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Peace march in Colorado attacked by police

Hey Dallas-ites and my home-team in Denton -- remember this when you march tonight.

The Denver Post has a report of a small peace march in Colorado Springs, Colorado that was attacked over the weekend by a group of police. The Post's story is somewhat detail-lite. The Colorado-Springs Gazette story is decent. But the story in Colorado Confidential is best, I think. Writer Cara DeGette says ...

Bill Durland, who was part of a group of about 45 marching with the Bookman bookmobile, says he watched as Colorado Springs police, some wearing riot helmets, descended into the crowd.

One cop kneed a woman in the groin as she lay on the ground. Another broke a wooden peace sign that one of the participants had been carrying. One photo shows a cop with his arm around the neck of a retired priest, Frank Cordero, in an apparent chokehold. In another shot a cop hoists a Taser.

The arrests occurred just after start of the St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday. The group were marching with the bookmobile owned by Verlo, a well-known peace activist. Verlo had obtained a $15 permit to participate in the parade, but apparently, though the participants say they did nothing more than wear T-shirts with peace signs and carry peace banners with messages like "Kids Not Bombs," they were told after the parade started that they were unwelcome.

"There were City Council candidates and the Knights of Columbus," Durland said. "We were just wearing peace sweaters and green T-shirts with white peace signs and carrying a banner that said ‘Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission’ and then someone came running up at an intersection and told us to leave. He didn’t identify himself, and he started pushing people around and he must have called the police because they came pretty fast."

Many of the participants who were walking with the Bookman bookmobile indeed dispersed when the police appeared and ordered them to do so. But those who didn’t leave, White noted, were "mainly the people most trained in non-violence."

"They went limp," he said.

Durland says it all happened so fast that few understood what was happening. He called the officers’ response "shock and awe."

Today is the Fourth Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq. Tonight, Peace Activists from all over Texas will descend upon Dallas, Denton and Arlington, among the thousands of other locations around the nation.

Keep safe, friends. And remember: if the police attack you, go limp and do not fight back. The most important thing is ensuring your safety.

That being said, don't forget TONIGHT!

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