Occupy Denver marks two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street with peaceful first march
Today's initial celebration of Occupy Wall Street's two-month anniversary ended with the largest display of honks from passing cars the local movement has heard in a while (at least without a ticket). The day has been designated a national cause for action for occupations across the world, and Occupy Denver has more activities planned. But a noon march through the 16th Street Mall wasn't marked by major incidents, even though participants were trailed by about 45 police officers.
The march began on the steps in front of the City & Council Building downtown, where protesters gathered with signs that reiterated earlier messages and pushed for further action in the coming weeks. In light of Saturday's recent eviction, group action like today's is important for the gathering when it comes to maintaining a constant presence in Civic Center Park.
"What I have to say is much less nice than what they just did," protester Jeannie Hartley told the crowd. "In order to make any kind of change in this city, I think it has become clear that we have to remove Mayor Hancock from office. Right now, we're occupying his steps."
Kelsey Whipple Protesters hold flags as they march downtown in support of Occupy Wall Street.
From the City & County Building, approximately 200 protesters marched through the mall downtown, shouting chants on the way and sharing stories at planned stops along the rally route. "How many people here have student loans?" shouted one protester. "How many of you have loans that have increased by at least 20 percent?" For both questions, the show of hands came from at least half the group. She then shared that her own loan had increased more than 100 percent past the original rate when she defaulted on them.
It was a day for stories, recognition and, perhaps later this evening, action. It was also the first event at which Emerson De Ruiter felt comfortable speaking, though his voice shook slightly as he addressed the crowd. "I'm only nineteen, fresh out of high school, and I'm scared for my future," De Ruiter told his fellow occupiers. "I don't want it to be like this."
Kelsey Whipple More than 200 protesters gathered for today's national anniversary.