Transgender anarchist ‘Ariel Attack’ suspected in Dem vandalism
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm
**Corrected and updated below**
DENVER — The suspect arrested Tuesday morning on charges of smashing 11 windows at the state Democratic Party headquarters is a transgendered “Denver-based anarchist” who goes by the name “Ariel Attack,” according to postings on numerous anarchist and radical gay-rights websites. A fundraising plea circulated by the self-described “radical queer group” Denver Bash Back! seeks donations to raise the $5,000 bail set for 24-year-old Maurice Schwenkler, who is “listed in the jail records and media under her birth name.”
The postings asked “people to NOT call the jail and potentially out Ariel, which would create a very dangerous situation,” noting that “Jail is a dangerous place for everyone, but especially trans people.”
A hearing was set for Wednesday morning for Attack, who faces charges of felony criminal mischief, according to the Denver Anarchist Black Cross.
Attack was released Wednesday after supporters posted bail, The Denver Post’s Jessica Fender reports.
“Just a quick update of good news: Ariel has been bailed out and is amongst friends again,” reads a posting Wednesday on the Denver Anarchist Black Cross website.
Benjamin Yager, listed as a contact on some of the posted appeals, declined to comment to The Colorado Independent. He told The Denver Post he didn’t want to comment until he had a chance to speak with Attack but added that the money raised through a Pay Pal account will cover her bail and go toward paying legal costs.
Police said another unidentified suspect in the vandalism remains at large. At least two hammer-wielding, bicycle-riding vandals were discovered smashing windows at the office on the corner of West Eighth Avenue and Santa Fe Drive at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, police said. Police said they apprehended Schwenkler after a brief chase.
Colorado Democratic Party Chairwoman Pat Waak estimated damage at $10,000 on Tuesday after discovering the broken windows. The Democrats are also appealing for donations to pay for repairs.
Waak originally blamed conservative opponents to Democratic-sponsored health care reform for the vandalism, pointing out that windows were smashed in front of health care posters, but walked it back when Schwenkler’s name appeared on a campaign finance document showing he’d been paid last November by a Democratic-leaning get-out-the-vote organization.
Attack, listed as an “occasional contributor” to the Queers Against Obama blog, recently wrote a post blasting President Barack Obama, saying “the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ has nothing to do with gay rights, but rather is a plan to fill the US military with more queer bodies.”
Here’s the post identifying the suspect arrested Monday night as Ariel Attack and asking for help raising bail:
Ariel Attack, a Denver-based anarchist, was arrested at 2:27am Tues, 24 here in Denver for allegedly smashing 11 windows of the Democratic Party headquaters at 777 Santa Fe Drive.
Right now we are trying to raise the bail money for her to get out of jail; her bail hearing will be tomorrow at 10am Denver time. Several lawyers have told us to expect anywhere from between $3,000 to $10,000 in bail, and due to the high publicity of the case here in Denver, we are expecting higher (lead story for most all local news outlets, and being picked up by national news networks).
At this moment, we do not know Ariel’s status within the jail, especially regarding her gender classification. We have been unable to talk with Ariel since she went in. She is listed in the jail records and media under her birth name. We also do not know what plans, if any, she had made for this situation.
As such, Denver BB! and all of her friends and community are calling out hoping to raise the money to at least make bond. Jail is a dangerous place for everyone, but especially trans people, and we make every effort to get our friends and comrades out. We are also asking people to NOT call the jail and potentially out Ariel, which would create a very dangerous situation. Interaction with the jail is being done by people here in Denver in very specific ways to create the maximum amount of safety possible for Ariel.
People will be meeting up outside of the courthouse (14th and Bannock, across from civic center park) at 9:30 before going into court. All people are welcome.
Below is a link to the paypal account which will deposit money into the FREE ARIEL ATTACK FUND!!! Please do what you can to help get an amazing friend and comrade out of jail and back into her community. Also below are links to some of the corporate media stories about her arrest.
CORRECTION AND UPDATE: An earlier version of this story included a quote from the Denver Anarachist Black Cross regarding the bail fund for Ariel Attack. The person answering an e-mail sent to the anarchist group didn’t intend to make a comment to the media and it should not have been included in the story.
In addition, many of the story’s linked bulletin board postings have subsequently been removed or put behind password-protected walls.
A posting on the Bash Back! News site said Attack’s supporters won’t be posting more information for a while:
Ariel has been released on $5000 bail, and we are not posting new stories until the media hullabaloo has died down. Ariel is doing well and is tremendously grateful for all of your support.
The posting listed an e-mail contact for updates and thanked supporters.