Spring is beckoning the Occupy Wall Street movement — including Occupy Denver — out of its winter hibernation, and is marking its May Day awakening with a nationwide, solidarity march designed as a “general protest.”
Occupy Denver protesters added a different wrinkle to their weekly Saturday protest ritual today by grooming a younger generation for civil disobedience.
Today’s march, dubbed by organizers as the “Children’s March,” featured a handful of kids toting bullhorns. Many weren’t shy about exercising their “mic-check” privileges.
Photo above by Leah Millis, Special to The Denver Post.
Denver police forced stubborn protestors out of Civic Center park early this evening, tearing down illegally pitched tents.
About half of the protesters had started to leave Lincoln Park and Civic Center after a parlay with police. But half had voted to stay and some of them blocked Broadway about 5:15 p.m. Riot police moved quickly to clear Broadway.
(Source: The Denver Post)
Filmmaker and liberal activist Michael Moore told an enthusiastic Occupy Denver crowd of about 1,000 Thursday that he was not their leader.
“There is no leader to this movement,” the 67-year-old Oscar winner, flanked by two security guard in black suits, barked into a bullhorn microphone. “That’s why it’s such a large and growing movement.”
Police confirmed they used pepper spray and either rubber bullets or pepper balls to disperse the crowd in Denver’s Civic Center. Broadway was closed off at both Colfax and 14th Avenue and a stream of patrol cars, lights flashing and sirens blaring, hurried to the scene. Officers were dressed in riot gear.
The frosty chasm between Occupy Wall Street protesters and the reviled office-suite elite is showing signs of a nascent thaw — with both sides trying to understand where the other is coming from.
The CEOs still are corporate greedheads, to be sure. And the protesters continue to exhibit all the focus and clarity of frathouse partiers, without the benefit of showers. But what’s this? An olive branch from an evil one-percenter to the massed 99?
At least 2,000 Occupy Denver demonstrators marched peacefully through downtown Saturday afternoon — but, five hours later, police and dedicated protesters clashed in the heart of Denver.
Most protesters had left after the march ended at about 2 p.m., but a small group of demonstrators blocked Broadway throughout the afternoon and tensions rose further after dining tents were pitched in the corner of Civic Center park.
Protesters say they won’t leave, will “fight”
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said protesters will not be allowed to stay overnight in the tent city that has grown near the Capitol. The governor made the announcement at a press conference with Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers, who read out the law that forbids overnight camping. The three alluded that police action was imminent but provided no details.