Occupy Denver protesters want their dog-and-leader to meet with Governor Hickenlooper
The debate drew immediate and lasting attention from the troopers, who continued to monitor the group as it climbed the stairs, followed Donahue directly into the governor's office and filled every one of its lobby's available seats, in addition to two spots on the floor.
Upon asking to see Governor John Hickenlooper, the group was told that he was unavailable by the politician's two representatives, frazzled but amused at their desks in front of the occupiers. "We're not leaving until we see him," Donahue responded.
Although told their efforts would be in vain today, the group continued to occupy the office and spent their time perusing its reading materials and filling out an official request for its leader (a newly elected Border collie/cattle dog mix named Shelby) to meet the governor in the future. Although the request wasn't the original purpose of the visit, it lists Shelby's last name as "the dog," cites her address as that of Civic Center Park and provides a fellow occupier's contact information in her stead. (Shelby's concerns with the nation's politics, as dictated by her human constituents, are on view below this article.)
Kelsey Whipple Group members wait for the governor to come out.
In the meantime, Hickenlooper's representatives repeatedly asked the gathering to be quiet while the governor attended a meeting, and the group obeyed while continuing to protest in favor of meeting Hickenlooper. "Flat out: You're not getting an appointment to meet the governor today," they were told, while another Capitol employee met with security outside the office to warn officers about the group.
"Your whole life is decided behind that door," Donahue told his fellow occupiers, pointing at the one behind which Hickenlooper's representatives continued to disappear. "At least it's a lot warmer in here than it is outside, where nothing is getting done at all. We'll occupy here today until they kick us out, and then we'll come back out of the cold again tomorrow. I want to talk to the governor."
Although that plan might still be in place, its first day ended early when security put a collective foot down against the protesters' continued presence in the office around 3 p.m. The group, which had rotated a few members in and out by that point, was escorted out by the state patrol during Donahue's arrest. "We stalled as long as we could in his office, but they made us leave," Duffy says. "I went outside on the phone with Corey's lawyer, and when I turned around, the rest of them had been kicked out."
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver elects a new leader: Shelby, a Border Collie mix."