The March For A World Without Police and Zombies by Phillip Reynes
The March For A World Without Police and Zombies by Phillip Reynes
It was a beautiful fall night this past Saturday as people gathered for the third anuual March For A World Without Police. The police presence was oppressively heavy which made me wonder at the judgment of our new lair and chief; oh, excuse me I mean Chief of police, who supposedly is a reformer but to anyone here this night seemed to want to provoke trouble. Chief White has a credibility problem with this community ever since the march in February where he at his press confrence fragrently lied about the arest and the reasons for it at the March. COIMC took over 1,1oo pictures on that march and nothing he said about water balloons full of urine or excrement was true!! That was not a good start for Chief White and this march just serves to show that he thinks dissent can be quelled through intimidation.
The March was schedules to start at 7:00pm and the police arrived much earlier. Hundreds of them! At one corner there where 30 or more bicycle police. Cop cars and patty wagons where stationed down the street. At a nearby location there was a huge contingent of riot police dressed as always like the Imperial storm troopers seen in star wars. The object was to intimidate and I can't help but wonder how many people came by to join the march and then choose otherwise after seeing all the police who looked and acted like they where spoiling for a fight. In a supposed democracy quelling descent through intimidation should be frowned upon but sadly that's not the case in Denver.
Many of the protesters their looked at the police and where scared. Many told me just that but also said it reconfirmed there commitment not to be bullied. The police tactic seems to have had two effects. First, it may have discouraged some from participating. Second, it made those brave enough to participate mad and had the effect of promoting confrontation. You'd think the police who are supposed to be professionals would understand this and my guess is they do. That, to me, means that the Denver police wanted confrontation. I would like to think otherwise but ….my eyes tell me this.
There where gathered fifty or so brave souls representing a broad spectrum of people from across Denver, the handicapped, the GLBT community, The homeless (who feel under assault by DPD, as well as an assortment of peaceful anarchist and socially minded community members. The Police approached the Marchers just before the march and gave a series commands about what marches could and could not do that sounded more like threats. Just a few minutes latter the march got underway.
Sadly the start of the march was the most violent part of the march. Police took a hard and uncomprmissing stance on there demand that the marchers confine themselves to the sidewalk. This was not acceptible in that the police cordon around the protesters was so thick that people could hardly see them and an obvious attempt to marginalize the message of the march. It's not like traffic would have been effected in that there where so many police in and on the street that the street was already fully blocked. The Marchers tried valiantly to be seen and to do this they felt a need to not just cling to the walls of buildings as the cops would have them do. The tried to step out and widen there protest and where meant with uncompromising and violent force. It started with the bicycle cops pushing the marchers and then escalated to riot police attacking. In one picture you see a man pind by a cop, his head held in a vice between a cops knee and the pavement while another cop hits him in the face. Nice guys these DPD thugs.
The marchers pushed on, hoping that if they could make it to the 16th street mall with the crowds of Halloween dressed revelers that they might get some relief from the attacks and it appears that they where right about that in that as soon as they where where large numbers of people could see the cops they backed off a little.
It is also hear,upon getting to the mall, that the ranks of the marchers swelled tremendously from less then 50 to a couple of hundred as people joined in from the mall dressed as zombies. It was an interesting mix and lifted the spirits of the marchers as the went up and down the 16th street mall. The march ended after several trips in both directions (East and West) down the mall.
There where a good number of arrests. I know of six that the Denver Anarchist Black Cross bailed out and I am sure there where many more I don't know of. It's not like the protesters don't have a valid beef with the thugs that are the Denver police. What follows is a statement from the organizers of this march printed in its entirety.
“This City is Under Attack
A powerful gang roams the streets – organized, brutal, and extremely dangerous. They carry guns and engage in organized crime: from prostitution and dealing meth to selling illegal weapons. (1) They rape, beat, and kill with impunity. Their colors are blue and black. When their deeds are brought into the open, they conspire, under the guise of brotherhood, to maintain a strict code of silence. The city's leaders are in their pockets. The city is Denver. The gang is called, “The Police.”
With heads thrown into walls, jumping on victims' bodies, assassination in the back seats of squad cars, tazer-induced heart attacks, and execution style shootings, Denver area police are arguably worse than any other force in America. (2) Local police abuse ranges from drug dealing to recent cases of sexually exploiting of children, sexual assault of children, multiple instances of rape and numerous killings. (3) Recent people murdered by the police include Booker, Ryburg, Gidenko, Ashley, and Berlin. Police beatings are even more common. Just a few recent cases of brutality include DeHerrea and Johnson, Landau, Kraus, Mukherjee, and the Martinez family. You are eight times more likely to be killed by police then terrorists. (4)
- Patric Sullivan – Meth for sex, the Denver post
- The city of Denver ranks number one in the nation for publicized excessive force complaints, The CATO institute. National Police Misconduct Reporting Project.
- Brennon Lonergon assalting a teen ager, Micheal Mangine exploiting a 15-year old runnaway, etc. The Denver Post.
- The CATO Institute”
On the March one onlooker yelled out to the protestors, “where would we be, what would the world be like, without them?” All I can think as he yelled this is wow, another low information voter who seems incapable of thinking any thought besides what he is told. He seemed the stereo type of the middle class man who assumes it can't happen to them, and thinks its other who are abused by the police, and that the police are good. Does this man not read the paper and see the conniption and justifiable distrust and anger that people have reason to hold? Or like so many voters, does he just ignore facts and live in a state of denial. Denial of police corruption and climate change, and poverty in their own back yard. Denial about income disparity and the perception that we are really just a plutocracy? What will it take to get that man, that onlooker, to understand the marchers chant of; "The Police are the army of the rich"?