A Quick Report on the May 6th March Against Police Terror By Phillip Reynes
I arrived at Sunken Garden Park early and had time to kill. I walked the park and looked around and as I did the cops arrived. You can spot the undercover kind so easily as the drove around the park slowly. Then the patrol cars came some marked and some unmarked and they to circled the park. I looked at my watch, it was 5pm , and wondered what they where doing here so early. A question I had been asking myself as well.
The park was not that busy. A few kids played basketball ball and some parents sat with their kids as the played on the playground. I counted five homeless people sleeping under trees and a homeless couple sitting at a bench with there stuff. I sat nearby and reflected on the post here on the pages of COIMC and wondered if the organizers of the march had reasons other then what was posted on COIMC to be fearful. I knew the march was permitted but given the heat the Denver police have been under lately I had to doubt that they would try to do much to stop it. Still the few people I had chatted with the day before had sounded apprehensive. The police where definitely here early and scouting the lay of the lad though.
People started to arrive around 6:30pm and I saw several individuals I knew. All seemed apprehensive when the two patrol cars at the park proper, there where several others paroling and a few across the street at Denver Health as well, where joined by a patty wagon. As 7:00 drew near the crowd grew to and now numbered about one hundred or more. The signs where displayed and people driving down Spear Blvd. Honked in support mostly with a few deserters here and there flipping them off. It seemed like a typical demonstration outwardly, but person after person voiced there apprehension to me and this was unusual.
The Denver PD has a bad reputation. I reflected on it's history. It is a bad history. In the 1960 it was one of the most corrupt police departments in the country (if you doubt this go to the time article on the Denver Police at http://www.time.com/time/magazin... ) Today it is know by many citizens for it's culture of violence and it's willingness to protect their own no matter how wrong they are or what heinous act they have committed. But still this was a demonstration and Denver's police like to catch there victims alone on the streets and not in public with lots of witnessess and photographers and video being present.
There was a short talk by one of the organizing groups (DABC) where he mentioned that some had been threatened with arrest if they came to the demonstration and he went on to say that others did not come as a result. By this point the police presence was overkill. This fact was especially evident as the march started down 8th street toward Sante-Fe where it turned and headed north to the amusement and cheers of many of the people who where attending 1st Friday art night. The people crowding the walks of Sante-Fe drive cheered and gave the marcher's a warm welcome. The police presence was overwhelming. Each intersection had a heavily armed riot squad with automatic pepper guns, tear gas launchers and cops wearing body armor and sporting batons. Not to mention the police helicopter buzzing overhead like an angry wasp. The display was meant to intimidate and I was left wondering what the police would do when not in the public eye to discourage public dissent when clearly they trying to intimidate the marchers and send a message to the public with there over the top paramilitary display.
The march was all the more exhilarating for all this. The rout the march took was a good one and made for much more attention then did other marches I have attended recently. Yet, there was no mainstream news coverage that night or since as far as I have seen. I have to wonder who arranged that detail.
The two mayoral candidates say they will let the current chief of police go. I hope they do. Yet, I know this will not be enough. DPD's culture of violence runs deep. It is decades old. It will only be routed out and stopped when all of DPD's leaders are gone. It will take more then this march to do that and I hope the people who organized it are up for a hard fight.