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Occupy Denver: Homeless protesters interrupt Mayor Hancock during homeless vigil

occupy denver castle thumbnail.jpg
By now, it's public knowledge that about 30 Occupy Denver supporters interrupted Mayor Michael Hancock's speech during a vigil for the homeless last night on the steps of the City & County Building. This is true. Little, however, has been shared about the decision-making process behind last night's protest or the fact that it was not actually sanctioned by Occupy Denver. Just because a protest involves members of Occupy Denver doesn't mean it represents all of Occupy Denver, says Pamela Zubal, the protest's organizer.

Last night's vigil is part of an annual series to memorialize the homeless who died during the year, and it marks the only public attention some of their deaths ever receive. Although disrupting an event designed specifically to support the city's homeless community in order to protest in support of the city's homeless community might seem misguided, Zubal urges that the group's opposition listen to their reasoning first. None of the 30 people who interrupted Hancock's speech for approximately three minutes last night wished to ruin the moment for the homeless.

Instead, they wanted only to ruin the photo opportunity created by Mayor Hancock's presence. In the end, they briefly interrupted both. This is the second time Occupy Denver demonstrators have protested in support of the homeless by interrupting an event in support of the homeless. The day before Thanksgiving, another group visited the holiday dinner service at the Denver Rescue Mission, again to confront Mayor Hancock, who was that day accompanied by Governor John Hickenlooper.

"We found that it was the absolute height of hypocrisy for the city to kick people who were warm and homeless out of their structures, wake them up and make them go out into the cold," says Zubal, a supporter of the homeless who is no longer a supporter of Occupy Denver. "To watch this happen and then let the person who is responsible for that talk is absolutely crazy."

And to be 100 percent clear, neither of the two events were specifically sanctioned by Occupy Denver. As the group becomes louder and more active in the community, this distinction is tough to make, but it can most easily be defined by approval from the movement's general assembly, the closest thing it has to a governing body.

The trip to the homeless vigil was not approved or, in fact, even brought to the GA. Zubal posted it on Facebook, and a handful of supporters texted the news to others. The same thing goes for Saturday's anti-capitalist elf march, which, though attended by many Occupy Denver supporters, was not an Occupy Denver event. This did not, however, keep it from being covered as one.

"There's an overlap," Zubal says. "You can be Occupy Denver and for the homeless, but you don't have to be both. It was not sanctioned by Occupy Denver or brought to the group as a whole. But to be honest, we're no longer concerned with what our reputation is."

Of the close to 30 people who protested Hancock until he left the stage, half of them identify as homeless. Although protester Corey Donahue, who also attended the event, argues that 100 percent of the protest's most ardent supporters can be called homeless because of their time at the park, he estimates that about 80 percent of its most frequent supporters fit the legal definition of the word. Personally, he prefers "houseless."

occupy bonfire 2.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Occupy Denver protester Nicole Sisneros, arrested during Monday night's protest, kneels in front of police to plead with them not to evict protesters.
It should be noted that two of those arrested Monday night, Jakeob Olson and Daniel Newman, are listed as transient in their arrest record, though Nicole Sisneros, also arrested, self-identifies as homeless. Although those who chose to protest at the vigil were aware that the act would be controversial, they say they took care to explain their actions to a variety of the vigil's representatives before it began. The results were mediocre.

"We went over there, and we did let people know what we were doing, though lots of people were understandably opposed to it," Zubal says. During their protest, group members brought picket signs and copies of the notice against encumbrances the city used to warn them before Monday's eviction. During Hancock's speech, Donahue walked up to the Mayor and presented him with a copy of the notice. "We wanted to be as respectful as possible, but we felt like it was way more disrespectful to have that man speaking there than to interrupt. We were silent throughout the rest of the ceremony, and we only spoke when the mayor was up there to give the speech."

Still, the group earned a healthy amount of negative attention, including homeless supporters asking them to leave or be quiet when they shouted "Shame!" at Mayor Hancock. The decision to protest was not without its consequences, and Donahue admits the group was "a bit unorganized."

"When it was over, people were mad at us, but we stayed to try to explain and get their cards and tell them why we did it," Zubal says. Occupy Denver's supporters invited those who disagreed with them -- a generous number of about 150 people present -- to attend one of their general assemblies. "We both care about the homeless. We have different tactics, but we have more in common than we don't."

During the event, one protester from the Family of Love cried in response to the support of the homeless, and Donahue says he held the hand of a stranger who audibly disagreed with him.

Since the group was most recently evicted, Occupy Denver protesters have already faced additional challenges from property seen as an "encumbrance." Last night, the box protesters are using to collect donations for Toys For Tots was removed and placed in a trash truck, though demonstrators later removed it. When asked about further plans for events in support of the homeless, Donahue said he and other supporters -- not Occupy Denver as an entire entity -- plan to continue much of the same strategy, which he calls a movement against hypocrisy.

"If they don't want us to interrupt events like that next year," he says, "don't put homeless people on the streets."

More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Updated: Occupy Denver's latest eviction ends in flames, arrests and Tebowing."


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95 comments
matt gordon
matt gordon

Need to use better judgement. Perhaps 'shaming' the mayor immediately following the event while press and public were still present would have been more advantageous for this branch of OD to share their message.

Jessica
Jessica

I am a 26 years old girl, down to earth and cute but still single ... I  wanna find my lover who can give me a real love,so I joined in the seekcasual.COM,it's the best club for  man and woman finding their intimate encounters. Well, you do not have to be lonely , you  can meet the Mr. or Miss. Right there.

Ben
Ben

There is Occupy Denver - the peaceful crowdwho believes in non-violent protest, generally well behaved and is about 99% ofthe majority of the movement. Then there is the Thunderdome group, who as Pamela Zubal, the protest'sorganizer stated ARE NO LONGER part of Occupy Denver, they love and live tofight with the police and as Pamela Zubal also stated do not care about theirreputation. They were about 1% of the movement and are basically anarchist bratty immature punks. Unfortunately it is they who getall the press and cast a very bad light on the rest of who do care about ourreputations and who really are about making real meaningful change.

Practical Progressive
Practical Progressive

My heart sank, and it made me sad to see that a faction of the Occupy Denver movement disrupted the memorial service for homeless individuals who have died.I understand that this protest was not "sanctioned" by Occupy Denver's general assembly.  I also understand that the demonstrators had a point--a good point to make.  But, let's face it, that point was lost on the community at large.

When talking to insiders who are inclined to listen to a nuanced description of the events and the motives behind the actions, it's possible to "explain the why" behind these actions.  But that's preaching to the choir.  The opinions that matter most are those of individuals who are inclined to support Occupy, but are not invested enough to steep themselves in the rhetoric of the movement--or to understand the internal politics of the movement's factions.

This behavior was a colossal mistake.  To outside observers, the handiest comparison is with the protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church, who defile the memorial services of returning military "casualties"--also to make their point.  It all looked out of place, mistimed, and grossly insensitive to those who came to mourn homeless individuals who have died.

When trying to persuade others, the act of stabbing helpless victims in the proverbial eye is an epic fail.  Empathy for what the protesters were attempting to communicate will be a scarce commodity when their message tramples on the hearts and souls of mourning loved ones--regardless of photo-ops for government officials.

"Pick your battles" is always good advice, and this situation illustrates the wisdom of that advice.  This was the wrong battle in the wrong venue and targeting the wrong audience.  By victimizing mourning loved ones--intentionally or not--these protestors did what may be irreparable harm to the reputation of the Occupy movement in Denver.  The behavior crossed a line so obvious, that crossing that line demonstrated beyond all doubt that some leaders (or rogue forces) in the Occupy Denver movement are are both clueless about what actions are appropriate and clueless about how those actions will be perceived by the world at large as they are reported through mass media.

This was a HUGE mistake--a strategic error of the proportions attributed to failing GOP presidential candidates like Rick Perry, Herman Cain and the other flashes in the pan that came and went in the blink of an eye.  In the full, cold, hard light of public scrutiny and with at least some media eager to discredit Occupy, these 30 protestors did more harm to the Occupy moment in a few short minutes than weeks or months of positive coverage can repair.  

Does it matter that I or other Occupy "sympathizers" get the point of this protest?  Not one whit!  Never forget whose hearts and minds you are trying to win.  You waste your time trying to convince or impress other Occupy members.  They already believe.  They will rationalize and forgive a foolish stumble.  You are messaging to the great mass of individuals who are unconvinced--who are watching to see what those who claim to represent the 99% stand for.  Believe me, if this is what Occupy stands for, your message will fall on deaf ears.  

There's a term for this behavior.  It's called shooting yourself in the foot.

Occupy's general assembly should and MUST step up and put an end to this kind of rogue behavior.  They should and MUST be prepared to disown and distance themselves from this kind of behavior as it is happening.  Occupy has been a force for far too long to get away with having the movement represented by people who employ tactics similar to those of the Wesboro Baptist Church.

Aretha said it best:  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

nanook5
nanook5

just now reading about this from occupy miami...i'll take a little bit of opposition to the thousands of cities across america who pledge to help the homeless while doing everything they can to get rid of them over more statist homeless advocacy any day. we're just lucky the thousands of homeless in downtown miami can't freeze to death...of course, fort lauderdale just allotted another 25k to shipping homeless people to where they CAN freeze...if you're a homeless advocate and pay lip service to your local city government, i have basically zero respect for you.

Pamela
Pamela

Beard and Tommy told me to say, "When you're done patting yourselves on the back or your homeless activism, come bring some blankets and food down to Civic Center Park." Digging out of the 6+ inches of snow this morning, the most commonly heard sentence was, "It feels like a coffin in there." Thanks City of Denver, State of Colorado, Governor Hickenlooper, Mayor Hancock, Police Chief White and the terrorist DPD for destroying the safe, warm structures days before Christmas and just in time for a blizzard. No one checked all night to see if anyone needed help, or if we were even alive, buried underneath the snow. There were 14 counted cop cars (some white SUVs with officers inside) watching and never offering help of any kind, to anyone. Here's video of Tommy trying to get out with Beard helping, and revealing the Occupy Denver banner in the process.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Kevin
Kevin

I won't hide behind the anonymity of the internet.  My name is Kevin Raleigh.  I was at the homeless memorial vigil last night.  And I am still upset.

I felt I responded enough to this shameful act last night after the vigil to commemorate the homeless deaths when I and six other of my co-workers and friends stuck around to confront the Occupy Denver folks, but here the fight continues.  So I must say a few things.  I work with the homeless.  I have for seven years.  I work 40+ hours a week trying to get people into shelter, into treatment, into mental health services, into treatment for substance abuse, into supportive housing.  It's desperate work.  Mother Theresa was once followed by a reporter from the New York Times and he told her that he wouldn't do what she does for a million dollars.  She replied that she wouldn't either.  We don't do this because it is lucrative.  The people who do this work do it because they fall in love with the people on the streets.  I went to the vigil last night, as I have for the past seven years, to commemorate and bury people I know.  Of the list, which is a partial list, I came to bury 13 people I knew well enough to have a hitch in my throat when their names were read.  What members of OD did last night was appallingly distasteful.  Period.  Appallingly distasteful.  The Westborough Baptist Church comparison is an apt one.  The analogy is such: a group that is so blindly convinced of its truth that it doesn't care about the timing, place, or method of its message.  Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movement cared deeply and thoughtfully about the timing, place, and method of it's message.  Ghandi and the Indian Independence Movement cared deeply and thoughtfully about the timing, place, and method of it's message.  Successful revolutions care about these things.  What the OD participants in the protest revealed last night is a carelessness and arrogance that will prove their ultimate demise.  You went into a crowd that was statistically more supportive than the general public of the generic message of anti-greed, and you made yourself enemies.  I want to point out a fact that can be confirmed by the couple hundred people in the crowd, and that was missed by the original blog post.  After the initial scuffle when the OD individuals started their direct action, the crowd started raising their candles in support of Hancock.  People from the crowd shouted "keep on talking Hancock."  We raised our candles silently to shame and silence the disrupters.  I heard shouts of "shame" and "this is a funeral" directed toward the OD participants.  And I hardly think you can claim that this was meant to be a respectful demonstration when you bring a bullhorn.  Amidst a dark and cold night, hundred of candles lit in silent reflection, a bullhorn shrieking that the mayor is a fascist. Very respectful. 

Robert Chase and the other over-exuberant OD occupyistas, let me preempt you by calling myself a shill for the fascist mayor.  You can check the voter rolls, I didn't even vote for him, but here I am being a shill for him.  How exciting for me!  I say that in his short term, Hancock, and sure I have worries and problems about him, but Hancock has done an infinite more good for the homeless of Denver than then occupiers.  How? In a time of budget cuts, he has continued the level of funding for homeless services.  It's an easy thing to put on the chopping block.  He hasn't yet.  And so the money flows so that my organization and a dozen others can keep, day in and day out, serving these people.  Replacing their IDs.  Driving them to shelters and motels.  Buying them food, distributing blankets and socks and handwarmers and tarps.  Referring them to treatment.  Filling out housing applications and driving them to medical appointments.  Getting them mental health treatment.  Actually, physically moving them into apartments when their names come up on waiting lists.  Spending time with them and giving them the decency of normal human interactions.  And in the course of doing such work, you lose people.  I lost 13 people this year.  I went, as I have gone for many years, to have a communal reflection on the shame of interesting, funny, persevering, unique people dying before they should have, and instead I was treated to the spectacle of what seemed like a group of repellent brats trying to grab their own spotlight.  Another point of fact.  The OD folks have called this a "photo-opportunity" for the mayor.  Point of fact.  The Coalition for the Homeless has been sponsoring these vigils for more than two decades, and the mayor has been invited for a long time.  Wellington Webb came.  Hickenlooper came.  And Hancock came.  He had been invited for months.  This was not a glib "photo-opportunity."  This is a tradition.  It is partly a tradition because the mayor's office is responsible for the lion's share of money that goes to direct service for homeless people in Denver. And it is a tradition that for the first time has been interrupted by rudeness and vitriol.  Rudeness and vitriol provided by a contingent of the OD movement.

You can count me as a citizen basically sympathetic to your cause a day ago.  I despise you now.  You came to the funeral of 13 of my friends and acted like louts, like people so self-involved in the truth of their movement that they seem capable of anything, of things even more despicable than crashing a memorial for people, most of whom will have no other venue for being memorialized.  This was their one night.  You guys decided you needed to be the story instead.  Bravo.  Bravo, Occupy Denver.  Bravo.

 

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Last bit of advice on this topic: Print these last few WW and Denver Post blog comments and take them down to the General Assembly for everyone to see how public sentiment has turned against them. Maybe it will inspire somebody to create an action plan or to stand up and lead. At least somebody might actually learn something. I can't physically come to GA meetings, but tell them I said to GET ORGANIZED and PLAN FOR SPRING! Anyone that suggests any other course of action does not have the best interests of the Occupy movement at heart, IMHO. Not only are you losing the petty battles you have chosen to fight, you are LOSING THE WAR. The much better organized and better funded and more experienced OCCUPY WALLSTREET group that started this movement is not fighting to camp in Zuccotti Park anymore. They have moved on to ORGANIZING and PLANNING FOR SPRING PROTESTS! No sense freezing your nuts off now. Save your energy for the big protests this Spring.

Pamela
Pamela

It's freezing and snowing; go personally help a homeless person tonight. If you disagree with last night's action at the vigil, then go out tonight and make sure there is not a person added to the list for next year. If your support for the homeless only goes so far as talking online, then you really have no right to judge the people who have been living with, helping, and befriending them for the past 3 months (or more), or those who are homeless themselves who participated. !!!Food and shelter are basic human rights that no one should be without. Period.!!!

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Amateurs! I thought the Occupy movement was against corporate greed. How and why did that cause switch to fighting for the right of homeless to sleep in Civic Center Park? Get a clue, amateurs, and get a coherent message. You have lost so much support, it is pathetic. Once lost, those supporters may never come back, and that will be your fault. Too worried about getting your name in the newspaper than you are actually trying to change anything. Pissing off the relatives of deceased homeless people is NOT a good way to gain public support.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

[please excuse this duplicate post; it is more germane to this article]

It is an outrage that in a city where one hundred and thirty-six (136) homeless people have died within the past year, the Mayor who just blew a million dollars on massive displays of police force completely disproportionate to the imagined problem posed by Occupy Denver (which instead could have been used to address the needs of the homeless population and to avert some of the numerous deaths among them), and who just evicted homeless people from their shelters last night, was permitted to speak at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless' memorial for those who died.  I commend the Coalition for what it does do for homeless people, but providing political cover for Michael Hancock was wrong -- he has demonstrated by his actions that preventing deaths among homeless people is not his priority.

We shouted down the Mayor with cries of "Shame!", but the program called for him to read the names of the 136 who died (in part due to Denver's negligence).  We then allowed the Mayor to speak, and he asked the congregation to say "we will remember" after each name.  The spectacle of the man who bears responsibility for continuing the City's dysfunctional policies and absurd waste of its resources (i.e. our taxes) which allowed 136 people to die outside last year being allowed to play the part of a priest in a quasi-liturgical rite to commemorate these dead (and burnish the Mayor's image after he ejected homeless people from what shelter they had last night) was so nauseating that I had to leave.  I am sorry that survivors had to witness this confrontation, and if they believe that the protesters from Occupy Denver subverted the memorial for a political agenda, it is considerably less ugly than the truth, which is that the Mayor succeeded in using their dead relatives for political purposes.  The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless should not hop into bed with just any Mayor, and certainly not this one.

P.S. Thanks, Kelsey, for providing objective coverage of the news.

P.P.S.  There really wasn't any way to simultaneously assert the Mayor's responsibility and defer to survivors, who had already been induced to participate in this macabre scene.  I apologize to those who were offended, but I hope that they understand that we want to change the conditions which permitted so many people to die in Denver this past year.  I hope too that the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless places a little distance between itself and the Mayor -- maybe it is time to stop being supplicants on behalf of the homeless and demand that Denver take more responsibility for the welfare of all.

Pamela
Pamela

You know nothing about me and this was not an Occupy Denver event. This was a group of people standing up to a hypocritical Mayor who's actions endangered their homeless friends, or those who are homeless standing up for themselves. I certainly do not "love and live to fight with police," but I do love and will fight for my friends.

Mr Manumba Ney
Mr Manumba Ney

The reason Robert Chase targeted you is because you are trying to help.You are the enemy of the anarchist; anyone and everything.Pure 100% evil.

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

Kevin, 

I'm genuinely curious about something.  In your long term interactions with a large segment of the homeless population, what commonalities have you seen that keeps a person in that situation?  Is it mental illness, physical infirmity, substance addiction, or something else?  What percentage of the people are in the situation because of their own life choices, and what percentage are there through no fault of their own?

Practical Progressive
Practical Progressive

Kevin

Well said.  I urge you to communicate to fellow OD members that "speech" is a weapon, and "collateral damage" from the misuse of weapons severely damages the cause one is fighting for.  OD and the entire Occupy movement needs to embrace its responsibility to:~  communicate the Occupy mission;~  organize its efforts to ensure that anyone who who would speak for Occupy has the authority to do so and is on point with the message;~  inculcate the movement with structure and a hierarchy of authority to prevent actions such as this one--which really illustrate a pervasive anarchy in the movement.

Don't give up on OD.  This was a mistake born of a failure to address the issues above.  Every movement must speak with one voice--or at least several voices in harmony.  OD will, hopefully, learn a valuable lesson, grow, adapt, and "Move-On."  (Pun intended.)

You and others who participated but are appalled are in a powerful position to take corrective action--to see this "crisis" as both the disaster and opportunity it really is.

Occupy must mature and grow, or it will never be the civil rights movement it can be.  It takes coordination, determination and a plan to succeed.  As others have said, camping on the sidewalk has its place--but only in a well coordinated effort that has strategic goals and objectives.  Otherwise it's just acting out and somewhat organized mayhem. 

Reader
Reader

You lost me with "the crowd started raising their candles in support of Hancock." 

I thought this was a memorial, not a political rally or photo-op?

If your goal is public recognition of the plight of the homeless, Occupy Denver brought you more public recognition of your memorial than the last 10 years combined.  Who are the 13 who died?  You forgot to mention them.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I am sorry that we offended the sensibilities of people who care about and work for the homeless and relatives of those who died due to Denver's collective negligence.

I am also sorry that not cutting funding for homelessness (while wasting half of the City's budget for the homeless in just the last quarter of the year) suffices for you to credit this Mayor.

It does not serve as justification for what occurred, but you should understand that the protest had a minimum of planning or coordination, and that many of us are very angry at the Mayor and his administration.

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

Kevin, that might have been the most thoughtful, eloquent, and genuine post I think I've ever read on these blog pages.  My hat is off to you and your organization for the work that you do.  I've just made a donation on your website to the cause...it's not much, but hopefully it can provide a meal or two to the people you work with.

 

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Kevin, Thanks for sharing and for all your hard work. The Occupiers who disrupted the memorial service need to issue you a public apology immediately. What they did was an unqualified mistake, if it even affected one person the way you it did you. Mr. Robert Chase, can you say "I'm sorry" without saying "I'm sorry, but..."?

Rob
Rob

I can't speak for everyone who has left OD in recent weeks, but I have-and I've asked the dozens of other folks with whom I am still in contact who have also left why they did so.  Without exception, they all cite 'actions' like this one and the factionalism within OD as the reason for their departure.  Once upon a time, there was an article entitled 'Occupy Has An Asshole Problem' making the rounds on Facebook and also in hardcopy form at OD.  It's become apparent to me that OD no longer has an asshole problem-instead, the assholes have taken over.  I wish them luck in their continued use of tactics that have repeatedly and spectacularly failed for so many other 'radical' groups.  I predict that before long, all of the decent, reasonable people will have left this group, and Corey and his band of merry pranksters will be able to do whatever they like.  BTW, after the arson in the park, that 'flaming car' plot seems a lot less outlandish, doesn't it?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The General Assembly doesn't convene for another couple of weeks, but I think they already know how little regard their constituents have for them.

bigcheese
bigcheese

Pamela, oh, so you are are now an expert in homelessness because you have been "befriending them for 3 months".  CCH has worked tirelessly for 26 years for real solutions to this epidemic, your brash decision last night spits in the face of the real hero's in this fight.  I think the best thing you can do is leave the "homeless' alone, you have already done enough damage.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

You speak authoritatively about something I am guessing you actually know very little. How long have you been an activist for the homeless? How did you become an expert on homelessness in Denver? How long have you been studying the issue? How did those 138 people die? Did the shelters supported by the city prevent any deaths this year? Have you lobbied in favor of any bills to protect the homeless?

Most importantly, who did you meet with at CCH before your protest? What did they say about your plan to disrupt their memorial service?

Non-amateurs have the answers to these questions. Let's see what Mr. Robert Chase has to say to prove he is not an amateur.

bigcheese
bigcheese

The coalition has been fighting the good fight to end homelessness for the last 26 years having devoted countless hours developing real solutions to homelessness like providing healthcare, developing housing, creating jobs and changing policy.  CCH knows, as any successful agent of change knows, that you don't find allies in your enemies and that no lone group can go it alone to create and sustain monumental size changes.  CCH relies on the support of the Denver Mayor and the Denver City Council to make progress in the fight against homelessness. Without their support very little can be done.

OrangeFree
OrangeFree

It doesn't matter how good your intentions were, you all came off as ass hats in the eyes of the public. Instead of stories about the tragedy of homelessness related deaths and how we can do better, there were stories about your quite disrespectful and disingenuous crashing of the event. Bravo. Way to protest a "photo op" by creating one for yourselves. 

Jerome
Jerome

@e2a63bfb3f7aa336e6cfce109fc7c367:disqus  - You are posting comments left and right on the OD facebook page about your events and rallies, or whatever...Clearly you are OD.

Why don't you OD and do the world a favor.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

That is the other aspect of Kevin's post that I reject -- the Coalition must start exercising some political judgment of their own; his explanation of how Hancock came to be allowed to speak does not justify the decision, and it strongly suggests that the Coalition would make the same mistake all over again tomorrow.  That said, I find nothing disingenuous in his post, and it was not incumbent on him to name the thirteen people he knew who died.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

If you really want to help the homeless, come around to the notion that we have a collective, political responsibility to prevent their deaths.

Rob
Rob

Mr. Chase is, in my opinion, completely incapable of recognizing his own shortcomings or of apologizing for anything.  I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

heroes, not "hero's" -- and a hero is not a good or helpful person but "a person, typically a man, who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities" (O.E.D.).

No response to my question as to how bad Denver's problem is?

Pamela
Pamela

I'm happy you help the homeless. Let's encourage more people to get personally involved. I'll allow the people living on the streets to judge me for my actions last night, they are who are at risk of being on that list next year. They are the same people Hancock and his terrorist thugs ripped out of their warm, safe, self-made shelters; (literally) threw them back on to the icy streets; and robbed them of what few possessions they had.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

However you perceive my tone, I am not setting myself up as an expert on homelessness.  We were told last night that 136 people had died over the course of the last year, and that added to my outrage -- I have seen nothing indicating the magnitude of the problem in the local media.  I very briefly tried to find out how Denver ranks in terms of mortality among the homeless online.  I did not find a neat list, but I did find data on Los Angeles' problem which suggests that Denver's problem may be much worse (and LA was characterized as the homeless capitol of the nation), and that is why I asked the "bigcheese" for more information.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I am sorry that you feel powerless to challenge the totally irresponsible people who govern us -- maybe we will have to do that for you.  You seem to have a fair number of members -- is there no scope for you to publicly demand better of the Mayor and Council?.  I see that all of LA has averaged about one death among the homeless every day; it is so very much larger than Denver that these 136 deaths must make Denver one of the deadliest places in the country in which to be homeless -- do you know how we rank?  I cannot deny your statement that you must work with the City, but try working with its People instead of its incompetent government.

P.S. Former enemies can become allies -- after the war. The important thing is being able to tell the difference between the two.

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

That's exactly right.   The OD folks are too immature to realize that there is a time and a place for various types of behavior, and that sometimes you have to get along with people you don't like for various reasons.   They're angry at being removed (rightfully!) from Civic Center Park, and selfishly decided that their hurt feelings were more important than a dignified memorial service.  They can explain their motivations all they want, but it won't take away the fact that they interrupted basically what was a funeral service, moving them in the public eye to the level of the Westboro Church folks.

Practical Progressive
Practical Progressive

Exactly right.  Occupy needs to learn some important lessons if is going to succeed in building a movement that can succeed as the Civil Rights movement succeeded.  Occupy is nothing less than a new civil rights movement, and, as with the original, this one needs coordination and forethought. 

The Freedom Riders were a rogue group that succeeded because they did not trample on the dignity of others.  They did not give the bigots and non-believers the fodder they needed to discredit the movement.

This rogue group has harmed the Occupy movement because they harmed others. 

I suggest a standard of behavior:  What would Gandhi do?  What would Martin Luther King do?  Neither would have done this.

Mr Manumba Ney
Mr Manumba Ney

Do not assume Robert Chase has any good intentions, he hates everyone and everything.He and Corey are anarchists and all they are interested in is causing chaos.They have woken up two sleeping giants, the FBI and the Secret Service.The Colorado State Patrol does not want them at the State Capitol and for good reason.Anarchists have been around for a long time; in 1933 they tried to assassinate the President of the United States.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"... there were stories ..." -- indeed, but journalists did not write them.  Your operating assumption would seem to be that the corporate media must be allowed to lie and lie again without challenge or complaint.  Citizens (as opposed to consumers) would not tolerate these enemies of the truth in our midst.  Denver and Colorado are almost devoid of journalism -- for all of Westword's failings, it is easily outdoing the entire rest of the news media here in the scope and acuity of its coverage of the news in Denver.

Pamela
Pamela

As people down at OD know, I had many problems with the treatment of women at OD. I distanced myself from them, as have many due to personal experiences. But, I have never been against the message of the entire movement. Now, there are many changes taking place and I am willing to be involved again under the title Occupy Denver. I never stopped participating. Internet commentators can align me with whomever they choose, but I am my own person and I say and do what I believe. Anyone who's met me would tell you that calling me someone else's mouthpiece is beyond laughable. 

Transparency, anyone?
Transparency, anyone?

No, she's more alingned with the Thunderdome.  She's Corey's main squeeze, apparently.  Now that he's fucked up so badly that people have begun to see him for who and what he is, she's the new mouthpiece.  What a sad, sorry joke...not unlike a nut tap, I suppose. 

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You are making what seems to be a rhetorical assumption (that Kevin "forgot" the names of those he knew) which most readers will find offensive.

Reader
Reader

If his primary purpose was to memorialize them, and not politicize the memorial, why are they forgotten by him?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I didn't use one -- your reading comprehension is poor and you can't take responsibility for your insults.

Robert Chase is Pond Scum
Robert Chase is Pond Scum

Shut up you turd. You are one of the lowest scum sucking parasites on society I have ever met.

Take your bullhorn and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

-- but I already had done both in this blog, prior to your comment!  See above and below.

Michael
Michael

"There are INDOOR homeless shelters in Denver."  you think there there are enough shelters to serve the 11,000 homeless people in denver? 

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

No, I know how to argue quite well, actually. It's you that seems to have racing thoughts and imperfect logic. You cannot defend yourself without admitting that you are wrong.

Tell me one thing you are doing to try to help ORGANIZE all these Occupy Denver people who have no clue what they are doing? Shouting at Hancock was bad PR, so what are you doing to help IMPROVE OD's image?

Sure would be nice if someone could write a coherent document of goals and actions as a nice FOCUS point for the group.

Yelling at public officials is cathartic, but what does it actually ACCOMPLISH?

You seem intelligent enough. Why can't you write a report and give recommendations on this topic????? OD sure needs a PR boost at this point.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

This is getting ridiculous -- you do not know how to argue.  In response to your question as to whether I ever admit to being wrong (which in the context of online bloviation is pretty rare), I said "yes", asserted that I admit when I am wrong more frequently than most, and directed you to the last week's posts in this blog by way of support.  If you can't calm down long enough to make any sense, I'll leave you to fume.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Once again, a VERY imprecise statement from Mr. Robert Chase: He admits he's wrong "more frequently than most."

He admitted he was wrong once in the past week.

"Wingnuts" people admit they are wrong = never

What about other people who are not "wingnuts"?

Your blanket statements with no basis in fact destroys your credibility.

It may seem slight to you, as surely this statement was partially tongue in cheek, but it serves as an EXAMPLE of other imprecise statements you throw around without the ability to back them up with facts.

If you want people to take you seriously, EVERYTHING you say has to be precise and able to be proven. This is one distinction between professional and amateur.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

More frequently than most; I did so about a week ago on this blog -- I never see the wingnuts deviate an inch from their cant.

As for what you were commenting on -- how fixated you have become! Pamela's second sentence, "If you disagree with last night's action at the vigil, then go out tonight and make sure there is not a person added to the list for next year" refers to the vigil, but you wanted to make your insinuation anyway.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Wow, Robert, you are really losing touch with reality. Can you not read the King's English? I was commenting on PAMELA'S comment, not on the article. If there was any insinuation, it was done by Pamela. I think that all your attempts to justify OD's tactics at any cost have caused you to stop being able to think rationally. Or maybe you never could. Do you ever admit when you are wrong?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You might as well be commenting on a different article -- you insinuated that we protested Hancock leading a commemoration of the homeless because he had ordered the DPD to destroy Occupy's encampment, which is false.  Don't insinuate; just declare such nonsense outright and I will repudiate it.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Wow, Robert Chase, is that all you've got? That you think I am commenting on the wrong article??? My comment was in response to Pamela whining about getting "ripped out of their warm, safe" shelters and thrown "back on to the icy streets and robbed them of what few possessions they had." Surely, you can see that my post was a reply to Pamela's comments. No attacks on the substance of what I said, just attacks that you think it is off-topic. Once again, your amateur-ness is quite apparent.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"whine, whine, whine! They TOLD you they were going to throw you out. You had plenty of time to find another place to erect your shanty town" -- your needle is stuck; the article is not about the last police assault on Occupy Denver and our confrontation with Hancock was not about the last police assault on Occupy Denver either.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

whine, whine, whine! They TOLD you they were going to throw you out. You had plenty of time to find another place to erect your shanty town. You CHOSE the confrontation, and then you act all self-righteous about it after the fact. I thought Occupy was about corporate greed, now it is all about the homeless all at once. Well, if you really cared about these new friends you've had for the past 3 months, you would have helped them move their stuff to a REALLY SAFE place once the police warned you that they were going to tear the structures down. There are INDOOR homeless shelters in Denver. I doubt your cardboard boxes in CC park are as warm as an indoor shelter, unless you intended to burn the shelters to generate heat. Grow up, amateurs. Read some books on social movements. Try to get organized. Stop whining and acting entitled. You are destroying what could have been a great movement by lack of organization, poor political choices, and a sense of entitlement that rivals even the corporations hooked on the govt. subsidy nipples. If you don't care enough to get your act together, don't expect the rest of us to take you seriously. Amateur hour is over. 2012 is going to require a movement with strength, conviction, courage AND organization and political experience. Lots of work to do. Get the f*** out of the park and GET TO WORK. You gotta work for change, it ain't comin' your way on its own.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Yes, screen refresh did not show this. I apologize. So no one met with or talked to the CCH prior to this event and no prior warning that you intended to disrupt their event was issued. If you would have known of the event sooner, you would have suggested these actions be taken. But taken by whom? You participated in the disruption without taking any of these steps yourself, so you are responsible for your own actions, eh?, if not for the entire group's. But this wasn't "officially" an OD protest, according to the article. But OD has no "officials" or "leaders". This is where the whole thing falls apart into the land of amateur-ville.

Study politics, learn the media, get organized -- in other words, do what any good tactician does in this situation - RETREAT and REGROUP and come back with a PLAN OF ATTACK FOR THE SPRING!!!!  These petty, petty battles are draining all energy for the bigger battle next year, as everyone's attention is focused on the more ORGANIZED Occupy movements nationwide and the PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. I wanna be proud in 2012 to be a Coloradoan. No more amateur hour (this means you too, anarchists!). Peaceful protest has changed nations, and we need this now. REGROUP and ORGANIZE.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"You now make some valid points, and had I been apprised of it sooner I might have suggested some of the steps you mention be taken first.  In particular, notice ahould have been give to the Coalition that Michael Hancock is an unacceptable spokesperson for the homeless (since it is oblivious of this fact) and a warning issued that we would protest vehemently were he permitted to officiate." -- I really do consider that responsive.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Sorry, perhaps my screen refresh doesn't work, but I do not see where you answered the question: Did you talk to CCH before you disrupted their event? What was their response to your planned disruption? If you did not see fit to consult them, why not? Please post answer to this questions again.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

That is not my logic; again, since you (and members of the Coalition) seem to have such a hard time wrapping your minds about the concept:  Michael Hancock is not a fit spokesperson for the homeless.  I tried to acknowledge what sense you did make (with regard to notice being given to the Coalition and communication, but you apparently didn't read my comment and still have not taken it in.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Great insight into the Logic of Mr. Robert Chase:If your organization organizes and hosts an event, and you have a guest speaker, then that event no longer becomes "yours"; it becomes the event of the guest speaker.

Now, using this logic, was the event then owned by every guest speaker? When does the ownership of the event change hands? When each speaker takes the podium? And this happens regardless of who organized it or whose name is on the permit? Anyone can hijack an event and the organizers have no ownership of it once the event starts?

Questions, once again, I am sure Mr. Robert Chase cannot answer.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

No, I answered you directly -- refresh the page, cast your eyes upward, or calm down long enough to read my direct response.

P.S.  It was no longer "THEIR EVENT" when they cozied up to Hancock and let him officate.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Well, sorry to say, only amateurs spout off with incomplete research facts. Did you ever think of the fact that maybe LA is a little WARMER than Denver? Look outside. Do you think people in LA have to deal with this kind of crazy-ass snowstorm? That's why I asked if you knew HOW those homeless people had died.

Also, you conveniently evaded my question about your interactions with CCH about your iplan to disrupt the memorial service. Did you even think it might be COURTEOUS, at the very least, to discuss the idea with them first, given it was THEIR EVENT you disrupted??

Rob
Rob

No, it's not at all strained.  WBC disrupts memorial services for political gain, such as it is.  This was poorly thought out, and the negative press was completely foreseeable to a person of average intelligence.  Perhaps that's the problem.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You are an enemy ideologue, and so you constantly twist and distort to serve your propaganda aims.  For all of the mischaracterizations of the ostensible purpose and nature of the event as a religious remembrance conducted for the benefit of survivors of those who died, it was more political than anything else, and served to benefit the Mayor.

Keep working on the idea that everyone disapproves of what we did -- probably your best line of attack (though, of course, untrue as well).  The Westboro Baptist Church comparison is way more than strained -- they protest outside of the funerals of dead servicemen by praising the deaths of soldiers and tell the parents of those who died that their sons reside in Hell, we call out the Mayor for the hypocrite and pol he is, unintentionally offending people who fail to understand his complicity.

Rob
Rob

As you are well aware, they did NOT get close to Cheney.  The person led to the SUV in their video was clearly not Cheney.  Cheney has an external heart pump and likely weighs 20-30 pounds more than the man in the video.  The actions of some at OD are reprehensible enough without the hyperbole.

Mr Manumba Ney
Mr Manumba Ney

I am suggesting you be stalked for a change by the FBI, Secret Service and Denver Police based on not my words but yours and your actions of recruiting homeless to illegally occupy Civic Center Park after curfew; stalking the Governor and the former Vice President.                                         GOVERN  YOUR  ACTIONS  ACCORDINGLY

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You really shouldn't encourage people to stalk others; it is a crime!  I am sure that I was at close quarters with Secret Service agents last week, and I protested Obama's appearance at Auraria.  Given that I already have a record of activism, don't you suppose that the Secret Service is fully aware of me, or do you think that they are hanging upon your every word, and learning something they don't know from you?  That was a rhetorical question; you needn't answer.

Mr Manumba Ney
Mr Manumba Ney

I don't have any experience with the the FBI or Secret Service.The FBI and Secret Service need to have experience with Robert Chase.By now they are reading and he knows it. For a change he needs to be stalked.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

"I would listen to this gentleman" -- I read his post, and it provided a momentary chuckle. "It sounds like he is experienced with the FBI and Secret Service." -- do you seriously believe that?  He's loopy enough to be a "person of interest", but establishment-oriented, so I doubt that they have interviewed or arrested him.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Robert Chase, I would listen to this gentleman. It sounds like he is experienced with the FBI and Secret Service. These people don't fuck around.

Mr Manumba Ney
Mr Manumba Ney

In the year 1933 anarchists tried to assassinate the President of the United States.It does not matter if Dick Cheney is good or evil; he is the former vice president of the United States, as such has lifetime Secret Service protection.You stalked him to the Brown Palace Hotel and got within inches of the former vice president. You are a stalker. You are an anarchist and you hate everything and everyone. You are a threat. You got too close. You have no right to stalk a public or private person that close without expecting a response.Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a theatre by a gunman with a tiny Derringer.Sirhan Sirhan assassinated Bobby Kennedy with a tiny .22 gun.The hand is quicker than the eye. You got too close. The Denver Police, FBI and Secret Service need to study how you pulled this off and never allow this to happen again.

Rob
Rob

Or how about Saturday GA's?  OWS has GA's of well over 4,000 people, yet OD still claims that it's impossible for them to do the same.  If you're going to encourage folks to come down for a protest and simultaneously plan direct actions that will likely subject those same people to arrest or brutality at the hands of the DPD, don't you think they at least need to vote on the action? 

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

I am physically unable, like most of the people in the state of Colorado. Why not have virtual GA's, so everyone can participate? Why is it only limited to those who can physically come to downtown Denver?

Blankitty Blank Blank
Blankitty Blank Blank

Please don't warn "through these blog pages", if you feel that you can do better, do YOUR duty, come down and organize. 

OrangeFree
OrangeFree

I was in no way comparing equivalency of socialism and anarchism. Your intones of radical syndicalism are a hallmark of the latter than the former. Nice try though.

And you're right, I shouldn't have assumed, I knew the answer outright from the beginning. You are basing an opinion on one action (one which you are severely misinformed). Do you also advocate for the dismantling of the safety net because one person abuses it? 

But I digress. Keep on fighting the man oh solider of virtue!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Thanks for confirming your ignorance.  "I'm assuming ..." -- you know what they say about assuming don't you?  I haven't burned anything down (only denial of your BS I will make).  I am a socialist, not an anarchist -- you might want to consult a dictionary if you think these are equivalent.  I am an activist who spends many hours at meetings of government bodies, where armchairs are not in evidence.  Your crediting the Collaborationist Party's leaders as being progressive marks you as one of the complacent majority who stymie any hope of progress in Sonambulist City and the State.

OrangeFree
OrangeFree

Do you enjoy talking out of your ass or have even a vague understanding of what it's like to govern? The man was asked to attend a vigil, and because of one action he has taken (I'm assuming it's the sit and lie ban you're most "concerned" about) he is completely an irrevocably anti-homeless...

...regardless of the fact that any "ban", as has been reported, would be coupled with a more aggressive and comprehensive homeless aid plan (obviously ignored by you crusaders for the cause) and regardless of the attempts to get the homeless in to proper shelters (you provided them with cardboard shacks...AND THEN BURNED THEM DOWN) and regardless of the fact that you're little PR stunt took away from the story that would probably have other wise been about this tragedy and plans to stop it and made it in to a story about Occupy Denver! 

My, what a world you live in. You armchair activists make me ashamed to be a progressive. I may not like the tactics sometimes but the Dem leaders in this state have more progressive in their right hands then you have in your tired anarchist-wannabe body. You all have no clue what you're doing, and it's going to kill your entire movement. That's the real tragedy here.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

I did not plan or coordinate the protest, I merely participated.  You now make some valid points, and had I been apprised of it sooner I might have suggested some of the steps you mention be taken first.  In particular, notice ahould have been give to the Coalition that Michael Hancock is an unacceptable spokesperson for the homeless (since it is oblivious of this fact) and a warning issued that we would protest vehemently were he permitted to officiate.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

See what I mean about amateur hour? Occupy was warned, on these very blog pages I believe, that any attempt to disrupt the CCH's vigil was going to result in bad publicity, and , what a surprise, that is what happened. The political reality is simple enough to see how the press was going to spin it. What was your spin on the event? Did you send out a press release to clarify your position? Did you have a spokesperson on hand to talk to the press at the event you disrupted? Did you pass out flyers explaining to the relatives why your disruptions shouldn't be construed as disrespectful of the homeless who had died in Denver? The answer to all these questions is No, and that just goes to show what a bunch of amateurs you are. Normally, that's not something to be concerned with by people who don't care, but Occupy Denver is Colorado's representative of a NATIONAL MOVEMENT, the likes we have never seen before in this country, and therefore you have a duty to GET ORGANIZED and STOP ACTING LIKE AMATEURS, so you can indeed say that you represent the 99% of people that would otherwise be cheering you on. Stop following the hare-brained ideas of mentally ill or agent provocateurs who thought disrupting the CCH event would be a good idea. Get some professionals on board, or at least someone who knows something about politics and the media. Please.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

By allowing Hancock to speak, the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless gave him the opportunity to appear to be more concerned for homeless people than his actions demonstrate he is.  Hancock adopted a mien of concern for the homeless that his actions belie in order so that he could turn the memorial to his own use -- he co-opted the event.

The posturing, reactionary Collaborationists who control this City and State are not progressive at all!  Where are these progressives to which you refer?

OrangeFree
OrangeFree

Looks like Hancock was invited to be at the event. That's not co-opting. Nice try though. Go right a head and keep regurgitating what you've been fed. You're just as dangerous to the process as the money and 1% you breathlessly admonish. 

Now why don't you take a time out and let real progressives actually do some good?

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

No buzz words in my post, and your insinuation that protesters agreed talking points is also wrong. I cannot take responsibility for what the kid with a bullhorn said -- what stopped the Mayor from speaking was most of us yelling "Shame!" in unison.  I believe that onlookers will remember both, but what is galling is that we are blamed for trying to co-opt an event which the Mayor had already succeeded in co-opting.

Vbnm
Vbnm

Robert, you are the biggest douche on the internet.  Just because you have a somewhat-developed vocabulary does not make you queen of the transvestite whorehouse.  Do us all a favor and drink some bleach, take a long walk off of a short pier, suck on an SUV's tailpipe, or whatever.  Suck it, ya fucking tool.

OrangeFree
OrangeFree

Love the buzz words. You guys stick to the talking points well. But let me sum up for you again: Occupy Denver screwed up. Royally. Your message went from "Stop the corporate exploitation" to "The Man is keeping me down." 

You're not being oppressed. You're rights aren't being taken away (and if you think they are, you're as ignorant of Constitutional Law as the Tea Party), and you certainly lost a lot of sympathy. Here's a pop quiz hot shot: If you took a poll after that event last night, which do you think people remembered more: a) that many came out to show respect to those who died or b) that some punk hipster shouted "Fascist!" at the Mayor over a bullhorn. My guess is the latter. 

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