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?”
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Here are some highlights of where we’ve been effective in providing infrastructure to the movement:
TPP Resistance ( link )
The People's Revolution National ( link )
The Occupy Weekly Press Briefing and Asia, Africa Press calls(link)
OWS 5th Anniversary Special Call ( link )
Electro Magnetic and Microwave Frequencies Harm ( link)
Close Indian Point: Stony Point Convergence, IPSEC ( link )
Venezuela and Honduras SolidarityCalls (AFGJ) ( link )
ONE WILPF (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom) ( link )
JewishResistance Campaign Call with IfNotNow ( link )
Movimiento Cosecha ( link )
PICO - Urgent Network-Wide Call ( link )
Follow up and new calls for a variety of groups post-DNC in July, and post-election in Nov.
Tech Assistants on Conference Calls
In 2015, IO tech assistants were called upon to assist on racial and social justice maestro calls for other groups. We have helped tech and train new maestro tech assitants for SURJ (Showing up for Racial Justice), Ferguson Action Network, grassroots Bernie organizing groups, and in 2016, TAs for the People's Convention in Philadephia, as well as continuing to help SURJ, and Movement for Black Lives. Trainings are still free. We ask trainees to pay this free skill forward by teching at least one call for a group other than their own. We provide an email list and call spreadsheet to facilitate this collective work.
- Conference Calls