Occupy Denver Raided 12/19
Occupy Denver was raided last night after failed talks with the new Police Chief White. Roughly 200 riot cops came into the park at approximately 11:15 pm evicting the Occupiers into the winter night. The attack was very quick and with no warning. Arrests were made in the park, and one dwelling was set on fire by Occupy.
The Occupiers were pushed to the corner of 13th and Broadway shortly after the raid. Confronting the riot line, the Occupiers “Tebowed” when the police made a move forward. The roving group then made their way down Broadway. Protesters did allow traffic to keep moving but did block police vehicles when offered the opportunity.
The group then made their way into the Capitol Hill neighborhood chanting “wake up, Denver, wake up.” Riot police followed throughout the neighborhood. Upon making their way to Colfax, the Occupiers shut down the street, but again let civilian traffic pass.
In a contentious decision the DPD sent the dump truck with Occupy belongings down Colfax with the hazard lights on - thus provoking the now homeless people to block the truck and jump in the back - quickly attempting to toss belongings out of the back and onto Colfax. Many Occupiers felt this was a clear tactic meant to provoke them. Regardless, riot police quickly swarmed the area, making a riot line and pushing the Occupiers further up Colfax, away from downtown.
The group splintered when one individual reacted to a drawn gun by sprinting away from the group. A riot truck gave chase. Two members of the OTP team also followed. After catching up to the scene of the arrest, the members presented their press passes and were quickly punched and night-sticked by a group of eight riot officers who had followed OTP. The officers also threatened arrest several times and threatened, “yeah, do something illegal. We are going to pick each one of you off tonight.” Badge numbers were not able to be obtained for the assault.
After regrouping on 18th st., the Occupiers were followed downtown by what can only be described as a parade of police. OTP counted four riot trucks with nine riot cops each, four vans (ostensibly for arrests), several SUVs and a litany of squad cars - following a group of 30 people.
Upon making it to the Mall, four arrests were made, three males and one female. The arrests came when the individuals allegedly pushed chairs into the street and shoved over a restaurant’s patio fence. During the chase, police again shoved two members of the press - one OTP member and one freelance journalist.
The remaining group made their way to a 24-hour coffee shop to stay warm as their homes had been destroyed by DPD.