Photos: Occupy Denver's Anaheim solidarity march leads to four arrests

anaheim protest sign 2 thumbnail.jpg
Tomas Melchor
As tension between police and protesters in Anaheim continue to make national news, Occupy Denver activists staged solidarity protest last night -- and faced four reported arrests of their own. Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson confirms two of these, though the group's legal team has since bailed four people out of jail for charges including obstructing a street or passageway and disobeying a lawful order. Protesters estimate they marched three miles yesterday in support of the struggles in California.

"The climate of the march was very empowered and exciting," activist Tim Holland says. "Occupy Denver was really disturbed about what was happening in Anaheim because the idea of massive oppression hit us hard and lots of us have experienced it in different ways. The people who came out were just a fearless group."

As of this morning, all four of those reported to be arrested have been released from jail. Their bail cost $600 in donations to Occupy Denver's legal team and was raised within three hours of the arrests. One of those who faced brief jail time last night is Chris Schiano, a long-time occupier who marched through downtown last night with a group that fluctuated between forty and eighty people. The event focused on support for Anaheim and opposition to police brutality. In the video below, protesters target both issues in their interaction with police.

anaheim protest sign bike.jpg
Tomas Melchor
Schiano spent most of the march on his bike as the group rallied on the 16th Street Mall and throughout the streets surrounding Coors Stadium. Activists started marching around 4:40 p.m. and continued for three hours, followed by Denver police officers. Over that span, they ventured from the sidewalk to the streets and occasionally blocked traffic. Jackson says officers repeatedly warned the group to stick to the sidewalks.

However, Schiano says he was on the sidewalk when he was arrested. As the group neared the intersection of Colfax and Pennsylvania more than an hour into the march, police officers had blocked off the streets, and the protesters stopped on the sidewalk to hold up signs and shout chants. At that point, officers arrested the protester using the group's megaphone, allegedly for obstruction, and Schiano took over.

"I picked up the microphone and said something like, 'Occupy Denver doesn't associate with terrorist organizations, and the DPD is a terrorist organization,'" he says. Then he was arrested for "obstructing a street or passageway and disobeying a lawful order. On my ticket they said they had warned me several times to get out of the street, but that's not true. I simply wasn't walking on the street. I biked the entire time and then got on the sidewalk to pick up the mike."

A clip from yesterday's march:



Video streaming by Ustream

In total, Occupy Denver reports that three men and one woman, names not yet confirmed, were arrested yesterday afternoon for obstruction charges. Schiano and others say at least two, if not all, were standing on a sidewalk at the time of their arrests, not the street. Jackson has confirmed two arrests. We'll update this post with more information as we get it.

In the meantime, our sister paper, OC Weekly, has reported extensively on the protests in Anaheim.

Click through for additional photos and Occupy Denver's call to action.

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16 comments
dregstudios
dregstudios

Racial profiling is standard protocol by the police forces of our country as the Government and Private Companies make millions of dollars off of locking up minorities.  Read about the Privatized Police State we live in and my visual response to the Boys in Blue (bought and paid for by Wall Street) on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-privatized-police-state.html The young men who are lucky enough to keep their lives end up behind bars working for “sweat shop” wages.

scaredofpolice777
scaredofpolice777

I was one of those arrested yesterday.  I am now safely at home and will return to court next month.  I don't want to go into too much detail in this public forum, but DPD intimidated, stole from, and violated the rights of peaceably assembled US citizens yesterday in broad daylight.  They even went so far as to break the banner that said "Stop Police Oppression".  This is my first arrest.  I am 25 years old, female.  I will never look at police the same way again after what I saw in the last 24 hours.  They do not respect democracy and the voices of the people.  I am not even sure they respect the law and their roles as executives of it.   

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

DPD operates under the legal theory that because they observed the march obstruct traffic at some point, they can arrest any supporter  for obstructing a public roadway at any time thereafter.  The police followed the march for miles threatening people protesting who walked in the streets with arrest, and very long after Chris Schiano had complied with their order, they arrested him.  He was not arrested for blocking a public roadway; he was arrested for POP -- Chris was trying to address the march with a bullhorn from the sidewalk (where he had been for some time) when a sergeant grabbed him and stole the bullhorn.  The DPD is engaged in an ongoing campaign of felony, acting under color of Law to suppress our civil rights in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- fat chance of Obama's Injustice Department investigating the criminal gang in charge of Denver's police department in the middle of an election year or ever!  Denver is controlled by the Democratic machine, and with most local media actively suppressing most news about protest, the machine figures it can stonewall the People forever.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @scaredofpolice777 Thanks for posting, ScaredOfPolice. We're going to make your story an upcoming Comment of the Day. Appreciate you sharing your experiences.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @scaredofpolice777 

 

Be thankful the police didn't brutally beat or kill you, as they too often do to unarmed citizens.

 

Cops = Violent Thugs with Badges and Guns.

 

.

 

 

madamecp
madamecp

 @BackOffImStarving Denver Anarchist Black Cross was not at the event, and wasn't involved in organising it. It was voted in fairly last second, at the Occupy Denver Thursday GA, as a response to a national  call for solidarity with Anaheim.  The grand majority of protestors were adults with very legitimate reasons for protesting police brutality.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @BackOffImStarving  @scaredofpolice777We were protesting murders committed by the police --  how disengaged from reality do you have to be to respond to a story about such a protest by urging participants to "stay in school"?  As a point of information, this was an Occupy Denver event, not a DABC one. It may come as a shock, but there are still people in America motivated by a hunger for justice rather than grubbing for money.  Go ahead and follow the corporate stooges who have told you to ignore OD and its protests; Denver demonstrates just how dumb it is on a daily basis.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay That's what I tell them when I see them commit false arrests, i.e. in just about every encounter with Occupy Denver.

madamecp
madamecp

 @prole  @BackOffImStarving Yes, DABC is also primarily comprised of adults... and I'm reasonably certain they have legitimate reasons for preferring an anarchist co-op lifestyle. ;)  (And they make a good brunch at the Secret Cafe!  I like the Tofu Scramble.)

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @BackOffImStarving I will take the foregoing as exemplary of the quality of your reasoning in general.

 

It is completely irrelevant who was marching anyway -- that should not have any effect on the conduct of the DPD.

 

The march did at times obstruct public roadways -- if officers had specific evidence that individuals violated that law, they could have arrested them, but to arrest people hours after they have complied with a police order demonstrates how freely DPD thinks that it can abuse the Law.

tim07
tim07

 @BackOffImStarving  @RobertChase  that banner was not made by a DABC member, it was made by an occupier.  believe it or not there is a huge and growing percentage of anarchists within occupy denver, i would dare say its a majority now... and none of them are members of DABC, honestly... i wish they were still around, but they pulled out...  we put the circle around the A because what happened in anaheim is the people taking direct action, like true anarchists, saying "this state hurts us more than it helps us and is a cancer."  i was there when the banner was made, there was no DABC folks in the march or during the making of that.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

 @RobertChase Then why does the "A" in "Anaheim Occupy" have a circle around it on the sign being carried around?  Is it a habit of the occupy movement to FedEx each other the signs for their marches?  I didn't think so.  It may come as a shock, but that particular sign was made here in Denver by a DABC member or someone sympathetic to their cause.  I know that it's shocking they even know how to read and write, but there you have it.  

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