Drop the charges on Denver anti-racist organizers!

Sign on to the statement to demand District Attorneys in the Denver area stop prosecuting peaceful protesters!

Sign on to the statement

In a move designed to intimidate and criminalize peaceful protest and dissent in the Denver area, leaders of mass, peaceful protests that for months had demanded the police officers who killed Elijah McClain be fired and arrested, were themselves arrested in a coordinated attack by the Denver and Aurora police on Sept. 17, 2020. They were given multiple heavy felony charges, held in punitive detention and solitary confinement for nearly eight days before being brought before a judge, and now face decades in prison.

We, the undersigned, join with the 90,000-strong Denver Area Labor Federation (DALF) which unanimously adopted a resolution that “calls on District Attorneys Dave Young and George Brauchler to drop the charges against recently arrested organizers” and that urges “our affiliates and partner organizations to adopt a similar resolution.”

The Denver Area Labor Federation Resolution states the imperative need for all of labor to come together to demand that these charges be dropped. It read, in part:

WHEREAS, six peaceful protestors face felony charges – including kidnapping – for their involvement in protest on July 17th, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. These arrests and ridiculous charges against organizers are a clear example of fascism. The government is cracking down on the right to organize, protest, and dissent. We must live up to our oath and defend democratic rights in this time of growing fascism. 

WHEREAS, charging the organizers with “kidnapping” for holding a protest outside the office of those in power is a dangerous precedent. This opens the pathway for employers to call the cops and arrest union members on picket lines on similar charges of “kidnapping.” 

WHEREAS, the union members who fought and died for our rights as workers in Colorado faced similar charges of “inciting a riot” and “destruction of property.” Police and the government targeted our leaders and activists in the past. If we do not stand against these unjust arrests now, we do a disservice to the memory of those who built our labor movement. 

WHEREAS, we must draw a hard line now. We know that if we do not stand up to these attacks against organizing and protesting, union organizers will be targeted next. 

Yes, I agree with the Denver Area Labor Federation and join in their demand that the District Attorneys in the Denver area must stop this injustice and drop all charges!

Initial Signers

Josh Downey, President, Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO 

Tiffany Choi, President, Denver Classroom Teachers Association

Susan Solomon, President, United Educators San Francisco

Diana Corral, President, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2076, Orange County Eligibility Workers 

Elizabeth A. Davis, President, Washington Teachers’ Union

Sharon Chappill, President, Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART)  Local 1741

Ken Lerch, President, National Association of Letter Carriers, Branch 3825

Anke Schennink, President, United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 5810

Kavitha Iyengar, President, UAW Local 2865

Yasemin Zahra, Chairwoman, Labor Against Racism and War

Robert Longer, Vice President, Sacramento Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Neal Sweeney, Vice President, UAW Local 5810

Keith Pavlik, Treasurer, University Professional and Technical Employees-CWA Local 9119

Meghann Adams,  LCA Secretary, SMART Local 1741

Chris Gonsalves, Recording Secretary, Massachusetts Public Defenders SEIU 888

Roger Scott, Recording Secretary, AFSCME Local 2401, DC Social Service and Service Delivery Employees

Cliff Smith, Business Agent, Roofers and Waterproofers Local 36 Los Angeles

Tahnee Sweeney, Executive Board member, Woodland Education Association CTA/NEA

Amrita Dani, Executive Board member, American Federation of Teachers, Massachusetts

Kaleigh O’Keefe, Executive Board member, Massachusetts AFL-CIO; Executive Board Member of the Greater Boston Labor Council; Shop Steward, UAW 1596

Frank Lara, Executive Board member, United Educators of San Francisco

Moira Casados Cassidy, Board of Directors member, Denver Classroom Teachers Association 

Hypatia Ostojic, Chair of Peace & Justice/ Civil Rights and Equity Committee, UPTE-CWA 9119

Jess Dampier and Sabina Wildman, National Organizing Directors, United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS)

Geoff Carens, Shop Steward, Harvard University Clerical & Technical Workers, AFSCME 3650

Ramzi Babouder-Matta, Shop Steward & Labor Against Racism and War Representative, CWA 1180

Rand Wilson, Chief of Staff, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 888

Seth Hutchinson, Campaign Lead, CWA

Adrian Regalado, CWA Organizer, Mobilizer for CWA Staff Union

Jim Charas, San Francisco Labor Council Delegate, SMART 1741

Tedwood Strong, Labor Organizer, CODE-CWA

Peter Shaffery, Member, United Campus Workers of Colorado