Fascist Police State Run Amok... Forevermore?

Who will stop it?  Those who must…and can.  Stay tuned.

‘Colorado police conduct militarized arrests of Party for Socialism and Liberation members’, Jacob Crosse, 19 September 2020, wsws.org (with permission)

“In an alarming escalation of state retaliation against opponents of unending police violence and murder, at least six protesters, four of whom are members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), were arrested by police and SWAT officers with the Aurora, Colorado police department on Thursday.

As part of an attempted frame-up, the protesters were arrested and jailed in a series of coordinated militarized raids while they were out in public or at home. Those arrested face a plethora of charges, which, if they are convicted, could mean decades in prison for their alleged roles in four protests and vigils against police violence that took place over the summer.

All those arrested have either organized or taken part in demonstrations in Denver’s largest suburb. The protests in Aurora are part of the global wave of multiracial and multiethnic protests by youth, students and workers following the release of video depicting the Memorial Day murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. Nine months prior to Floyd’s murder, Aurora police were facing widespread anger for their role in the killing of black 23-year-old Elijah McClain last year.

Everyone who was arrested in Thursday’s raids—Joel Northam, Terrance Roberts, Lillian House, Whitney Lucero, John Ruch and Trey Quinn—faces felony charges connected to four separate demonstrations held in Aurora on June 27, July 3, July 12 and July 25. A statement from PSL confirms that Ruch, Northam, Lucero and House are members of the party, while Roberts, according to the Denver Post, is the co-founder of the Front Line Party for Revolutionary Action.

A statement released by the PSL claims that Ruch was the first to be arrested while sitting in the parking lot of Home Depot. Later that same morning, five police cars surrounded and arrested Lillian House while she was driving. In the afternoon, Northam reports his home was invaded by SWAT teams and a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) military vehicle, designed to withstand improvised explosive device (IED) attacks. In a PSL Facebook event discussing the arrest, members claimed that Northam was never shown a warrant. Lucero was also arrested Thursday afternoon.

As of this writing only one person has been released. The PSL is organizing a rally and march outside the Colorado state capitol in Denver today demanding that all the charges be dropped and their remaining comrades released.

The PSL has been among the groups organizing protests in the Denver metropolitan area throughout the summer, demanding justice for McClain. While the official sequence of events that led to McClain’s death might never be known—police purposefully shielded and removed their body cameras during the interaction—it is undisputed that McClain, who never committed a crime, was rendered unconscious after police applied a “carotid hold” to his neck.

Once paramedics arrived, the police lied about the sequence and character of events. McClain, who at this time was already handcuffed and had vomited after being choked out, was then injected with 500 milligrams of ketamine, a powerful sedative, by a paramedic with Aurora Fire Rescue. The dosage, nearly double the recommended amount for someone of his diminutive stature, caused McClain’s pulse and breathing to stop before he went into cardiac arrest. Three days later, after being declared brain-dead, McClain passed.

Afterwards, a cover-up ensued with an “independent investigation” finding no fault on the part of the officers or paramedics. An inconclusive autopsy report, which failed to determine the exact cause of death, conveniently left the state blameless.

Protests ignited in June after it was discovered that the “independent” city investigation into McClain’s murder was being led by attorney Eric Daigle, a former police officer in Connecticut who advertised himself on his website as someone experienced in “defending municipalities, police chiefs and individual officers from law enforcement liability claims.”

After over two million people signed a petition demanding a reopening of the investigation, Democratic Governor Jared Polis announced that his administration would reexamine the case. There are currently five separate investigations in McClain’s murder by various state and federal agencies. Millions of dollars and thousands of hours are being spent to give the appearance of “justice,” while at the same time Aurora police continue to assault, intimidate, maim and jail protesters, and McClain’s murderers have yet to spend a single hour behind bars.

In contrast to the police who killed McClain, the protesters who were arrested remain in jail after district attorneys stacked up to a dozen charges per person, a clear act of intimidation by the ruling class against all those determined to put an end to police violence and racism.

The charges are being spearheaded jointly by the 17th judicial district attorney, Dave Young (Democrat) and the 18th judicial district attorney, George Brauchler (Republican). The most serious and ludicrous were levied by Young against Northam, Lucero, and House, for their alleged role in “kidnapping” police officers outside the Aurora District One police station on July 3.

That day, hundreds of protesters had gathered outside the police station demanding the arrest of officers Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema. The protests were sparked after a photo was publicly released that showed three Aurora cops, Erica Maerrero, Jaron Jones and Kyle Dittrich, grinning and laughing as they reenacted choking McClain. The photo was sent to Rosenblatt who responded to the disgusting image with a text that read: “ha ha.”

The demonstration outside the police station went into the evening before riot police cleared the roughly 600 protesters with impact and chemical munitions. Attorney Young in his statement alleges that because protesters had surrounded the building, preventing police from leaving “for seven hours,” Northam, Lucero and House are responsible for attempting to commit first-degree kidnapping, a class 3 felony that carries with it a minimum 1-3 year prison sentence if found guilty.

While neither attorney has yet to file an affidavit, in a short statement, Young alleges that the three, “unlawfully and feloniously attempted to imprison or forcibly secrete 18 officers with the intent to force them or another person to make a concession to insecure their release.”

District Attorney Brauchler has also charged House with inciting a riot, conspiracy to commit inciting a riot, theft from a person, conspiracy to commit theft from a person, engaging in a riot, conspiracy to commit engaging in a riot, obstructing a highway or other passageway and conspiracy to commit obstructing a highway or other passageway.

Northam has been charged with inciting a riot, conspiracy to incite a riot, theft, conspiracy to commit theft, engaging in a riot, conspiracy to engage in a riot, obstructing a highway or passageway, conspiracy to obstruct highway or passageway, attempted first-degree kidnapping, and obstructing government operations.

Lucero was charged with: attempted first-degree kidnapping, inciting a riot, engaging in a riot, obstructing government operations. Quinn is facing riot charges, false imprisonment and obstructing government operations, while Ruch is charged with theft and conspiracy to commit theft.

Finally, Roberts is facing riot charges, obstructing, and conspiracy to obstruct a highway as well as obstructing government operations. All told the six protesters face 33 felony counts and 34 misdemeanor charges.

In addition to the “stacking of charges” against the protesters, the manner in which they were arrested represents an escalation of the police-state tactics carried out by federal paramilitaries in cities such as Portland, Oregon, Spokane, Washington, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, New York and Kenosha, Wisconsin. These fascistic maneuvers, directed by President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr, are being dutifully carried out by police departments and federal agencies throughout the country, demonstrating the bipartisan attitude of the ruling class towards those who stand up to police terror.

However, those who think that a Democratic presidency under a Joe Biden administration would be any less vicious in their persecution of the working class would be sorely mistaken. Throughout the summer, Biden has condemned “anarchist,” “violent protesters” and “rioters” while remaining silent on the state assassination of Portland protester Michael Reinoehl. Biden, like Bernie Sanders, advocates increasing funding to murderous police departments while state budgets are being slashed across the country.

While a disproportionate number of minorities, particularly Native American and African-Americans, are victims of police violence, the determining factor if one is going to be a victim of police terror is that they are working class or poor. The police are the enforcers of the capitalist system. They defend the property rights and interests of the ruling class against all threats.

In the end, appeals to the capitalist state for reform or justice are less than helpful. Youth, students and all who oppose unending police murder must orient themselves to the social force which creates all of society’s wealth—the working class—in an international struggle for the abolition of the capitalist system and its replacement with a socialist society.”

Salt Lake police gave indicated that they will release officer bodycam footage (if any) in the shooting, but not killing, of autistic Linden Cameron in mid-September.

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Daenerys's picture

Are we there yet?

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7 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

wendy davis's picture

@Daenerys

amiga. one certainly first thinks of political asylum in churches, and i know there are cities that call themselves such, i suppose for immigrants wanted by ICE. a methodist church in our wee town has given asylum to a woman who'd missed her return to mexico by a day...and she's lived in their community hall what seems like forever. yes, this is dated sept. 10, 2017, when she'd been sheltering 100 days already.

meanwhile, there are reports from georgia about force sterilizations of women already in ICE custody, although i can't recall how many and so on. it's altogether discouraging and infuriating as to how fascist this #ShitholeNation has become.

when i read this, smoke literally came out of my ears, although i prefer rage to depression any day.

thanks, Daenerys; if you have anything more specific in mind, please do say.

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@Daenerys are we there yet?

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snoopydawg's picture

That kids are living under and it’s very bad.. they are being taught that they have no power or control over their lives when it comes to the police and school policies. It’s really an eye opener to see how much it is already in play. Kids being kids is no longer allowed. Who didn’t play cops and robbers and make a gun out of your fingers? Nope. Kids can’t do that on school grounds.

But then lots of adults refuse to admit that cops are out of control or that the patriot act nullified most of their rights. Again I thought I’d be dead before this crap started happening.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/virtual-school-dangers-hazards-polic...

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“An addicted underclass is easier to control than one that is fully functional and aware of its oppression.” - The Elite
Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

that i need easy copy to cross-post, neither support as block any longer. given that, the ads are so in my face that the text jumps wildly. so thank you for the cliffs notes, even though i'd been able to read more, esp, re: SROs, read: read pigs keeping classroom peace.

remember how many attacks they've made in the past in classroooms for 'failure to obey'? upending students in those chair/desk combos for failure to take out their earbuds and PAY attention? of course, it's always been the darker-hued students. goddam.

thanks, snoop.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

Remember links aren’t just for you. Others might be interested in links people post here. I hope people will read this because it shows how kids are being trained to be compliant and to fear cops.

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“An addicted underclass is easier to control than one that is fully functional and aware of its oppression.” - The Elite
Centrism is the failed political philosophy of those “despised elites.” Centrism gave us Trump.

wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

that links and even lengthy videos are for all to read, watch, and consider. i was just trying to explain why i couldn't read much of it as it bounced around, and had thanked you for the cliffs notes. i later thought i might be able to use the new microsoft edge gates and co. are shoving down our throats now that they don't support windows 7 any longer.

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magiamma's picture

I fear this is the just the beginning. May they be freed.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

wendy davis's picture

@magiamma

noosphere collective consciousness hear your your plea, magiamma.

i get up far before first light to milk the chickens & whatnot, so i'll close down for the might. as a closing song, in a way i'm loth to bring it again, but from the late, great alchemist AIM leader john trudell, who'd turned poison to medicine like no other:

It didn't have to be this way
Except We were this way...

good night; thank you all. dream well if you can; sometimes i can. not last night.

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wendy davis's picture

charges; small wonder.

@pslweb
“This is not a local problem. This movement is national. The fight back is national. The repression to the people’s rebellion has also been national. Democrat and Republican controlled states have both waged a vicious attack on this movement”

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wendy davis's picture

this appears to be one of this ‘charging DAs’ pinned tweet:

below it: @CD1RafaelJul 13, 2019
Replying to @GeorgeBrauchler

‘If you can’t tell the difference between an American Flag and the Police Blue Line Flag I can’t help you. It would have been entirely ok with me if they had flown an un-marred American Flag in the distress position. (Here’s your elected response.)’

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wendy davis's picture

petition, but when i'd signed there were 6333 signatures already. hope they''ll get more.

this is insane! iirc, william barr had said all police state protestors should be charged as terrorists.

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