Burying the hatchet to defend against the gun

13 May

In light of the recent and atrocious attack that has been leveled against our movement by the Denver Police Department, the authors of Queen City Antifa’s “Even with our backs against the wall” communique would like to offer some thoughts in an effort to move forward and be able to create a united defense against the police and their attacks.

In our previous communique, we raised critiques that we feel are still valid regarding ideas of solidarity and action. In response, various discussions, articles, and responses have circulated around the internet. The discussions that have come out of this have at times been helpful, and at others been harmful. But overall, the critiques, analysis, and discussions have started to bring to the surface many important ideas and dialogues that have not seen much light before this time.

Understanding that debate, criticism, and challenges are all important parts of an effective social movement praxis, QCAF would like to take this time to “bury the hatchet” of the internal divisons that have been a topic of discussion for the last week. Let’s be honest. Though we still stand by our critiques, our methods were not the best. We accept responsibility for an irresponsible method of communication. We were wrong to have publicly aired the frustrations the way we did. Whatever feelings we were processing, publicly announcing those frustrations in the way we did created even more animosity and distrust. We helped widen a schism that we feel has formed within our movement. We acted “holier than thou”. We pretended to have all the answers, when in fact, we definitely do not. We ended up erasing the important work and contributions to struggle that have been forth by comrades that we cherish and respect a lot. We came off as smug assholes.

So yeah. We fucked up with the way we addressed the wider Denver based movement(s) that exist. No matter how strongly we may feel about certain critiques, our methodology did nothing to actually solve the issues we were hoping to address.

We say this in an attempt to move forward and directly address the very serious attack that has been leveled against us today by the Denver Police Department and Denver District Attorney Mitchell Morissey.

Today, Thursday, May 12th , the Denver District Attorney announced formal charges against Amelia Nicol, an alleged participant in the May 6th March Against Police Terror, that include two charges of Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer. She is currently facing 90 years in prison for allegedly throwing “an improvised explosive” at police officers during the end of the march on Friday night with the intent to kill them.

The truth of the matter is that no one who was present at that march saw “an improvised explosive” or as some media outlets have reported, “a molotov cocktail”. At the end of the march some participants witnessed a small firework explode in the street as the march was dispersing. Later, someone alleged to have participated in the march was tackled and arrested in a downtown alley. That person has been identified as Amelia Nicol.

These charges are a clear attack not only against Amelia, but against the growing movements that have been challenging police terror in Denver, and to all people who are struggling against oppression and state sponsored terrorism. If we allow the DA to peg these charges against Amelia, if we allow the local capitalist media to paint a completely and alarmingly false picture of what happened that night, these same tactics can and will be used against anyone that struggles for freedom in Denver.

QCAF openly calls for all people active within local liberatory social movements to set aside our differences and come together to defend Amelia and our movement against these attacks. As the old IWW motto goes “An injury to one is an injury to all.” This attack must be treated as an attack against every single one of us.

No matter what our differences, as members and participants of liberatory social movements of all stripes, we are not enemies. The enemies are those in power that would use police and the prison industrial complex to intimidate those of us struggling for freedom.

Our differences are real. And they are important to discuss. And we must keep the discussion and dialogue alive. But attacking each other, trying to appear better than each other, and all other tactics that weaken our movement must stop. Our enemies are taking advantage of this situation, and we must respond, in a united effort.

In closing, we ask that no matter what hard feelings you may harbor toward QCAF, that you do not let these feelings affect the much needed support for Amelia and the struggle against these charges. Our support work must be principled. Our personal grudges should not weaken and threaten those of us that are vulnerable and under attack by the state and other repressive forces. Even if you do not want to support QCAF, please support Ameila and our joint struggle against this repression.

Our comrades at Denver ABC will most likely be offering updates on supporting Amelia. We in QCAF ask that we all do everything in our collective power to support her and repel this attack. We look forward to working with you and burying the hatchet to defend against the state’s guns.

In defense, solidarity, and mutual respect,



4 Responses to “Burying the hatchet to defend against the gun”

  1. Queer Radical May 13, 2011 at 6:24 am #

    100% love from Queer Radical. Please let me know if there is anything I can do as a blogger, media maker, or individual to support the detained person and your ongoing work. Thanks for all your work and lots of love for your willingness to engage in dialogue and to evaluate tactics of communication. I’d like to contribute to that dialogue by showing up better for your work and encouraging our community to continue to show up for each other. I respect you and what you do and am proud to be in community with thoughtful, human, and engaged people such as yourselves. Thanks for sparking debate. After these days of self-reflection, I feel much more comfortable, united, and aware of your efforts than I ever have before. Thanks for hard conversations.

    Love, Solidarity, Joy, and Rage,

  2. Chris May 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Is there a legal defense fund set up?

  3. anon May 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    How do we get cash to Amelia’s legal defense fund? Folks in other cities would like to know so we can help throw down!


  1. Militant Humility and a Call to Action « queerradical.com - May 13, 2011

    […] 5…this is also not getting posted till after midnight). Tonight I’m especially moved by Burying the Hatchet to Defend Against the Guns, a post authors from Queen City Antifa wrote responding to critiques and conversation about their […]

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