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Antiracist and socialist organizers with the Party for Socialism and Liberation were arrested in a Home Depot parking lot, at their homes, and after being pulled over while driving by law enforcement agencies in the Denver, Colorado area.
Organizers and leaders of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) denounced in an emergency webinar Thursday the coordinated and targeted arrests of several leaders in their Denver branch by local area law enforcement agencies.
PSL Denver organizers have been consistently in the streets demanding justice for victims of police brutality since the brutal murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 and the release of footage revealing the brutal murder of 23-year-old Elijah McClain by the Aurora, Colorado police department on August 30.
On Thursday morning, organizer Russell Ruch was arrested in a parking lot at Home Depot, while five police cars surrounded and arrested local antiracist leader Lillian House while she was driving. Later that afternoon, Joel Northam was arrested by S.W.A.T teams at his home, and that evening Eliza Lucero was also arrested.
Others may have been arrested, too, yet the four individuals arrested Thursday were all organizers of large Black Lives Matter demonstrations and leaders with the PSL. The four face severe multiple felony charges and misdemeanors, as well as years in prison, including the bizarre charge of "kidnapping"—amounting to a significant attack on the entire antiracist movement, and on the PSL specifically.
������PSL leaders & anti-racist organizers have been arrested in SWAT raids & are being held on outrageous felony charges for holding protests for #ElijahMcClain. PLEASE amplify this story however you can! Here’s how you can help: https://t.co/k9nr27U2QI
The four activists have worked closely with other antiracist activists and family members of local police brutality victims to amplify their cases, the reason why, the party states, they were targeted and rounded up Thursday. This type of repression, the PSL asserts, is now being used in every city to put down one of the most massive protest movements in U.S. history, part of a concerted national assault against the Black Lives Matter movement.
National PSL organizers, including 2020 presidential candidate and Cuba solidarity activist Gloria La Riva, have launched a
petition to drop all charges, created a
donation page to provide legal support for the arrested organizers, and announced a
protest this Saturday outside of the Colorado State Capitol to demand authorities drop the ludicrous charges.