Statement from Denver Anarchist Black Cross in support of Amelia Nicol

from Denver Anarchist Black Cross:

Support resistance to police terror!
Support Amelia Nicol!

On Friday May 6th, over one hundred people, mostly young, poor, and angry, took to the streets in defiance of the Denver Police Department. They participated in a march, called to confront “police terror” in the Denver Metro area. Specifically, they marched to remember the deaths of Marvin Booker and Oleg Gidenko, two people murdered by area police departments in the last year.

As the the march ended, a small firework was set off in the street. Police used this act as a justification to chase one alleged participant down an alley, where she was tackled and beaten by police. This person would later be identified as Amelia Nicol, a 20 year old Colorado resident. She now faces outlandish charges including attempted murder.

We call on all people to support Amelia as she fights these attempts at intimidation and repression, and the police’s broader attack on social movements in Denver.

Background
Marvin Booker, a homeless street preacher, died at the hands of five sheriff’s deputies in the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center in downtown Denver on July 9, 2010. He was tackled, beaten, placed into chokeholds, tazed, and kicked. He eventually succumbed to the officers’ brutal attack. He was murdered for refusing to leave his shoes in the booking area of the jail.

Oleg Gidenko was shot in the head by Aurora Police Officers. Oleg was in a truck with several friends. They had been hanging out, allegedly drinking in the truck while it was parked in a lonely industrial park in Aurora. Aurora Police Officers approached the truck, armed, supposedly because they suspected the occupants of breaking into cars in the area. As the police aimed their weapons at the truck, one officer shot Oleg in the head. Another occupant, Yevgeniy Straystar. was also shot, but would survive. With two occupants, including the driver, shot and a passenger trying to hide on the floor of the truck as it took repeated fire from police officers, the truck lurched forward, bumping into one of the officers. This action, though it took place after the firing had started, and after Oleg was dead, was used as the justification for the shooting.

Many other high profile cases of police terror have been documented in the metro area over the last year, including the beating of whole families, rape and child molestation, and mishandling of evidence. Few, if any, officers are ever punished.

On May 6th, the fourth in a series of marches was held to show direct opposition to the police terror plaguing the metro area. For several hours the crowd snaked through downtown and the arts district. The police response to this fourth march was much heavier than previous marches, and riot police flanked the march for a good portion of the route. Despite the heavy police presence and attempts at intimidation, Amelia would end up being the only arrest during the march.

On Thursday May 12th, news agencies across the metro area reported that Amelia would be charged with a host of felonies and misdemeanors, including two counts of attempted murder of a police officer, criminal arson, possession and use of explosives, and inciting a riot. Police alleged she threw the firework, only now in the news reports the firework had become a “molotov cocktail”, or in some news reports, an “improvised explosive.” The small green firework now became a dangerous implement of attempted murder of two police officers. Amelia is now confined to a jail cell in the Denver County Jail, held on a $50,000 bond.

Just days previous, on Monday May 9th, Denver Mayor Guillermo Vidal announced that the deputies implicated in the death of Marvin Booker would face no discipline for their use of force. This announcement came after months of public outcry in response to a September 2010 decision by District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to not file any criminal charges in response to Marvin’s murder.

The charges now being filed against Amelia are a slap in the face to every person that struggles for justice. The City of Denver has made it clear that the life of a black street preacher is worth less than the relative comfort of several police officers that may have been scared by a small firework. Murderers with badges receive no criminal charges, while a young woman who allegedly attended a protest to hold those officers accountable now faces over 90 years in prison.

We must rally to support Amelia! The Denver Anarchist Black Cross calls on all justice and freedom loving people to mobilize for the defense of Amelia in the face of these atrocious criminal charges!

There are many ways to show support:

  1. Attend Amelia’s public hearing on Monday May 16th at 9:30 am in Courtroom 2100 of the Denver County Courthouse at 490 West Colfax in downtown Denver.
  2. Donate to Amelia’s legal defense. Denver ABC will be accepting donations on behalf of Amelia’s family and friends. You can mail donations to Denver ABC, 2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D, Denver CO 80211. Checks should be made payable to P&L Printing. A paypal account where donations can be made is available through the username plpress@riseup.net
  3. Sign up for updates on Denver ABC’s twitter account. Our username is DenverABC.
  4. Send a letter to the Denver DA demanding that the charges against Amelia be immediately dropped. All letters or postcards can be mailed to: Denver DA Mitch Morrissey, 201 W. Colfax Ave #801, Denver CO 80202-5328

5)Keep checking the Denver ABC blog at denverabc.wordpress.com for all news, announcements, and other ways to show support for Amelia and other political prisoners.

We must clearly view these charges as an attack on our movement as a whole. Amelia’s fate determines the fate of our social movements active across the metro area, and even the rest of this country and the world. This type of repressive act, if successful, will only work to embolden and strengthen a police force that has openly been waging a war of brutal terror against the people of the Denver metro area. If they can put Amelia in prison for what would amount to the rest of her life for attending a demonstration, then any of us who organize for justice and against oppression could be next.

If you have any questions, offers of support or resources, or want to get involved with the support work, please contact us at denverabc@rocketmail.com

Until Amelia is free, and all cages are emptied!

Denver Anarchist Black Cross
May 15, 2011

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