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Never is your voice so lovely as when it harmonizes with history

2 Feb

Some words from a friend in the wake of Saturday’s events…

Excellent! What delightful news! Pity that 16th and 17th St are paned in space-glass, or something.

It brings a particular joy to our troubled lives to hear of the constellations of events taking place in the US and across the world. Keep listening comrades, there is a call that is reverberated. The spirits of Marvin Booker, Paul Childs, Frank Lobato, and Ishmael Mena still yearn for redemption. They incarnate all those who will listen to the song of the vanquished. The Queen City has been terrorized by those miserable blue-clad soldiers of fortune for far too long. Let every avenue shake uncontrollably, and expose the enemy to its paradoxical vocation.

Denver is a city with a long history of struggle—a city deeply entrenched in the story which will not come to end until the whole of life is emancipated from Capital and its police. The shame of so many defeats and betrayals haunts that city, filling the streets of Santa Fe, Colfax, and Broadway with sad ghosts. The movements of the oppressed, alienated, and exploited that have been repressed boil beneath that pathetic structure on the corner of 13th St and Cherokee. The labor of the exploited permeates all those disgusting cartographies of neo-ubranism that make Denver such a desert of smiling faces filled with cocaine. We still hold on to the memories that weakened all potency before Obama shook hands with Hickenlooper, and before DPD got up early to beat the crowds.

Remember how they put down striking workers only a few hours south, and transformed the weakest among them over time into allies in their long march of progress. Remember how they reduced the power of brown and black liberation to cowering politicians and NGOs. Remember how they exposed the anarchists of an earlier age to their sad position and neutralized any intensity within their collective form of life. So many defeats, betrayals, frightened passivity yearning—like every city paved in the dead labor and of the past to be avenged—for redemption.

Denver, Queen City of the Plains, your task is not easy, but it’s so lovely, for one who knows intimately what trauma you’ve suffered, to see you fight. Throw off the weight of those scared little puppies, treat the snitches appropriately and refuse to governed by the activist-politicians. Expose the police to their paranoid nightmare, and reduce the facade that covers your beautiful flesh to ashes. Never is your voice so lovely as when it harmonizes with history.

Love and solidarity from the South.

kisses,
-Liam

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Wikileaks, Denver, Radicals & a Critique of Messaging

27 Dec

Repost from Colorado Indymedia:

In Denver, Colorado outrage about the case of Julian Assange and the illegal attacks on Wikileaks is almost invisible.  Exceptions to the rule include random messaging on college campuses, such as Auroria Denver, and street messaging, such as this graffiti picture, taken from a locomotive next to the Lightrail at the 10th and Osage station.  These messages are beautifully done, and certainly it is better that these exist than nothing at all.  However, these meager offerings, moderately inspiring though they might be to some, are only in reaction to the dominant discourse.  At best these messages are an attempt to radicalize people at an incremental level, influencing the discourse and encouraging people to action and inquiry, however shallow.  At worst they honestly hope to influence policy about Wikileaks or the attack on Julian Assange with some pressure-group theory of politics.  Unfortunately, the current mode of production, system, or totality (krapitalism, the spectacle, the commodity relationship, class rule) not only determines the dominant discourse, it defines it.

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Times and Places: On Consequence

25 Aug

an addition:

“from the author” or whatever

Just because Perea resigned or the officers are on paid leave doesn’t change a thing. They are attempting to minimalize the systemic problems with police and prison systems by falling on swords and absorbing accountablility. I can only hope the public understands that and dodges the press’s attitude that this is some kind of “fresh start.” More abuse will come and more injustice will demand action.

See you in the streets this Saturday

by anonymous for Colorado Indymedia

August 20th, 2010 – Denver, CO

…they abuse us all and they aren’t going to read the picket signs and start changing their minds.

The police in Denver are rabid. Folks are saying the cops and the city are “circling their wagons” after multiple high-profile brutality incidents were caught on video. By the actions of the Denver Sheriff’s Department and Denver Safety Manager Ron Perea, it would be hard to say those folks are wrong. At the new detention center, fully equipped with state of the art surveillance, a small but lively 54 year old black houseless street preacher brought in on a minor drug charge is beaten, choked out, and tased before succumbing to death over a pair of shoes; the Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney do everything they can to suppress the release of the video in the name of a “pending investigation.” His killers, five guards, continue to work in the facility despite a Denver Corner ruling of homicide this week. More rallies are planned.

Meanwhile, the video from a beating in April 2009 surfaces. Michael DeHerrera calls his father, a Pueblo police officer, in a panic while Denver Police arrest a friend of his outside a LoDo nightclub. According to the father, the cops began to beat DeHerrera because they thought he was recording the arrest. Footage taken from a police security camera suspiciously pans away from the beating shortly after it starts, and an internal investigation let the officers off. Amid a public outcry for Safety Manager Ron Perea to step down after the ruling, he is standing by his decision although the police department is reopening the investigation.

Another man, Mark Ashford, comes forward amidst these stories alleging he was beaten by Denver cops, too. While walking his dogs last March, he assures a motorist stopped by police for running a stop sign that he will testify in court that the man obeyed the traffic law. The police confront him, apparently upset over Ashford’s support of the motorist as well as Ashford using his phone to take pictures, and wrestled him to the ground, throwing punches along the way. Ashford was hospitalized with a concussion and cuts on his face.

Within the last month and a half, local sentiment has turned against the police. A rally organized by the Denver Anarchist Black Cross in solidarity with those revolting over the Oscar Grant verdict in Oakland last month was reportedly met with “honks, raised fists, cheers, and cries of support were constant. Folks that were waiting for the bus at the nearby RTD bus shelter motioned for the demonstration to come to the bus shelter. Cries of “fuck the police” echoed from the folks gathered at the bus shelter, as they swelled the ranks of the protest.” Radical propaganda is spotted in LoDo and Highlands, some if it already deteriorating from people attempting to tear it down, it’s pasted on walls and dumpsters with slogans against the police. Even the local corporate media seems to be dogpiling atop the stories, smelling blood in an election year. The journalists seem to be asking honest questions at the vigils and rallies, following up on older stories and tying tales of brutality together, painting a portrait of a poisonous tree instead of a few bad apples. People ask “wasn’t the [outcome of] the Emily Rice case supposed to fix this?” referring to the landmark case in which a woman died of internal injuries after her calls for assistance went ignored in the old Denver detention facility. Famously, the police “lost” that tape, prompting concerned people converging upon the Marvin Booker case to wonder if the department was going to continue its long-standing policy of covering up its mistakes.

The police did not learn from the Emily Rice case. No lawsuit pay-out or amount of bad publicity is going to stop this rampage against the public. This an abusive relationship the citizens of Denver have with the Denver Police, and the only thing that stops the abusive behavior pattern is palpable and firm consequence. Firing the murderers of Marvin Booker isn’t enough, more academy rejects from the DPD will step in to take their place. Imagine if a citizen was suspected of being responsible for the death of a police officer, would they be eligible to return to work the next day? Or would they be held without bail indefinitely until the conclusion of the trial? This double-standard, this act of the State protecting the frothing, bloodthirsty dogs it sics on the public without a second thought, contributes to the growing trend of turning the public into just another complex form of livestock. Keep the line moving or get the prod.

In Oakland, CA, the public went wild when the police murdered Oscar Grant, causing the city, in an appeal for calm, to arrest the offending officer. In Greece, the popular insurrection sparked by the murder of a 15 year old in a radical neighborhood continues to help destabilize a country in the throes of the ugly side of capitalism. Plenty of other examples can be found all over the world where the people fight back, take a stand against the State and its violence, and refuse to take this shit by setting a real precedent for resistance. These smatterings of rage provide a fiery consequence to police violence, helping blaze a path to where the policemen draw their weapons nervously out of fear of what sort of hellish storm could be brought down should they go too far or even do their “job” in a less-than-invisible fashion. A world where there is no machismo-caused “collateral damage” like 7 year old Aiyana Jones in Detroit, slain by pigs in a raid on the wrong house.

But those that seek to manage this anger, channel it politically or attempt to minimize the possibility of damage to the police and State tell folks that “there is a time and a place” for that kind of rage, that yearning for some real action. Well, Denver has a dismissed and paid for negligent homicide, there are two investigations into brutality caught on camera, and a secretive investigation into the death of Marvin Booker. The cops don’t show any signs of letting up, despite the system attempting to clean itself. The public is powerless, the police protect themselves and each other, and people are beginning to realize this. The fight isn’t in the courts, where consequences can be neutered and the public’s anger defused, it’s in the streets. This isn’t about what color you are, where you come from, your sexuality or politics. “This is about being a human being.” They abuse us all and they aren’t going to read the picket signs and start changing their minds.

Denver, isn’t now starting to look like “that time”? Isn’t this city starting to look like “that place”? Where you at?

So what if all the colleges burn down? (we don’t really care)

4 Mar

Just in time for March 4th, a shout-out to DFUK coming out of neighborly Arizona:

…Our work around the University consists of using it as strategic location to cause ruptures, confront enemies, build alternatives, and explore ideas. At the very least it is a place with a lot of resources for us to take…

Massive prison riot in Canon City partially destroys prison

3 Oct

8 Guards Killed

Insurgents Commit Suicide Under Siege

CANON CITY, COLORADO, October 3, 1929: One of the bloodiest prison riots in U.S. history erupted when prisoners took guards hostage in an attempt to force an escape, and ended up destroying much of the prison and killing eight guards before the riot was put down by force. Five prisoners died.

The riot began as the result of an escape attempt planned by Jimmie Pardue and Danny Daniels. It has been difficult to determine their entire plan because the prisoners involved were killed. However, through the testimony of other prisoners and guards following the events, the prison administration was able to piece together the escape plan that triggered the events. It is believed the escape plan was put together when Jerry Jarrett, a prisoner who was being transferred to Reno, Oklahoma, was held at the prison in Cañon City. (2) Jimmie Pardue, #12822; (3) West Gate, August 4, 1932 Jarrett was an old friend of Daniels. While he was being held in Cañon City, the three men decided on a plan in which Daniels and Pardue would take several guards captive to be used as hostages. The hostages would be used as a shield to escape through the West Gate where Jarrett would have someone waiting in a car to bring the two of them to Oklahoma.

The three men also created an elaborate system to sneak money and weapons into the prison. The testimony of several prisoners indicated that $200.00 of this money was used to pay a guard who was to be in the West Tower and allow the escape. Testimony also indicated that on the day of the escape the guard who took the money did not show up and instead James Pate was the guard in the tower. Pate did not allow the escape and instead fired on the prisoners, throwing a wrench in the escape plot.

Pardue and Daniels had slipped away before the lunch count, put civilian clothes on under their uniforms and armed themselves with six shooters they had hidden in the coal pile. They went to the trustees’ dormitory, which was located over the dining room in the central building, and waited quietly while the prisoners finished their lunch. When lunch was over, the armed guard in the sealed crow’s nest in the center of the dining room allowed the prisoners to walk out with other guards. (4) Hole in the prison wall where guns were hidden; (5) A. H. Davis, #14847 He then followed procedure by removing the shells from the shotgun, leaving it in the crow’s nest, locking the trap door, and descending the stairs. On October 3, 1929, the guard in the crow’s nest was Elmer Erwin. As he got to the bottom of the stairs, he found Pardue and Daniels waiting for him. They demanded Erwin’s keys but he refused, asking them to turn over their weapons. Erwin tried to reach for Pardue’s gun and because of this attempt Pardue shot him.

This single incident changed everything because the prisoners knew killing a guard carried a death sentence and that meant they had nothing to lose from this point forward. There was an indication that other prisoners were involved in the escape plan but that they backed out.

Daniels and Pardue were able to capture eleven guards in the dining room and proceeded to Cellhouse One where Daniels had several weapons hidden in the wall of cell number eighteen. Prisoners A. H. Davis and Charles Davis took these guns in order to assist with the break. Charles Davis was reluctant to participate and eventually Daniels disarmed him calling him a coward because he refused to use the weapon.

Pardue took the rifle from the crow’s nest up to the chapel and shot and killed Guard Walter Rinker who was on the top of the administration building. He also shot Guard Ray Brown who was stationed in Tower Nine. Realizing the guard in Tower One still blocked their escape, he took a group of prisoners between Cellhouse Two and Three in order to get a clear shot at the guard. However, Myron Goodwin was in Tower One and was able to shoot Pardue in the hip before Pardue could hit him. (6) Mutiny at Colo. State Penitentiary Oct. 3 1929 Pardue was carried back to Cellhouse One where Daniels waited and was put in a cell where he lay in terrible pain from his wound.

Daniels realized Goodwin was still a problem and decided he could get a better shot from Cellhouse Four. Daniels then took three of the guards and the two Davises to Cellhouse Four. A. H. Davis went to an upper window and shot Goodwin who died within twenty-four hours. Daniels then returned to Cellhouse One with his hostages and the prisoners in his group.

(7) George 'Red' Reilley, #12720

There were about five hundred prisoners on the prison grounds at the time of the riot, and most of them were not in their cells because they were returning from lunch. At one point the prisoners were instructed by the guards to move into the bullpen and wait quietly until order was restored. Most of them followed these instructions, but about one hundred refused to return to their cells and instead joined the uprising.

George “Red” Reilley was one of these men, and he had gone to the kitchen to arm himself with a knife. He led a group of men to the chapel on the third floor of the Central Building where they started a fire with the kerosene they had acquired from the kitchen. The resulting fire destroyed both the Central Building and Cellhouse One and Two. Daniels was outraged when he found out about the fire, as it was definitely not part of his original plan. When he asked what “idiot” started it, Reilley did not step forward. By that time Reilley had gained Daniels’ confidence and Daniels had given him a gun. Reilley had become one of the leaders in the riot and intended to keep the position he had acquired.

At this point the fire caused the prisoners and their hostages to move to Cellhouse Three where they remained throughout the rest of the night. Here Daniels put the hostages into cells and many of the prisoners piled into the rest of the cells in order to stay out of the way. (8) Warden Crawford and others Daniels sent a note to Warden Crawford demanding he put three fueled cars at the West Gate in order to facilitate the escape. He said he would release the hostages when they were a safe distance from the prison. If his demands were not met, he threatened to kill one hostage every half hour.

Warden Crawford was forced to decide whether or not he should save the lives of guards he had known for thirteen years or allow the criminals to escape. He refused to meet the demands of the rioters, condemning the guards to death.

(9) National Guard

Crawford called in the National Guard, civilian volunteers, and trained police from Colorado Springs and Pueblo. They were armed with a French 75 cannon, dynamite, tear gas, and weapons. However, they did not feel they could lay siege to the prison. The decision was made to wait it out until later in the night when they finally decided on a course of action.

Daniels gave Crawford two chances to meet his demands, and then not only did he follow through with his threat to kill the guards. He began by shooting Guard Jack Eeles. Daniels went to the cell where he held Eeles and said:

(10) French 75 Cannon“Jack, you’ve hanged a lot of people; some of them were my friends. I’ve been told the warden didn’t like to hang people, so you helped him out. Now do you think you have any influence with him.”

“I don’t know, but I can try.”

“All right step out here, as I am sending you out with a message.”

Eeles then moved out in front of Daniels as he was instructed where Daniels shot him in the head. Daniels then had one of the hostages and three other prisoners take the body of Eeles to the warden. Daniels then turned to another guard indicating that in fifteen minutes he would be next. He then proceeded to shoot the remaining hostages one by one and would have killed them all had he not begun to run out of ammunition. (11) Ambulances waiting for victims One guard, Jack O’Shea, was permitted to live due to his having given his sandwich to a prisoner who had been deprived of a meal. Two of the survivors faked their deaths by lying flat on their back all night while others were severely wounded and only survived because Daniels thought they would die of their injuries.

Crawford considered a number of plans to regain control of the prison as the night progressed. It was finally decided to use a charge of dynamite on the cellhouse wall in order to make an opening in which to shoot at the leaders of the riot. The charge included one hundred and fifty pounds of dynamite. The blast was heard ten miles away and many windows in the town were broken but the wall of Cellhouse Three remained standing. Finally, Marion Keating, an officer from Pueblo, suggested using tear gas. He climbed to the roof and threw it in the windows. This act convinced Daniels that they were doomed.

Daniels told his friends, “My God boys, they’re going to blow us out of here. We better finish off the screws (term used by prisoners referring to the prison guards) and get the gang together for the finish.” Pardue had been in great pain from the wound in his hip the entire time and said to Daniels, “Danny end it for me before the screws get me.” Daniels shot him in the head. The rest of the gang agreed they did not want to be hung. (12) Albert Morgareidge, #15000 Following their decision Daniels shot the rest of the guards except for Officer O. A. Earl to whom he said, “We’re at the end of the rope, and I want you to go out and tell those folks outside that we are all dead. I want you to look at us before you go and make sure we are all dead. Don’t go before daylight. They will tear this place down and kill a lot of cons if there ain’t nothing done.” With that he killed Davis and Reilley and then shot himself.

Albert Morgareidge, another prisoner, who did not seem to have participated in the riot except to guard a door, was also killed.

The deaths and injuries were:

Prisoner-insurgents:
Danny Daniels (suicide)
A. H. Davis (suicide)
Albert Morgareidge (killed)
James Pardue (suicide)
Red Reilley (suicide)
John F. Hickman (injured)
Authorities:
8 guards killed
9 guards and policemen wounded

 

PRIEST SHOT DEAD AT COMMUNION RAIL

24 Feb

Anarchist Glories in Crime committed in View of Denver Congregation

CAPTURED AT CHURCH DOOR
Assassin “Hates All Priests.”

DENVER, Col., Feb. 23. 1908 — Father Leo Heinrichs, pastor of St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, was shot and killed at the altar this morning by Giuseppe Guarnacoto (Alia), an Italian Anarchist, who entered the church ostensibly to take the sacrament.

Among those attending the Mass was fifty year old Giuseppe Alia, who had recently immigrated from Italy. Alia arrived before Mass and seated himself in the third row, in front of the pulpit. It was a 6 a.m. “Workingmen’s Mass,” and there was only a short sermon so that the men would not be late for work.

During Communion, Alia knelt at the communion rail and received the host. Then, however, he spat it into his hand and flung it at Father Leo’s face.

The host dropped to the floor as Alia drew his revolver and aimed it at Father Leo’s heart. As an altar boy screamed a warning, the Sicilian opened fire.

The mortally wounded priest exclaimed, “My God, my God!,” before falling to the floor. Before dying, he placed the ciborium on the step of Our Lady’s altar, and managed to place two fallen hosts back into the ciborium before strength left him. In a last gesture, Father Leo pointed to the spilled hosts that he was now too weak to pick up.

Guiseppe Alia attempted to flee the church, but E.J. Quigley, a conductor for the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, tripped him. Then, Patrolman Daniel Cronin, an off-duty Denver police officer placed the anarchist under arrest and delivered him to the city jail.

At the police station, Alia boasted of his anarchist ideas, saying,

“I went over there because I have a grudge against all priests in general. They are all against the workingman. I went to the communion rail because I could get a better shot. I did not care whether he was a German priest or any other kind of priest. They are all in the same class… I shot him, and my only regret is that I could not shoot the whole bunch of priests in the church.”

Alia was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging within weeks of the shooting.

Shortly before the execution, a Franciscan priest from St. Elizabeth’s visited Alia in prison. Infuriated, Alia cursed and swore at him.

Alia never expressed any remorse, and, despite the pleas of the friars at St. Elizabeth’s, he was hanged at the Colorado State Penitentiary in Canon City. Alia’s last words, reportedly, were “Death to the priests!”