We have an enemy in our midst. We, who have been so willing to exhaust our time, energy, and resources, have been undermined by militant pacifists. We compromised, and continue to compromise, our homes and our jobs and our bodies for the sake of revolutionary possibilities, only to find those who belong to the cult of “nonviolence” ironically leading us to the guillotine. We have come to find out that the revolution will be televised, will be spun, will be manipulated, and will be spoon-fed to the very powers that we purport to be against. The treasonous and faceless laptop activists from Occupy Denver, also known as the PR/Media team, have taken it upon themselves to identify “violent” protestors from the events that transpired on October 29th of this year.
This day began with absolute beauty. We protested through the streets together, we danced together and we sang together. We saw old friends, met new friends, and together we momentarily shifted the power back to the people through our words and our love and our sick ass dance moves. Upon our return to Civic Center Park, we attempted to expand this “public space” by pitching tents together, when the violent arm of the state reared its ghastly head at all of us. Cops in riot gear stormed in with no notice, tearing our tents down. We reacted. We resisted. And for a very brief period, our words and our voices overpowered the 10 or so cops that we had engulfed in a circle of bodies.
But the predictable aggression that arose from the police soon interrupted our chants. They used chemical weapons on us, in the form of pepper balls and pepper spray, and shoved us with batons. They forcibly manhandled and arrested 20 people, some of whom were subject to excessive police violence. They destroyed the remaining tents, greatly depreciated our Thunderdome kitchen, and attempted to destroy our spirits, but of course acts of egregious police suppression only serve to inspire greater resistance.
The most damning attacks, however, have come from within the central bowels of Occupy Denver. The laptop activists on the PR/Media team, a majority of whom were not present during the events of O29, have condemned the actions taken by protestors they deem to be a “violent” fringe group. This “violent” fringe group was essentially a couple of kids who reacted to the extreme violence initiated by armed cops dressed as storm troopers. These kids, after witnessing the police infringe upon our attempt to create a liberatory space and use chemical weaponry upon an unarmed citizenry, threw water bottles towards the police from 20 feet away. This “violence” was of special concern to the laptop activists who, again, were not present. An early draft of a press release statement addressing that day’s events entirely omitted the brutal actions taken by police, and instead vilified this fringe group. A member of the PR/Media caught the draft before it was released, and added a statement about the excessive police force.
Unfortunately, the concerns over water bottles did not end with the statements in the press release. The laptop activists began to excavate every photograph and video from the protests of O29 found online in an attempt to identify the “violent” instigators. Convinced that these kids were going to taint the nonviolent (read compliant) reputation of Occupy Denver, the laptop activists embarked upon a witch-hunt. It was clear that these so-called students of Ghandi were thirsty for blood. They even made a special appearance at a general assembly to announce that protestors should take photographs of instigators at future events. They told protestors that if a photo could not be taken, the instigators’ faces should be memorized and relayed to the PR/Media team. The laptop activists announced that they were collaborating with a sketch artist, and no instigator would leave undetected.
When the laptop activists were asked why they should seek to identify “violent” instigators from the events of O29, they responded with the need to detect and shun provocateurs. Their methodology, however, was faulty. How would one who is not intimately connected with on-the-ground realities determine the identity of someone captured on a photo or video taken from a shaky phone camera several yards away? How would one who was not present for the O29 protests be so convinced that these were the actions taken by trained agitators? Why would someone not take other, more proactive and productive routes to ensure the safety of the populous? The laptop activists met these questions with silence.
We have come to find out that one day after this internal “investigation,” an arrest warrant has been issued for an Occupy Denver protester for the O29 events. The timing of this warrant is no coincidence. It is clear that, again, we have an enemy (or several) in our midst. The PR/Media team clearly has no conflict with cooperating with law enforcement. They have shunned St. Paul’s principles, a set of expectations voted on and adopted by the general assembly of Occupy Denver. The 4th principle clearly lays the boundaries for a security culture, whereby cooperation with law enforcement is prohibited for the sake of keeping all who are involved with the movement safe. The PR/Media team has established itself as the fringe group, and continues to alienate multiple person(s) and community(ies) by creating an unsafe environment. The PR/Media team is promoting a snitch culture.
It is clear to many of us that the actions taken by the PR/Media team are extremely dangerous, and no social movement can be sustained when driven by a horde of headless chickens. The PR/Media team of Occupy Denver is losing credibility and we will allow them to self-destruct. We, the people with passionate hearts and fiery souls, will not stop driving and progressing forward. We are an inventive and creative bunch. We are an organized and rational bunch. The work that we do is attractive to the dreamers of the world, the movers and shakers of the world. We will continue on and no one will stop us. We will continue on and no one will stop us. Join us.