Downtown Denver People’s Partnership Protests Snooze

May 6, 2012 in Press

The Downtown Denver People’s Partnership Protests Local Eatery’s Support for “Urban Camping” Ban; Councilman Albus Brooks and Downtown Denver Business Partnership CEO, Tami Door, make appearances

When: Sunday, May 6th from 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, 2262 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado

Approximately fifty people associated with the Denver People’s Partnership, which includes organizations such as the Denver Catholic Worker, the Thunderdome, and Occupy Denver, held a “snooze-in” outside of Snooze, an A.M. Eatery this morning. The action sought to highlight the role that Snooze, as a member of the Downtown Denver Partnership, has played in pushing an ordinance through the Denver City Council. Brianna Borin, co-owner of Snooze, has been the public face of businesses supporting the ordinance, which would de facto criminalize homelessness. Community groups and homeless providers are united in their opposition to the proposed ban.

During the peaceful action, which drew a heavy police presence, protesters rolled out their sleeping bags in front of the establishment, carried signs against the ordinance, and engaged customers to discuss the proposed ban. Contrary to Borin’s claims that the homeless are hampering the eatery’s ability to provide the “most amazing breakfast experience possible,” wait times for customers outside of the restaurant exceeded 1.5 hours. A number of customers signed a petition against the ordinance and expressed dismay at Snooze’s support for the ban.

Councilman Albus Brooks, sponsor of the ordinance, made an appearance, engaged demonstrators, and denied his previous claims that the ordinance was intended to serve the interests of Denver businesses. Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, who together with Brianna Borin, testified in favor of the ordinance at a City Council public hearing on Monday, April 30, was also on site. She was dining with Roxane White (founder of Urban Peak ), Governor Hickenlooper’s chief of staff. Asked about her position, Roxane White stated that while she is not entirely against the idea of an ordinance prohibiting camping at some point in the future, she stated this ordinance does not address the complexity of homelessness as a whole.

Demonstrators associated with the Thunderdome, which provides free food to the hungry, were threatened with arrest if they attempted to feed anyone. The planned “People’s Pancake Picnic” was thus short-lived.

Community groups have other actions planned before the City Council’s final vote on May 14.

All photographs by Kendra Kellogg, licensed cc-by-sa-nc