Top

blog

Stories

 

John Hickenlooper: Occupy Denver protesters can't stay overnight, deciding how to evict them

The tent city that sprang up in relation to Occupy Denver, the local version of the Occupy Wall Street protests, can't become a permanent fixture at the State Capitol, Governor John Hickenlooper said today -- and the Colorado State Patrol confirms that discussions will be underway soon to determine how to address his concerns.

The area where campers have set up is under the jurisdiction of the CSP -- and rules forbid overnight camping in the park. Nonetheless, plenty of Occupy Denver types have been doing so as part of the demonstrations, which have gone on for more than two weeks.

Today, during an appearance on Mike Rosen's KOA talk show (hear it below), Hickenlooper said his representatives have told protesters they can't stay on the spot overnight -- instructions they've ignored to date. What next? That's complicated.

"As close as I can understand, they're on state property -- but we don't have a jail to put them in, and we haven't been able to find a way that the city, that the district attorney will prosecute," Hickenlooper said.

17 john hickenlooper gets ready for swearing at inauguration.jpg
John Hickenlooper.
This isn't a new philosophy, he emphasized. "About six years ago, five years ago, we had a group that wanted to do a tent city... to dramatize the situation of homelessness," Hickenlooper recalled. "We told them, 'It's unsafe... If we let you do it, we have to let everyone else do it.'"

Such a stance in regard to Occupy Denver doesn't mean his administration is hostile to free speech, he said. In his words, "We have always supported the First Amendment," and he went on to mention policies put in place during the 2008 Democratic National Convention to encourage peaceful expression. He has no problem if Occupy Denver participants "want to stamp their feet and hold up signs and point out problems they see in this country." However, "we'd like them to leave every night by, like, nine o'clock, and then come back at, say, 6:30."

Other cities are grappling with similar problems; a reported 129 protesters have been arrested in Boston, for instance. But when Rosen suggested that the State Patrol should politely dismantle the so-called improvements made by the local protesters, Hickenlooper noted that doing so with people in their tents would be problematic. Besides, it's "not a burgeoning metropolis," he pointed out -- which is why he hasn't drawn "a line in the sand."

At the same time, though, he said, "I confess, I worry about precedent. If suddenly we have a park where everyone can camp out, why not the next park, and the next park... and all of a sudden, you don't have any rules that work.

"We have to figure out exactly how we're going to work the jurisdictional issues," he added -- and that process appears to be underway. Colorado State Patrol spokesman Sergeant Mike Baker says the CSP heard Hickenlooper's remarks on the radio this morning, and "we're now trying to determine the best course of action. We'll work with everyone involved, including the governor's office and the Occupy Denver people, to resolve this situation." Meetings with various parties will be taking place this afternoon, he revealed.

Listen to Hickenlooper's appearance on KOA below. The pertinent part of the conversation begins at approximately the thirteen minute mark:

More from our Videos archive: "Occupy Denver video collection chronicles ongoing protests."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
48 comments
candiealice
candiealice

Quite frankly I expect more from our state and ourleaders.  The statement and decisionsmade are little more than "former CEO" rhetoric.  This isn't a resolution, it became anultimatum.  Is the Gov. Office doinganything to understand what these people are trying to express in our state?  This would be leadership, not a police stateintervention. 

Although unorganized, to me these people are simply saying "Iam mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore".  Well me too 99, me too.

Jo
Jo

Shame on the governor - it is disgusting to shut down Occupy Denver and IT IS UNAMERICAN!!!

Jennifoodie
Jennifoodie

Don't be a dick, Hick. Let 'em stay!

RichardT
RichardT

You don't need to throw them in jail - just shoo them away. It's not rocket science.

If these were Tea Party folks, you better believe that the libs would be screaming bloody murder and demanding that the police enforce the laws by getting rid of them.

Jeanie Occupy WallSt Hooper
Jeanie Occupy WallSt Hooper

Dear Governor Hickenlooper,If you are going to insist on enforcing the law that doesn't allow demonstrators to occupy a state park between the hours of "say 9pm...(until)...6am", then suggest a place they can peacefully and lawfully occupy.  Say...the grounds of the Governor's Mansion?

Jeff Northrup
Jeff Northrup

If these people knew how to punch a clock, say at 6:30am and then work every night until, like, nine o'clock . . .they wouldn't be sleeping on the streets of our cities they would be learning how to elect a limited government congress which would put an end to the 'influence for sale' which drives corporatism and the lobbying industry.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"We have always supported the First Amendment" -- oh?  Is Hickenlooper referring to such means of encouraging peaceful expression as confining protesters at the DNC to the Freedom Cage, hundreds of feet away from any delegates, or does he refer to the fielding of the very expensively equpped police army that outnumbered protesters?

So if Hickenlooper is Howdy-Doodyesque (a point I readily concede), how is it that Denver has voted for him over and over again?  Voting for Howdy Doody is incommensurable with being a progressive city -- that is Denver-Dumb!

David Pfister
David Pfister

Hell Yeah! Let the protesters occupy their capital. It belongs to them more than the big corporate lobbyists who occupy it now.

bigmeow
bigmeow

fix the economy and the protestors will go home.

Tinfante
Tinfante

Leave the occupiers alone. Haven't you paid attention to the mistakes  made by other government officials in other cities....the crowds will grow and grow. They have a right to assembly and a duty to civil disobedience. The system is broken because we have placed party politics and profits over people.

Jodi Winn-Gordon
Jodi Winn-Gordon

The state troopers told Occupy Denver that the tents were fine on the sidewalk, as long as pedestrian traffic was not impeded. Granted, I haven't been down there to see where the tents actually are today, but if it's not ok for them to camp on the side walk for Occupy, why is it ok for 40 some odd bargain hunting consumers to camp on the sidewalk for more than two weeks waiting for Sniagrab? I call BS. 

Adam Wilson
Adam Wilson

Hickenlooper recalled. "We told them, 'It's unsafe... If we let you do it, we have to let everyone else do it.'"

It's not his call. It's our property. WE PAID FOR IT!!!!

Jeb
Jeb

I am so sorry I voted for him. He's more Republican than ...

East Colfax
East Colfax

I assume Richard Taylor hasn't really hung out in the park much before.  Bitch slappin', OD's, and street sexin are the norm man.    

Guest
Guest

You cannot stop us.  It doesn't matter what you do.  You are one, and we are many.

Richard Taylor
Richard Taylor

Having two hours to kill this afternoon between appointments, I passed the time hanging out with Occupy Denver at the Veteran's Memorial. After witnessing a young man OD and two women engage in a face slapping contest, I attended a general assembly session. Led by a 21st Century Rosa Luxemburg (didn't hear her name), nearly 40 people discussed events scheduled for November, ways to deal with the police and supplies they will need for cold weather. They plan on outlasting the Paris Commune. The assembly concluded with a discussion about what they want to accomplish and issuing a statement of purpose. "Still trying to figure that out," one man stated and added, "Don't want to re-fight the Bourgeois Revolution." It was agreed to table the discussion until an October 13 meeting and until then the statement will be, "Join us."On leaving the event, I saw an inebriated woman sitting on a bench with an equally drunk man. As I passed by, I overheard the man ask his bench companion, "Want me to f*ck you?" He was the only person there who knew exactly what he wanted to accomplish.

Pete Zeigler
Pete Zeigler

Let the hippie beatings begin! Best fall TV season EVER!

The NinetyNine Percent
The NinetyNine Percent

So Hick says he's not violating the protesters 1st amendment rights (you know - apparently the one where we can peaceably assemble as long as it's before government curfew time) because he tells all groups they can't camp outdoors on public property. He talks specifically about a homeless initiative that wanted sleep outside to raise awareness that he told no.

Just so you know, even the specific detail Hick opted to add to his commentary is a lie.  I know, I did a Cardboard Campout benefit for the homeless before, in Denver. Look, here's their website, WITH 2 QUOTES OF SUPPORT FROM HICKENLOOPER ON THE FRONT PAGE! http://www.cardboardcampout.co...

Ssboggers
Ssboggers

You are all going to wish you had left the park!  Might as well leave now and save yourself the trouble that is brewing!

A 99% Downtown Worker
A 99% Downtown Worker

I am 100% behind Governor Hick's suggestion that the OWS Denver crowd vacate the park atnight. The protestors say they represent the 99%ers. Most every downtown worker commutesto their job every day. Why can't the protestors? Could it be that it would seem too much likereal work? There is not much traffic on Broadway late at night. The protestors could get a good night's rest at home and start the next day fresh. Kind of like the 99% they say they represent

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

I have a good job, own a nice home, and am a very productive and active member of society (by the standards imposed upon Americans by the corporate media and mentality).  I consider myself extremely fortunate.  That said, I am 100% behind these demonstrations and will be joining those camping at The Capital and protesting the injustices of our current financial and political system.  Yes it is a risk to my presently comfortable way of life, and my freedom, but to allow these political and financial crooks to continue to destroy the American way of life is unacceptable and worth the risk.Time to stand up for what is right...for all of America!

Lord_makus
Lord_makus

John W Hickenlooper, Governor136 State CapitolDenver, CO 80203-1792Phone(303) 866-2471

Bugsycook
Bugsycook

Gov Howdy Doody and the Denver Police should be thrilled that the overnight campers have scared away the gangsters and crack dealers who normal have free reign of the park

Bugsycook
Bugsycook

Gov. Howdy Doody should be thrilled that the  campers have sacred away the gangsters and crack dealers  who normally have run of the park

Aaron Leforce
Aaron Leforce

NO ONE GIVES A FUCK WHAT THE "LAW" SAYS...THEY KICK PPL OUT OF THE PARK AND MAKE ARRESTS...THERE WILL BE A SHIT STORM

Bill
Bill

Good. Time to go back home to mom and dad's basement and take a shower.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Constitution of Colorado, Article XXI, Section 1:

State Officers May Be Recalled.

Every elective public officer of the state of Colorado may be recalled from office at any time by the registered electors entitled to vote for a successor of such incumbent through the procedure and in the manner herein provided for, which procedure shall be known as the recall, and shall be in addition to and without excluding any other method of removal provided by law.

The procedure hereunder to effect the recall of an elective public officer shall be as follows:

A petition signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor of the incumbent sought to be recalled, equal in number to twenty­five percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding election for all candidates for the position which the incumbent sought to be recalled occupies, demanding an election of the successor to the officer named in said petition, shall be filed in the office in which petitions for nominations to office held by the incumbent sought to be recalled are required to be filed; provided, if more than one person is required by law to be elected to fill the office of which the person sought to be recalled is an incumbent, then the said petition shall be signed by registered electors entitled to vote for a successor to the incumbent sought to be recalled equal in number to twenty­five percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for all candidates for the office, to which the incumbent sought to be recalled was elected as one of the officers thereof, said entire vote being divided by the number of all officers elected to such office, at the last preceding general election; and such petition shall contain a general statement, in not more than two hundred words, of the ground or grounds on which such recall is sought, which statement is intended for the information of the registered electors, and the registered electors shall be the sole and exclusive judges of the legality, reasonableness and sufficiency of such ground or grounds assigned for such recall, and said ground or grounds shall not be open to review.

RECALL HICKENLOOPER!

CoolBlue71
CoolBlue71

Robert Chase asks, "So if Hickenlooper is Howdy-Doodyesque (a point I readily concede), how is it that Denver has voted for [now-Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper] over and over again?"

Because he has a "D" after his name.

Democratic Party is full of Republicans Part Deux.

Samuel Stray
Samuel Stray

Hickenlooper is corrupt.On the other hand: All the signs and most of the tents have been abandoned.Where's the Ranger?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I agree -- we should vacate Lincoln Park for the Capitol itself.

Free People
Free People

Ummm...nobody was ever allowed to camp out for 2+ weeks for Sniagrab in the 8+ years I worked for the company. It was for maybe 3 days tops...and while I don't remember all the details; I am pretty sure they "camped" in the company owned parking lot. I am ALL for protesting ~ but if you are going to verbalize. BE ACCURATE!!!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You misunderstand -- there is a jurisdictional boundary at the wall/steps on the west side of the Park.  The sidewalk is City property, the Park, State.  I am sure that the City could interfere with what's happening on the sidewalk on Broadway or 10th Ave. but it takes a laissez-faire attitude -- the State on the other hand has already declared the tents a violation.  It turns out that one reason the State finds it difficult to move against us is that, here in Podunk, a long-running squabble between City and State complicates (and may even prevent) the charging of those they want to arrest (hence Hick's mysterious claim that "we don't have a jail to put them in" with the Cise-Simonet Murder Facility just a few blocks away).

Sigh
Sigh

Definitely agree that the taxpayers are the true owners of the property.  But if that's the case, then how is it fair for one group to overtake the space and prevent others from using it in the way it was intended to be used?  

I also don't understand why protesters feel they are above the law.  If the rules clearly states that overnight camping isn't allowed, then that applies to everyone: protesters, non-protesters, guys, gals, kids, etc.  So essentially the protesters don't want to follow the rules set by government, but they still want government to listen to their complaints and do something about it.  

Really makes no sense.

Samuel Stray
Samuel Stray

No change, they are still there in the usual spot, sitting on the ledge closer to Colfax.They don't sell crack, they sell weed.

Adam Wilson
Adam Wilson

I'll sign it, if he stops the protestors.  See you all this weekend.

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

            VOTE BEER PARTY FOR PRESIDENT

             HICKENLOOPER/COORS  2012

Clarsa_mcelhaney
Clarsa_mcelhaney

Actually, the tweakers, the drunks, and the stoners are three different camps and keep to different sections of the park. The stoners generally don't cause problems and they keep the tweakers in line somewhat. It's not all one culture.

kimchist4r
kimchist4r

LOL occupydenver! save our constitution! join us.

Kevin Hughes
Kevin Hughes

I don't know, I've been offered everything from weed to crack, to heroin in that park--and I've only lived here a year.

Samuel Stray
Samuel Stray

You left one very important word out REPUBLICAN

VOTE REPUBLICAN BEER PARTY FOR PRESIDENT

HICKENLOOPER/COORS   2012

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

There's a sudsy ticket. Thanks for the post, Samuel.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...