Occupy Denver: Parks and Rec launches expensive park clean-up, protesters help

class war graffiti.jpg
Timothy Tipton
Courtesy of Tim TiptonFor two days, the additional presence of police officers and Parks and Recreation maintenance workers has occasionally dwarfed the numbers of actual occupiers at Civic Center Park. Since Saturday's riot, officers have increased their numbers at the occupation in efforts to monitor the group, but Public Works and Parks and Rec employees joined on Monday when they noticed graffiti in the park. The freelance art added to the area is an unwelcome addition given Civic Center Park's $3 million in renovations last year.

During a routine check-up on the park, city officials discovered evidence of paint, felt markers and chalk on the sidewalk and structures Tuesday morning. Their concern was not, of course, with the chalk, which has maintained a consistent role as a way for protesters to express their opinions over the past few weeks. It was the paint and marker residue they objected to, in large part because it can be both difficult and expensive to remove from Civic Center's historical balistrades and walkways.

occupy graffiti 1.jpg
Courtesy of Parks and Recreation maintenance crew
This photo is one of a handful taken before clean-up began.
"We discovered some extensive tagging on the historic sculptures and structures in the park, which clearly we need to go in and clean up right away before it has time to soak in," says Kathy Green, communications director for Denver Parks and Recreation. "Our parks maintenance team went in yesterday and assessed the damage to the structures and the sculptures. The three tools that were used -- paint, chalk and markers -- are all against park policy, and there was a sense of urgency for the silver paint and felt markers."

occupy power wash.JPG
Kelsey Whipple
City workers power-wash the sidewalk in front of Civic Center Park on Monday.
The clean-up process will take a few days and involves extensive power-washing in the areas that aren't too delicate to handle it. This week marks the first time Public Works and Parks and Recreation have teamed up on an extensive clean-up of the park during the occupation, as well as the first time the two parties have decided it needs one.

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9 comments
TimothyTipton
TimothyTipton

Is Chalk now Illegal in Denver's Civic Center Park?

"Now I found this package of chalk and I know you guys are doing it.  So, if any of you have any more chalk Hand it Over, Now!"said the unidentified Denver City 'Occupy Denver Clean up' worker."I know you are the ones doing it, so hand it over, she quipped to a group of seven remaining Occupy Denver protestors circled in blankets and sleeping bags around 9am this morning.  "We worked eight hours cleaning this place up!" she said before walking  and then driving away.Occupy Denver Protestor going by the name Markus says "Her boss is really on her ass.  City worker(she) was mad about the chalk, saying her power washer was broke. "

Even as the business day begins in the hub of the Rocky Mountain State, pressure continues to be put on the Occupy Denver protesting forces.  Four police cars remain strategically positioned in Civic Center Park, prepared for action from the dozen or so onsite protestors.  It seems like a monumental waste of money, announced one self proclaimed 'Old Hippy' protestor.  But this presence did not seem to diminish the resolve of the circle of protestors in any way, as they resumed singing, playing guitar and drum in the morning sunshine which was cutting through the brisk mid-40's air.  The Winter Chill did not seem to dampen their spirits a bit.  "we are here for the long haul," reported one activist.

Special Note:Seems this reporter was more interested in playing a PR Role on behalf of Denver Parks & Rec, instead of identifying Harmless chalk "1st Amendment" Protected Activities and other issues associated with covering a real news story.....in the field.

Seriously
Seriously

HEY YOU FUCKING OCCUPIERS, WANT TO LOSE SUPPORT REAL FAST? TAG UP OUR PARKS AND WE WILL SUDDENLY SUPPORT KICKING YOUR ASS OUT!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Using paint or indelible markers gives our enemies something tangible on which to hang their relentless and heretofore unsubstantiated claims of damage and usurpation of others' rights -- don't do it!

Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

let's not forget that the park has been a crack hell hole for decades.  No one cared about it at all.

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

Anyone surprised by the fact that the occupiers did this kind of damage?  I'm sure that of course no one knows who did it, or even tried to stop them.  Glad they're gone!  I'll be curious to see how many come crawling back for today's little rally.  

Jennifer Wohletz
Jennifer Wohletz

It's probably a coincidence. There seem to be an awful lot of coincidences involving the Occupy movement lately.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Yes, I read in the Post that the protest is almost over.

Doofus!  (Illegal, unconstitutional) oppression does not work.

I was through last night, and I was surprised to find two-dozen-plus protesters bedded down for the night -- "they" are not gone; far from it!

Come downtown Saturday and try to reconcile the lies in the media about the "gone" protesters with the presence of thousands of people standing up for their rights!.

Jennifer Wohletz
Jennifer Wohletz

I'm glad that in these uncertain economic times you can still afford to go skiing and have fun. Somebody needs to look out for the 1%, and you seem to be doing a fine job! Thank you!

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

Protesters or homeless?  It's hard to tell.  I'll definitely stop by this evening, but as for Saturday, well, I'll be out skiing and having fun...you know, the kind of thing that you can do when you're not being paranoid about your "enemies". 

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