11/17 King Soopers: Time to come to the Table with Farmworkers!

November 16, 2012 in Event


Join the Fair Food Program!
Saturday, November 17, 12:00noon
King Soopers, 9th & Corona

Set the Table and call on King Soopers’ parent company Kroger to join the 11 other food corporations who have joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program
A new era of human rights and fair wages – for which farmworkers have been fighting for so long – is taking hold in Florida’s tomato fields. Yet Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers still refuses to adopt the Fair Food principles which would allow these changes to spread and thrive, despite that 11 other fast-food and grocery chains have already joined. It’s time for Kroger to come to the table and join the Fair Food Program!

Background:
Florida’s farmworkers have long faced brutal conditions. They earn sub-poverty wages, have no right to form unions or to over-time pay, lack traditional employment benefits such as health, sick leave or pensions, and have not received a significant raise in nearly 30 years. At the current rate, a Florida tomato picker must harvest over TWO TONS just to earn the equivalent of minimum wage for a typical 10 hour. In the most extreme situations workers are held in modern-day slavery and forced to work against their will.
However, there is a new hope on the horizon, thanks to the hard-fought campaigns of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a community-base organization of Haitian, Latino and Mayan farmworkers in Florida. Today, eleven leading food corporations (including Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s) and over 90% of the Florida tomato industry have joined the CIW’s Fair Food Program, which includes a penny-per-pound piece rate wage increase, a strict code of conduct, a cooperative complaint resolution system, a participatory health and safety program, and a worker-to-worker education process.
However, Kroger – the nation’s largest supermarket chain and owner of Denver-based King Soopers – has yet to do its part. Now it is time for Kroger to put its support behind the Fair Food Program so that we can put an end to Florida’s “Harvest of Shame” once and for all.

To join the Facebook Event

For more information:
denverfairfood@gmail.com
DenverFairFood.blogspot.com
www.ciw-online.org

11/23: Support Walmart Strikes on Black Friday

November 15, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

Occupy Denver stands in solidarity with striking and organizing Walmart workers on Black Friday!

This Black Friday . . . Walmart Workers across the country are Striking! Can We Count On Your Support?

Hundreds of stores across the country are holding Black Friday Events. Here’s what you can do in Colorado to stand with these brave workers. Let’s show our support and solidarity for striking workers standing up against the largest company in the world. Walmart associates are potentially risking their livelihoods and foregoing overtime and holiday pay when they strike on Black Friday.

Rally:
Walmart Super Center
Colfax Avenue & Wadsworth Boulevard
Lakewood, CO
8AM – 10AM
Friday, November 23, 2012

Download flyer (pdf)

Please contact Alain Tshimanga or Julie Gonzales at (303) 425-0897 x306 to confirm your commitment to volunteer to support Walmart associates.

Go to http://www.ufcw7.org/index.php/organize/anti-walmart-campaign/ to sign up!

For more information about Black Friday events,
go to www.ChangeWalmart.org #walmartstrikers

11/20: Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012

November 8, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

Occupy Denver’s General Assembly unanimously endorsed Transgender Day of Remembrance hosted by The Gender Identity Center of Colorado.

When: November 20, 7pm to 9pm
Where: Jefferson Unitarian Church, 14350 W 32nd Ave, Golden Co 80401

Refreshment will follow the vigil.

About Transgender Day of Remembrance

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on November 28th, 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Rita Hester’s murder — like most anti-transgender murder cases — has yet to be solved.

We live in times more sensitive than ever to hatred based violence, especially since the events of September 11th. Yet even now, the deaths of those based on anti-transgender hatred or prejudice are largely ignored. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, regardless of any other factors in their lives. This trend shows no sign of abating.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred. Day of Remembrance reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends and lovers. Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”

From International Transgender Day of Remembrance website.

For detailed statistics about the numbers of people killed worldwide due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice, visit the March 2012 update from the Trans Murder Monitoring project.

 

11/10: Post “Urban Camping” Ban Homeless Surveyor Training

November 4, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

Occupy Denver’s General Assembly have endorsed the work of Denver Homeless Out Loud and given permission to post announcements at Occupy Denver.

When: Saturday, November 10, 1-3pm
Where:
Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City O City)

Denver Homeless Out Loud, a coalition of Denver residents and organizations working hand-in-hand with and for the homeless to challenge their criminalization in our city, is preparing to conduct a survey. The “Urban Camping” Ban Survey will gather field data on how Denver’s recent “Urban Camping” Ban is affecting the lives of homeless individuals in Denver.

The surveying will be kicking off soon and we are looking for people interested and willing to be surveyors! Surveyors need to be willing to dedicate volunteer time to surveying homeless individuals at least in November and potentially into December. Surveyors need to be able to set aside bias concerning personal opinions about the “Urban Camping” Ban in order to conduct objective surveys on the effects of this ban on homeless.

We will be holding a Surveyor Training on Saturday November 10th, 1-3pm, at the Deer Pile (13th and Sherman – above City O City). All persons interested in being a surveyor are welcome!

Below is the statement of intent for this ‘Urban Camping” Ban homeless survey. For more information on this survey project or other Denver Homeless Out Loud projects go to http://denverhomelessoutloud.org/. If you have further questions email info@denverhomelessoutloud.org.

Sincerely,
Denver Homeless Out Loud team

Over 158 street checks for unauthorized camping impacting 386 members of the homeless community occurred in the first four months since the “Urban Camping” Ban went into effect on May 28, 2012. The Denver Police Department provided these statistics in an update to the Denver City Council on October 9. Though we know the official data regarding numbers of contacts between policy and homeless individuals, Denver stakeholders do not have data from members of the homeless community regarding how the ban is affecting their lives This survey project will allow members of the homeless community to share the impact of the ordinance on their lives.

The survey will be drafted and conducted by a coalition of homeless individuals and experienced researchers and will be conducted by trained volunteers among people on the streets who identify as homeless or houseless.

Trained interviewers will survey Members of Denver’s homeless community regarding such things as:

  • Frequency and nature of police contacts with homeless individuals
  • Result of those police contacts
  • Patterns of shelter use or non-use
  • Nature of services being offered to homeless individual
  • Whether homeless survey respondents have changed their behavior following the ban, such as by changing sleeping arrangements, daily routines, service-access, or areas of town frequented
  • Whether homeless people feel more or less safe since the ban, and why
  • Personal stories regarding experiences on the street that might shed light on the implementation of this new law.

The completed surveys will be analyzed in a report produced by University of Colorado Denver professors. This report will provide field-level data regarding how the urban camping ban is being implemented, how it is being experienced in the homeless community, how well the ban is achieving its aims, and possible problems or challenges associated with the implementation of the law. The results of this survey will provide valuable information as all parties go forward in understanding the effects of the law, and in informing future service-delivery plans or even possible legislative changes.

11/6: Occupy Sham-Election Party

November 2, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

When: Tuesday, November 6 starting at 5 pm
Where: 201 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903 (Acacia Park)

The Occupy Sham-Election Party was endorsed by the Occupy Denver General Assembly and is hosted by Occupy Colorado Springs.

AN ELECTION NIGHT we protest the sham of American elections. People have a human right to true democratic leadership, not a farce, not a monied oligopoly where both corporate parties promise a lesser of evil outcomes. Whether you choose Romney or Obama in 2012, the result is still foreclosures, pipelines and drones. And austerity, increasing inequality, corporate hegemony, neo-liberal belligerence, injustice and war. (Will protesting election night be any less effective than casting a vote in a corporate-controlled election?)

PARTY OR PROTEST? Occupy will celebrate Election Night because that’s when otherwise politically activated citizens can stop worrying about the election and put their energies back to the issues and toward actions with real potential to provide remedies.

Join us Election Night, 5PM TUESDAY Nov. 6, to remind American voters about the real issues unaddressed by this election!

Please invite yourself, if you weren’t already, and spread the word. And yes, we’ve invited OCCUPY DENVER!

Facebook Event Page

Sheriffs, SWAT, and Assault Rifles

October 31, 2012 in Event, Media

(Photos by Ambrose Cruz)


(Video By Pat Boyle)


Yesterday a highly militarized police force arrived at the home of 63 year old Sahara Donahue to evict her from her residence of 24 years. She was petitioning US Bank for an additional 60 days to remain in her home, so she could have some time to find a new place to live, secure her belongings and leave her home with dignity. She came to the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition and Occupy Denver General Assembly to ask for our help. She knew no one in Occupy Denver  prior to reaching out. We immediately started mobilizing to try to get her the assistance she needed and a group went up to her house for the first rumored eviction on Thursday 10/25.  When that eviction didn’t happen, we planned an in-town action at US Bank on Monday for Sahara to try to find someone to speak with about her situation, with carpools up to her house later that day as the eviction was said to be scheduled for Tuesday 10/30.   Occupiers laid barricades from fallen trees to prevent moving trucks and workers from entering the property and were able to stave off the eviction for a few hours.  At 2:45pm ten or more truckloads of police in full combat gear armed with  live-ammo AR-15’s, and grenade launchers arrived on the scene &  forced occupiers to the ground at gun point. Police then made their way to the house, broke down the front door, threw Sahara to the ground in her own kitchen and pointed their guns at the heads of a mother and son who were in the house with Sahara along with others. They continued to break items in the house as they searched it. They unplugged the modem, which was the only mode of communication as there was no cell phone coverage in the area, in order to stop the livestream and all communications.  After the livestream cut out, the occupy denver legal team spent a harrowing hour in communication blackout wondering if they would be receiving calls from the hospital instead of the jail this time. This psychological violence did not stop one brave activist from jumping into the bucket of the bulldozer that was going to tear through the barricades and forced the operator to stop for several minutes. Three arrests were made, two activists were assaulted and all have been released.   Many of the people on the ground have survived multiple occupations and riot cop lines but all agree that this was the most surreal and violent state repression they have experienced protesting.  There has been overwhelming community support as other activists and concerned people watched the unnecessary militarized drama unfold online. Everyone is asking “Seriously, why are they in military gear?” All captions for the following photographs are actual comments made on the Occupy Denver Facebook Page.

Sheriffs, SWAT, and Assault Rifles – A Foreclosure Story by Michael Steadman

Idaho Springs, Colorado may seem like a quiet, peaceful, and even quaint little town off I-70 in the mountains west of Denver. However, in the early afternoon of October 30, 2012, the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s office proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that looks can be extremely deceiving. Make no mistake; this is not a kind hearted Mayberry RFD type of law enforcement. This was a tactical, military style assault against unarmed, peaceful protesters.
But first, let’s go back a bit in order to give you a little better understanding of the events leading up to, as well as during their demonstration of excessive use of force.
Sahara Donahue has lived in her home for over 20 years, has been a volunteer in her community, and was a decent law abiding citizen. She suffered injuries from a near-fatal accident, including a head injury that was not properly diagnosed until over a year after the accident. She could no longer perform the duties of her job, and therefore was forced to rely on the generosity of friends to help pay her mortgage for several years. She made every attempt to communicate and work with the banks, and even retained the services of an attorney, in the hopes of finding some resolution to keep her home. However, the banks (as well as a corrupt realtor) apparently had different plans.


These are protestors they are standing over with machine guns???? -L.R.

After she was given a run-around by US Bank, several of us made our way up the canyon to stand with her and support her in case the eviction went through the following day. Later in the day we were informed that the only compromise offered to Sahara involved her immediate eviction – BUT – they would be magnanimous enough to store her things for 30 days. Those of us at the house began planning our course of action for the remainder of the night as well as for Eviction Day.
We barricaded the driveway with fallen trees in order to limit access to the house, and held several impromptu meetings in order to discuss our tactics. Sahara’s wishes were for us to be respectful when the Sheriff arrived, since she has a history with this community. We agreed that we would all respect her wishes and approach the situation in a peaceful manner. We were led to believe that the realtor would be arriving with a crew of workers to remove items from the house, and the Sheriff would be there to “keep the peace.” Sahara had also asked one of the group’s members to be a spokesman. He would speak directly with those who arrived and deliver legal letters to the Sheriff. This way things would proceed smoothly and help eliminate any unnecessary escalation.
As night closed in we shared stories, discussed ideas, and enjoyed each other’s company in a very peaceful positive environment. Eventually people began to settle down for the night. Most were sleeping in the house on couches or on the floor, while I and another went out to sleep in our tents beside the barricade in case of any unexpected late night surprises.
The following morning we all began to stir as coffee was brewing. There seemed to be an overall sense of optimism among the group. We received word of some more people coming up to join us, and we had another meeting to determine tactics regarding the expected arrivals for the eviction. Several of us collected more timber to fortify the barricades, others were making food, and everyone was ready for whatever was coming (or so we thought).
The first arrival of the day was a truck hauling a dumpster that was apparently to be left there for the workers to put her things in. Seeing the barricades, he got out and spoke with us. He was very friendly and supportive towards us, and then called his supervisor who after several minutes instructed him to bring the dumpster back. We had our first victory of the day and the excitement filled the air.
A while later a white van filled with workers from a “day labor” company pulled up and stopped. These were the men who were supposed to remove her belongings from the house. They needed to wait for the Sheriff to arrive, and since there is no cell phone service in the area, they just relaxed and spoke with us for a while. We even tried to recruit a few of them to stand with us, but to no avail. Finally they decided to leave in order to go back down the mountain to find a place with better reception to make calls. We all began a second celebration as we filled the air with singing, “Na na na na, hey hey hey, GOOD-BYE!”
Things were really starting to look up for us. We felt we had made some incredible progress. Then we heard a vehicle coming. Around the corner I saw a Sheriff’s vehicle through the trees as it was approaching. Then I saw behind it another, and another, and another. About 10 vehicles filled with men in what appeared to be full battle gear (and assault weapons already in hand) began to fill the road in front of the house. In all our planning and meetings, we never expected this kind of response. After all, we were led to believe that the Sheriff was only going to be there to “keep the peace.” And don’t forget to keep in mind that we were unarmed, peaceful demonstrators.
The spokesman of our group got on the megaphone and began trying to get everyone to converge up at the house, but it was already too late. The Tactical Response Team had already reacted. As we were rushing up the driveway, we were cut-off by several men gripping their assault rifles as they began shouting at us to get on the ground on our knees. To my left, the spokesman was coming up, shouting on the megaphone, attempting to discern who was in charge since he had the letters to deliver. The officers didn’t care, in fact as the spokesman was telling them he had letters, one of the officers shouted back, “No, you don’t have letters!” and they continued ordering us to get on our knees. We remained standing and continued trying to open up some kind of conversation.
At this point, I was standing there with the spokesman, and a few others. Mind you, I am about 6’2” tall and about 200 lbs. The others standing with me were as big, if not bigger, with the exception of an older gentleman to my left. Since none of us would get on our knees, these fully armed, militarized officers decided to arrest the smallest and oldest person there. With all their firepower and intimidation techniques, they targeted the least imposing person there. They put him face down in the dirt and gravel, and cuffed his hands behind him with their zip-tie handcuffs.
Finally, the man in charge came forward, but when he was presented with the letters, he informed us that he would take them but it didn’t matter. He then folded them up without even really looking at them. It was obvious that those with the money and the guns couldn’t have cared less about the injustice taking place, and they were ready and willing to do whatever was necessary to shut us down.
I was offered a ride by one of the activists, since the Sheriff was so gracious to let some of us go without further incident. As we made our way down the private drive, we saw at the bottom of the hill; the bulldozer that was just waiting to tear through our barricades, and the van of day labor workers ready to fulfill their job descriptions. After a couple turns down Hwy 103 another realization occurred to me. There on the shoulder of the road was an ambulance waiting on stand-by. Maybe I am mistaken, but it would appear that the Sheriff’s Department was prepared to do, and had every intention of doing, whatever was necessary to obey their bank’s wishes.
We pulled into a local convenience store after making it into town. As we sat collecting our thoughts, and trying to decompress after the events that had transpired, I was struck by something else. I watched the people of the town as they nonchalantly passed by and it occurred to me that this was a sort of metaphor about our entire society today. Just up the hill, innocent people were having guns shoved in their faces, people were being evicted from their homes, and much more. At the same time, the rest of the town went about its daily routine, completely oblivious as to what was going on just around the corner. – M.S.


“Military tactics, Military equipment, Military mindset. Looks like this nation is occupied by the bankers military.” -K.Y.

Later around 6:45pm Occupiers and other residents returned with Sahara to help her sift through her things which were now thrown in piles on the outskirts of the property.  Many of her possessions were destroyed by the movers.  One Occupier who was there for the armed raid, and stayed to help said, “Seeing these things that represented a large cross-section of this woman’s life strewn across the front yard  was one of the worst things I have ever had to witness in my life. Why is the general population letting the big banks do this to us?”  As the temperature started to drop as night set in, the only thing people could do was to cover her piles of belongings with tarps, as there was nowhere for her to take her things.  Sahara was only able to take her two dogs, Rodeo and French Fry, and what ever she could fit in her small vehicle.  She is currently staying in a motel, and is uncertain as to where she will be able to live next.  Occupiers will continue to assist her until her living situation has stabilized.

 

10/29: Movie Night for Democracy: Please Vote for Me

October 12, 2012 in Event

Where: Gypsy House
When: Monday, October 29th, 7-9

Free Admission

Is democracy a universal value that suits human nature? Do elections inevitably lead to manipulation?

The award winning documentary film, Please Vote for Me explores these questions by following a Grade 3 class as it holds an election for Class Monitor. Three eight-year-olds compete against each other for the coveted position, abetted and egged on by teachers and doting parents.

Candidate Xu Xaiofei “I am the one who will work hard, and will make you happy. I will be the right choice.”

Candidate Cheng Cheng “I want to be the class monitor because you can order people around.”

Candidate Luo Lei “If I’m not strict, you kids will never obey me – Just try me!”

The evening will include the film showing followed by discussion about this years election and voting itself.

http://pleasevoteforme.org/

10/23: Frack Free Colorado

October 12, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

This event was endorsed by Occupy Denver’s General Assembly on 10/11/2012.

When: October 23, 2012 from 3 to 7 p.m.
Where: Civil Park on Capitol Hill

SAVE COLORADO’S WATER AND OUR PUBLIC HEALTH!

Free concert, world-renowned speakers, good ole fashioned protesting & solutions!

FEATURING:
Jakob Dylan & Rami Jaffee from 
The Wallflowers
Members of Elephant Revival (plus special guests)
Daryl Hannah
Mariel Hemingway
Sandra Steingraber, Scientist & Author, Raising Elijah
Anandagiri, global spiritual teacher and wisdom leader
Xiuhtezcatl of the Earth Guardians
Leilani Münter, Car Racing’s Carbon Free Girl
Russell Mendell, Mass Current
Wendy Leonard, Erie Rising
More announcements soon!
Check back for updates!

Come learn a little and boogie down for a Frack-Free Colorado!

Learn more at, http://www.frackfreeco.com/

10/20: ZOMBIE MARCH AGAINST CORPORATE MEDIA: Rise up against the mind control of propaganda, censorship, and advertising!

October 10, 2012 in Event

When: Oct. 20th, 2pm-4pm
Where: Civic Center Park

Facebook Event Page

In medieval times the court jester was the only person allowed to say whatever he wanted. He could call out the ruling class on their lies and propaganda without fear of being executed, because he did it with humor. He had the power to affect change by planting a seed in the minds of the court.

While we would all agree that the more serious marches and actions are always important we can often bring more public attention to an issue with humor and by being just a little bit silly. In doing something ridiculous and unexpected we may capture the curiosity of the folks around us, and thus they will drop their guard for a while to actually listen to what we have to say. So in the spirit of the old time court jester, join us for the Zombie March Against Corporate Media.

The news is controlled by a small number of corporations such as NBC Universal, News Corporation (FOX), CBS Corporation, Viacom, The Walt Disney Corporation, and Time Warner. These corporate media outlets often censor, alter and spin information regarding the most important issues facing us these days, thus cutting us off from the truth and often even making us afraid of our neighbors by weaving racism and bigotry in between the lines, and then distracting us with adorable puppies. Corporations then bombard us with advertisements in an effort to convince us that we should care only about buying more junk we don’t need. A study in 2009 showed that the average hour long T.V. show was 36% commercials! You can hardly watch a TV show or movie without suffering through the blatant product placement.

These have been the tools of the rich and greedy to control the masses by turning us into apathetic zombies who live to buy the goods and believe the lies. The Zombie March Against Corporate Media is a fun way to call the attention to these issues of many who may not normally notice. It will be family friendly, sidewalk only and with a low risk of arrest as a group of lumbering zombies with funny signs deftly follow the Monopoly Man carrying a giant television. We will meet up at Civic Center Park on Saturday October 20th at 2pm for zombifying and sign making (Make-up will be available. Keep in mind, fake blood can stain clothes so wear something you don’t mind ruining, and be creative!), then march from 3 to 4pm, dispersing into the Denver Zombie Crawl at Skyline Park. Don’t let the %1 steel our BRRAAAAIIIIINS!!!

10/20: March for a World Without the Police

October 10, 2012 in Endorsement, Event

This march is organized by the Denver Alliance for Community Self-Defense and was endorsed by Occupy Denver’s General Assembly on 10/10/2012.

Denver’s 3rd Annual International October Day of Action Against Police Brutality.

When: Saturday, October 20th, 7:00 p.m.
Where:
Sonny Lawson Park at 24th St. and Welton

JUSTICE FOR:

Booker, Ryberg, Gidenko, Ashley, and Berlin!

Read the Full Press Release at Colorado Indymedia