November 13, 2011 in Press
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It is clear that the occupation movement has the government terrified of the emerging “people power” in America and is willing to suppress this movement by any means. In the past 24 hours, major Occupations across America were attacked and forcibly evicted. Word is that the newly emerging class consciousness in America is bad for business and must be stopped. Last night, once again,public safety and health reasons were evoked by legal officials as a mob of riot police marched into Civic Center Park. In the past weeks Occupy Denver members were legally sleeping on the sidewalk without tents. A warning notice was given to the protesters late Friday night by police officials stating that “encumbrances” must be removed from public sidewalks, though no official notice of enforcement, or a time, was given. Again the government decided to change the rules and enforce its most belligerent action to date, to remove everyone from the sidewalk that in prior notices from the state were approved. When asked if ample time would be given to remove personal property, the officers responded in the affirmative. Moments later, the police moved in.
Once again, the DPD reaffirms its position as the most violent police force in the United States. Officers assaulted demonstrators who were just standing on the sidelines. An officer waited until a protester turned around and hit him in the back three times. They assaulted people verbally, including threats to “break the teeth” of protesters. One officer told another officer to “SHOOT EM!! SHOOT EM NOW!” One protester was struck by an officer on a motorcycle and was hospitalized. Protesters were kettled and shot with pepper-balls, according to Colorado Street Medics, who found pepper-ball shells at the scene of last night’s incident. The shooting took place at 14th and Speer, eventually forcing the group to move to 16th St. Mall, where diners and theater-goers were present. The police action resulted in the closing of the 16th St. Mall bus system for civilian safety. Police actions put the general public in harms way, for no reason. All of this dangerous mayhem, completely instigated by police under the orders of our Mayor, was directed at peaceful protesters. Protestors were followed, intimidated and hunted by the police for hours after the eviction, proving that this was not about Civic Center park, but an attempt to aggressively confront the Occupy movement. These are certainly the kind of actions one might expect from the Egyptian Police in the last days of the Arab Spring, but not in Denver….
Our calls for the state to respect our First Amendment rights have apparently fallen on deaf ears. Our attempts to negotiate through the city council, the mayor, and the governor have turned up nothing concrete. The first amendment states that it is illegal for the state to make any laws “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” For the Occupy Movement, the ability to assemble in tents is a form of free speech, and our constitutional rights have clearly been violated. The state and local governments are both in violation of the U.S. Constitution, as they are also in violation of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call on the Department of Justice and the UN Human Rights Commission to look into these allegations as we assert our right to freely assemble peacefully.
So far almost 4,000 folks have been arrested at Occupy demonstrations around the country, yet not a single one of the Wall Street criminals responsible for the financial ruin we find ourselves in has. We have mobilized against the greatest concentration of power known to man, and like all empires of the past, we know this one will not go down without a fight. It’s been little over a month, and we can already see the tremendous positive impact the Occupy movement has had. For the fourth time in a month, they may have blocked off our park from us, but we are not going anywhere.