Occupy Denver: Denver Police Pick A Fight With The Peopleby Gary D. Fielder
Oct. 18, 2011
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[The following is a report from Occupy Denver sent to us by Colorado attorney Gary D. Fielder detailing police abuse at the protest. - InfoLib]
Disgraceful. That’s the only way to describe the provocative conduct of the Denver Police Department, at an otherwise peaceful gathering over the weekend in Denver’s Civic Center Park.
No one called the cops.
No one complained.
There was no victim. No crime. No weapons. No harm. Nothing, but beautiful weather—equaled only by the spirit of over 2,000 people from all walks of life: All guilty of one mistake.
They cared about the millions of people being wrongfully foreclosed upon by banks that don’t own the photocopied, commercial paper they claim to “hold.” They cared about the multitude of unemployed. They cared about the odious debt we’re passing on to our children.
They dared care about the Constitution.
And sure, they were mad. We’re all mad. We live in a mad world, ruled by the Red Queen in a surreal drama, based upon a true story.
In this sad chapter, a ground swell of people gathered in a public park between the Denver County Courthouse and State Capital. The common area in front of the Capital is controlled by the State. Civic Center Park falls under the jurisdiction of the City and County of Denver.
The people of the state of Colorado own them both.
But just two days before, Governor Hickenlooper had ordered his State Troopers to forcibly remove over 600 “campers” in front of the Capital, who had occupied Lincoln Park in solidarity with the other outdoorsy types, worldwide. None of them had a permit. Instead, their tents, chairs, equipment and other belongings were confiscated and placed in a 5000 sq. ft. warehouse for destruction.
The Governor said he did it for their own good, out of concern for their health and safety.
Funny, no one in Denver had complained, except for maybe a couple of talk-show hosts. So, when thousands gathered on a sunny, Saturday afternoon in Civic Center Park, everything was cool. Cars honked in support while driving by on Broadway. Lincoln Park was empty and the normal number of tourist visiting the Capital seemed happy. Surely, some wondered why thirty troopers surrounded the majestic building. But everyone knows Colorado is a law and order State. Just ask Bob Segar.
However, the “protesters” were fine. There were families with small kids, and people of all ages, political persuasions and philosophical beliefs. Everybody got along and the themes were clear: Get the moneyed interest under control; Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act; buy local; and, above all, take back the money creation powers specifically delegated to Congress under the Constitution.
The chant was: We are the 99%.
Ironically, it’s been 99 years since Congress delegated its greatest responsibility to a small cartel called the Federal Reserve. As most know, the FED is not part of our federal government and has no reserves. None of the money it creates is backed by gold, silver or platinum. No, it’s only backed by our promise to repay with interest. That’s it. It’s all debt. Every dollar. That’s why they’re called Federal Reserve Notes.
Why did Congress do it? Why doesn’t the US Treasury just issue its own currency based upon the full faith and credit of the United States, thereby relieving the people of the obligation to pay it back in the form of income tax? Well, just ask any one from the group that gathered yesterday at Civic Center Park. They’ll tell, ya.
That was the whole point of the demonstration: To meet at the park and march to the Federal Reserve in Denver on the 16th Street Mall about a half a mile away.
The Denver Police knew the plan. It didn’t take a genius. 50 people had marched three weeks, before. 500 met the week after that. 1000 made the trek, last week.
Unbeknownst to the crowd this time, however, over 100 police officers in riot gear were setting up in four different staging locations around the park. With this show of muscle, one might have thought the Democrats were in town to nominate a presidential candidate.
Then something strange happened during the march.
Right after everyone left, a small group of police officers blocked off Broadway where it runs between Civic Center and Lincoln Park. When the mass of people returned, they were ecstatic. They had the run of the place. They thought the police were on their side and were thankful for the cooperation. Hundreds mingled everywhere, including the middle of the street, taking turns on a bullhorn, speaking their minds and sharing ideas.
The trap had been laid and bait taken…hook, line and sinker. Don’t you know it’s illegal to be in the street? That’s when an army of cops showed up and removed the barriers. No joke.
They had Suburbans with side panels that carried five a side. Many wore sophisticated headgear with wireless microphones. Most of them were dressed in black and had shin guards, long batons, automatic weapons, mace and ziplock handcuffs. None wore ID badges, but each one of them had a scowl on his face that forecasted his intent.
The only issue, then, was how to instigate the crowd. That was easy. Anytime a big group gets together, the anarchists show up. Of course, ever since the Denver P.D. was busted at the DNC for dressing up like rebels with red bandannas, it’s been impossible to tell the misguided youth from a paid provocateur.
Either does the trick.
Additionally, over on the far side of the park, a 12’ x 12’ awning had been set up for food distribution. Under the evil veil, six young women sat handing out water, bananas, bagels and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
They didn’t have a permit. It’s doubtful anyone would have called the police, but no one had to. They showed up on their own in full military regalia.
In an obvious move to rile up the rabble, a couple of officers went over to the food stand to shake the posts and yell something about an illegal “structure” in the park.
Immediately, the speeches stopped. Then literally hundreds of people came running from every direction to aid the panicked gals in the tent. The cops were run off. And oh, how quickly they retreated in defeat.
Game over. Just like the police had planned, the peaceful protest had now turned into a riotous mob.
Well, not really. But all those officers were there for something. It would have been a shame for them to just turn around and go home—particularly since they had gone to all the trouble of getting dressed up.
And so the battle line was drawn. The chow tent had to go. To protect it (as predicted by the police), a seasoned group stayed in the street, sat down and locked arms.
And the standoff ensued.
A perimeter line of police was drawn along the same block that the same cops had closed just two hours before. For effect, every fifteen minutes or so, the armed line took one step forward. This further incited the crowd, and some went right up and confronted the individual officers.
“Who do you work for, anyways?”
“Don’t you remember swearing an oath to the Constitution?”
“Have you ever heard of the 1st Amendment,” they screamed.
No response. No emotion. Just a blank stare and tighter grip on the nightstick.
Behind the line, older and out-of-shape supervisors scurried around, looking very important while talking to each other on expensive walkie-talkies. Mapping out the game plan, for sure.
Finally, it was time to move. One by one, the seated picketers where pealed away and placed in the awaiting paddy wagon. 24 in all. Soon the line of armed police had reached the curb of the park. Nobody resisted. By this time, all the little kids had gone home. The street was clear, but not all the bagels had been eaten. Consequently, dozens of fearless activist stood firm between the police and the free food hut.
Still, the canopy had to come down. There was no compromise, despite hours of negotiations and the promise to get a permit, first thing Monday morning.
No deal. It was for their own good.
Nonetheless, the timing wasn’t right. Not yet. The drama had to build. The spotlight from the police helicopter wouldn’t have the same effect if the sun were up. Besides, the 6 o’clock News was about ready to start. So, they waited.
Directly behind the line, 20 more cops huddled in green fatigues, preparing to bum rush the scrawny lean-to, at sundown. These were Denver’s finest. Special Forces, no doubt.
And then it happened. With choppers hovering, women screaming and the smell of pepper stray in the evening air, the wall of human flesh was penetrated and the bagel tent was torn down with great force.
Then everybody went home and the hardcore dissidents moved back to the Mall and shouted slogans in front of the Federal Reserve.
Five minutes later in an empty park, a hundred cops stood over a smoldering heap of twisted aluminum posts, a crumpled canvas, and a dozen, half-empty jars of peanut butter, a hundred bagels and some bread. No bananas were left.
Across town, a small business broke down their annual picnic at a local park, which included a volleyball net and small awning. Lucky for them, the cops were busy that day.
Get out of Denver, baby. Get out of Denver, baby, go go.
Gary D. Fielder