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The Justice & Peace eWeekly is a weekly survey of upcoming events, local news and activism opportunities. Feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might be interested.

 


Week of October 12, 2020


 

Michigan Arrests May Be Harbinger
of Nationwide Militia Crackdown

 

Bizarre Denver Action Leaves One Dead Following Oct. 10 Protest

The startling arrest of 13 militia members last week, charged with an audacious plan to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, attack the state capitol building in Michigan, and assault law enforcement officers nationwide in order to spark a civil war, is considered by some insiders to be a harbinger of a series of additional arrests of right-wing militia members around the country. Here in Colorado, a rally Saturday by the Patriot Muster in Civic Plaza ended with the death of one militia member, shot by a Channel 9 security guard.

In the Michigan arrests, the sole non-resident of Michigan nabbed by a federal-local task force on Oct. 8 was Delaware resident Barry Croft, who was inexplicably pardoned by the Delaware governor last year for a host of anti-government terrorist acts. It appears that there is a fallout among militia groups around the nation, as many felt that Croft was trying to force his way into a leadership position. Many insider rightists worried that the rash actions of the so-called “Wolverine Watchmen” group in Michigan had made life dangerous for the anti-government militia members who are talking about assaults around the nation if Trump loses on election day. In fact, some on the far right are wondering if Croft was a government informant all along.

The militia members had a plan almost too outrageous to be believed, surveilling Gov. Whitmer’s visits to her vacation home for a possible kidnapping, even as they talked about localized bombings around Michigan to serve as diversionary tactics. The ACLU and several progressive groups said that the plans are useful to examine as possibly providing a “playbook” for what the violent wing of Trump supporters plan between November and January.

But even as investigations expanded outside Michigan, they were finding pushback from Washington. President Trump spent more time Friday denouncing Gov. Whitmer than talking about the terrorist plot. And even as regional FBI offices and federal prosecutors explore additional indictments, it is evident that Attorney General William Barr is very reticent to launch any expanded investigation.

Here in Colorado, events took a tragic and bizarre turn on Saturday afternoon, after the Patriot Muster group, organized by El Paso County resident Jon “Tig” Tiegen, held a rally near Denver Public Library while several progressive groups held a counter-protest. At the end of the rally, one participant ran up to a heavily armed security guard and shot him in the face with mace. The guard then shot the militia member, who later died at the hospital. The victim has not been identified. Channel 9 KUSA said that it regularly contracts with Pinkerton for security during militia protest coverage, and that the security guard shot the victim. Police also arrested a news producer for Channel 9, who was later released. Unfortunately, we can expect more such events in the three weeks leading up to the election, and perhaps even more prior to 2021 Inauguration Day.


Deceased militia protester prior to his shooting.

"Breakaway" Virtual Conference on Human Trafficking Set for Oct. 17

The Human Trafficking Task Force for Southern Colorado is sponsoring its 13th annual conference and its first online conference, Breakaway, on Saturday, Oct. 17. The three-hour conference features a keynote from Megan Lundstrom of Avery Center, and presentations of how the pandemic is affecting the sex trade. For registration details, visit the EventBrite site HERE.


 

PPJPC Seeks Interest for Officers of Board

 

This month, PPJPC is distributing flyers to Colorado College, UCCS, and Pikes Peak Community College to seek student membership on our board. We also welcome board members from the general public. ntial board members at our Feb. 29 annual meeting, we are seeking your help as we reconstitute post-quarantine. If you are interested in nominating yourself or someone else to a board position, contact us at (719) 963-2979, or Gabriel.Cordova01@gmail.com.  

 

RAWtools Offers "Taking Stock" as a YouTube/Facebook Resource Following June 28 Debut

RAWtools debuted its new poetry video, “Taking Stock: Loaded Words and Bullet Points” in late June to rave reviews. The video features local poets reading works on issues of gun violence. The video was directed and produced by Mary Sprunger-Froese and Lauren Weaver, and includes poems from Jonathan Andujar, former Pikes Peak Poet Laureate Susan Peiffer, NAACP activist Rosemary Lytle, and PPJPC Chair Loring Wirbel.  The video is now on YouTube for viewing at any time, you can find it here: https://youtu.be/8t16wRcVHa4
 

NWTRCC Conference to Go Virtual

The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee was originally going to hold its 2020 meeting in Colorado Springs, a venue NWTRCC has used before. But Covid restrictions have transformed the conference to an all-virtual one on “Defunding Militarism and Creating a New Normal,” slated for Nov. 7 and 8. Advance registration is required to receive the streaming link, you can find it HERE. (Registration information is at the bottom of the web page. Please note that the times listed are Eastern or Pacific.)
 

Peak Environment Podcast 61 Covers Creek West Cleanup Week

 

Podcast 61 of Peak Environment covers last week's Creek West Cleanup, which took place Sept. 26 to Oct. 4. Peak Environment host and co-producer Ellen Johnson-Fay interviews Alli Schuch, who coordinates outreach for the Fountain Creek Watershed Flood Control and Greenway District.
You can hear the latest podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/creek-week-cleanup-2020/

In another recent podcast, the 2020 election in Colorado is shaping up to be historic, but not for the reasons you might think. Voters in Colorado will get the chance to direct wildlife managers to reintroduce gray wolves, nearly 80 years after they were eradicated on behalf of the livestock industry.

In this interview, Delia Malone, Mike Phillips, and Rob Edward, three friends and longtime wolf advocates, discuss the importance of wolves to Colorado’s future.

You can find Podcast 6, here:
http://studio809radio.com/voices-for-wolves/
 


 

PPJPC to Partner with Hear Here and PPLD for November Youth Poetry Open Mic for Racial Justice

Fall 2020 joint promotion of events between PPJPC and Pikes Peak Library District will include the joint development of a Youth Poetry Open Mic, focused on racial justice and social justice themes, tentatively set for the week before Thanksgiving, around November 21. While an outdoor event would be preferred, weather permitting, we are also looking at socially-distanced indoor venues as well. The planning team will contact local school districts and youth groups, with the goal of following up the open mic with a series of winter on-line journaling and poetry critique events. In the meantime, we hope to do promote a series of October events from Poetry 719, Hear Here, and PPLD, including All Pikes Peak Reads selections. Stay tuned for more information!

 

 

Colorado Springs Theatre Groups to Promote Their Own Survival in Virtual Performances

Local groups are planning multiple virtual performances during October as part of Arts Month 2020. We are sending this newsletter out early so that readers know there will be a debut program TODAY, OCT. 11, on YouTube at 2 p.m. Mountain Time., at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mqis2rYqko&feature=youtu.be . The local groups have joined forces as Theatre Response Team to encourage support of the arts.

Among performances through the month are the Fine Arts Center’s presentation of a segment of Jessica Kakoshka’s “Of Spacious Skies”; Dragon Theatre Production’s presentation of Angie Parr’s “Wizard of Zoom”; Craft Production Resource’s production of Phil Ginsburg’s “Remembering Mary”; Springs Ensemble Theatre’s presentation of a selection from James Ijames’s “White”; Theatreworks’ debut of Anna Deavere Smith’s “House Arrest: A Search for Character In and Around the White House, Past and Present”; Millibo Art Theatre’s double bill of “Babette’s Kitchen” and “The Girl Sprouts”; Theatre d’Art’s production of a segment from Manitou Springs Ghost-Story Walking Tours, written by Jonathan Andujar, Laura Andujar’ and Jenny Maloney; Theatre Across Borders production of Barbara Summerville’s “Mary Grace”; as well as many special events. For more information, go HERE,
 

Johnson Pretrial Draws Protesters
 

The pre-trial of Charles Johnson, the first of three protesters to face multiple felonies surrounding an Aug, 3 protest against police violence, drew close to 50 protesters outside the chambers of District Judge Marcus Henson on Oct. 6. Johnson’s attorney said that characterization of the Aug. 3 event as a “riot” was a mischaracterization of what was always a peaceful protest.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs racial justice groups are planning weekly marches downtown on Saturday afternoon or evening to keep pressure on the city over police accountability issues. On Sept. 26, a march drew over 100 in the afternoon. On Oct. 3, marchers gathered at 6 p.m. to greet crowds for the Dine Out Downtown event. For the latest information on upcoming marches, check with the Facebook groups for Empowerment Solidarity Network or Be The Change 719.

 

Obituary for Ardeth Platte Takes Up 2/3 of Page in Oct. 11 Sunday New York Times

 

The Sunday New York Times granted Sister Ardeth Platte more than half a page in its Oct. 10 issue. We carried a brief story about her death last week, but a more complete story on an amazing peace activist can be read HERE


And don't forget to check out the presentation Ardeth Platte and Carol Gilbert gave at All Souls Church on March 5. We were lucky to host the sisters for several events prior to the quarantine being enacted locally. We have also listed the latest two Peak Environment podcasts of Studio 809 below, though it may be a few weeks before additional podcasts are added.

Plowshares Podcast here:
http://studio809radio.com/active-justice-yes-humanity-mar-05-2020/
 

Pendley Ignores Judge's Order to Vacate Bureau of Land Management

In the August 14 eWeekly, we told you about the White House withdrawing the nomination of William Pendley to be head of the Bureau of Land Management within the Department of Interior. Pendley is an arch-right-wing former executive director of the Mountain States Legal Foundation based in Lakewood, and he oversees the agency from its new national offices in Grand Junction. Sen. Michael Bennet and several Montana legislators want Pendley removed because he planned to sell off large parcels of federal land in the Rockies.

Apparently, Pendley doesn’t take “no” for an answer. A federal judge ruled a week ago that his entire tenure in office was illegal, and he should leave immediately. On Friday, Oct. 9, Pendley said he would not recognize judicial or legislative branch orders, and was only responsible to the president. Watch for possible arrest warrants or forced evictions to be carried out next week.
 

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Seeking Volunteers During Election Season

CIRC is seeking volunteers to raise immigrant rights issues during the election season. Here’s a message we’ve received from CIRC:

We’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

Most campaigns focus only on high-propensity voters and leave immigrants and people of color behind, but our strategy is to engage with immigrant communities directly. We will be hosting virtual events and phonebanks to do community outreach today through election day. Everything we are doing this 2020 election cycle is digital.

Will you sign up to get involved? We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your sWe’re building a grassroots movement of our family members, community members, and allies to make sure we turn out to support immigrants this November, and we’re counting on people like you to join our movement. 

We have countless volunteer opportunities, and we need your support. You can apply HERE.
 

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