Demand to Drop Charges Against Denver Antiracist Activists

On Sept. 17, police targeted and arrested several antiracist activists in Denver: Trey Quinn, Joel Northam, Eliza Lucero, Russell Ruch, Lillian House and Terrance Roberts.

17th District Attorney Dave Young charged activists with 33 felony counts and 34 misdemeanor charges, from stealing counter-protest signs to inciting a riot and kidnapping. On Thursday Sept. 24, all remaining organizers were bailed out. They face a long and trying road ahead.

Let us first recognize the ultimate tragedy that has transpired: Elijah McClain should be here. Randy Roedema, Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt still have jobs in Aurora PD, funded by our taxes. They still walk free. They can still call their mothers. Elijah cannot.

More than a year has passed since APD officers, with the assistance of paramedics Jeremy Cooper and Ryan Walker, murdered Elijah. DA Young has failed to take any meaningful steps whatsoever toward justice for Elijah and his family.

The activists and organizers gathered the community peacefully on several occasions to demand action, including July 3.

The 17th District DA’s office expects us to accept the notion that APD officers—with a multimillion dollar budget, firearms, riot gear, chemical & military-grade weapons and vehicles— were “kidnapped” by unarmed protestors with cardboard signs and plastic swim goggles as they sat inside APD headquarters for a few hours. Now, the state is attempting to put these activists in cages for years to make examples out of them.

We condemn this blatant fascism with a full-throated cry: These charges are disgusting, overt retaliation. They are the product of a deeply corrupt system— one built to favor white supremacy and stifle our fight for justice. In bringing the community together to protest this rotten reality, community organizers confronted this system at its core. We echo and uplift the demands that all charges be dropped against every individual, and reject this assault on the movement and free speech.

We ask that Aurora & Denver community show up in solidarity with all political prisoners this Saturday Sept. 25 on the Capitol steps at noon. If you’re able, donate:

We implore you to ask:

Who will be left to speak for you?

Sign Our Petition To Defund The Police!

In response to the police murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Elijah McClain, Marvin Booker, Michael Marshall, Alexis Mendez-Perez, Andres Guardado, Tamir Rice, and countless others—Denver DSA voted this weekend to endorse and launch a campaign to Defund & Dismantle the Denver and Aurora Police Departments.

This is the first step to show officials in Aurora and Denver the growing movement behind these demands. Keep your eyes peeled for future actions to make our voices heard! We will settle for nothing short of the abolition of the police state and the prison industrial complex. But that road is long: we need everyone to fight together for freedom! Fill out this form to get involved.

We know that racist violence and the policing of poverty are not flaws in the system—they are the system working as designed. Elected officials (and the wealthy interests that support them) decided long ago that they would rather police and incarcerate Black, Brown, Indigenous and working people over supporting our communities with affordable and accessible housing, schools & health care, good unionized jobs and community resources.

The city of Denver spends nearly twenty times on law enforcement what it does on housing, and five times what it spends on housing, homelessness, and public health combined. We demand Denver and Aurora’s elected leaders unequivocally reject this status quo. Police have no role in a society where everyone is free from oppression, where each of us are afforded opportunities to flourish and thrive, where care and comfort replace crime and punishment.

We’re building a multiracial coalition of families, faith leaders, teachers, union members, and working class people committed to defunding the police, and rebuilding our cities.

SIGN AND SHARE OUR PETITIONhttp://bit.ly/DEFUNDDPDAPD

Toward True Independence: Events in Denver Metro This Fourth of July Weekend

As socialists, we harshly condemn any celebration of “Independence” Day, a day that reveres the establishment of a country with codified beliefs that Black lives do not matter. Honoring the founding of the United States of America is an egregious insult to the Indigenous populations of these lands, which white colonizers claimed through genocide. Waving the flag of “freedom” is a taunt to the countless nations our government administrations have stifled and attacked through imperial wars and colonial aggression. The anniversary of the USA is no cause for celebration, but rather a solemn occasion to organize, protest and fight for a socialist transformation of this country.

Looking for ways to fight for a better world this weekend? We have a few suggestions:

Protest and march against killer Aurora PD cops: Time’s Up, APD!

  • Demand Justice for Elijah McClain tomorrow evening, Friday, July 3 with our PSL Denver comrades. Don’t forget to wear face masks and unmarked clothing!

Rally against ICE: No Freedom Until We #FreeThemAll Festival & Rally

  • Join Abolish ICE Denver comrades at the GEO Group facility (who’ve been camping out for over a month!) to protest the concentration camps in our own backyard. Come by on July 4 for an all-day festival: From 10 AM to 10 PM Saturday there will be a rally, market, music, and vigil for those caged under these inhumane conditions in the name of profit.

March at the Rise Up 4th of July Rally

  • Starting at Manual High School at 5:00 PM on Saturday, July 4, youth-led organization 10for10 will be marching to rally against the oppression of marginalized communities in the US.

Provide Jail Support

  • Help out with Jail Support at the Denver City Jail! We receive recently caged individuals with love and care by giving out water, food, masks and compassion. More info: bit.ly/DDSAJAILSUPPORT

Take time this weekend to honor and remember the Indigenous people of this land, as well as all those who have been murdered and victimized in the name of this country. Further, please take care of yourselves, your families, and your community! Our souls may be tired, but we know that a better world is possible.

In solidarity,

Denver DSA Steering Committee

Denver Labor Capitol Action Highlights Governor’s Failure to Address Housing Crisis

Community leaders and Denver DSA members took over the Colorado State Capitol complex Wednesday to demand immediate action from Gov. Jared Polis to prevent mass displacement in the coming weeks and months, as federal unemployment dries up and eviction moratoriums are set to expire.

“Without immediate action, hundreds of thousands of renters are going to get swept away by a tsunami of evictions across our state, adding a housing crisis on top of our ongoing public health crisis and civil unrest,” said Aurora Councilmember Juan Marcano. “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented action. This can be prevented with bold leadership by our governor—but only if he has the will to do it.”

Denver DSA hosted a meal service in the afternoon with Denver Homeless Out Loud, Colorado Jobs With Justice and the Colorado Poor People’s Campaign. The groups set up dozens of tents across the Capitol lawn to symbolize the 400,000 Coloradans who are imminently vulnerable to eviction in the absence of any meaningful steps to keep communities housed.

Attendees included dozens of laid off restaurant workers who donated food, labor and supplies:

“So many of us have already lost so much,” said Denver DSA labor organizer Mariah Wood, who was laid off because of COVID-19. “I had to vacate my apartment back in May because I hadn’t received my unemployment for close to two months, and had no hope of catching up on the rent I owed. I had no idea when the eviction moratorium would expire, and kept getting notices from my landlord. I was desperate, and had to throw out everything that wouldn’t fit in the back seat of my car. Hundreds of thousands of people have been laid off due to the virus, and the state is being forced to close businesses again due to its resurgence. More and more people are going to be forced to make the same decision I did.”

We categorically reject any city budget that continues to entertain massive vanity projects while simultaneously turning a blind eye to its unhoused residents. As unemployment and homelessness continue to spike, we will continue fighting to cancel rent and evictions. Solidarity, reinvestment, and a people-centered approach to the pressing needs of our communities are the way forward, toward true housing security for all.

“As unprecedented amounts of federal dollars flow toward relief from this global pandemic, our Governor and Mayor have failed to meaningfully address the now exponentially exacerbated housing crisis,” said Denver City Councilmember Candi CdeBaca. “In Denver, we know only a fraction of people in need are receiving support. Over 100,000 Denver residents face months of unpaid rent, looming evictions, and nightly protests. Unrest is rising. The city cannot rest, elected officials cannot rest, until the people are also able to rest comfortably in their beds. We need an immediate cancellation of rents and mortgages now.”

CONTACT: Kaley LaQuea, Communications Chair
communications@denverdsa.org
720.314.8268

Juneteenth 2020: Celebrations & Actions in Denver

This Friday, June 19, communities across the country will celebrate Emancipation Day, more commonly known as Juneteenth. On this day in 1865, Union soldiers landed in Galveston, TX and brought the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to Black enslaved people in Texas, some of the last people to be freed before the passage of the 13th Amendment. You can read more about the history of this day here and read about why socialists call for Juneteenth to be a national holiday.

In the wake of the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others at the hands of the police and the subsequent uprising demanding an end to anti-Black and Brown policies and growing demands to abolish the police, this year’s celebrations and actions take on added importance. At the national level, DSA has endorsed the Weekend of Action by SixNineteen, a network of Black-led organizations.

In this spirit, the Steering Committee of Denver DSA strongly encourages you to attend or participate in some of the many Juneteenth events happening across the metro area this weekend, particularly the Freedom Day Party on Saturday, 6/20. We have compiled a list here, which is being updated constantly. Some important events include:

DENVER

  • Juneteenth Silent March and Ride, Friday 6/19 @ 9:00 AM – 12:30 – Facebook link
  • Juneteenth Rally Celebration, Friday 6/19 @ 6:30 PM – More info
  • Juneteenth Freedom Day Party, Saturday 6/20 @ 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM – Facebook link
            Free COVID testing from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM followed by live music
            Hosted by Black Lives Matter 5280

VIRTUAL

  • The Fire This Time: We Can’t Breathe, Friday 6/19 @ 5:00PM MDT (RSVP)
    Hosted by DSA Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus
  • Sixteen Thousand Dollars: Screening & Discussion, Sunday 6/21 @ 1:00 MST
    Hosted by DSA Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus (RSVP)

This is perhaps the most meaningful Juneteenth weekend of our generation. Please take time this weekend to attend one or more of these events and continue the struggle to protect and uplift Black Lives, Black Trans Lives, Black Indigeonous Lives, and Black Immigrant Lives. None of us are free until we are all free!

Denver Democratic Socialists of America Newsletter: Summer

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

SEIU Local 105 Kaiser Permanente Workers in Denver Prepare for an Impending Strike!

Part of a larger coalition of unions representing more than 80,000 Kaiser hospital workers has authorized a walkout that would begin in October. 

Learn how to support your local healthcare professionals by getting in contact with the healthcare committee!


Kaiser image courtesy of Andy Cross of the Denver Post; Geo courtesy of Anthony Camera of Westword; Candi CdeBaca courtesy of Denver Channel 7 News.

DSA Member and Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca leads vote to terminate contracts with for-profit detention facilities

Aurora couple sues UCHealth over CORA request by socialist group; claims conflicts of interest tied to Colorado Rockies owner

Denver DSA Activities and Events by Committee:

ECO-SOCIALISM

  • Ecosoc passed resolutions endorsing the Ecosocialist Green New Deal to make climate and environmental justice chapter priorities.
  • We will also be hosting a social hike on Sunday, September 15th. Check Slack or email ecosocialist.committee@denverdsa.org to get involved!
  • Join our September meeting (9/28 at 2pm at the Decker Library Branch, Basement Meeting Room) for a workshop on committee priorities and campaigns.

ELECTORAL

  • Our committee’s mission is to get democratic socialists elected to office and in June we did just that. We knocked over 7000 doors, raised over $6000 to play an integral role in getting Candi CdeBaca elected to Denver City Council D9. She landed in a runoff with incumbent, Albus Brooks, and won despite his hundreds of thousands of dollars from developers. Since taking office Candi has consistently discussed socialism in the media, given DSA credit for the work we did for her and even convinced city council to cancel contracts with private prison contractors (see above).
  • November 2019 Election Endorsements:

Members of our chapter will be knocking doors, calling voters and writing postcards for our endorsed candidates every week in order to get them elected in November. If you’d like to get involved contact electoral.committee@denverdsa.org, or donate at the following websites if you are unable to volunteer:

Our next meeting is at Whittier Cafe (1710 E 25th Ave) at 6:30pm on September 12th. No previous electoral politics experience or knowledge is required, we are always happy to answer questions! If you’re new to electoral politics (or just the committee), if you’d like to get involved before the meeting or if you can’t make the meeting please feel free to contact the committee at the email address above and we can set up a time to chat!

HEALTHCARE

  • SEIU Kaiser Permanente Strike (see above). If you want to get involved in strike support, attend this meeting on 9/18!
  • Read about the recent lawsuit filed against UC Health to shed light on their profit seeking business model and the conflict of interest that exists with the co-owner of the Colorado Rockies Richard Monfort, who is also the chairman of the board of UC Health.

LABOR

  • SEIU Kaiser Permanente Strike (see above). If you want to get involved in strike support, attend this meeting on 9/18!
  • Are you working two or three gigs just to make rent? Do you never get paid on time? Are you frustrated that you don’t have a voice at work? You’re not alone.

    Join Denver DSA this fall for “Scare the Boss,” a Halloween-themed workplace organizing bootcamp. We will be teaching how to have a complete organizing conversation, focusing on skills including agitation, storytelling, and inoculation, with some spooky fun thrown in.

    Lunch will be served. The workshop is free, with a suggested donation of $5-10. 

MUTUAL AID

  • This summer, Mutual Aid worked to turn up the heat on Denver’s slumlords!

    As a part of our Stomp Out Slumlords campaign, we continued our monthly eviction defense canvasses and began organizing tenants facing oppressive living conditions at a complex in Southeast Denver.

    Over the course of four community meetings, tenants decided to create a petition to pressure management for change, and signature collection has begun! To support these efforts, DSA members have held nine canvasses, holding conversations with over 250 tenants.
  • If you’re interested in fighting for just housing in Denver, reach out to mutual.aid.committee@denverdsa.org!

POLITICAL EDUCATION

  • Denver DSA’s new Marxism Reading Group will meet Thursday, September 19, at 8:30 – 10:30pm in the Tattered Cover Book Store (2526 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206, USA)
  • If interested in political education, please join the committee meetings on Sunday, September 22 from 7:00 – 9:00pm at King Center, 855 Lawrence Way, Denver, CO

SOCIALIST FEMINISM

Held our first Dish & Dish, an event where comrades can fellowship, break bread, and discuss socialist-feminist issues.

  • Along with the Eco-Socialist Committee, Soc-Fem organized zero waste boxes for our chapter; these boxes include reusable plates, cups, bowls, and flatware.
  • Continued our commitment to providing space for women, nonbinary, and trans folks to commiserate, fellowship, and organize within Denver DSA
  • Began planning our support for the FAMLI Act – paid family and medical leave legislation that is crucial to improving the lives of working families in Colorado
  • The Anti-oppression Reading Group will be discussing Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation. If interested, meet us on Thursday, September 26 from 8:30 – 10:30pm at Tattered Cover Book Store 2526 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO

TECH

Over the summer we’ve:

  • Introduced a slack moderation working group to maintain the new guidelines
  • Reorganized and consolidated some of the slack channels to better organize conversation
  • Introduced a database manager website to maintain the childcare volunteer list
  • Begun planning an office hours event for chapter members and coalition organizations to receive tech support

To get involved with Tech, contact info@denverdsa.org. To join slack, you can forward your membership receipt from national to that address as well.

Denver DSA Supports a Living Wage for Airport Workers

Date: August 28, 2018

Contact: labor.committee@denverdsa.org

Denver, CO — On Thursday, August 23, a diverse coalition of labor unions and community organizations officially launched the “$15 for DIA” campaign. Led by UNITE HERE Local 23, this citywide ballot measure would raise the minimum wage for Denver International Airport workers to $15 an hour. The Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the Denver Area Labor Federation, the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, Democratic nominee for SD 34 Julie Gonzales, and many more have endorsed the initiative. 

Denver DSA issued the following statement in response to the campaign kickoff:

The publicly-owned Denver International Airport generates over $26 billion annually. Another year of record growth is forecast for 2018. The airlines are reaping profits for their shareholders and executives like never before. Yet, the workers who actually produce this wealth are being left behind.

Thousands of Colorado families — predominantly immigrants and people of color — are living in poverty amid this prosperity. Some longtime employees at companies like United still make less than $12 an hour after 20 years on the job. Many DIA workers earn no more than the current state minimum wage of $10.20 an hour. Meanwhile, across the airport, management continues to fight tooth and nail to deny workers’ right to organize and bargain collectively.


This situation is unacceptable. That’s why Denver DSA has endorsed a citywide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage for all DIA workers to $15. Alongside our coalition partners, we have already begun talking to voters and gathering the initial signatures to get the question on the May 2019 ballot. 


It’s time ordinary people in Colorado fought back against the greed of corporations, developers, and their political lackeys. Join us and build worker power at DIA! Check out the Denver DSA Facebook page to find opportunities to volunteer.

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About Denver DSA

Denver DSA is the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, the largest socialist organization in the United States. We believe both the economy should be democratically owned and controlled to meet the needs of working people, not make profits for a few. We are an activist organization, not a party; through community and campus-based based chapters, DSA is building a mass movement for radical social change and establishing an openly socialist presence in American politics.