March 15, 2012 in Press
It is a shared sentiment among Occupy Denver that police efforts, including but not limited to, sending in mass amounts of police for petty offenses, concocting false felonies on Occupiers, and using informants and provocateurs to incite and create problems where there would otherwise be none, are being increased in order to systematically and purposely attempt to stamp out the movement. This is a brief synopsis of the events that transpired in and around Civic Center Park on Thursday March 15. There are still many questions surrounding the days incidents.
According to trusted sources that choose to remain anonymous, the persons involved with bringing an unspecified amount of marijuana to Civic Center Park this morning were NOT with Occupy Denver and were using the marijuana for personal affairs. They were charged with possession of less than two ounces. All of the arrested were released later in that afternoon with misdemeanor charges.
25 police arrived including 10 SWAT members, as well as media arrived in synch almost immediately at the park.
Police maintained a barrier between Occupiers and the media to ensure only one side was told.
Why was it necessary to have dozens of officers and members of the SWAT team and local media to cover a petty marijuana bust?
Around 8 p.m. an additional 4 occupiers were arrested near the bus station at the corner of Colfax and Broadway.
As of approximately midnight on March 16th 2012, the only information
Occupy Denver has received from the Denver Police Department is that
Kenny White, Caryn Sodaro, Daniel Newmann, James Stacy have been arrested.
As of currently they are being charged with robbery, each accompanied with a $10k bond. James Stacy is being charged with both a failure to appear ($130) and aggravated robbery ($50k bond).
Occupy Denver was given first hand account information from one Occupier that during the course of police actions:
“When I approached all three were being arrested without any proper answers from police officers despite frequent questioning of events. I asked and was told that charges were not public information and could not be shared.
After all three were placed into the car, they pointed out Caryn Sodaro whom was silent and peacefully observing on the steps of the Bus Station, immediately seven police officers barged up the steps and began to push people aside that were between them, including myself. They then preceded to grab her and rush her away without any information on why.
Shortly after Caryn Sodaro’s arrest I voiced many words of dissent. One of the police responded to me by stating ‘Take a shot at me then’. “
The Denver Police have targeted Caryn Sodaro in the past and she was arrested while merely witnessing the arrests from a distance.
Police arrested a homeless man, Michael Seymour, for allegedly having a knife in his possesion around the grounds of Civic Center Park and Lincoln park. He was charged with Robbery, which carries a 10k bond.
Occupy Denver was offered this eye witness account of the incident from a man whom had been there:
Notice, that the accounts of what the Denver Police Department’s arresting officers initially claimed to be arresting Seymour for, and what he was eventually charged with are in wide difference. To similar end, this all came after 4 occupiers were arrested not 15 minutes before.
Shortly after the cops placed him in the car they formed a barrier of roughly twenty-five feet with ten police officers between the cruiser that Michael had been placed in and the protesters. The police then proceeded to threaten to mace anyone that came near the car.
Then a police officer approached an Occupier to within a foot of distance and yelled at an Occupier to ‘Hit Me’ and when the Occupier did not attack, proceeded to call the protester a ‘Pussy’.
Occupy Denver is currently looking further into information regarding the incident.
Over the past three weeks the Denver police department as well as several other agencies have stepped up their harassment of occupiers, especially those who are houseless. They have taken it beyond just arresting those associated with Occupy Denver, they are trying to create an atmosphere of fear at Civic Center Park. They know our numbers will grow as Spring arrives and they are doing what they can to scare people away and silence dissent.
“I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master.” -Thomas Jefferson
Since that first quote didn’t come to fruition this other quote from him might be more fitting “Every generation needs a new revolution.”