2014: The Uprising Begins

or: Vegas Stands Up.

This can be seen as the year we stood up after we could no longer sit silently, or perhaps the year that the Police State made its move and started stomping on humanity, and set us against each other… I look at it as the year we crossed the bridge. This year I hardly followed the news, but it felt like so much of what happened around me was the news; my personal life intertwined, voluntarily and coincidentally, with many of the biggest stories of the year. The police state and corruption of our system hit close to home again and again, playing out more bizarrely and dramatically than most movies. Fortunately, I am still here and free to write about it, bringing my perspective to a monumental year, something a few friends can’t do whose 2014 really went awry. Some are incarcerated and some are dead, a tragic year for more people than I have ever known.

Jump to: Injustice System | More Cops Tax/County Commission/City Council | Activist Witch Hunt | Rise of Libertarians/2014 Elections | War and Cold War | Year of the Protest | Bundy Ranch and Ferguson | The Millers and the NYPD Killings | Online Civil War | My Personal Life/Anon arrests at movie set | Friends’ Quotes | Rest in Peace | Photo Galleries | All 2014 Articles

I became all too familiar with the Injustice System

I knew more people in jail and in court this year than all previous years combined. The inmate search page became a top bookmark on my computer and phone. Several times different friends went missing and when I checked the inmate searches they were there. I lost count of how many times I saw a friend or acquaintance (not to mention protesters) arrested in front of me this year. Just look through those articles throughout the year to get the idea of this year’s theme locally, around me at least. The judicial system showed the activist they meant business, and weren’t going to play fair about it.

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One of the officers who arrested Johnny, barricaded and harassed Becca

I saw Johnny, Becca’s husband, get arrested in front of me in jail for contempt, after the judge had railed on him for 10 minutes and brought him to tears, telling him he could also serve for his wife. I have written plenty about this you can refer to, but Becca later went to jail for 19 days, upon visiting her husband via video who had just been arrested the second time for the same case. She was threatened to serve 30 days for any and every charge of harassment anyone under the guise of “anonymous” would be accused of toward ReMax realtors. She was continuously harassed and threatened by the Judge as well as Johnny and myself and other friends of hers on multiple occasions. The year ended with the City trying to put Becca in jail for a bs obstruction charge, and now they’re trying to add another obstruction charge after dismissing per statute- after the Judge said adding it during the trial would be unconstitutional.

I was contacted via release of that original story by Barbara Anne Sprouse, Jason Mahe’s mother, about her son being presided over by the same Judge Kephart, as he sit in jail, often solitary, with wounds festering with Staph and infections eating away at his open broken bones caused by a police officer’s gunshots- 9 total, 7 in his back. He lost over 100 pounds in 6 months. She couldn’t find him at the hospital or the jail for weeks and wasn’t allowed to see him for 22 weeks, and they repeatedly do this to her. Lawyers and Chaplains have not been able to locate him numerous times. She most recently motioned for a medical release, with house arrest, because his treatment has been so poor, but they have rejected this adamantly. I get into this in my article Jason Mahe: Shot 7 times in back by Vegas cops, slowly dying in jail, and it continues in that direction. He at least appears to be making it to 2015, his would’ve been lawyer is still in jail for now, so who knows. I’ve tried to visit him but haven’t been given the option to.

johnny624becca624april9I saw two anons get arrested at a protest, and two other anons get arrested alongside a movie set I was on (I’ll get into that toward the end, met with my non-activist life). I was at a small courthouse protest at which a few people had masks on and they were told there was suddenly a restraining order by Judge Kephart against Anonymous, and they could not be anywhere around the courthouse. I saw friends get accused of being in the “gang” Anonymous and directly told by the Judge they’d be blamed for anything anyone under the guise of “Anonymous” did. I’ve seen other friends arrested, a protester who sat in the intersection of Las Vegas Blvd. and Fremont by himself get arrested and went on to become a new friend, other protesters arrested for sure, gotten to a friend’s place right after they’re basically attacked and one kidnapped by plain-clothed cops (some of this can be seen at Judge rules City’s attempt at adding charges to Becca Martin’s case Unconstitutional), and I watched and cried amongst numerous others as our friend got cuffed and walked out to jail, for an unknown amount of time for now, facing prison. He’s an amazing rights advocate, lawyer who got shot by a cop. More on that later.

I did not see as much police brutality as I saw last year, when I saw a girl’s head getting repeatedly smashed into the pavement and laid all that weight into her and her arms, evidently that stood out as a long-term memory. But 2014 became the year of the tipping point for the nation’s awareness of and backlash to police militarization and brutality. Several incidents that struck the right chords snowballed into a national wave of rage and demands of police accountability and demilitarization, motivating people the time had come to stand up. Across many fronts, people had passed the point of being fed up and took to the streets, in many various forms of protest; and out here, with the whirlwhind of injustice sweeping up everyone around me, the local pot boiled over as well- not always in the most visible ways, but the tension and outcry was palpable, and Las Vegas underwent a year like none other.

“More Cops Tax” and other County Commission and City Council Public Meetings

Southern Nevada Watchdogs, a citizen-led local government accountability organization, made a huge entry into the local scene last year and had a very strong 2014, starting with a bang when they rallied, along with other diverse groups and individuals, to come and voice their opinion on the “More Cops Tax” at the County Commission in January. Hundreds of citizens filled the chambers in record numbers, most in opposition to the sales tax hike. After several public hearings for months with larger crowds each time, the final showdown of public comments went on for almost two hours and ended up with the tax proposal being defeated. The Sheriff and a few Commissioners and the Mayor were disappointed, Commissioner Brager acting apologetic, since she voted no so that an alternative proposal might’ve passed, but didn’t.
Video: More cops Tax highlights

Local activist victory, even though none of the targets mentioned were involved

In response, the Sheriff soon announced that police would not respond to fender benders. Also, as soon as the Millers shootings happened, they targeted many of the activists who went to the hearings, numerous of which happened to be Bundy Ranch supporters as well, something I’ll be referring to a few times, as this common thread ran through the core of local events in 2014. Unsurprisingly, as soon as the More Cops Tax was rejected, it was said that plans were underway for the next attempt. Later in the year it was announced it’d be ready for January 2015.

Here is a video I made last January a couple days before the hearing (posted in: Videos and articles to get you ready for the “More Cops Tax” hearing). Currently I am working on the problem of no audio, which just got removed a couple weeks ago, right after I reposted it and pointed out that it had surprisingly got nearly 100,000 views, reportedly for a copyright infringement (which frustrates me especially because I like the eerie contrast of the beautiful “Con Te Partiro” operatic song playing at Bellagio, which I suppose is what the copyright infringement is for): Las Vegas Police Brutality Compilation (on CopBlock)

Throughout the year, SNWD and others such as members of the Libertarian Party of Nevada and various advocacy groups went to make their voices heard about Commission and City Council votes such as the soccer stadium, medical marijuana dispensaries, the RTC bus system, private lots being used to house military vehicles, water treatment, public education, and more. Also, when County Commissioner Tom Collins called Utah supporters of Bundy Ranch were “inbred bastards” and “better have funeral plans”, several of us went to set him straight, and by that point he had basically apologized, something I missed at the meeting but saw on video later. This was the first time I “confronted” Collins since I edited together a video of the frequent times he leaves the room, especially during public comments, set to a fun tune of “Where in the World is… (Tom Collins)”.
Video: Where’s Tom
2015 will surely provide lots more entertainment and highlights and headlining battles fought at these public meetings.

Something that is guaranteed have a very interesting dynamic going into the new year is the new More Cops Tax showdown, with the department being run by a new Sheriff (Sheriff Doug Gillespie announced he’d be stepping down at the end of 2014 shortly after his tax proposal failed), and all that has happened and the atmosphere that has been created between LVMPD and the activist community since that defeat. The no-more-car-accident response was their public “vengeance”, but the harassment and intimidation and activists was their real non-publicized revenge.

Metro’s witch hunt and intimidation campaign of Vegas activists

A couple months after the More Cops Tax was defeated and a deafening air of silent tension between Metro and local activists, two activists got hit by cars in two days, and grabbed the attention and raised the suspicions of many local activists and supporters. Both pedestrians hit and injured were prominent Las Vegas activists who have also been good friends, and went to many of the same events and protests.

The first, Jen Harney, a well-known community activist who had just opened an art supply and reuse and community store/art gallery/multipurpose space called Reclaimed (another highlight of this year for me- a place with amazing energy that I had helped tear down the walls for at the end of 2013 in order for it to be built anew- and had many amazing events and experiences such as the Art of Activism), was hit by an ex-cop. She was hurt but not badly injured. Earlier that day, a member of the “Sunset Four”, people who were arrested the year before for a sidewalk chalking protest outside LVMPD HQ and later beat the case, was questioned about prior chalking protests against police brutality.

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Reclaimed, one of my second homes this year, which I helped tear down the walls for (to make way)- owned by Jen Harney and Quency Hilton

The next day, founder of Nevada Cop Block and known local activist Kelly Patterson was hit and severely injured by a motorist who committed a hit-and-run. His back was broken and he had to wear a neck brace for a period of time. Also, just a couple days after these “accidents”, officers came into and appeared to scope out Reclaimed, their behavior making Jen’s co-founder Quency uncomfortable, as hospitable as she tried to be. Neither of these injured activists jumped to point fingers at it being a law enforcement conspiracy, but the unspoken impression (not unspoken by everyone) was that something fishy was afoot. Months later, Patterson released this article on CopBlock, along with a timeline that emphasizes the curiousness of the timing of all these events along with others:

Courtesy Kelly Patterson, nvcopblock.org

Click to enlarge and read the timeline of events

We can’t prove that Metro was behind those incidents, so far, but there is no denying that after Bundy Ranch and the Millers cop killings, there was a wave of arrests, interoggations and intimidating visits targeting activists and their families and supporters. Basically, anyone critical of LVMPD. There are stories I heard that I wish I could tell, and there are ones I was very public about here, such as the overall case concerning Rebecca Martin and her husband (Peaceful Vegas Activists and their Families Under Assault by LVMPD, UPDATES: The Continued Abuse of Becca Martin in Jail and in Court, etc.) and other instances and smear campaigns, trying to tie them to Bundy Ranch even though they weren’t there, demonizing everyone who supported that, saying everyone had ties to the Millers and making it the banned word (*iller), and that magic phrase questioned of anyone and everyone, “sovereign citizen”. I’ve heard of such a thing only after hearing that phrase from them. A bs accusation to try to get someone to say yes they are part of some illegal movement. These tactics were used on Becca and Johnny, among many others I know.

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The cops who then handcuffed me for taking pictures of them

At one point I was handcuffed and detained for an hour after taking a few pictures of police arresting someone on Fremont. They used the excuse of “crossing on a flashing crosswalk” but I was walking right behind them and I never knew it was illegal to cross while the hand was blinking. It was not yet red, plus thousands cross the red lights on that extremely pedestrian-filled promenade every hour. They basically admitted the real reason was because I was taking pictures, and they said since the cop killings they have been “nervous” about anyone behind them with a camera. And when they realized my shirt was from Bundy Ranch, after a while, several other cops came up to me and pointed their flashlights at my shirt and then took on a much more serious tone. They gave me a ticket but the charge appears to have been dropped.

The U.S. also increasingly became like the nightmarish Minority Report, such as technology being sold to police departments and being put to use to assign a color-code “threat rating” of how a person’s behavior would likely be toward police based on social media (and I shared this with Philip K. Dick’s wife Tessa B. Dick- who told me how this went on back then but much more overtly now- ok I’m name dropping, PKD is one of my favorite authors of all time). Also, as I get to later, New York has openly been arresting people who have said things about killing cops online, something they did out here post-Millers discreetly and out of the public eye, for something authorities think they may do in the future. A Metro detective in the Homeland Security Division repeatedly came to my friend’s father’s door and hassled both of them about matters ranging from anonymous, to drawn images posted on facebook, to Becca, to me. They weren’t even trying to get information, but let them know they were watching all of us (covered more here).

An unexpected form of intimidation came from a Sheriff candidate posing for “liberty”, who attacked one of our leading liberty loving ladies Tasha “The Tyranny Terminator” Heath, acting very much against the constitution he flaunted around, making serious threats of clear abuses of power based on unfounded accusations, directed at her. She had exposed some important truth about him and he took it out on her in an abusive way, and thusly faded quickly off the radar. We found out, mostly, who truly stood for liberty and who did not. Libertarians became a true force to be reckoned with.

The Rise of Libertarians/2014 Midterm Elections

The Libertarian Party of Nevada had a hugely successful 2014, coming into the year with new unified leadership, a blank slate if you will, after years of major infighting. In January, the Libertarian Party of Clark County was reaffiliated as an official affiliate party for the first time in six years. I was elected Secretary of the LPCC and worked with a wonderful executive commitee. For the Midterm Elections, about fifteen registered Libertarians ran for local office, and several races turned out exceptionally high numbers for Libertarian candidates, near 30%, far higher than the usual single digits that the party sees.

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We saw no victories for our party in the elections, but we were suddenly a party to be taken very seriously in Nevada, and this became very clear during the campaign season.

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Me and (Constitutional) Sheriff Mack of Arizona, moderator of the first Sheriff’s debate of the year, hosted by the Libertarian Party of Nevada

We hosted the first Sheriff’s debate, in which everyone except the eventual winner Joe Lombardo showed up to, whom moderator/former Constitutional Sheriff Richard Mack of Arizona lambasted for not appearing. During the Summer the LPN hosted various exciting events for voters and candidates, such as The Political Party, a series of meet-and-greet mixers at Hyde at the Bellagio (article/pictures here). The candidates gave speeches and got to set up tables and mingle with voters at the elegant club sitting behind the Bellagio water show, and attracted huge crowds. We also hosted open houses, various special events, the closing night party and other events for Freedom Fest, and had a unique and innovative candidate endorsement process.

IMG_6388203813514“Speed dating” was a series of events in which a very diverse Libertarian Endorsement Committee interviewed local candidates for short periods of time depending on the number of interviewers, anywhere from 1 on 1 to 3 on 1. Every interviewer’s response sheets were tallied up and whichever candidate got the most positive feedback from each race was endorsed. Some races had no endorsed candidates. Fortunately, in the local race for District Court Judge Dept. 19, Kephart against Marcek, Cliff Marcek was endorsed… fairly, by the numbers and how the interviewers actually felt about him (Bill Kephart was the judge on Becca’s case- gladly will not be anymore, now that he’s moving up to District Court). The unfortunate side is that Kephart won, as that’s where all the money was (though Marcek got 29%) and now will rule a higher court.

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Me and Cliff Marcek, the candidate who should have won the seat for District Judge Dept. 19 (Kephart’s opponent)

Another surprisingly high election result came in for Jim Duensing for District Attorney, 27% against the incumbent DA Steve Wolfson, a campaign he didn’t attend to once his trial approached and was underway the final week of the election. He lost with very good numbers and then got put in jail a few days later. Ed Uehling (someone I helped out on election day) got the highest numbers of any Libertarian, getting 35% in his race for State Senate District 10. Tim Hagan also got a good second-place showing out of 3 candidates for County Assessor, an impressive 24%. (Results courtesy Clark County Election Dept.)

Also, she did not run as a Libertarian but as a Republican, but has been probably the most well-known libertarian Republican in Nevada the past couple years- Cindy Lake. She had those closest race of all of “our people”, coming in just around 1000 votes shy of incumbent big-money Mary Beth Scow, Clark County Commissioner for District G, taking over 49%. Early voting polls actually showed Cindy in the lead. However it was clear that some establishment Republican leaders did not want her to win and instead helped her opponent win. IMG_163730364778248We also had our LPN Vice President Jason Smith running for County Commission, District F, and his “WTF?” (Where’s The Funds?) billboards caught everyone’s attention, even dubbed “The best political sign in Nevada?” by the infamously crabby Jon Ralston in a tweet and mentioned in The Huffington Post.

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Cindy Lake’s Primary Election results

 

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Cindy’s Midterm Election Results

Aside from those, to me, the races in Nevada were generally uninteresting and more of the same. We didn’t have a Sheriff candidate that we liberty folks could truly get behind once Ted Moody didn’t make it through the Primary Election. Sitting Sheriff Gillespie’s right-hand man Joe Lombardo won, promising more of the same from Metro. The Governor’s race went virtually unchallenged; the Democrats didn’t bother to put anyone up against Sandoval. However, like the country, the Republicans made a stunning upset and swept State offices and became the majority in the State Assembly. Drama brewed into a whirlwind immediately of course, as Michele Fiore, chosen to be Assembly Majority Leader, was then fired then reinstated by John Hambrick. Fiore has shown to be another libertarian-leaning Republican who toted her guns and rights at Bundy Ranch, and the establishment may feel threatened by.

And nationally, all I’ve got to say, it was a THRILL to see Harry Reid finally lose his power as Senate Majority Leader. Half a year after he called me and a bunch of my friends and their kids “domestic terrorists”. 🙂
(I don’t like the new majority leader Mitch McConnell, but to see Harry Reid lose that power was hugely rewarding)

Libertarianism’s National Rise

Characteristically libertarian issues also became the prominent political issues of the year, as America continues to go in a libertarian direction (at the same time, facing more opposition from the old status quo than ever). Marijuana legalization spread more, and Nevada took its own steps closer to legalization, bringing it closer into view. Marijuana dispensaries, after Senate Bill 376 was passed last year to allow them to be opened in 2014, went through lengthy battles that delayed their openings, but are on track to start opening in January 2015, if there aren’t more last minute speedbumps. The petition to put marijuana legalization on the ballot for 2016 passed so it looks like we’ll be voting on it in 2016. This is however a controversial piece of legislation within the marijuana advocacy community, because it would be heavily taxed, and have many restrictions and regulations, including facets that would make it more difficult and legally risky for current patients than it has been. A resolution based off of a Missouri initiative for 2016 may be introduced if it gets the backing, as an alternative, to completely legalize marijuana without taxation or new restrictions. The LP has gotten behind marijuana legalization all together, but it would be ideal if we could get it passed without taxation, the money of which would certainly just funnel into the government’s special interests.

The growing police state and nature of police aggression and excessive force and unjust laws for victimless crimes have also been major concerns characteristic of libertarians for years, but has shown to be a problem people of almost any political background would not tolerate much of. It went from being a more fringe “paranoid” or even “conspiracy theorist” concern for years that people supposedly need not worry about if they weren’t breaking the law, to a mainstream urgent problem that the general public has made a priority to address and hundreds of thousands to take a stand against. Also of course gay marriage and immigration reform have swept the country, more socially liberal issues, while military interventionism and overspending has become increasingly unpopular, more fiscally conservative issues. Overall, these issues have come to the surface seen more as “people” issues, coming down to our core inalienable rights, than libertarian issues. But that is what libertarianism comes down to.

Friends/LPN Executive Committee members Jim Duensing, Brett Pojunis, Jason Smith and Tim Hagan... (clockwise from right)

Good friends/LPN Executive Committee members Jim Duensing, Brett Pojunis, Jason Smith and Tim Hagan… (clockwise from right)

Libertarian Party of Nevada moves onward

All in all the Libertarian Party of Nevada made huge strides in 2014, and will be heavily involved in the 2015 State Legislative Session and influencing policy. We are going to focus on the issues, not just 2016, but of course we are building major bridges to there. Check out my fellow ex-comm member Adam Sanacore’s article from the beginning of this election season, March 14th: The Day the Revolution started in Vegas. “The Libertarian Party of Nevada is more powerful now than its ever been in its history in our state,” Sanacore states. Our website even got chosen as the best political party website in the state, and several political figures from other parties said our office was the best as well! (Come check out our website or Facebook page and come to one of our next events!)

The President proves himself to be a war(monger) President

While the country goes more libertarian and more anti-war, the federal government continues its obsession and addiction to war, returning to some and trying to start others, all tired and tried. Our military went back into Iraq, again, just after leaving (it in chaos), sent a bunch more into Afghanistan. After resisting Syria last year after huge public disapproval and a successful public shaming lecture from Putin, the Obama administration pulled a Bush Iraq and convinced us Isis was why we need to attack Syria, and launched an air strike campaign. The ridiculous Sony-North Korea publicity stunt hack climaxed with Obama directly blaming the North Korean government in an unprecedented move, provoking threats of retaliation if we were to “respond proportionately” as Obama promised (and their internet did go out for a day afterward)… and now of course after The Interview was released after all the hoopla, it comes out publicly that North Korea wasn’t behind it, but some disgruntled employees and domestic hackers.

And most disturbing of all, the rhetoric against Russia reached its highest since the Cold War, and Congress passed a disgustingly fact-lacking resolution amounting to a declaration of a second cold war (linked is another good article by Ron Paul- actually he calls it a declaration of war). Our mounting sanctions against Russia have helped lead to a deep recession for them, which has just begun, and their government has made clear that we are asking for it. We are. Putin already told us to stay out of Syria, and we did at first, then we went in. He warned us to butt out of the Ukraine business, but we didn’t. Then we accused Russians of taking down the Malaysian flight over Ukraine. Never mind that most Ukrainians were sick of their government and welcome Russia’s return, we couldn’t have another world power doing any kind of occupations, that’s something only we’re allowed to do. Even if it’s their neighbor and was once a part of their country.

Year of the protest

It’s needless to say that the anti-police brutality protest movement at the end of the year was the largest national wave of protests since Occupy and before that since the 1960s. Well in addition to that, 2014 seemed to me to be a year of far more protests in general, and I attended and was involved in more than ever before, perhaps more than all protests I’ve ever been to before this year combined. Just to name off the ones I went to is quite the list, and there were far more I didn’t make it to. Many passionate activists from across the spectrum organized the year’s protests, too many to name here. New activist groups formed for the police brutality protests such as Freedom Riders, Unity Vegas, other unnamed ventures, and many more, in addition to the numerous existing ones. New and old leaders connected and a promising road lies ahead for a bigger Las Vegas activist community than ever.

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Rally to Restore the Constitution

The year started off with a Rally to Restore the Constitution, which a few friends planned for months in advance, and got a good turnout. After this a smaller group of us regrouped at City Hall in protest of NSA spying, where we happened to be located near an “Intellistreets “street lamp”, for the claimed purpose of helping drivers during special events, but so far have only been in testing, recording audio of everything around them… There were then varying kinds of protests such as a March Against Monsanto, a fluoridation protest at the water district, an anti-TPP “funeral” march, a courthouse protest against Judge Kephart, a St. Patrick’s Day checkpoint awareness rally, a couple anti-police brutality protests/chalkings pre-Ferguson, some projection activism on downtown buildings (one of the times 6 cop cars surrounded us and handcuffed/questioned the projectionist for a while), varying other protests/marches, and Bundy Ranch, all by Spring. (gallery of highlights below)

The summer seemed relatively quiet, preceded by the Millers police killings and a hushed-up witch hunt and intimidation campaign. And an election campaign season. I helped organize a protest against Ringling Bros. circus and later a War With Syria protest but I didn’t even make that one… One I did help with that was merged with another large group, very cultured (from Orhtodox Rabbis to Free Palestine speakers), that was a huge success was a candlelight vigil and rally for peace in Gaza and Israel. This included one of the most powerful and spiritual protest or gathering moments in my life, a hand-linked moment to pray and meditate and take in how every candle beneath us, over 1000, represented a person killed in that conflict, in a matter of a couple weeks.

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Candlelight Vigil and Rally for Peace in Gaza and Israel. Prayer and moment of silence for all the dead guided by Mary Lou Anderson.

And around then Ferguson happened. The militarized police response happened. A few solidarity protests occured. The tension grew, we knew it was just the spark and more would come. I went to a couple, and then eventually it really heated up. I went to a couple CopBlock chalking protests which turned into a downtown/Fremont march, and then one down the strip, where I had another spiritual protest experience, perhaps the most powerful yet. I get into this and all of those protests in this article- Vegas Anti-Police Brutality Protests Grow Day by Day

The 4th and 5th protests were amazing as well, and had their own pivotal transcendental moments for me, from die-ins to Strip blockades to really big deal die-ins. Full of adrenaline-filled (of unknowing what would happen next at the hands of the police, always peaceful intentions) moments, and knowing how strongly I felt about the message, which is to end police brutality and way too many murders. Strong this-is-part-of-my-mission feelings not felt since… Bundy Ranch. And the Gaza rally. But especially the Ranch and the brutality.

Of course, I have had my mixed feelings about both. The militia got kind of weird and almost tribal toward the end of my stay at the Ranch (a place I will always hold high in my heart, along with the family) and I got unsure about who to trust aside from those I knew and got to know best, and with this post-Ferguson movement, the same could be happening… no militia, but wary of and concerned about other mixed directions being sabotaged and guided by higher sources… I didn’t get that feeling as much with Bundy Ranch, as it really didn’t reach a national level (well, the nation came to the ranch), but it was derailed by higher-ups smearing the image and likely a few infiltrators here and there.

And that brings me to two of the two most important protest movements in my life and year, worlds apart but oh so connected:

(A highlight gallery of the other protests is at the bottom of this page.)

Bundy Ranch and Ferguson.

Photo highlight galleries of Bundy Ranch and Ferguson as well as my articles on both are at the bottom of the page.

I’ve seen these two pivotal events of the year in the same sentence numerous times, but usually contrasted, and sometimes even portrayed as nearly opposite situations. But I see them as very similar, with multiple parallels, and even nearly identical in their core motivation and purpose. This may get some of you riled up, but what has riled me up is the divisions I see people try to push by separating these two so much, and of course the media programming has convinced so many that the main dividing factor is a racial one.

 

Above: Bundy Ranch standoff Below: Las Vegas die-in for Ferguson/police brutality

Above: Bundy Ranch standoff
Below: Las Vegas die-in for Ferguson/police brutality

To me, these two historic events vividly represent what this year was all about- the rise against the militarization and brutality of police/domestic government agencies. Never before in American history have we seen an event quite like the Bundy Ranch, nothing of that nature since the American Revolution… and Ferguson exploded into something we haven’t seen in decades, and into a nationwide movement that has been bubbling beneath the surface increasingly for years, propelled to its boiling point this year.

At Bundy Ranch, Americans were spurred into action to stand up for unarmed people who were being attacked by militarized “police” (not real police) working for the BLM. Snipers were pointed at civilians not committing any violent acts. The feds set up a very small and disturbingly unconstitutional “Free Speech Zone”, a long distance from where the protesters had been, where they were bussed to. Family members were attacked, one being tazed, an attack dog set on a pregnant woman and a cancer patient was thrown down. This video is the final straw that got me (and so many others, we discussed our reasons) off my ass and determined to stand for and bring awareness to the increasingly dangerous situation. I met them all and they were all extremely peaceful, friendly, generous people. The protests grew because of the militarized BLM response to the protests and encroachment on their land and our freedom of expression.

In Ferguson, Americans were spurred into action to stand up for nonviolent protesters and journalists who were being attacked by militarized police in tanks throwing tear gas and flash bang grenades at them. Snipers were pointed at civilians peacefully protesting. The police cornered the protesters and set curfews, very unconstitutionally saying protests would not be allowed at night. These protests were in response to the killing of an unarmed teenager, and the long lasting problem of police brutality in their community. They grew because of the militarized police response to the protests and encroachment on our freedom of expression.

At Bundy Ranch, militia from all around the country came to the defense of the Bundys and the protesters, due to the threatening and violent actions of the BLM agents, and to sit side-by-side with those in support of our rights. Whatever Bundy’s personal beliefs, his rights, as well as all Americans’, were stood up for in the face of a tyrannical and violent government. He (and his family) was but one representation of our rights and lives being attacked at a very heated time that led to the perfect storm. The Federal Government used force in multiple ways to take (and kill some of) hundreds of cattle and try to take the land their family owned for over a century, long before the BLM’s existence, as well as the right to protest. The militia went in to help keep the peace, to try and prevent the Feds from doing anything violently stupid. They exercised their 2nd amendment right, as part of what it was made for. The local police did nothing to protect the citizens who were being surrounded and intermittently attacked by out-of-state federal troops.

In Ferguson, protesters from all around the country came to support the protesters of Ferguson and build on the message against police brutality and militarization, due to the threatening and violent actions of the police. Whatever Michael Brown’s personal beliefs or (non-murderous or similar) background, his life mattered, as well as all Americans murdered by police, and was stood up for in the face of a tyrannical and violent government. He was but one representation of our rights and lives being attacked at a very heated time that led to the perfect storm. The militarized police used force against the protesters, and incited some violent reactions such as rioting and looting, although most “protesters” arrested for violence were from other states, and some of the first to come into Ferguson that no one recognized. Eventually, some gang members such as Bloods and Crips were seen and photographed guarding storefronts to keep away looters and rioters, as the local police did nothing to protect the stores. (Oathkeepers, who played a major role at Bundy Ranch, also went to protect stores from attack in Ferguson, and the police told them to leave or be arrested)

During the infamous “Standoff” at Bundy Ranch, or The Battle for Bunkerville, a large crowd of protesters, many unarmed and many armed when militarized BLM troops had their guns pointed at them in shooting stances, stood their ground until the BLM agents retreated and the cows were handed over. Something straight out of a heroic western movie set in current Police State day. No shots were fired. The paramilitary BLM force did not attack the protesters, and if they did they knew it would have been a blood bath, showing the world they took the first shots to kill many innocent people, and in this age of social media, they did not want that. Just in case something like that happened is most likely why they kept blacking out internet signals and cell phone reception repeatedly. I saw and experienced this first-hand and documented along with many others, increasingly with each passing day that came with increasing media attention, the blocking out of service which also led to high-quality live news feeds being cut off just before and during the big confrontation. The primary target was of course alternative media, as the mainstream news outlets had just started coming more once they were assigned the smear campaign race-baiting mission. Also, a no-fly-zone was put in place right over the ranch around the beginning of the situation, and scheduled to be kept until a few weeks after the standoff. They gave no clear reason for this but many of us suspected and assumed it was so that the media couldn’t get aerial views, and so they could do all they wanted without being spotted.

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In Ferguson, or in the national protests since, we have not seen any standoffs comparable to the one at Bundy Ranch, but we have seen a disproportionate amount of violence coming from the police against the protesters. This has of course triggered some violence from protesters. In one incident though, SWAT police were attacking a few unarmed protesters, until two armed Open Carry men came and helped the protesters, and the police backed off very quickly. Interesting. And in the early Ferguson protests, before the non-indictment, the ones that shocked the not-already-awakened nation, reporters were arrested and media was kept away from the protests. A no-fly-zone was set up multiple times and it became publicly known that it was to keep the media out. This also happened shortly before the non-indictment announcement and the media was also kept away from hot spots in the protests after the decision.

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Now of course the Ferguson protests have spread into a national movement, and have branched off into other explosive protests and environments such as Berkeley, Oakland, and now New York. The Eric Garner non-indictment decision came right when the kettle was already boiling over, and made the growth of the movement unstoppable. Many more people’s eyes were opened due to this clearly heinous act that no one should get away with, and was evidently clearly unjustified, and the wildfire spread even more.

Something that I and many many others have been warning people and talking about for years, especially these past few years, both as social media has grown and the epidemic has seemed to grow rapidly, has turned overnight from some paranoid conspiracy theorist concern to an immediate national problem that everybody wants to solve. It is so good that we as a nation are awakening, but as so many protesters and organizers involved repeatedly emphasize, we need to go about this peacefully. I’m not speaking for anything that may come down the road (who knows how bad the police will get, if any worse) or any certain incidents I don’t know the context of… but if we get violent, as we have seen some “small” scale examples of, fire will be met with much more firepower, and the general public will see the authorities’ actions against such violent actions as justified. And unless every gun owner (or a HUGE amount) in the country came together and protected/shared with unarmed civilians to face the government, we’re vastly outgunned. Unless there’s some major gigantic stash of tanks and missiles and how about some EMPs that is ready for civilian use when SHTF that I don’t know about. Wouldn’t be terribly surprised. Again, I’m just talking about this current situation. And acting as a vigilante and killing cops indiscriminately isn’t going to gain you much support (though we live in frighteningly rage-filled times… but still, people overall remain peaceful). Now that brings me to another two parallels in ways relating to the Bundy Ranch and Ferguson, but also both unrelated and not condoned by most involved in either uprising:

The Millers and Ismaaiyl Brinsley- Las Vegas and New York cop killers

(note: this section was written a week before publication, there are updates)
These are immediately comparable because they both involved a pair of cops being killed, with the killers citing motivations of revolution-type thought. The media hones in and pounces on the links immediately, as most protesters and people who feel it’s time for a “revolution” or are angered by the Eric Garner killing, make clear that they do not support what the killers did. The Millers got kicked out of Bundy Ranch. No one knew this Ismaaiyl guy. After both, the media circus explodes and a witch hunt ensues. As soon as I saw the first breaking news story and saw that Jared Miller said “Tell everyone the revolution has begun” after killing the cops, I got chills, and thought, “oh no, why did he have to say that, now they’ll try connecting him to us”.

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IMG_158897432825198 When I went down to the site of the Millers shootings a few hours after it happened

Actually, it is too soon to tell with the New York case. I just assume that is what is to follow, after the extreme statement by the NYPD Union that they are “now a wartime police department”. That’s two days old and still too fresh in my memory, pretty sure it will stand out as another tagline of this year. Metro never went that far publicly, but still in the shadow of the “More Cops Tax” being defeated and Sheriff Gillespie taking it especially personal, and the Bundy Ranch situation (in which he looked pitiful again, but had to make an attempt to save face), us critical of the police were suddenly Enemy of the State #1. Behind the scenes, and in handcuffs and in locked rooms and in courts, is where they really dealt their intimidation. You can see that throughout most of my other local stories this year and in instances I dare not speak about, but feel like shouting from the mountaintops. I can see those peaks not far ahead.

Anyway, the comparisons between those two are pretty basic in that the media is linking them to the two most publicly significant uprisings of sorts in this year, from seemingly entirely different worlds… and that just as “one side” demonized Bundy Ranch, “another side” is demonizing the Ferguson/anti-police brutality movement- but who are these “sides”? Those who want you to divide, so that they can conquer.

And who are they? Just follow each source back as far as you can. And think about whose and what interests these could be serving. It’s not too hard to see, but still, the most intelligent and experienced (not saying I am, I’m still kind of fresh) of us can fall into the division trap. But I assume that happens less with more experience.

I emphasize that “they” try to pit us against each other because we cannot lose sight that “they”- primarily those at the top of the government and other powerful institutions, but even our local lawmakers bear responsibility in how they vote, are in charge of the police… even though our money is paying for them all. And while the protesters’ collective animosity or frustration has mostly been toward the police, despite the media’s/infiltrators’ attempts of racial distraction, the image of Us vs. Them strengthens in their minds as well as ours. We’ve seen this has been the problem in countless police shootings, that they see civilians increasingly as the enemy, even if we pose no real threat.

The training has clearly been going in the direction of wartime training, and now that things are heating up in public opinion about the cops, they naturally feel more antagonized than ever. Now please don’t say I’m becoming a cop sympathizer, I believe the trend has gone toward hiring the most inclined to violence and more sociopathic, disproportionate to the general public. And yes I’m sorry but I do think there are *some good cops*. But we’ve got to see that they are human, and no matter what level of evolution we are at, humans are reactionary, some moreso than others.

And now that two more cops have been shot, in the most prominent American city, reportedly as “revenge” for the most-publicized victims of police killings, and all that has happened in the six months since the Millers killings- the entirety of the Ferguson-to-nation drama- right at the height of protester-police tensions in NYC… and this declaration of war by the NYPD Union leader… things smell fishy (oh yeah, it happened while a terrorism drill was going on), even though that shooting scenario is not hard to imagine happening in this climate, and I expect to see the Las Vegas post-Miller freak-out scenario x1000. At least for New York residents, but certainly far more of a nationwide response than the Vegas incident.

Bottom line is… as this unpredictable new year comes… we need to be SMART. We need to not fall into the Us vs. Them trap and not just go off on vigilante missions or start riots. Apathy and inaction are not options either. Place the blame where the blame lies and yes, the police must be held accountable for their actions.

UPDATE: the above section was written a week before the end of the year, and the NYPD response has taken an interesting turn: Arrests plummet 66% with NYPD in virtual work stoppage… which has made many, especially Libertarians, take note and point out- it appears only a minimal amount of arrests are necessary, and they didn’t “have to” arrest most they’ve arrested before- most nonviolent crime arrests down 88-94%.

2014’s Final Days: Civil War begins online?

With this huge wave in anti-police brutality sentiment sweeping the nation, there has been the inevitable backlash (to our backlash). It has been clear for years to those of us who criticize the police state, police brutality, killings of unnarmed civilians, and so on, that we are painted as radicals, demonized as “cop haters” for pointing out bad cops and what is wrong with the system. Now that it’s become nearly even mainstream and is toppling the image of the current police as “servers and protectors” and all-good, the demonization tactics are out in full force and the internet trolls, aside from cops and their immediate families, are waging a major campaign to defend the whole law enforcement system.

It’s understandable that cops and their loved ones will want to defend good cops and the things the system does right. But seeing comment after comment and now increasingly hateful posts defending ALL cops and accusing ALL those critical of cops or holding cops accountable as being violent cop haters, is sticking one’s head in the sand and being unreal. Now I’m even seeing many call stories of people victimized by cops BS, and claiming that many of us are being reported to police for just making comments siding with the victim, nothing violent or illegal, and threatening “knocks on the door”. These wreak of agent provocateurs, informants (with nothing illegal to inform… but they love to intimidate), and other types of undercovers or people who are just so obsessed with defending or denying the ugliness of the system. This is what happened with many locals in the wake of the Millers killings, and now it’s happening nationwide since New York is the center of the universe, and well moreso since the agenda is at its tipping point.

I have been drawn into this trap, this waste of time, and I need to remind myself that these people should be ignored. We should not feed into their provocations. With this year we saw a massive awakening, and lines being drawn. If people are still in denial that there is a major problem with police brutality and killings of civilians, then there is likely little hope for them. I don’t want to cast people out who may have a glimmer of a chance to see that what is happening is TERRIBLY WRONG, but most people have settled into their political belief systems by now, it seems. Of course there are also the young who have been raised to see the police as all-good, and they could still awaken, as well as perhaps the older and more engrained who are just very defensive or willfully ignorant in these final days before the veil is lifted for them as well.

It seems they failed to divide us on the basis of race (though they seemed to turn many people off from the movement by making it seem like it’s more black vs. white), so they seem to just be fomenting the anger between citizens and cops (and cop apologists) as intensely as possible, trying to incite violence, to push us over the edge. We can’t give in. As I’ve already emphasized repeatedly, they want a reason to shut us all up, to justify when they imprison us in masses, to discredit and demonize the overall “movement” to scare all the peaceful people into submission, and not just those who have already willfully submitted. We’re dangerously close to that right now, and we both can’t violently self-destruct, and can’t let them shut us up.

What path do we take? Well one very interesting thing that has happened since the NYPD cop shootings is arrests have gone down from about 80 to 94 percent in New York, especially for traffic and other victimless crimes. This is a result of police union leaders calling for officers to arrest only “when they have to”, apparently for safety reasons but by some as a form of protest against the mayor. To so many of us against the Police State, we see this as much closer to how things should be, not the revenue-generating, prison-filling industry the police departments have become. We also should realize from this pitting against each other that someone has to gain, favoring their interests, just as with the race card… and why would the cops want us so against them?

The lawmakers are the ones who make the laws that the police enforce. Pretty simple. Clearly so many police are abusing their power, but make no mistake that they are increasingly being trained that way, and more unstable police are being hired. They are pawns of the government, indeed their guard dogs, devoted to and used by their masters. Some do join it to serve their community, but are swept in by the “code” and do not realize what they’ve gotten themselves into until they realize exposing the bad ones, or the rotten tree, would most likely lead to a horrible retributional demise for themselves. We need to keep in mind we are all humans, and all make our choices for one reason or another. Not all reasons are the same. But when we are oppressed, it is in our human nature to rise up, and we must remember who that oppressor is, and look to the top, revealing layer after layer.

The lawmakers need to be out, the laws need to be out and started from scratch, the entire system needs to be reset, is how I see it. I am learning, as we all are, on this hugely educational process, and the “how” seems to come naturally, yet certainly as a daunting and massively intimidating challenge, as we go along. We can look back to revolutions such as our separation from Europe or the peaceful revolution led by Ghandi, but there is no doubt this will be unique and of utmost historical importance, and we all have our parts to play.

My personal life

Well since this is my blog I suppose I will throw in a few of the more personal highlights of my year, even though I had extremely personal connections and involvement in much of the larger-scale stuff mentioned above, and some below followed me into my personal life. (for example, the Millers shootings took place on Nellis- my name- Blvd., blocks from where I was going to visit a friend later that day, and my name has been mistaken for Miller a few times- gladly not by police- ok these are coincidences) The protests, court cases, politics, and activism in all its forms took up most of my year, but apart from that I had some other amazing and dramatic experiences. I was on my first two big studio movie sets (I have a degree in Film/Videography), first as an extra (background actor) on Mall Cop 2, in which I was upgraded to SAG vouchers on my second day (those in the industry will get why that’s cool), and ended the year as a PA (production assistant) on Disney’s Bollywood musical Any Body Can Dance 2. Many of my best friends went through some of the most important experiences of their lives that would change their lives forever. I went to two different best friends’ weddings, and two different friends had their first babies.

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Crystal Hefner (Hugh’s wife) and I, right before I smeared a fake bloody scab on her.

I also worked more on prank acting gigs for Las Vegas: The Game which officially launched this year, and was always a hilarious time (tv series pitches produced by a former producer of COPS… umm, yeah…), from repeatedly playing a perverted creep, to smashing a fake bottle over the creator’s head and then actually getting choked and tackled by a large vet who wasn’t in on the prank, to getting hit by a bachelorette party bus (and staying on the ground too long, scaring them), to being handcuffed to a tree in front of the Bellagio* in my underwear, with the key in my pocket, to picking a scab and rubbing it on Hugh Hefner’s wife. After its launch, rave reviews and articles appeared in numerous Vegas publications, such as this from Las Vegas Seven magazine. The CEO of Las Vegas: The Game (along with co-creator Justin Oswald) Chad Hardy previously was widely known for his Men on a Mission calendar, the controversial calendar that got Chad excommunicated from the Mormon Church and his BYU degree revoked. He was on the TODAY Show.
You can check out some of the videos here, if you dare… er, I dare share them.

Anonymous police brutality protest and brutality in action follow me onto the Disney gig…

What struck me as very synchronistic, was that within a week of the police brutality protests, in the 3 days of the movie shoot, we shot at three of the locations that the completely unrelated protesters had our protests at- Fremont, Bellagio, and the airport. Well, we didn’t protest at the airport (no way), but we met at a location near there, though didn’t have enough people to make an impact. And during our Fremont shoot, I actually saw two young men getting arrested, and I didn’t realize until afterward that they had anonymous/Guy Fawkes masks and were protesting. I saw a young guy handcuffed on the ground yelling “I’m being arrested for nothing!” and then I noticed a security guard shining his flashlight at people who were taking pictures. Since I wasn’t exactly needed at the moment, I got a couple pictures and started taking video when the guard pointed his light at me. He wouldn’t stop, and I said I was just taking a picture, but then I had to attend to the set and didn’t want to get fired, as I noticed a few higher-up crew members looking at me.

anonarrestsabcdanonarrestsabcd2
After some emergency set call where I ran into a friend, I returned and saw the paddywagon doors closing, the arrestees no longer outside. It was then that I noticed a Guy Fawkes mask on the hood of the police car, along with a jacket, and thinking someone may have been under there, as if the cops bent him over the hood, I almost asked “what’s your name?” but then the mask fell, revealing another mask, and no body beneath. I then noticed the police holding a familiar protest sign about police brutality, and I was floored. I realized they had probably been at at least one of the protests I’d been to, maybe even one or two of the anons arrested at our big First Friday protest. I regretted not getting their information before they were put in the detention van, but now I have most of it. I later learned from one of their brothers that it was in fact one of them, along with a few others, and one of them was sentenced six months in jail. Eventually, I was passed along this video, which shows what led to these arrests. See for yourself… never at our protests had we gotten in cops (or security’s, which these guys are) faces, but well, decide whether you think the guards used excessive force or not, watch closely- SECURITY POLICE FIGHT PROTESTERS ON FREMONT

Personal Life continued

Anyway, back to the personal dramas… just as things seemed to be on a roll for me, and I had just thought “damn, I hope nothing bad will happen and turn it around- no stop thinking that”, my mom got in a major car accident and her ribs and nose were broken, along with other injuries. She lost her job of 17 years as well as a result (using the company van- which she was allowed to), and it of course brought major setbacks to the family. She went through very tough times but retained her positive outlook overall, and got through it. She’s mostly healed today, still looking for work.

My cat of thirteen years died, Samantha… it was some sudden sickness over a day or two, before getting a chance to take her to the vet. She died in my hands, as soon as I got to her.

Aside from that, probably the hardest moment of the year, I would say the year has not been too hard on me, it’s mainly everyone around me who has gone through hell and back, and I have been along for the ride and to document, and spread the word when I feel it’s necessary. I have hardly worked a steady job aside from those exciting gigs and a few other very promising and intriguing new ventures, and a “backup” office-type job, but the immersion in activism and putting myself into events that may have altered the course of our history has been more than rewarding and made up for periods of dirt-brokedness. The infamous standoff, the “Battle for Bunkerville”, between the militarized Feds and the protesters, just as I walked several miles through unmoving traffic up to it, took place on my mother’s birthday, April 12th, and while she was worried for my life for hours and as she saw feeds go black, she said the mini-revolution was a great birthday present. And interestingly enough, on the eve of my birthday (November 27th) was when we had our 2nd protest in our marathon week of protests, in which one man who then became a friend was arrested, and we had our first “standoff” facing cops and blocking Fremont street.

One of the many "uses" for Reclaimed, where #1 volunteer/owner's wife Aaron Harney (on the right) began to teach me ukelele! Another highlight, and another instrument I better not just forget about...

One of the many “uses” for Reclaimed, where #1 volunteer/owner’s wife Aaron Harney (on the right) began to teach me ukelele! Another highlight, and another instrument I better not just forget about…

This was also one of my most if not my most spiritual year yet, with nearly everything that happened seeming to synchronize and happen for a reason, to further this journey, see the microcosmic drama playing out in my own life, and the people around me, and locally, to the macrocosm of the country and the world. I met and ran into people I had not seen for a while that all seemed to also play a part- at least many of them- who played significant roles in my life this year and helped me along on my spiritual and physical journey, and I got to know more of my “family”. Trying times for others also taught me lessons about myself.

Well I will certainly continue on that path I’ve set for myself and that the universe has seemed to nudged me along on, and report on, get involved in, and fight for the rights of any person or issue facing threats against freedom, life, and their inalienable rights. I learned more about the law than ever before (even more than my interest in being a lawyer over a decade ago- but I now am so sick of court), and honestly that’s largely in thanks to Rebecca Martin and her encyclopedic knowledge, in combination with her and the others’ court cases I followed closely this year. I can guarantee I will be writing a major story in January concerning a friend and a court/sentencing case that so far I’ve painfully kept my mouth shut as much as I could about; some of you know what, and with it occurred probably the most disappointing moment I’ve had all year, or in years, in our government. And that’s saying a lot.

But my hopes are high, as much as they’ve been burnt throughout the year, and as much as we keep seeming to get forcefully derailed. There’s no stopping us, and the pendulum is swinging heavily back to our side. As I said two years ago, our Revolution is evolving, and last year, I said it was the year we realized we can, and now I’m saying we have done it, at least shown ourselves ways to do it, and have begun. The government is showing they are afraid, and are getting desperate. They backed off at Bundy Ranch, and while they have not backed off the protests, what has now happened in New York is very intriguing- arrests down to minimal numbers, relatively nonexistent compared to their usual numbers. I don’t expect this to continue for long, but people need to seize this moment, or at least grasp how this came to be, and reinforce the knowledge we have in us that we have the power to take the power back.

The government keeps thinking they have us in checkmate, and then their plan backfires and we get stronger. They nearly had us pinned against the wall, right where they want us, turning on each other, and while time still shall tell since this “movement” is very young, the race baiting to divide and conquer via the Ferguson/”Black Lives Matter” protests has not been setting us all against each other as intended. Sure, this may have been their most ingenious, and most diabolical move yet, and started to embroil us activists in addition to the general public, but their evil intentions underestimate the power of the human spirit and drive for freedom.

This Police State is not the state we need to live in. As I said in my big takeaway from the ranch, Do Not Fear The Government. I could also consider the main events of the year to be a tale of two cities- Bunkerville (or Clark County) and Ferguson (or the national protest movement). The comparisons as I went so in-depth into above, still juxtapose the two and show a clear difference. I would say this quote by Thomas Jefferson states it simply:

“When government fears people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.”

 

We’ve built the bridge, and have raised awareness enough for people to start crossing. Now we must build the future on this new territory.

What friends had to say about 2014:

I thought I knew so much but I knew very little until I ran for office. -Cindy Lake
Selfish Pride whittled my year down to nothing. It was then only did I see through not having anything left, I was able to recognize I’ve been blessed with so much more in return. You cannot lose the experiences or the things you learn along the way, granted you don’t forget them. -Sid Passey
I’ve lost faith in humanity this year. Abusive authority figures, supposed friends who showed their true colors, a system who encourages thug cops and punishes those who dare to defend themselves. America is not what I was taught. -LisaMarie Johnson
I have really seen the depth of the hole that most people don’t care that we are in. I can’t wait for the next person to complain about our schools, our taxes or our cops…I will just ask them where they were and what they did about it. -Jason Smith
Taco Bell was always great. -Tierra Christensen
I’m grateful for all the really neat people I met this year, the intelligent conversations that are taking place to help change the world, and the ability to pick the values and beliefs that fit me. Yes, there are huge, black holes that need to be changed. Lucky for me, I believe I know a few people who can and will do it. If you’re disgusted enough to post on Facebook, be disgusted enough to do something about it. -Fran Stoegbauer-Deane
I had to learn who I really was. Even more so than I had thought I had know. I had to take the time to understand my soul. To do the things id rather not do, in order to get the peace that I needed to look after my own well being and to return to a healthy state of mind. Decisions we make may hurt others at times. Sometimes it hurts us too. In life there are always choices. They may not be the choices we want. But we always have the options of the choices, none the less. Thats the reality of real life 🙂 -Angel Rivera
We are the decision being made that will decide that fate of the planet like never before. -Jim Stone

The quotes from others about 2014 are from this Facebook thread.

Rest in peace…

More friends died than in any other year I can think of, and suicide seemed to frighteningly increase…

My cat Samantha
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Robert Walker (Peace Activist, very widely involved community activist, radio show host, writer)
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Mason Webb (medical marijuana advocate, activist, entrepreneur)10888363_10205332059397996_3387369313538037613_n

“Reverend Jack” (medical marijuana advocate, ran a church that used cannabis as sacrament, one of the first people to push me forward in marijuana advocacy, over 10 years ago)
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Jim “Libertarian” Burns (first person to get the Libertarian Party on the Nevada ballot, by making “Libertarian” his middle name, repeat presidential candidate)jim_burns1-e1390950836460

Zachary Phillip Freeman (author, DJ, music producer, “anonymous” activist)10301458_10152473326969257_1373523173467050191_n

Jon “FreeAnon” Byrd (Marine Veteran, DJ, “anonymous” activist, actually died Nov. 2013 but brought numerous people together whom have played an integral part of this year- I wouldn’t have known Becca Martin others if it weren’t for him)1476499_10152087644894913_1733880521_n

Eva Cole (retired teacher, my best friend Barry’s aunt)
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Eric Garner, D’Andre Berghardt Jr., Tamir Rice, Kelly Thomas, John Crawford III, Mike Brown, and the 1,000+ others killed by police
Robin Williams
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Mickey Rooney
Joe Cocker
Shirley Temple
James Garner
Harold Ramis (writer of Groundhog Day and many more)
and everyone else who died in 2014.

Highlight galleries:

Art of Activism/Reclaimed
LifeCube
Chelsea and Steve’s Wedding
Freedom Fest Party at Hyde
Wal-Mart/Cici’s (Millers) shooting aftermath

Bundy Ranch:

 

Ferguson/police brutality protests:

Other Protests:


My 2014 articles:

Videos and articles to get you ready for the “More Cops Tax” hearing
Clark County More Cops Tax Defeated! A Non-Partisan Victory
The Battle for Bundy Ranch – 4/10/14
The Battle of Bunkerville – First Round VICTORY! Photos/Videos
Do Not Fear the Government: What I’ve learned from Bundy Ranch
The Political Party: New Las Vegas non-partisan meet-and-greet series starts superbly
Peaceful Vegas Activists and their Families Under Assault by LVMPD
Becca Martin’s Contempt Hearing- BRIEF RUNDOWN
UPDATES: The Continued Abuse of Becca Martin in Jail and in Court
2014 Libertarian Party of Nevada Endorsements
Jason Mahe: Shot 7 times in back by Vegas cops, slowly dying in jail
As the Ferguson decision draws near, remembering the LA riots
Vegas Anti-Police Brutality Protests Grow Day by Day
Rebecca Martin Faces Obstruction Charge for Remaining Silent
Judge rules City’s attempt at adding charges to Becca Martin’s case Unconstitutional

 

 

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