We ask you to write to your City Councilor and the Mayor about the police actions at the Entrada protest. The post also includes links to our report on North Korea (very germane today), much more on the Entrada, and an analysis of the voting record of our 2 US House Reps on the People’s Platform.
Events and Opportunities
We have a ton of Events and Opportunities coming over the next two weeks, an opportunity to provide comment at the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, a Local Research and Advocacy meeting where you can help us shape a local set of policy priorities and to form a set of principles to guide future development of Santa Fe’s midtown, and a tremendous talk at the Little Theatre from the two founders of the the Weather Underground. Click here to check out these events and other events the following week.
Actions For This Week
Volunteer Needed. As the Post last Wednesday described, OurRevolution, Working Families Party and Progressive Democrats of America have developed a platform comprised of eight bills currently before the House of Representatives. Retake needs a volunteer to develop a concise summary of the eight bills that comprise the People’s Platform. We would also like this volunteer to determine if there are eight companion bills to these House Bills that are now before the Senate, so we can assess how well our US Senators fare in terms of their support for this legislation. If you have a bit of time to devote to this, I would be happy to provide some links and ideas for how to gather this information. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks
Vote Tuesday, Sept 19 on the County GRT Tax Increase. Not many folks vote in special elections so your vote can really count. Retake is not in favor of regressive taxes like the GRT, but in the absence of options on the table to tax using more progressive tax structures, we encourage approval of this increase. If voters approve the one-sixteenth-of-a-cent measure in September, which also would go into effect Jan. 1, adding about 6 cents to a $100 purchase, the expected $2.3 million in annual revenue would provide for more than 20 new positions in public safety and community services, including nine firefighters and three sheriff’s deputies. About $1 million would go to the planned crisis center. Six cents per $100 purchase is not too much to ask of us to pay for such critically needed services. But while we encourage approval, it is time for local municipalities to explore and enact more progressive tax alternatives, taxes that don’t disproportionately impact low-income communities.
Entrada Arrest Action Sought. As I noted yesterday, while we vigorously oppose the police actions, to be fair, the police took strong precautionary measures at least in part due to legitimate fears that violence could erupt as it has in other communities. From my perspective, the police presence wasn’t the real problem. If violence had occurred and there had been an inadequate police presence, the City would have been pummeled for failure to prepare. No, from my perspective, the presence was not the problem, it was the actions taken.
Roxanne and I were both no more than 5-10 feet away from the all of the arrests. We saw with our own eyes that the six arrested initially were all within 5-10 feet of the ‘free speech zone’ and were entirely passive, moving ever slowly toward the zone and a threat to no one. We also witnessed the arrest of Jennifer Marley and while neither Roxanne nor I had eye contact with her every second, nothing we saw and nothing on either of the two videos showed anything like an assault committed by Jennifer Marley. Finally, there is simply no justification for the eighth arrest, an LA tourist not even aware of a protest who was guilty of wearing a bandanna and arrested after he turned to leave the plaza. Whatever you think of the Entrada or the protesters, the police actions were completely unnecessary and could easily be understood to be saying to the Native community and its supporters: You have no rights here. Imagine how that resonates within the Native community.
Since yesterday’s post, I spoke with a civil rights attorney who told me that if he were representing those arrested, he would certainly want to work into the court record any official actions taken by the Mayor or City Council condemning police actions. So while it may be that the Council will not formally rebuke the police, it is important that the Council and the Mayor hear from us and that they answer our questions:
- Who authorized the initiation of the arrest process? At the point that arrests began, all the protesters save about 10 had entered the ‘free speech zone’ and those who had not were about 5 feet from the zone. All the protesters had peacefully moved 100 feet. Given this, why were arrests made? Who was being threatened by protesters still being 5 feet from the zone?
- Who approved of the concept of a free speech zone in the first place? How was it that the Fiesta Council’s permit for the Plaza led to the city limiting free speech and allowing the police to arrest a tourist merely for wearing a bandanna?
- Why have the Mayor and City Council been largely silent about the police actions? Where is the leadership calling for an investigation of the entire process?
- Will the City Council entertain initiating a resolution condemning the police department for its actions or encouraging the District Attorney to drop all charges against any of those arrested?
Public Safety Committee meeting, on Tuesday, Sept 19 at 4pm at the City Council Chambers at 200 Lincoln and Calls & Emails. Regardless of how you feel about the Entrada, the police behavior was uncalled for and a public investigation should be conducted. We would like Retake supporters to email and call their City Councilors and the Mayor and ask that they launch an investigation and pass a resolution apologizing for the wrongful arrests of eight individuals who were rightfully exercising their freedom of speech. Click here for contact information for all City Councilors and the Mayor. We also want to encourage our supporters to come to the next Public Safety Committee meeting. The agenda includes a report from Police Chief Gallagher. There is also an agenda item, Comments from the Floor. I will be there. I hope you will, too.
The Week in Review
Sunday, Sept 17. Rev Barber: An Inspiring 50 Minute Talk; Action Sought on Behalf of Entrada Arrestees. The post included an analysis of the Entrada protest and the decisions made or not made by the City in managing the situation. We also included a link to a Rev. Barber sermon to a southern white church where he outlined the implications of white supremacy and the extent to which rural whites and urban African Americans have more in common than dividing them. Clck here to review the full post
Saturday, Sept 16. The Truth About North Korea. This post was not read by most of you, a busy Saturday no doubt. But provides a link to an excellent article that delineates clearly how much responsibility the US must bear for the conflict in Korea and the degree to which South Korea and the US have historically been the provocateurs and how our continued provocations have landed us in today’s conflict. Clck here to review the full post Given that Trump is going to speak to world leaders today about this conflict, it would be good to put it in context by reviewing this post.
Thursday, Sept 14. Police Body Cam Shows No Assault by Jennifer Marley at Entrada Protest. This post provides a link to the police body cam video that they purport to prove an assault by Jennifer Marley and it is not very convincing to say the least. Check it out and make up your own mind. The post also includes commentary from Dan Cron, Jennifer Marley’s attorney. Clck here to review the full post.
Wednesday, Sept. 13. Progressive Report Card on Reps. Lujan & Lujan Grisham. This post includes analysis of how both of New Mexico’s US House Democrats Clck here to review the full post.
Tuesday, Sept. 12. Marley Faces Two Battery Charges at 8am Tomorrow. Heinrich to Co-Sponsor Single Payer. This post includes footage released by the New Mexican of the arrest of Jennifer Marley. It is the best footage showing her arrest, even better than the one from the police body cam, presented in Thursday’s post above. The post also includes a brief report on Sen. Heinrich’s sponsorship of the Sanders Single Payer Healthcare Bill. Clck here to review the full post.
Paul & Roxanne