Occupy Denver protestors riot; 20 arrested
Read this entire account at the Denver Post of the eviction of protestors from in front of city hall.
In the most violent Saturday in more than a month of Occupy Denver demonstrations and marches, Denver police fired pepper spray and pepper balls at a crowd of protesters in Civic Center and arrested 20 people.
Two of the protesters were held for felony charges after police said an officer was knocked off his motorcycle and other officers were kicked, as they moved into the park to tear down illegal tents.
The first midafternoon confrontation had police and state troopers shoulder-to-shoulder pushing a group of marchers off the state Capitol steps, which is out-of-bounds to protesters without a permit. Some of the Occupy Denver sympathizers then raced to set up tents in Civic Center, where city officials have allowed ongoing food tables and sleeping bags but not sleeping structures.
Protesters there surged around about eight police officers. Other officers responding to calls for help fired the pepper bullets, which resemble paint balls. One protester filming the scene - one of hundreds of cameras documenting police activity - was knocked out of a tree in the melee.
This is exactly what the protestors want. They're the ones breaking the law. They're the ones who attack police forcing them to retaliate. But all we're going to see in all those videos is "police brutality."
The whole point of the OWS movement is to "provoke" a response from the authorities. They are daring city officials across the country to evict them because they know that in the resulting melee, people are going to get hurt and the police - and politicians - are going to look bad.
According the the Post account, there were some sane protestors pleading with the agitators to not provoke the police:
Some protesters pushed officers, while others joked with them. One person tagged an unmarked patrol car with orange spray paint - scrawling "99%" across the hood and driver-side door.
Protesters toward the front of the crowd started fighting with one another after one protester told another to stop taunting police.
Fewer than 10 officers in riot gear were in the middle of a hive of pushing protesters. Behind them, a man and a woman were face-down in hand restraints. Officers pushed protesters back, only to have them collapse on them again.
More officers were able to move in after several rounds of pepper spray and one round of pepper balls were fired.
The professional agitators were not interested heeding the words of those who were actually concerned about the safety of the crowd. In fact, their only interest in the saner heads among them is to use them as part of their little staged riot. There are quite a few of these liberal idealists who are naively putting themselves at the disposal of the more hardened elements to be used as beards for the real purpose of these marches.
And, as we've been documenting, these marches are diminishing, not growing as the media would have you believe:
During a noontime march, which was smaller than the previous three Saturdays, as many as 2,000 demonstrators peacefully made their way through downtown Denver.
As the crowd made its way back to Civic Center on Broadway, they veered east and up to the steps of the Capitol. Officers formed a line at the bottom of the west steps.
The Denver police showed admirable restraint in the midst of provocations. The same could not be said of demonstrators who believe that provoking violence will aid their cause.