Denver DA Releases Video of Paul Castaway’s Murder

From Denver Autonomous Action:

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The video of Paul Castaway’s legally sanctioned murder has been released, here  (Warning Graphic) by the Denver DA, along with a statement.  Paul Castaway is a Lakota man who was killed in cold blood by the Denver Police. He was killed while holding a knife to his own neck, his last words were, “Whats wrong with you guys?”

Given Mitch Morrisey’s long standing track record of not doing shit, no one was surprised by the latest decision to not prosecute Michael Traudt for the murder of Paul Castaway.  Admissions like, (he)“started to move the knife from his throat towards me, and he didn’t stick it out, but he brought it down” make it obvious that Paul Castaway should not have been killed.

If anything is clear about the statement that the Denver DA has released, it’s how little DPD values the lives of the people they are sworn to protect.  Instead of someone equipped to deal with such a complex situation they sent in a murderous cop, one who goes by the instagram alias of Gungslinger.

The people of Denver are sick of these racist, fascist violent cops brutalizing and killing us, and we are just as sick of bootlicking city officials like Morrissey who actively cover for and enable this violent behavior by law enforcement.

Rest in Power Paul Castaway, taken too soon.

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September 9 Protest at Denver DA Mitch Morrissey’s house

From Denver Action Network:

Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Around 7:30 PM on a beautiful wednesday night in one of the richest neighborhoods in Denver, the Denver Action Network held our third home demonstration at the residence of Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrisey. We are starting a new tradition of random, unannounced home visits to officials who cover for the violent, racist gangs that make up Denver’s “law enforcement” apparatus.

“On September 11, 2012 Anthony Waller, an African American man who was brought to court in shackles, was assaulted by Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovingier in the courtroom at the downtown Denver Detention Center in an unprovoked attack as Mr. Waller was being advised of his rights. According to his attorney Kenneth Padilla, Mr. Waller suffered severe bodily injuries to his head, including a closed head injury, left orbital blowout fracture and had his teeth knocked out. Mr. Waller also reportedly sustained injuries to his back, neck, legs, arms, ankles, and suffered a hernia.
The three year statute of limitations is running out to prosecute Deputy Lovingier for this brutal assault that was caught on video and released by the press to the public. Judge Doris Burd filed a complaint with the Sheriff Department against Deputy Lovingier. However, a formal response didn’t come until late September 2013 when the City suspended Lovingier for 30 days, which he is appealing, for the kind of assault that would get a civilian arrested, convicted and incarcerated by DA Morrissey.”

(Info taken from Colorado Progressive Coalition et al., source: https://www.facebook.com/events/519825488169175)

The surveillance video of Deputy Lovingier brutally beating Mr. Waller in his 2012 court appearance can be seen here: (trigger warning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDrIirwfzt8&

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Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Our visit to Mitch Morrissey tonight was a reminder that the people of Denver are sick of these racist, fascist violent cops brutalizing and killing us, and we are just as sick of bootlicking city officials like Morrissey who actively cover for and enable this violent behavior by law enforcement. From now on, endorsing police violence will come with personal and social consequences. To Mitch Morrisey and all future District Attorneys of Denver: indict and prosecute violent cops, or we will make sure your whole neighborhood knows what a cowardly piece of shit you are. You may seek to bury and ignore the truth about police violence in Denver, but we will continue to bring the truth to your doorstep.

Chalk left in the street outside DA Mitch Morrisey’s house

Chalk left in the street outside DA Mitch Morrisey’s house

Solidarity with all people resisting state violence in Denver and around the world! Fuck the police!

Love, The Denver Action Network, 9/9/15

Against the Charges. Against the Cops. Against the Nazis: Update from the struggle in Olympia, WA

From IT’S GOING DOWN:

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Sunday, August 30th:

In anticipation of the coming week, the city is covered in anti-police graffiti and posters, most prevalent is the statement: No Cops, No Charges.

Wednesday, September 2nd:

At a 2pm press conference, Thurston County Prosecutor/Pig Fucker Jon Tunheim announces that the state will stand behind their little piglet Officer Ryan Donald, who in the early morning of May 21st shot two unarmed black men. The men, Andre and Bryson Chaplin allegedly tried to defend themselves with skateboards after fleeing from an attempted shoplifting. The pigs, their masters and their cheerleaders decry these young men as “criminal thugs” in a thinly veiled racism. To add insult to injury (multiple gunshot wounds to be specific) not only is the state NOT charging the cop, but prosecutors announced they in fact will be charging Andre and Bryson for assaulting the Officer. At the end of the news conference protesters chant “Fire Officer Donald!”

The reason for this outrageous yet predictable decision is clear to us. The state is more interested in protecting property than it is in our very lives and in the lives of black people in particular.

In this light, we believe it becomes easier to understand why a lone pig would have plenty of incentive to attempt to murder two young black men to protect a case of beer. That case of beer can be interpreted as a representation of the property relations upon which this entire society is built. The shooting is just an extension of the racist violence which is integral to its maintenance. And in the words of scumbag Tunheim, “A police officer really can not afford to lose that fight, to just put it bluntly.”

Whether these men are guilty or not is irrelevant to us because we don’t accept the law. The law upholds structural white supremacy and capitalist exploitation. Therefore the police, who are so willing to murder us in the interest of defending this social order and enforcing this law, must be fought. The racist system which values a case of beer more than two young lives needs to be destroyed, by any means necessary. Fuck the law.

Thursday, September 3rd:

Hundreds rally at a speak out to protest the state’s decision and demand justice for Andre and Bryson. During rush hour a small group barricades a main intersection with caution tape and chain link fencing, taken from a new condo development being built downtown. The group then marches chanting “Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Murder” and proceeds to block off another major intersection downtown for several hours while, nearby, black participants speak to the larger rally, sharing experiences of racism and police violence at the speak out.

Later in the evening, an old Ford truck recognized as a vehicle used by Neo-Nazis (often flying a Confederate flag), is sighted as it slowly and menacingly drives past a group of anti-racists gathering downtown. The group reacts quickly to the truck’s presence, and a rowdy, mostly masked group takes to the streets, pursuing the vehicle with pipes and bats in hand, chasing the truck off. As the group is pursuing the vehicle into the industrial areas near downtown, an OPD SUV speeds up to drive between the group and the fascists. The chant, “OPD, ON THE ATTACK, WHILE THE NAZIS HAVE THEIR BACK” cuts both ways, clearly. The group then continues marching through downtown Olympia, blocking traffic with debris, lighting off fireworks and tagging a cop car and the police station with “ACAB” (all cops are bastards) as well as writing “No Cops No Charges ACAB” on a statue in front of City Hall.

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It is believed that the Nazis identified in the Ford truck, later smash the windshield of a comrades car. Support funds are being gathered here.

Throughout the day, flyers are distributed promoting a Saturday march demanding “No charges against Andre and Bryson. No cops on our streets.”

Friday, September 4th:

Word circulates that Neo-Nazis are planning another rally in defense of the police the following evening. Either as a response to Saturday’s planned anti-police march or by coincidence, they proclaim their racist and paranoid intentions to “DEFEND THE NORTHWEST AGAINST THE LEFTIST SCUM AND THEIR JEWISH MANAGMENT”. Online they tellingly claim the states decision to not prosecute Donald as a “small victory” for white-supremacists. The call is posted on a fascist internet forum by known bonehead Jascha Manny. This is the same Nazi who led the rally on May 30th, when he and about ten of his racist friends were beaten down and chased out of town by a mob of armed anti-fascists.

This time Jascha promises he’s “EXPECTING A TURNOUT OF AT LEAST 100!!!” but after their prior humiliating defeat it is doubtful that anyone will heed the call. Still anti-fascists rally to once again defend Olympia from the threat of a Nazi convergence.

Saturday, September 5th:

By nightfall 50-60 anarchists and antifascists are assembled to drive the fascists out of our city once again. The group takes the street chanting “Nazis out of Oly/Fuck the police” and shoots off fire crackers. Rounds are made through downtown but if any Nazis showed up, they are careful to stay hidden. One man in a white truck tries to drive through the crowd and when asked if he likes the Nazis, responds “Yeah, I love Nazis!” and has his window broken.

A man on a motorcycle with a confederate flag is stopped as people try to remove the flag from the bike. He pulls out a baton and a fight ensues. At the end of the scuffle the flag is burned in the street and the man is taken away in an ambulance. If the June 17th mass-shooting in Charleston, SC didn’t make it clear once and for all, the confederate flag is a symbol of hate and should not be tolerated. Although white entitlement may not want to give up this emblem of “The good ol’ days” (which most associate with the pain of segregation, slavery and white terrorism), anyone who flies the confederate flag should expect to be confronted as a racist. This particular “rebel” learns this the hard way. Two American flags hanging from light posts are also taken down and destroyed.

As some suspected, the fascists don’t show for their promised rematch. Their call to arms ended with a desperate attempt to guilt other white supremacists in the region to show. It whimpered “Because if you’re not there this time, you might as well hang up your boots now…” Well, time to hang up those boots. Your hateful ideology has no place on these streets.

As the night progresses it seems that the lines between the anti-fascist rally and the scheduled anti-police march are blurry if they exist at all. One seems to meld into the other. Perhaps it is common knowledge among participants that white supremacy must be fought on all fronts. The group is heard chanting “Cops and Klan/Hand in hand” and “We want revenge” before attacking City Hall and the Police Station with bats, rocks and paint bombs, leaving its plate-glass windows splattered with red paint and spider-webbed with broken glass.

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The police use pepper spray and shoot pepper balls in an attempt to disperse the crowd. The march stays together for another few blocks, where people disperse safely. No arrests are made.

Olympia Police later report on social media “We try to stay pretty positive with our Instagram posts however we wanted to share with you what OPD is dealing with regarding the protests. Last night approximately 50 protesters marched the streets of downtown Olympia masked up and dressed in all black carrying weapons ranging from baseball bats to sticks to socks with rocks in them… At one point the protesters turned towards a patrol vehicle that was blocking traffic and started swinging bats while approaching it. Later, we received word that the protesters assaulted a man on a motorcycle and was (sic) beating him with a bat. While we responded to the victim the protesters continued on to City Hall and proceeded to use their weapons to break multiple windows and vandalize the building and patrol vehicles.”

Sunday, September 6th:

A hundred people march through Olympia in what is called a “March for Mothers” to show solidarity with the many families that have suffered at the hands of police violence and racism. They leave flowers behind the caution tape outside of the recently trashed city hall and place a sign reading “Justice must be served” in front of the boarded up entrance.

Tuesday, September 8th:

15-20 people occupy Thurston County Prosecutor Jon Tunheim’s office, disrupting the mornings proceedings of business as usual. Protesters tape signs up in the office declaring “Black lives matter” and “Drop the charges” and chant “Justice for Andre and Bryson”. The office employees and police are hands off in handling the disruption, perhaps in recognition of the volatility surrounding its recent decision and in an effort to avoiding escalation.

Conclusion:

There has been a powerful community reaction to this shooting and a broad diversity of tactics in how we have responded together. We see all of these gestures of support and solidarity as valuable in the fight against systemic racism and brutality. We seek to foster the mutual respect and collaboration necessary to become a real threat to those in power. We embrace all those who are active in this movement, not to advance their careers, and not to power monger for political legitimacy and control, but to do whatever is necessary to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.

A flyer distributed this week titled “Freedom Everywhere! Police Nowhere!” articulates our feelings well when it says “It must be made politically impossible for the city to prosecute Andre and Bryson.” This is a goal we can only achieve together. It continues “Our rage and rebellion is our weapon against this hellworld. Fuck the police, here and everywhere. The city council will never make this a safe place for any of us to live. There is no safety in a world with police.

As the state continues to prove it was never there for us, we seek to recover ways of supporting each other. The economy continues to keep us chained to varying levels of misery. The city does nothing to protect any of us from white supremacists, and in fact often hires them to its police force. Events of the last few months in Olympia have shown us that we can care for one another better than the state ever could. Who has supported the Chaplin family? Who ran Nazi bigots out of town? Who continues to keep our spirits up while every day new names of those killed by cops cross our Facebook and Twitter feeds? No candidate or institution will ever provide for us what we provide for each other.”

You can send financial support to Andre and Bryson here.

Fuck the Police forever.

-Some Olympia anarchists

It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police

From CounterPunch:

“If I was an anarchist or even a regular protester,” explained the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Ron Smith, “I would probably not want to be infiltrated by the police… Just like the dope dealer on Third and Pike doesn’t want to get busted. That’s the price of doing business. It’s the whole package.” This startling bit of honesty from the Seattle police regarding their imperative to infiltrate and spy on social justice protests came as Ansel Herz, a reporter for the local newspaper The Stranger, questioned Smith regarding undercover cops at a Black Lives Matter protest last December.

For those involved in Left protest movements this is hardly news. I remember my early days in the antiwar movement at Texas Tech University. During the first rallies protesting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 local police with their crew-cuts, wraparound shades, and shirts tucked into Wrangler jeans would “blend effortlessly” into the crowd of college students. Campus police even intruded into a graduate student’s office—much to his surprise—in order to peruse our flyers and posters that were stored there. A year later an investigation by Salon revealed that police had infiltrated antiwar groups in Boulder, Fresno, Grand Rapids, and Albuquerque. A federal prosecutor even demanded Drake University turn over all of its records regarding an antiwar conference held there by the National Lawyers Guild.

Ahead of the Republican National Convention in 2008 Minnesota police in conjunction with the FBI raided the homes of antiwar activists “seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets” according to reports. One of the many police officers who infiltrated antiwar groups prior to the convention would later brag of how protesters “were herded like sheep at the hands of the riot cops.” Ultimately he determined that the “strategy, tactic, and deployments were well planned and extremely effective in controlling [protesters].”

Detective Wojciech Braszczok was one of many undercover cops infiltrating the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, a fact that came to light after his unrelated arrest following the release of a video of him violently assaulting a motorist. Braszczok’s participation in the movement went beyond monitoring protests as he insinuated himself deep into the personal lives of Occupy members even attending birthday parties—all the while collecting “intelligence” for the NYPD. Other undercovers in the Occupy movement worked as agent provocateurs “being paid to go to these protests and put us in situations where we’d be arrested and not be able to leave” as Occupy member Marshall Garrett discovered after his 2011 arrest.

During the 2010 protests against budget cuts and tuition hikes on West Coast college campuses university police sent a spy into meetings of the University of Washington based UW Student Worker Coalition. At UC Davis the administration worked with faculty and police to form the Student Activism Team, a taskforce charged with infiltrating and surveilling Left groups on campus. Even more disturbing, a lawsuit filed last year by the Evergreen State College chapter of Students for a Democratic Society revealed further details of a surveillance ring dating back to 2009 and built around John Towery a member of the Army’s Force Protection Service who had infiltrated the Olympia, Washington student group. According to emails Towery was trying to “develop a leftist/anarchist mini-group for intel sharing and distro” with campus police and police departments in Everett, Spokane, Portland, Eugene, and Los Angeles as well as with various branches of the military.

Last week documents obtained by The Intercept revealed that undercover officers for the NYPD regularly attended Black Lives Matter events. Pictures of activists are kept on file by the department and their movements are tracked. In a statement on these revelations the Metropolitan Transit Authority which has been using its counter-terrorism task force to also spy on Black Lives Matter justified the spying by equating protesters with terrorists. And this is not just the view of local police departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have both been monitoring Black Lives Matter protests across the country showing the dangerous and unfounded link in the minds of police between social justice movements and terrorism.

It is notable that the problem of police infiltration is unique to Left-leaning political groups. Right wing organizations like the Tea Party, the Oath Keepers, and the Ku Klux Klan are more likely to have police as enthusiastic members than moles. Even the FBI’s oft celebrated infiltration of the Klan during the Civil Rights Movement led to more cheerleading for Klan activity than arrests of its members. While police frequently paint Left organizations as violent in order to justify the violation of people’s right to organize politically these right wing terrorist groups are regularly leftunmolested by the supposed keepers of the peace.

There are many people who think the police exist to fight crime. The reality is that the police exist to maintain the status-quo with the rich on top and everyone else fighting for scraps. During the uprising in Ferguson last year comedian Chris Rock commented, “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” The police represent the first line of defense between the rich and the rioters. Those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement—the latest challenge to the racist status-quo—learn quickly the true function of the police as they are shouted at and insulted by police in riot gear who hem in their marches, as they have their photos taken by police surveillance teams for further investigation, as they deal with the never ending stream of plain-clothes cops intimidating, monitoring, sowing seeds of distrust. Knowing the political role of the police perhaps it is time to stop hoping for reform and start imagining a world without the police.

Repression in Denver

Defend Denver:

Over the last year there has been a strong resistance to police murder and terror across the city of Denver. This is only the most recent surge in resistance to police terror in our city, going back to the loss of Paul Childs in 2003 or more recently Marvin Booker in 2010.

Denver Police have been systematically targeting and arresting those actively involved in this organizing. Denver Community Defense Committee, a group which has organized extensive support for families of people murdered by police, has five of its seven members under prosecution or known to be under investigation by the Gang Unit of DPD. Prominent independent journalists, those with an expansive reach through social media, have been targeted and arrested while filming the police in Denver.

At a rally outside the statewide conference of Chiefs of Police on July 20th it was observed that DPD had a handbook with names, photos and details on local organizers or participants in demonstrations against the police. DPD has a history of this type of behavior with the “Denver Spy Files,” (http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/10/nation/na-spies10) where local law enforcement had kept files on those involved in social movements for decades. While it was found to be illegal by a federal court to compile such files on community organizers and activists, and while DPD settled with the ACLU and promised to cease politically motivated surveillance, it appears that they have picked up the practice once again.

Since Friday, August 7 at least three organizers in Denver have been visited at their residences by Denver Police officers. DPD has been asking for people by name and snooping around their homes. At least two activists have found out that police officers tried to enter their residences, without a warrant, while they were away from home. Others who have pending legal cases have had more charges added, many months later with no additional evidence, by the office of Mitch Morrissey, Denver District Attorney. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that after demonstrations were held in front of Morrisey’s home to protest his failure to indict killer cops, his office is maliciously adding false charges against police brutality protesters. There was also a petition to recall Morrisey as DA that garnered 20,000 signatures, a petition supported by the same protester community he is now targeting.

This morning two activists who have been targets of this harassment from DPD were taken into custody. A month ago they were detained while they were walking down the street and given a request to appear with a detective for an interview. They then were notified they were to be interviewed by the Gang Unit. Last Friday 8 officers came looking for them at a previous address. Today they chose to turn themselves in and are currently being held awaiting booking and the setting of bond. Please contribute to their bond fund at: Denver Anarchist Black Cross Bail Fund

Knowing your rights does not ensure that the police honor them. They do not care. They are legally allowed to lie to you, and will lie to you. However knowing your rights and methodically going through them might help you in your interacting with the police and might help you later if you end up having to go to court.

  • Anything you say will be held against you. Do not answer questions. Do not talk to the police.
  • If police come to your door, you do not have to let them into your house if they do not have a search warrant. You do not have to answer any questions. You can exercise your right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. Videotape them from inside your home.
  • If you are stopped on the street ask if you are being detained. If the answer is no, ask if you are free to leave. If the answer is yes that you are free to leave, leave immediately. Get as far away as you can, call friends and comrades who you trust.
  • If the police are searching your belongings or home, say out loud “I do not consent to this search.” Keep repeating “I do not consent to a search without a warrant.” It will not stop them from searching necessarily but it may impact what is admissible in court.
  • If they do have a warrant ask to see it(they can show it through the screen or glass, or slide it under the door) verify that it has been signed by a judge. Make note of the items listed on the warrant of what they are allowed to search. If they attempt to search or take any additional items say out loud that you do not consent to items being searched that are not on the warrant.

Let’s keep our heads up and hearts strong. And remember always, Mitch Morrissey’s dog is an anarchist.

If you are an organizer or activist being harassed, detained or have officers come to your home let folks know at defenddnvr@gmail.com and people can be in touch as quickly as possible! 

Repression only makes us stronger! Haters make us love harder!