Occupy Denver's all-day concert closes out a week of peace
Update, 11:20 p.m. October 22: The close of tonight's Occupy Denver concert was a completely different scene from only one week ago. Although it ended with police presence, the number of cops left is the same 10 to 15 who stayed from last night until about 5 a.m. to monitor those who have grown used to falling asleep to the sound of honking. The most important difference, however, is that the night ended without altercation.
The Denver Anarchist Black Cross lists one arrest confirmed on its Twitter page, but relationships with the police stayed peaceful throughout the day. Only one man was asked to vacate physical park property after the 11 p.m. curfew, and the rest needed no reminder. A near-average crowd of about 40 people remained to spend the night, but the rest vacated the amphitheater that had been full only an hour earlier. Many wore orange tape (Occupy Denver's accepted solidarity color) to commemorate the number of people arrested: Those who were arrested usually wear their own number.
"Our goal right now is really just to play it cool," protester Scianda Long says. "We're still not going to leave, and we have no plan to, but we also have no plans to get arrested again. We're keeping things as peaceful as possible."
The night's protest became escalated between 8 and 9:30, when an anti-police brutality rally that began at the zoo at 6 p.m. wove its way through downtown and circled the area twice. By the end of the night, the Occupy Denver crowd included a generous share of zombies and anti-brutaliy protesters who had joined the group's ranks, but the number was not nearly as high as it had been expected to grow.
Kelsey Whipple The evening's anti-police brutality rally winds down Broadway near the Occupy Denver site.
One of the reasons tonight's turnout might have been lower than expected is the lack of police altercations within the last week, which helped to raise the group's attendance at last weekend's rally. Instead, the day focused firmly on entertainment and community-building. (Aside from dirty pots, zero evidence of any of the Thunderdome's several meals throughout the day remained in the kitchen at its close.)
The night's entertainment included a diverse mix of rock and electronica artists and public speakers, including the American Indian Movement's leader Glenn Morris and local electronica act Whomp Truck, for an evening that eventually ended with blown speakers and a mix of both talented and terrible dancing. The result was a surprisingly subtle progression from a week that ended with 50 arrests.