Support needed for DABC: Financial support and solidarity programs threatened by past support for Occupy Denver

Support the Denver Anarchist Black Cross because they support you!

Denver ABC’s financial support and solidarity programs threatened by past support for Occupy Denver!

Comrades, friends, allies, supporters, and all those who believe in a world without cages:

We know your inboxes, Facebook newsfeeds, blog comment sections, postal mailboxes, and most methods of communication in your life get filled with requests for funds and monetary support for a host of programs, organizations, and projects working toward social justice and liberation. We have been very fortunate over the last years to have much support from supporters and members of social movements who have somehow found it in their hearts to support us despite the deluge of requests they receive on a regular basis.

With this in mind, we apologize up front for this request. Please understand that we do not take your time, energy or resources lightly, and we only are asking for support because we must.

Due to our past support for Occupy Denver, where we raised over $16,000 for bail for over 50 arrestees and provided direct legal support for dozens more, we have dealt with ongoing debt to bail bonds-people for a number of cases in which defendants skipped court and had their bonds revoked.

We very recently were contacted by a local bonds-person and notified that we must pay them $2,000 in the next several weeks, or face civil litigation. A very active former member of Occupy Denver who previously failed to appear on another bond we had already posted directly with the city, had also failed to appear on another older case. We already forfeited $3,000 in a cash bond for the first failed appearance. We now are facing losing an additional $2,000 for this other failed appearance.

We release this statement not in the interests of attacking or shaming the person who did not appear, as we have no interests in aiding the state in ongoing judicial attacks against anyone. We refuse to name names in this situation, and we ask that our allies and those we have worked with also do not advance the state’s work for them. Instead, we describe the situation we are in for some level of transparency, and to illustrate the repercussions our collective is now facing for our support for Occupy Denver. We also wish to make it clear that we do not regret supporting Occupy Denver, nor do we condemn or in any way attack anyone else affiliated with Occupy Denver. We still stand in solidarity with the ongoing efforts of the Occupy Movement locally, and internationally.

All this said, we need your help, and we need it now.

Since 2009, Denver Anarchist Black Cross has done what we can to aid those who struggle for a better world but find themselves in need of support and solidarity. Whether through organizing support for political prisoners, offering financial aid to social movement members in Denver who find themselves in dire economic situations, helping support families and children of those active in our movements, or working to share resources with those organizing in a plethora of communities, we’ve dedicated ourselves to doing everything in our power to support those actively engaged in some of the most bitter struggles taking place across the United States and the world.

Since our inception, Denver ABC has raised over $50,000 that has gone directly to these initiatives. In 2012, we raised over $12,000 that included:

-$1,500 to bail funds for anarchists and other revolutionaries captured by the state across the country.

-$2,510 for political prisoner commissaries, including Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Edward Poindexter, Siddique Hasan, Matthew Duran, KTEEO Oljenik, Maddy Pfeiffer, Debbie Africa, and the Tinley Park 5.

-$6500 to help transport, house, and feed over 75 participants from Canada, the United States and Mexico for our second annual North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference.

-$800 to local anarchists and other social movement members needing assistance paying medical bills, paying rent, buying groceries, and paying legal fees.

-$650 in solidarity donations to other revolutionary organizations and projects including Riseup.net, the Tierra Amarilla Youth Leadership Institute, and the Anarchist Black Cross Federation.

So far in 2013, we’ve been equally as busy, dispersing hundreds of dollars to commissary funds, bail funds, and solidarity donations for a wide variety of efforts.

This work is now threatened unless we can raise more funds immediately. Our warchest is dangerously low, and our ability to offer aid to folks under attack by the state is already starting to be hindered.

If you are interested in supporting our work, and ensuring that our past support for the efforts of Occupy Denver does not end the broader work our organization is engaged in, there are several ways to show us some love!

Donate via WEPAY: https://www.wepay.com/donations/denver-anarchist-black-cross*

Donate via Paypal: a sympathetic user ID: PLPress@riseup.net

Donate via postal mail: You can mail donations via check and money orders made out to Jake Barrett, our treasurer, or well concealed cash to:
Denver ABC
2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D
Denver, CO 80211

Donate in person: You can drop off cash, checks, money orders, or make credit/ debit card donations Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm at:
P&L Printing
2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D
Denver, CO 80211

Donate over the phone with a credit/debit card: Get a hold of us through email at denverabc@riseup.net if you want to follow through on this option.

Thanks, as always, for your amazing support.

In solidarity, mutual aid, and a world without prisons,

Denver ABC Crew

Occupy Denver Legal Update

From the Westword:

In the almost five months that Occupy Denver has maintained a presence downtown, the group has experienced more than 100 arrests. Add to this mix upwards of seventy lawyers, hundreds of court dates and an attempt at a federal injunction, and the results become tough to track. Yesterday, Westword caught up with Jes Jones, a boardmember for the National Lawyers Guild of Colorado, whose role it is to do just that.

The defendants are all “in different positions,” Jones says — and for their attorneys, this is both a blessing and a curse. In some cases, for example, their clients’ arrests weren’t captured on video, while in others, the evidence is more substantial. During the 2008 Democratic National Convention, for which the NLG also served as legal representation, the mass arrests all took place at the same event on the same day and were seen by the same judge, who was called in overnight. In contrast, Jones notes that some Occupy arrestees “are really active and vocal protesters, some were on the sidewalks trying to comply, and others were just randomly visiting. There are so many different charges and DAs and judges and things we did not have to deal with during the DNC, [and] that makes it all that much more complicated.”

All of the lawyers working with occupiers have volunteered to take on their legal issues pro bono. In the new year, group strategy meetings between attorneys have grown less frequent but are still regular and accompanied by mass e-mails. But in the entire Occupy Denver caseload, only a small handful have ended or been dismissed. David Glenn, who was arrested on November 12 and charged with disobeying a lawful order, was set to be the first case to go to trial last Monday, but his case has since been continued — and so have many others.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if some of these Occupy cases lasted until late fall,” says Faisal Salahuddin, an attorney with Killmer, Lane & Newman who is overseeing five Occupy Denver cases. “In some of these cases, they just handed over a big haystack and said, ‘Hey, go through this.'”

Full story here.

February 20th! Hit the streets for our brothers and sisters held captive across the U.S.!

Political Prisoner Jaan Laaman has taken the time to release the following statement to encourage participation in the mass actions happening across the country on Monday, February 20th.

Participants in the Occupy Movement across the country have called for a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners,” with actions happening in (as of now) a dozen locales from coast to coast. Join us in Denver at 6:30pm at 30th and Peoria (outside the GEO/ICE Detention Center) as we join folks from Occupy Denver and the greater community to show our solidarity with our imprisoned brothers, sisters, and siblings.

Jaan’s statement available here.

The text of Occupy Denver’s call to action can be read here.
The original text of Occupy Oakland’s proposal can be read here.
More information can be found at occupy4prisoners.org

February 20th: Denver action for National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners

Monday February 20th has been designated as a “National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners” by the Occupy Oakland general assembly. In solidarity with the call from Oakland, the Denver Anarchist Black Cross and members of Occupy Denver are calling for a night time of action in Denver on February 20th.

Monday February 20th, 6:30pm
Meet at 30th and Peoria, outside the GEO ICE Detention Center
Bring noisemakers, drums, banners, signs, candles, your friends and families

All across the country, a spirit of liberatory struggle has taken hold of the hearts of people from all walks of life. However, the struggle of the “99%” has up until now excluded a major portion of the most marginalized and oppressed, the over 2.5 million people languishing in prison, jail, and ICE detention centers across the country.

The call from Occupy Oakland puts it this way:

Prisons have become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy and our culture.
Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold.
Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 7.3 million people—who are disproportionately people of color—currently incarcerated or under correctional supervision.
Imprisonment itself is a form of torture. The typical American prison, juvenile hall and detainment camp is designed to maximize degradation, brutalization, and dehumanization.
Mass incarceration is the new Jim Crow. Between 1970 and 1995, the incarceration of African Americans increased 7 times. Currently African Americans make up 12 % of the population in the U.S. but 53% of the nation’s prison population. There are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
The prison system is the most visible example of policies of punitive containment of the most marginalized and oppressed in our society. Prior to incarceration, 2/3 of all prisoners lived in conditions of economic hardship. While the perpetrators of white-collar crime largely go free.
In addition, the Center for Economic and Policy Research estimated that in 2008 alone there was a loss in economic input associated with people released from prison equal to $57 billion to $65 billion.
We call on Occupies across the country to support:
1. Abolishing unjust sentences, such as the Death Penalty, Life Without the Possibility of Parole, Three Strikes, Juvenile Life Without Parole, and the practice of trying children as adults.
2. Standing in solidarity with movements initiated by prisoners and taking action to support prisoner demands, including the Georgia Prison Strike and the Pelican Bay/California Prisoners Hunger Strikes.
3. Freeing political prisoners, such as Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, Lynne Stewart, Bradley Manning and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, a Black Panther Party member incarcerated since 1969.
4. Demanding an end to the repression of activists, specifically the targeting of African Americans and those with histories of incarceration, such as Khali in Occupy Oakland who could now face a life sentence, on trumped-up charges, and many others being falsely charged after only exercising their First Amendment rights.
5. Demanding an end to the brutality of the current system, including the torture of those who have lived for many years in Secured Housing Units (SHUs) or in solitary confinement.
6. Demanding that our tax money spent on isolating, harming and killing prisoners, instead be invested in improving the quality of life for all and be spent on education, housing, health care, mental health care and other human services which contribute to the public good.

More information can be found at http://occupy4prisoners.org/

Call for Donations to Support Occupy Denver Legal Defense

In continuing its support of Occupy Denver’s legal defense of its almost 100 arrestees, we making a call out for donations to Occupy Denver.  Due to the choices of several arrestees, the financial state of the bail fund and several individuals has been extremely precarious.

So please support the movement to defend Occupy arrestees by making a donation here. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO EARMARK THE DONATION FOR “BAIL FUND.”

In solidarity, Denver ABC

 

Denver ABC Statement on Occupy Denver

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
Funds used:

  • Bonds – $14,210
  • Jail Phone Fund- $1660
  • Food/supplies for released arrestees, legal line- $237
  • Commissary for long term arrestees- $315
  • Total- $16512

Remainder: +$19
Debt:

  • Cancelled bonds (Failure to appears, etc)- $8100
  • Loans- $460
  • Total- $8560

Total DEBT: -$8541

Some updates from Occupy Denver arrestee support

First of all, a big thank you to every one who has donated to the bond fund over the last couple days. The outpouring of support has been amazing and overwhelming. Folks from all walks of life have been coming into the 27 Social Centre to drop off donations, small and large, as well as words of solidarity and strength.

There are a couple key updates on the legal support work that we are engaged in for Occupy Denver.

1) There will be a potluck for any and all arrestees from Occupy Denver on Thursday November 17th at 6pm at the 27 Social Centre (2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D). Please bring a dish if you can. We will probably provide some extra food, pizza, etc… to cover for those folks who are unable to bring a dish due to lack of access to a kitchen or food, etc.

Please spread the word to any and all arrestees you know about this potluck. We will also be inviting legal workers, attorneys, etc… So come if you can and if you have a stake in the legal defense of arrestees at Occupy Denver!

2) JT Sexton, one of the arrestees who had been facing a felony charge for allegedly assaulting a Denver police officer on October 29th, had those charges dropped yesterday during his court appearance. This is fantastic news, and is just one of what we hope will be a series of legal victories in the coming weeks.

3) We do have several folks in jail, three of whom will be staying there (very unfortunately) for the foreseeable future. These folks have a mixture of parole and probation violations, very high bonds and need cosigners, have FTAs and are harder to bond, or have already pled guilty and have been sentenced.

These folks still need our support. Please write to them at the following addresses. We also are taking donations for their commissary accounts at the jail. Contact us at denverabc@rocketmail.com if you’d like to make a donation. Also, be sure to check out the mailing regulations for Denver prisoners.

Robert Huffman
0000642981
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Jonathon Shepard
0000766365
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

Victor Jaime
0000769138
PO Box 1108
Denver, CO 80201

4) We are working to bond an additional 2 people out of jail still (Corey Donahue and Brendan Sexton). Please contact us if you might be able to help. Each of these folks have $5,000 bonds. So we need to raise the full amount, or have co-signers to an 8% bond that would be willing to use their car as collateral. Contact us at denverabc@rocketmail.com to help.

In solidarity and struggle for a world without bosses, cages, or borders.

DABC CREW