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Occupy Denver: Two protesters assaulted by provocateurs during Fox31 interview

tent 99 percent.jpg
Occupy Denver is recharging quickly after its most violent interaction with police to date. The fourth incarnation of the Thunderdome, the group's kitchen tent, popped up even before the police left, and last night marked a peace vigil to refocus the gathering after a less than peaceful Saturday. But the occupation's detractors are returning quickly as well. Last night, two occupiers were assaulted during an interview with Fox31.

The circumstances are strange. The irony of their occurrence immediately after a peace vigil could not be escaped, and neither could two strangers -- a man and his girlfriend in their mid twenties, who antagonized occupiers Tanner Spendley and Caryn Sodaro around 7 p.m. last night. The couple insulted the occupation and complained the group was taking the park and the street away from other citizens before growing physical and attacking the two protesters.

occupy rally.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
A scene from the Occupy Denver rally two Saturdays ago.
Occupy Denver's official website offers the following e-mail report from Spendley, who is filing a police report about the incident. Note that this account, and one that follows, refers to Fox31 as Fox News, even though the crew was local and not a part of the national cable network.

At about 7 p.m. tonight two provacatoures [sic] assaulted caryn sodaro with security and tanner spendley during a fox news interview. While attempting to take her [the assailant's] picture she grabbed my phone, at which point her boyfriend assaulted me. He was quickly removed peacefully at which point they ran off along with the fox reporter. We believe this was an intentional act to paint us as violent.

The woman also slapped Sodaro, who reacted by wrapping her arms around the stranger to prevent injury. The result, which appears as though Sodaro is on top of the woman, was caught on camera.

In recent weeks, the group has occasionally faced problems with agent provocateurs who have been seeking to damage its public image -- an issue that resulted in one group member being suspended from group activities. Last night's assault is seen as similar by the author of the following post from Occupy Denver's Facebook account:

A sad story from the vigil tonight: At about 7 p.m., two provocateurs assaulted someone during a Fox News interview. The assaulter was removed by occupation security at which time they "ran off along with the Fox News reporter." This appears to have been an intentional act for the purpose of making us look violent through the mainstream media.

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver: Biggest riot squad presence to date, pepper bullets, multiple arrests (PHOTOS)."

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12 comments
Ben Sunness
Ben Sunness

 "Spendley, who is filing a police report about the incident.."

How delicious is the irony. Now you want the police assistance. You'all didn't mind abusing the police when it fits your purpose and now you want help from the man. Laughable this movement is.

Michael
Michael

A local Fox station has as much in common with the cable news network as Fox entertainment does (and I bet plenty of liberals love Glee and American Idol -_-).

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"... they ran off along with the fox reporter" -- birds of a feather flock together.  Fox 31 and other media have so distorted the facts of the Occupation and police assaults on protesters that they may be instigating a few of the ignorant rabble who comprise most of their audience to harass us.  Based on the description above, those who committed this assault might reasonably suspected of being agents of the police directly; as opposed to acting covertly to misdirect or to foment criminal acts -- whoever these people were, they were not agents provocateurs.

ZZardozz
ZZardozz

Look at this piece of local Fox affiliate reporting.  In this article, they claim that the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine initiative, in California, "legalizes marijuana for everybody, even kids". What they cleverly fail to mention is that the "marijuana for everybody" is industrial hemp, which is also legalized by the initiative.  It is another example of deliberately misleading reporting for the purpose of accomplishing their political goals.  http://www.fox40.com/news/head...

Eric
Eric

It smells like fox news.

The two trouble makers were most likely targeted by GOP operatives as dim and gullible, paid a pittance, and told to follow the fox news flunky, then act on cue.

During the DNC in '08, fox news tried several gimmicks to provoke conventioneers, not the least of which was a amateurish attempt to dump hundreds of American flags in a dumpster and blame the act on convention attendees.

In the end, fox got caught, the flags were distributed, and the whole thing just died out.

This would follow conservative doctrine as well. Paint these young people as violent by starting a fight with them, then filming only the part where they retaliate. Slimy to be sure, but VERY republican in street thug ethics.

You have to admire the occupy people. They have a legitimate gripe. They're doing something about it. That Denver's mayor is a gutless coward, cow-towing to the republican legislature is disappointing, but that does nothing to diminish the strength and viability of the movement.

Rjoymag
Rjoymag

typical 1% 'er move. Again the selfish of the wealthy, TRYING to control.

Eric
Eric

That's a good point.

But if the two provocateurs are under cover cops, this is a whole new can of worms.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I must object to the use of the word "provocateurs" to describe them -- WW, please correct your headline!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

true, but when (other) people are using the phrase "agent provocateur" without understanding the distinction between it and being a direct agent of the police it would be helpful to use another term to describe them -- how about "corporate running dogs"?.

Huh
Huh

Definition of PROVOCATEUR1 : agent provocateur 2 : one who provokes

Eric
Eric

How about "perpetrators".

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