Dance Revolution

For more than a century, anarchists have gathered together at annual balls to laugh, dance and joyfully share their views on social justice and political injustice. Denver Anarchist Black Cross took up the tradition more than five years ago and has been hosting the Martyr’s Ball fundraiser ever since. “It’s basically a big party with other people who are working toward liberation,” says DABC member Sam Dreskin.

Party-goers dress as their favorite political martyrs, smash piñatas, dance along to live bands -- the folk-punk act Ramshackle Glory heads this year’s lineup -- and celebrate another year in the uphill fight to smash the state, free prisoners and end capitalism. “This year, there is a lot going on in the world that we want to show solidarity with, whether it’s the struggle in Ferguson or, recently...a young protestor killed in France," says Dreskin. "We also had our own string of police murders that have happened in this city. We want to bring people together to remember the dead and to organize for the living.” In the coming year, DABC also hopes to aid Turkish anarchists fighting ISIS in Syria and to persuade President Obama to release Leonard Peltier and other 1960s-’70s-era political prisoners.

In other words, it's serious fun for a serious cause –- and if it strikes a chord, then march yourself down to the 2014 Martyr's Ball, which starts at 6:30 p.m. at Rhinoceropolis, 3553 Brighton Boulevard; a $10 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away. Get more information at
Sat., Nov. 15, 6:30 p.m., 2014

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris