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Photos: Occupy Denver shuts down traffic during first mass event of 2012

Categories: Occupy Denver

occupy denver tim sign thumbnail.jpg
Big photos below.
Occupy Denver was among groups in 27 cities to rally in support of Occupy Oakland, which experienced a recent round of 300 arrests. About 125 protesters gathered for an impromptu march that shut down large sections of traffic near Broadway and Colfax between 7:30 and 10 p.m. and attracted the attention of police in riot gear. It was the group's first mass action since it set fires in Civic Center Park during a December 19 protest.

Protesters portray the rally as a sign of things to come. In the past month, the group has moved away from regular marches in favor of plans for direct action, and last night's marked a success either despite of or because of its short notice. The event was organized quickly and protesters were given notice through Facebook posts and Twitter chains earlier that day.

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Kelsey Whipple
Occupy Denver protesters link arms in solidarity with Occupy Oakland.
The timing was due partly to the fact that Occupy Oakland's most recent protest occurred only the night before, and also because of a wish to surprise the city and its police force. When the march began, it was unaccompanied by a police presence. However, around fifteen police cars eventually joined the group as it marched down Broadway and Colfax to the District 6 police station and then the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center before eventually ending up in Lincoln Park.

As the protesters marched in the streets, police blocked off Broadway and Colfax from oncoming traffic. Right of way from a variety of spots was shut down for more than two hours.

occupy denver police move back.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Occupy Denver protesters march toward police while pushing the cars back.
"Mike check!" one man shouted upon entering the occupation's first location. "Mike check! Welcome home!"

In later weeks, the group plans to renew a presence in Lincoln Park, if only temporarily, during committee meetings and other direct actions. Last night's march, though small, included a generous numbers of new faces as well as the support of the newly established Occupy Littleton. In the three weeks since its first GA, the smaller sister group has increased its membership from five people to 22, a handful of whom took to the streets of Denver last night.

occupy denver family of love flag.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Members of the Family of Love dance with the offshoot group's tie-dye flag.
During the march, protesters stopped briefly in the walkway between the courthouse and the detention center: Police had stopped their vehicles on both sides, with some standing outside their cars in riot gear, and protesters worried about being kettled. Instead, they marched directly in front of two cop cars, which they pushed out of the area as they walked. (Last night's march was also heavy on new chants, most of which are unflattering to the police department.)

When the march ended, a dance party broke out in Lincoln Park. No arrests were made, and the event did much to rally spirits for a group many assumed was metaphorically dead after its last altercation in Civic Center Park.

Click through for more photos.


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11 comments
Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

I was on my skateboard last night. I was not expecting this protest. I rode circles around the protest and the police on my skateboard; as such, I would like to give my perspective:

1) Traffic was blocked by the march estimated to be no more than 50.

2) Traffic was blocked all over Capitol Hill from 11th Avenue to Uptown as far north as 18th Avenue by police kissing ass.

3) No mayor or governor was present to demonstrate leadership.

4) There is no excuse for the Governor not to appear and show some leadership: he lives a couple blocks away.

5) The Governor should have been out there with a loudspeaker ordering the streets cleared with a loudspeaker.

6) The Mayor should have been out there with a loudspeaker ordering the streets cleared with a loudspeaker.

7) The Governor and Mayor should have been present to give the protest 5 minutes to clear the streets or they would be ticketed.

8) Without help from the Governor or Mayor, the police unwilling to clear the streets should have opened the sidewalks to RTD Buses, automobiles and skateboarders.

Spliff it On Me
Spliff it On Me

Why don't they just call themselves "The Dirty, Smelly, Selfish, Ineffective, Quasi-Retarded Denver Anarchist Black Cross"?  

Spliff it Upon Me
Spliff it Upon Me

Why don't they just call themselves "The Dirty, Smelly, Selfish, Ineffective, Quasi-Retarded Denver Anarchist Black Cross"?  

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Your competition is tripping over its bias in reporting on Occupy.  That stupid hack Joey Bunch writes:  "On the last leg back to Civic Center, some members shouted above the din to give the middle finger to TV cameras they expected to be waiting for them at the Capitol. No TV cameras were there, however" -- the Post is too dim to realize that articles such as it just published about Occupy bare its provincial outlook, incompetent writing, and pursuit of yellow journalism to the gaze of a larger audience.

eCurmudgeon
eCurmudgeon

If this is a harbinger of what this summer is going to look like, then maybe living way the hell out in the 'burbs isn't so bad after all...

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Your suggestion that the Governor and/or the Mayor should have superintended a police assault on Occupy's march is ridiculous.  The Governor does not live "a couple [of] blocks away"; he has chosen not to reside in the Executive Mansion during his tenure.

Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

Now that Shelby, Occupy Denver's symbolic "leader" has been brought up, let me show you all a picture of her just after the events described in this article took place.  Shelby and other occupiers were getting into a car on Sherman Street to go back home, when they were rolled up on by 20 police officers who claimed the protestors illegally parked at a bagged meter.  20 officers for a traffic infraction!http://i1089.photobucket.com/a...

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