By David Martinez
Last week in the Denver area, authorities arrested six activists who have been at the forefront of their local protests for Elijah McClain and the Black Lives Matter movement, charging the organizers with an array of serious felonies with baseless evidence, including the outrageous charge of ‘kidnapping’ for three of them. This week, solidarity with the arrestees was shown in cities from coast to coast calling for all of their trumped-up charges to be dropped.
On Wednesday night, the Oxnard Tribune Support Committee gave a speech in front of a local police station and joined up with a protest following the verdict on the police murder of Breonna Taylor. A banner reading “Drop All Charges Against the 6 Political Prisoners of Colorado” was raised during the speech, as articles detailing the story were distributed among the crowd.
“Today we are here to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, and to stand in solidarity with the six political prisoners who are facing trumped up charges in Denver, in one of the most vulgar instances of state repression we’ve seen in the mass movement for Black lives,” said a member of the SC. “These individual activists who’ve taken lead in the fight for Black lives in Denver are being used like lab rats by the state, testing how far they can push their fascistic attacks against those brave enough to rebel.”
A member of Revolutionary Student News, a high school-based, student-run newsletter, also gave a speech in solidarity with the Six.
On Thursday, members of the Pittsburgh Tribune Support Committee attended a Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) solidarity event for the arrestees and joined them in a show of solidarity, distributing articles as well. Serve the People – PGH, which has been leading struggles against police violence, was also in attendance.
The Austin Tribune Support Committee read a speech in solidarity with the political prisoners on Thursday evening, and proceeded to agitate and distribute articles about the arrests at a downtown park.
“None of the officers involved have been charged in Elijah [McClain’s] death, nor was the driver of a Jeep who attempted to drive into a protest in Aurora in July, and yet these six activists who are demanding people’s justice for Elijah have been charged with felonies,” said a Tribune supporter, adding, “The ruling class justice system is not impartial – it is reactionary!”
In addition, graffiti in support of the arrestees was seen in multiple spots across the city.
Graffiti reading “Drop the Charges against the 6 political prisoners in Colorado” was seen.
More on the Case
The six activists were going about their daily lives when they were rounded up while shopping, driving, or at home, weeks after the protests where the alleged ‘crimes’ occurred. Authorities absurdly charged three organizers with ‘kidnapping’ for organizing a protest in July numbering in the hundreds, which they claim ‘trapped’ heavily armed police officers in their precinct building and therefore constituted a hostage-type situation.
Four of the arrestees are with the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), an organization with which our paper has strong ideological disagreements, but we recognize the primary enemy of US imperialism which is attempting to string up these organizers and further criminalize the movement for Black lives with this repression.
The two other organizers are prominent in the Denver and Aurora protest movement, which has fiercely fought for justice for 23-year-old Elijah McClain. Three of the PSL organizers with the most serious charges were not released until Thursday, kept in inhumane and unsanitary conditions a week after their original arrests. On Saturday, September 19, PSL held a rally to support their arrestees and the other organizers.
PSL is holding more protests this coming weekend in various cities, which we encourage our readers to attend in support. This case is a clear attempt of the state to bend the laws of its own illegitimate justice system and to see how far they can press their absurd charges, and will have serious impacts on all those engaged in protest. This repression must be resisted by all those who stand with the people and the movement for Black lives.