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Occupy Denver's Ben Meyer discusses 'fiery raid' on Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Categories: Occupy Denver

ben meyer thumbnail.png
Ben Meyer.
Two nights ago, Occupy Denver protester Ben Meyer woke up on the sidewalk of Broadway, put on his shoes and spent the rest of his evening with the Denver Police Department. The next night, he spoke on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

Last night, the fire-forged raid on Occupy Denver earned the local chapter a second interview with the political commentator in two months and a more than supportive response from Olbermann.

In an Occupy-friendly summary of the night's events, Olbermann says early on in his coverage that, "The city of Denver ignored peaceful negotiations with protesters there and instead resorted to what turned out to be a fiery raid."

Watch the video below:

As a member of the local occupation's Family of Love, a peace-oriented subsection whose members refer to themselves both jokingly and seriously as "hippies," Meyer is a consistently laidback man who is rarely seen to be publicly upset. Monday night's raid, then, was a notable exception. In photographs and at the scene, Meyer spent hours arguing with officers as they closed in on the camp and insisted he and his fellow protesters move out of the area.

Within three minutes of waking up, Meyer tells Olbermann, one of his friends in the Family of Love was arrested.The event would influence his reaction the rest of the night, but his attitude onscreen returned to relaxed mode the next day.

"We specifically asked if he would give us a time we might be raided," Meyer said of Police Chief Robert White. Meyer was one of ten protesters selected to meet with the chief at 2 p.m. Monday, and he left without an answer to that question. "He had that meeting because he said he was interested in avoiding conflict. We assumed he wouldn't do it because it was cold and snowy that night."

occupy ben defensive.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
A Family of Love protester responds to police officers as they push him out of the park.
This assumption proved incorrect. Photos and video footage of the fires protesters set to encumbrances play heavily in Olbermann's coverage of Monday night, but even more attention has been launched at photos of homeless protester Nicole Sisneros, whom an officer pushed to the ground with a baton on video. Sisneros, who is a devout Christian, later threw her Bible into a bonfire in protest.

When asked about Sisneros, Meyer says she is schizophrenic, and he defended the group's large homeless population.

"We call it the Row, and it refers to the people who sleep out on Broadway," Meyer tells Olbermann. Last night, protesters loudly interrupted a homeless vigil led by Mayor Michael Hancock in order to call attention to the rights of their own homeless members. "What you saw there was a reaction to people who have been systematically disenfranchised time and time again, especially in this city, swept into back allies, out of sight out of mind."

In the meantime, protesters are rebuilding their presence in the area, though the movement is currently without any structures that could be referred to as "encumbrances." "We're going to continue to occupy that park," Meyer says. "Nothing has changed. This is the fifth time we've been through it."

Also watch: "Occupy Denver gets national platform during Jeannie Hartley interview by Keith Olbermann."

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



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15 comments
Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The corporate media would like to showcase the mentally ill as representative of Occupy -- what a surprise!

Anonymous
Anonymous

The new Denver Police Chief Robert White is off to an excellent start.  Kudos, douchebag.

Reno
Reno

Way to go ben....you hit it!

Dcpell
Dcpell

Not everybodyis behind this ill-defined movement.. I venture to say most are not..and everyday more people are becoming less sympathetic to their cause as the fruit theyare producing becomes evident! Other people have a right to use the park.People in the city have paid for that park with their taxes and deserve to useit too.. I was threatened with physical harm repeatedly by one of theprotesters when I calmly questioned their purpose the other day.. It seems liketheir constitutional right to speak is one sided.

Lenman_99
Lenman_99

Westword, where is the story on the protesters disrupting the vigil for deceased homeless that was held last night? Don't want to show their true colors?

Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson

the cop has 2 fingers pointed so that makes 6: go back to school!

Jerome
Jerome

When you point a finger, you have 3 pointing back at you....

NotWoofka
NotWoofka

Well, then they can appoint an official representative.  So far the best they've come up with is a dog.  If you don't have anyone who speaks for the movement, then anyone can legitimately claim to do so.

ThatisAll
ThatisAll

Your posting is just another example of the ignorance of constitutional rights.  The Constitution protect you from the GOVERNMENT infringing on your rights.  The protesters are not the GOVERNMENT.  You can say what you want to them, and they can say what they want to you.

As an example:  Your stupidity is one sided.  Your stupidity is not protected by the Constitution.  In this case, the State agrees with your stupidity, so it will not infringe on your stupidity.  However, when it does infringe on the rights of others in support of your stupidity, it violates the Constitutional rights of those that are not stupid.

anon emous
anon emous

actually what we were trying to do is point out the hypocracy of the whole vigil do to that fact that all the homeless died in the cold, or by police brutality and how the community, the government turn there blind eye all year around except for once a year when you hold a candlelight vigial and read names off and say "we will remember" after each name just so you can feel better at night, mayor hancock says he cares about the poor yet rages war against them every chance he can get if you guys were a bunch of loyalist or could actually think for yourself maybe you could have figured this out but even after I tell you your probably still lost.

Occupy This!
Occupy This!

Nah, they don't get as much easy press without the occupiers. Much easier to take a mentally-ill person and put them on the mag cover than to actually report how these amateurs are losing support all over the state.

anon emous
anon emous

Well for a movement that is losing so much support in the state, it sure is surprising how we continue to get donations, and how people continue to show up and show there love, better then the tea party who fought to get a bunch of right wing 4ucks in office who are just like the sorry 4ucks in the dem party at least we fought off our co-opts unlike you, we work hard for our cause you just obeyed for yours...

OccupyThat
OccupyThat

How would a professional do it, teabag?

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