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Amelia Nicol on dropping of murder, incendiary device charges -- and Occupy Denver

Amelia Nicol is not afraid to go back to jail.

"I'm standing up in solidarity with the people of Occupy Denver," she says. "But I'm using different tastics than before. There's no need for me to return to jail -- not for Occupy Denver."

Earlier this year, Nicol spent six weeks behind bars and celebrated her 21st birthday in solitary confinement, charged with the attempted murder of two police officers during the May March Against Terror. She was looking at a prison sentence of up to 120 years. But after a "Free Amelia" campaign waged by friends at Anarchist Black Cross, Judge Andrew J. Armatas threw out the felony charges in June, leaving only a charge of possession of an incendiary device -- allegedly a firecracker.

"This will be a very fertile issue for litigation," Harvey Steinberg, Nicol's lawyer, said after that hearing. At the time, Nicol referred to Steinberg as a "corporate fuck" -- but she admitted he was a "very good lawyer."

Nicol bailed out of jail after that, and during each of her subsequent court appearances, a group of protesters could be found at the rear of the courtroom, supporting a fellow anarchist. And on September 15, the Denver District Attorney's office filed a motion to dismiss all charges against Nicol, saying it did not have the evidence to win at trial.

"I didn't think they could prove the case from the get-go," Steinberg said. "At most there was an allegation of throwing a firecracker -- nothing else."

Her time in jail didn't discourage Nicol from joining the Occupy Denver protest at the State Capitol. And while she was there early last Friday when the Colorado State Patrol broke up the growing "tent city," she avoided arrest. "It was such an obvious illustration of where police stand with the people," she says. "They are on the side of the 1 percent."

As for the other 99 percent? "I'd say the really frustrating thing about Occupy Denver is the immense amount of differing opinions," Nicol says. "And I'd also say the really beautiful thing about Occupy Denver is the immense amount of differing opinions."

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver petition protests arrests, hopes for 10,000 signatures."


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