Videos: First Nations calls FlatIron Crossing protest a flash mob, cops disagree


We sent Kempsell the flash mob video above and three others, on view below, from the last two years, all sent our way by Morris. Kempsell says it's clear the nature of the event is quite different.

arrests mall in broomfield.jpg
Courtesy of Elizabeth Redwing Sheely
A photo of the protesters arrested last week.
"I would make the distinction between what I see as a flash mob...and a protest," he says. The spontaneous dancing in the videos is "fun and entertaining and then it was over.... [It's a] form of entertainment, versus a protest."

He says people do have a right to protest in the space, which is open to the public, but if storeowners and mall management on the private property ask protesters to stop, they must comply.

"We don't want to limit one's freedom of speech," Kempsell says. "What we are responding to is the criminal element."

He notes that in those past flash mobs, police were never called onto the scene.

But Tessa McLean, one of the protesters on site, tells us that the police were at the mall demanding they stop almost as soon as the protest began, noting that they didn't even make it through one song.

"I really don't feel like it was a protest, what we did at the mall," she says. "We had the intention of dispersing after we got in maybe two songs.... We weren't there to block anyone's way from the stores."

She says those who were arrested plan to bring up these past flash mobs in court.

McLean adds, "I know as a group, we felt singled out, because we are people of color."

Kempsell says, "There was absolutely no...racial concern.... It was their actions that amounted to criminal conduct."

Continue for videos of past flash mobs at that mall.


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6 comments
DenverEric
DenverEric

When I ran the Party Rock Anthem flash mob at FlatIron Crossing on December 18, 2011, we coordinated with mall management and held it where they asked us to to ensure we had a fun event with no problems.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

When Flash Mobs are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Flash Mobs.


Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

If they are no longer arresting people for a little bit of pot .......

Perhaps drunk, Native Americans are their next target .

Try, 'Asking a Mexican' . 

My sincerest condolences .

Bored police officers should ALL be considered armed, stupid, & dangerous !

jolynne.w
jolynne.w

The same young women that have organized the past 5 events are the same that organizing tonight. They are no affiliated with any group.

sariel13
sariel13

So why didn't the author mention that the police asked anyone with brown skin to leave the mall afterwards? Or that the people arrested didn't refuse to leave - two men were arrested in the parking lot, one woman as she was leaving, another woman when she asked why the first woman was being arrested. You can see in the videos that they're not blocking access to the stores or the stairway. They're singing and dancing - perhaps the fact that it's a Native American song bothered the mall ownership. 

Also the event tonight isn't being held by Occupy Denver - it was organized by grassroots indigenous people, who are not affiliated with any group in particular. 

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