24/7 Committee Statement on Sudden Changes at Occupy Denver Encampment

December 17, 2011 in GA resolutions

On Wednesday, December 14th, Occupy Denver was expecting to attend a meeting that had been offered by the new Police Chief of Denver, Robert White. But around 2pm, Chief White’s office cancelled the meeting, and instead, the City of Denver delivered eviction notices to Occupy Denver. The city has declared that its protesting citizens are an “encumbrance” to the public right of way. We disagree. As anyone walking down Broadway in the past few weeks knows, we never inhibited pedestrians from walking down the sidewalk. Refusing to be falsely labeled as an encumbrance, the 24/7 committee and the 24/7 occupation organically came together to show the city what real encumbrances looks like. We erected a number of actual structures in protest against the city’s prioritization of municipal code over human rights and constitutional freedoms.

The erection of the new structures is an emotional response to the betrayal of Chief White’s office and the feeling of defenselessness that the city’s eviction threat has engendered in the people living there. But the minimalist shelters that are here represent the strength of our community and the reclaiming of our public spaces. Not only do these shelters bridge the gap where the city has failed to house the homeless, but they have empowered these marginalized individuals through participation and self-reliance. The sentiment has been that if the city is going to forcibly take away our homes, all we can do to defend ourselves is to make doing so as hard as we can for them.

Believing it faces an imminent police raid, the 24/7 committee will continue to help the community that Occupy Denver has formed at its encampment in building and fortifying structures on the sidewalk and in Civic Center Park. We are putting out a call for the beautification of the park, for creativity, for expression, and for works of art in the continued effort to show solidarity with the Occupy movement and our brothers and sisters who have made a home here. The spirit of the occupation cannot be torn down.

We are asking for donations of time, presence, labor, and materials in support of our resistance. We need blankets, lumber, nails, hammers, duct tape, and other building materials. The contribution of creativity is also invaluable, so we also ask for art, signs, and other means of expression that you wish to share. Help us show the city the strength of Occupy Denver and that through combined efforts we can create something beautiful. We will be working all weekend and invite you to come join us.