments to the OD arrestees that we have been supporting still remain as well.
Our decision is based on festering frustrations with a small sector of OD who continue to marginalize, silence, and threaten our communities and ally communities. Despite the hard work of many involved in OD, its political platform continues to be framed by and for economically privileged, hyper-nationalist white heterosexual males. Experiences of race, gender, class, nationality, immigration status, and a multitude of other identities continue to be buried underneath the dominant “We are the 99%” narrative.
Attempts to dislodge the monopolizing of space in OD have been consistently met with threats, slander, snitch-jacketing, and other tactics of intimidation. From the start, despite our un-flinching support, our collective and other allies have been called everything from agent provocateurs to femi-nazis to pedophiles. The culminating event for us took place during a recent march. A collective member spoke up during an open mic time to challenge the assumption of a unified “99%” by bringing attention to the marginalization of reproductive rights taking place at the same time open racism was being accepted in the crowd. The response of We Are Change was to instigate a chant that drowned out the only woman to speak at the open mic and insinuate she was a CIA agent. As a collective committed to grassroots organizing in Denver and being reminded daily of the horrors of the FBI’s COINTEL Program through our support of political prisoners, we cannot take such behavior lightly.
On top of the concerns listed above, our work with OD has been a tremendous resource drain. Exacerbating this has been a recent wave of arrestees failing to appear in court, essentially hemorrhaging the tremendous amount of fundraising that has taken place and putting our collective in a precarious financial state. After much difficult reflection we came to the realization that we can and must use our limited resources in more radical, effective ways.
There is a lot about the Occupy movement that we find inspiring. The Oakland General Strike had many of us smiling for days. In New York, people are taking over foreclosed houses, resisting evictions and defending them from police aggression. In DC, a house was built in a park and fought for. Chapel Hill, Seattle and Santa Cruz saw temporary autonomous zones established within long-abandoned structures. We hope that our decision is able to open up more room to support movements we are proud of, such as these.
In revolutionary spirit, the Denver Anarchist Black Cross
Below is breakdown of our legal support fund
Funds received: $16,531
- Bonds – $14,210
- Jail Phone Fund- $1660
- Food/supplies for released arrestees, legal line- $237
- Commissary for long term arrestees- $315
- Total- $16512
- Cancelled bonds (Failure to appears, etc)- $8100
- Loans- $460
- Total- $8560
Total DEBT: -$8541