First Hand Accounts of Walmart Action

December 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

video by Chun Pan

Report on the Occupy WalMart Distribution Center Rally in Loveland, Colorado -Anonymous Occupier

Grant and I arrived at approximately 10:30am at the occupy rally site. There were approximately 38 protesters and two pup tents. We saw police cars from Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, City of Loveland, and City of Windsor. About 45 minutes after we arrived approximately 9 mounted police (deputies? posse?) rode out of the east past the distribution center, and turned left onto the driveway of another business and disappeared around the buildings. More protesters were arriving and a group from Denver arrived with food which they shared with everyone. A couple more pup tents were put up. Many of the vehicles driving on Crossroad Blvd. honked in support as did several truckers.

The police and sheriff’s deputies were not in riot gear and were polite and friendly. I spoke with occupiers from Greeley, Loveland, Boulder, Denver, and Longmont. One of the Greeley occupiers told me the police in Greeley were very accommodating and they were given electricity for their tents. He said the fire department was also very helpful and supportive and the Rio Grande restaurant delivered hot drinks to them. He was very pleased with Greeley’s response.

Some of the protesters from Denver announced they were going to stop the trucks from leaving the WalMart center and if we didn’t want to be involved in the action we should stand across from the area of the blockade and hold our signs, yell slogans, and be witnesses to the event. Following another 45 minutes a group of about 30 protesters moved across the street to the area that was selected to block the road. There was one man at the rally with a camera and recorder who was trying to provoke a fight. He was calling people liars and being hostile. Some, including some of the Longmont protesters, had a few words with him and once he was recognized for what he was–a provacateur, he left the area. We then saw the mounted officers returning from behind the building. We saw several black vehicles loaded with swat team members in black swat team clothing arrive at the scene. They had guns in the vehicles.

Some time prior to this, one of our Longmont protesters was crossing the street with others and was singled out to be arrested. He was handcuffed and taken to a building away from the site, ticketed, and then released. He was very shaken by the ordeal! Then later while he was trying to leave to get to a doctors appointment he was ticketed again for parking in a no parking area. Grant went to help him and pointed out to the police officer there was not a” no parking” sign where he had parked. The policeman stated there was a “parking sign” about 50 feet away from where he had parked. It is in our opinion both incidents were very unfair and ridiculous. The poor man was heading to the doctor for a follow up from last months heart surgery when he was ticketed the second time.

During the protest two of the Longmont protesters were interviewed: One by KGNU and one by Fox News. The Fox News reporter said he had been to several rallies and this was the first time he had interviewed someone who was knowledable and could articulate the reasons why we were protesting! Well done, Don!

We counted approximately 35-40 police in one form or another at the site of the blockade. We estimated the total number of protesters at the time of the blockade to be about 60. The 6 protesters who volunteered to block the road were very brave and when arrested some other protesters took their place. We believe between 7-10 protesters were arrested. Some of the protesters were put down on the pavement face first and handcuffed and dragged away, others were handcuffed while standing and taken away. The protesters had written their names and telephone numbers on their arms prior to the blockade. Other protesters had assured them they would make calls to whomever to get them out of jail. Protesters yelled slogans and chanted. The mounted police rode in and moved the group of protesters away from the blockade. The horses were calm. I had yelled out to the riders that the horses loved the 99%! The riders looked at me like I was a nut case.

During the blockade Crossroads Blvd was completely blocked off and no vehicles were allowed in or out. Fox, Channel 9 and Channel 4 were taping. Many other people were taking pictures and recording. I believe there were some reporters from newspapers, too. All in all it was a peaceful rally in spite of all the arrests. I think the rally made a statement and was a success. We even had a policeman from Loveland ask what was our reasoning for the rally and we told him. He seemed satisfied with the answer. I believe he was taping our response on his cell phone. We told him and his partner they were also the 99% and we were rallying for them, too. The partner said he understood and remarked that we were all the 99%.