Occupy Denver protesters want their dog-and-leader to meet with Governor Hickenlooper
This afternoon was a busy one for a handful of Occupy Denver participants, eleven of whom took the capitol by surprise around 11:30 a.m. The group, organized by Thunderdome protester Corey Donahue, planned to advance the cause by occupying the governor's office, and that plan lasted for about three and a half hours (three longer than even the occupiers expected). Around 3 p.m., they were escorted out of the building by state patrol, with the exception of Donahue, who was arrested.
Donahue, who has also been arrested twice in relation to the occupation and will face a felony for any other related arrests, was taken in on a city charge that he failed to appear in court for a traffic violation on November 4, though he said he was unaware of the situation. When Donahue was threatened with arrest, group member and former Westword profile subject Chad Duffy took hold of Donahue's phone during an attempt to call his lawyer, but Donahue was eventually removed from the building.
The plan began early in the morning as a means of advancing the occupation's cause in the wake of one of its most peaceful weeks to date. Like a protest Pied Piper, Donahue collected a small but devoted group of frequent occupiers to take to the Capitol building to make a statement and further the group's agenda. The time has come for increased action, Donahue says.
"People are just living like dogs out here, eating and sleeping and not doing much else," Donahue says. "This isn't why we're here, and it's not helping the cause at all. We need to tear things down and start over again -- that's what it takes -- and we have to stay active throughout the entire movement.
"So we're going to occupy the governor's office."
The brief march across the street ended with an early setback for the group when one of its members was refused entry to the building because of the medical marijuana on his person, though he offered his medical card as proof of its legitimacy. Donahue, an outspoken marijuana activist, took offense to the action and challenged its constitutional legitimacy in front of state patrol officers running security for the building. Officer C.J. Valdez responded by warning Donahue and the rest of the group to calm down or be forced to leave the premises.
Kelsey Whipple Occupy Denver members take a trip to occupy the governor's office.