Monday, August 25, 2008

In the Streets of Denver: Free Political Prisoners

'Taser bait' in Denver

Article and photo by Brenda Norrell
DENVER -- It was an incredible morning in the streets of Denver, with the voices of the people spilling out through this city during the Political Prisoners March and Rally. It was clear that there is another divide underway, those who are in the Democratic National Convention with their expense accounts and those in the streets, lending powerful voices to define the future. With most US citizens in a state of post traumatic stress syndrome, the brave faced off with Denver police and marched through the streets this morning. What began as a small crowd near the Civic Center grew as hundreds joined the march through the heart of the city.
Among those speaking out was Ben Carnes, Choctaw, who read a message from Leonard Peltier. King Downing, with ACLU's Campaign against Racial Profiling, described how he was arrested in a racial profiling incident and won his case. Mumia Abu Jamal's message was heard from death row in a recording for the event. Jamal described the true portrait of US democracy.
At one point, a police officer drew his weapon on the crowd in front of the federal courthouse. A legal observer with the Lawyer's Guild confronted him and after a standoff, the officer walked away. There was the feeling that we could all soon be "taser bait."
Update: Denver police stage bizarre behavior, make arrests:

Here is the list of speakers that brought me here: Pamela Africa - MOVE Organization;
American Indian Movement Spokesperson Leonard Peltier Defense Committee - Ben Carnes, with a message from Leonard, direct from Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary; Rosa Clemente - United States Vice Presidential Candidate for the Green Party; Kathleen Cleaver - The Panther Nine from San Francisco; King Downing - National Coordinator of the ACLU's Campaign Against Racial Profiling; Jenny Esquiveo - Spokesperson for Eric McDavid (Political Prisoner); Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. - Prisoners of Conscience Committee; Mumia Abu Jamal - Current Political Prisoner (Recorded from Death Row); Cha Cha Jimenez - Founder of the Young Lords (Puerto Rican Resistance Prisoners); Ricardo Romero - National Coordinator for the Mexican National Liberation Movement (MLNM); Natsu Saito - Author, Activist, and Human Rights Scholar (Guantanamo Inmates); Spokesperson for the Cuban Five and a special musical performance by Native hip hop youth activists The Savage Family.
Listen later for the audios. We were live on the radio and web this morning on Earthcycles:
In the streets of Denver, Brenda
Statement from Leonard Peltier
by Leonard Peltier Monday Aug 25th, 2008 10:08 AM
Greetings my friends and relatives, First of all, I can't express to you, near as much as I'd like to. The sincere appreciation I have that you would gather together remembering all the political prisoners, hostages and myself the way you have. Gatherings like this are extremely important because it reminds people of the sacrifices that are made daily through out the world for freedom, justice, and a clean and sane environment for our future generations. The powers that exploit our resources and people will always be there, generation after generation. And the creator will always call upon people to stand against that exploitation. Even if the creator does not call. Any just man or woman, with any semblance of justice, be it spiritual, social or environmental, He will find cause to take issue with those enemies of humanity and nature.

Photo: Ben Carnes, Choctaw, at the Freedom for Political Prisoner reads Peltier's statement outside the federal courthouse in Denver. Photo Brenda Norrell.

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