Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A 2010 Reportback from Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Denver ABC Jan. 17, 2011

Happy New Year to comrades across the world!

As we enter into another year of struggle against predatory social,
political, and economic systems, Denver Anarchist Black Cross would like
to make an attempt to document the activities and work that we have been a
part of for the last year. We hope that this attempt at transparency can
open up dialogue, especially amongst our imprisoned comrades, to be able
to offer advice about how our energy and time could be better spent, and
also better inform people about all the various projects and programs that
Denver ABC maintains and provides.

Denver ABC is involved in a wide range of support and organizing
activities, and unlike many contemporary ABC chapters, our focus is not
strictly limited to prisoner support. Historically, ABC chapters have
provided many other types of support roles to the broader social movements
that they have been active within, and the spirit of Denver Anarchist
Black Cross and our mission statement embody this ideal of multi-faceted
and broad based support work for members of liberatory social movements.
Our work is intended to ensure that our movements' work can be maintained
and defended.

Our collective grew massively through 2010. Our collective is now 17
dues-paying members strong and is made up of about 8 working groups
focusing on a variety of support and organizing initiatives. 2010 also saw
a dramatic change for our collective, as we ceased our working
relationship with the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, after an inability
to maintain a working relationship that made sense for our collective. We
still contribute to ABCF initiatives, including the ABCF Warchest, but do
not maintain official membership within the Federation.

In 2010, Denver ABC published three issues of our magazine, PaperMatch,
distributing hundreds of copies of each issue. We have also maintained a
consistent web presence at our blog (http://denverabc.wordpress.com) with
daily updates on state repression, and other attacks on social movements
from around the world.

One of the mainstays of ABC work has been and always will be working to
defend members of our movement that come under attack by the legal
apparatuses of the state.

To this extent, Denver ABC has been active in the support of political
prisoners and movement POWs in a variety of ways.

Once a month, Denver ABC hosts a political prisoner and POW letter writing
night. This has been a consistent program since August of 2009. Every
month we focus on different campaigns or prisoners, to bring attention to
the variety of social movement prisoners now sitting in cages in the
United States. Our letter writing nights draw a dozen people on average,
with some letter writing nights drawing as many as thirty or more
participants. A dinner is provided, as well as all materials necessary for
writing letters, including postage. The letter writing is preceded by a
short presentation on the case(s) we will be focusing on during the night.
Past letter writing nights have included Green Scare prisoners, Black
Liberation prisoners, Trans and women prisoners, War on Terror prisoners,
Anarchist prisoners, and others. In February, we hosted a special
Valentine's Day letter writing pancake breakfast that was highly
successful and sent dozens of cards and letters to our imprisoned

2010 saw the first year of what will become an annual Political Prisoner
and POW art show. The show featured art from dozens of prisoners and
raised several hundred dollars for the work of Denver Anarchist Black
Cross as well as direct funds for prisoners involved in the art show.
Artists featured included David McKay, Oso Blanco, Marilyn Buck, Phil
Africa, and Daniel McGowan. 2011's show will happen sometime this summer,
so if you're interested in contributing art, please contact us.

Another annual event to raise funds and awareness about movement prisoners
is Running Down the Walls. 2010 marked the second year that Denver ABC
hosted a local run. Participation this year rose dramatically from last
year, almost tripling from 15 participants to nearly 40 at this year's
run. The run raised $600, $300 of which was sent to the ABCF Warchest, a
program that provides monthly stipends for political prisoners and
prisoners of war held in the U.S. The other half of the money went to the
Denver ABC Mutual Aid Fund, a fund used to provide emergency economic
support to revolutionaries in the Denver area in dire economic need (see
Economic Support below).

Denver ABC has published and maintained a comprehensive database of
political prisoners and social movement POWs held in the United States
since our inception. The database is available online on our blog, and is
also available in a print edition. The 7th edition of the print version
was released in November, and the 8th edition will be released by the end
of January. The listing includes dozens of prisoners, their background
information, and constantly updated mailing addresses.

Other work that Denver ABC has done on behalf of movement prisoners has
been varied. We send a $30 monthly stipend check to Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a
Black Liberation Army prisoner held in Florence, Colorado. Denver ABC has
also become the publisher and distributor of 4StruggleMag, a publication
written by “North American political prisoners and their friends” edited
by United Freedom Front POW Jaan Laaman and the Toronto Anarchist Black
Cross. After the publication is edited and compiled by our comrades, we
are responsible for the printing and mailing. We have sent out three
issues in the past year.

DABC also maintains several other support initiatives aimed at politicized
social prisoners and others imprisoned by the state, including migrant

The Colorado Prison Literature Project, a working group of Denver ABC,
sends free packages of radical and revolutionary literature to prisoners
being held in the state of Colorado. This project is in the process of
restructuring, but to date, has sent several rounds of mailings of
political literature to prisoners in Colorado. We have lofty goals for the
next year, and our catalog has been expanded to now include over 100

Denver ABC members have been actively involved in efforts to shut down the
ICE Detention Center in Aurora, Colorado. We have participated in and
helped provide “security” at many protests and demonstrations at the
center, ranging from vigils to confrontational protests. Denver ABC also
maintains participation in Colorado AID (Abolish Inhumane Detention) an
organization that provides visitations and support to migrants in

In February, former anarchist POW Ojore Lutalo was arrested in La Junta,
Colorado after being accused of making “terroristic” threats aboard an
Amtrak train. Denver ABC helped organize support for Ojore and arranged
for his bail. We provided housing for him for the next week as he waited
to see what would happen with his case. Eventually all charges were
dropped and Ojore was able to return home to New Jersey.

DABC served as the legal support team for the 2010 Bash Back Gathering
held in Denver in May. We staffed a legal line 24 hours a day for the four
days of the gathering, and in an interesting turn of events, saw no action
until the day after the gathering, when one person traveling home was
arrested on a warrant. We worked to help free this comrade, who
eventually, with the assistance of their friends, was released a couple
days later and made it back home safely.

We have hosted dozens of events over the past year to support anarchists
and others facing attack by the state and other repressive forces.
Fundraisers have included a cakewalk for G20 detainees, a film screening
of the Oakland 100 documentary, and a speaking event/puppet show for the
Conspiracy Tour.

Over the course of 2010, we raised funds for the following cases:
-Toronto G20 arrestees: $150
-Asheville 11: $500
-Eric McDavid: $100
-Marie Mason: $100
-Denver Got Yo Back (three local felony cases): $800
-State Street 29: $100
-Oakland 100: $100
-Mt Hope Infinity: $1,100
-Conspiracy Tour (RNC 8, Carrie and Scott): $150

Denver ABC provides economic support to members of social movements in
several ways, but most notably through the Denver ABC Mutual Aid Fund, a
fund that donates and lends money to radicals and revolutionaries in dire
economic need. In 2010 we provided nearly $1000 to Denver based
revolutionaries for rent assistance, grocery money, car repairs, legal
fees, health care needs, and other situations requiring urgent financial

Our major fundraiser for the Mutual Aid Fund is an annual costume ball,
the Martyr's Ball, where participants are encouraged to attend dressed as
a political martyr they would like to have remembered. Food, dancing, and
pinata smashing mark a fun and fabulous evening, and over the past two
years, nearly $900 has been raised for our Mutual Aid Fund through this

A working group of the Denver Anarchist Black Cross, the Denver Armed
Resistance Committee, focuses on providing tactical defense training to
members of DABC and social movements active in the Denver area.

In 2010, we hosted four public introductory level firearms skillshares,
sharing knowledge with over 50 people. These introductory classes cover
safety and handling, as well as mechanics and history of tactical
firearms. DARC members also participated in and led several live fire
trainings, as well as a direct action tactical training, focused on
unarmed, but militant, street demonstrations.

Throughout 2010, DARC members and others from Denver ABC tabled at Denver
area gun shows with anti-white supremacist and anti-Minutemen materials,
as well as self defense related materials written from an anarchist

One important note about Denver ABC is that we put a lot of emphasis on
building a multigenerational movement. This emphasis is manifested in a
variety of ways, from providing childcare at every DABC meeting to
ensuring that anyone that DARC instructs in firearms use can change a
diaper before they are allowed to fire a gun. Over half of the members of
the collective are parents or find themselves in parental roles, and this
certainly is a large motivating factor in our desire and need to include
children and families in our organizing work, and to provide support to
families and kids active within the movement.

The Nurturing Liberation working group has been the primary organizing
body for childcare or other forms of family support. Last year, Nurturing
Liberation held a free kids clothing and toy swap, provided childcare at
several movement events hosted by other organizations, and helped organize
a reading of the book, “My Baby Rides the Shortbus” about the experiences
of parenting kids with disabilities.

Denver ABC also helped provide childcare for the weekly meetings of local
participants of the Black Mesa Caravan, a group providing material and
direct support for indigenous people resisting coal mining at Big

DABC is an active member organization of the 27 Social Centre, an
anti-capitalist and revolutionary community space in Denver that provides
space to a host of organizations, including the Denver Zine Library,
Sent(a)mental Studios, the Bread and Roses Workers Cultural Center, Build
Up Books, the Denver IWW, Comite Defensa del Pueblo, P&L Printing, and
many other initiatives and programs.

DABC and its members support the center financially, help staff and
organize events, and also live in and work out of the space.

Denver has had a busy year in the streets in 2010. Denver ABC members were
present and helped organize several demonstrations in response to
increased police violence, and the murder of a homeless street preacher,
Marvin Booker. Though neither demonstration was organized directly by DABC
as an entity, members were heavily present and involved in outreach,
security, and logistics for the events.

Along with various allies, including Resistencia Mexicana, and Comite
Defensa del Pueblo, DABC helped to organize a Mayday demonstration that
saw over 500 people march for social justice and anti-capitalist

In October, a local organization that works in solidarity with the
Coalition of Immokalee Workers, Denver Fair Food, hosted an encuentro
(gathering) of organizers from across the midwest organizing for justice
for agricultural workers. DABC helped cook food and provide housing for
the event.

Members of Denver Anarchist Black Cross co-own and run a collective
printshop: P&L Printing. The printshop has been providing commercial
printing to radicals, non-profits, and unions for over three decades.
Utilizing offset, digital, and screen printing, P&L functions as a worker
collective that provides direct employment for 4 members of ABC as well as
print support for a variety of radical and revolutionary projects.

In 2010, P&L Printing offered free or discounted work to many movement
groups including:
-The Asheville 11
-The Jericho Movement
-Black Mesa Support Caravan
-Rob Will/DRIVE and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
-Denver Food Not Bombs
-Bash Back
And of course, Denver ABC...

Other work that DABC was involved in over the course of 2010 included
organizing a solidarity demonstration against the verdict in the Oscar
Grant murder trial, organizing a local event for the Isreali based group
Anarchists Against the Wall, screening the film “Bloody Sunday” on the
anniversary of the Bloody Sunday massacre that took place in Ireland,
hosting a talk about the Greek anarchist movement by Peter Gelderloos and
organizing an emergency demonstration in solidarity with Georgia prisoners
in revolt.

2010 was a busy year for the Denver ABC, and 2011 is shaping up to be even
busier. The attacks on our movements will not relent as long as our
movements remain vibrant and consistent threats to domination. In 2011, we
will maintain our usual work and role within the Denver anarchist
movement, and will also continue our several annual events, including
Running Down the Walls, our Political Prisoner Art Show, Martyr's Ball,
and our monthly political prisoner letterwriting events.

Several larger initiatives are also underway, including planning for a
North American Anarchist Black Cross conference to take place this summer,
in which we hope to have ABC collectives from across the continent
represented to meet, form social bonds, and strengthen our collective work
to support social movements and their prisoners.

You can support the work of Denver ABC in a variety of ways.

-Buy our annual calendar! For a second year, DABC has released a high
quality, full color calendar featuring scenes of social revolt from around
the world. The sales of this calendar directly benefit DABC's Mutual Aid
Fund, and our own stipend program for prisoners.

-Buy a Martyr's Ball poster print! Each year before Martyr's Ball, DABC
releases a limited run of three color screen printed posters featuring
three fallen icons of liberatory social movements. This year's print
features Emiliano Zapata, Marilyn Buck, and Harriette Moore. The posters
measure 19x27 and are hand signed by the artist, DABC's own Matt Verges.

-Donate to the DABC Mutual Aid Fund DABC's Mutual Aid Fund is always in
need of donations! The money is well spent and goes a long way to offer
meaningful financial support to Denver based comrades in urgent economic

-Subscribe to our email announcement list and our Emergency Response
Network Details are available on our blog at

-Get involved! DABC hosts open meetings every other week at the 27 Social
Centre in northwest Denver. For details, check out our blog.

-Print with P&L Printing Supporting P&L directly benefits the 27 Social
Centre (for which P&L pays most of the rent and bills) and Denver ABC. For
information, email P&L at plprinting@msn.com

-Support your local ABC or other anti-authoritarian projects!

To inquire about purchasing posters, calendars, or making a donation, drop
us a line at denverabc@rocketmail.com or visit

In love and solidarity! Your comrades at Denver Anarchist Black Cross
2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D
Denver, CO 80211

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