Police Tear Down Tents, Occupy Denver Protesters Arrested

DENVER (CBS4)- Police in riot gear cleared out Occupy Denver protesters from the park across from the state Capitol at about 6:30 a.m. Friday. Some protesters who refused to leave were taken away in what appeared to be handcuffs. Twenty-three people were arrested.

About 3 hours earlier, police started clearing out protesters who had camped in Civic Center Park overnight. At about 3:20 a.m. Friday they were given an ultimatum to pack up and leave.

PHOTO GALLERY: Occupy Denver

Police ordered the crowd to disperse at 6:20 a.m. Friday. They said they want to keep the standoff between protesters and police peaceful, but told demonstrators they would be arrested if they did not leave.

Copter4 flew over the area near the state Capitol at about 6:30 a.m. Friday. It looked as though police were trying to remove some individual protesters, and some were taken away in large trucks.

copter4 protests Police Tear Down Tents, Occupy Denver Protesters Arrested

Copter4 flew over Occupy Denver protesters as police struggled with individuals who refused to leave. (credit: CBS)

Police in Denver, decked out in riot gear, moved in to clear the campers from the park located across the street from the state Capitol.

Protesters continued to gather in and around the park after the tents were torn down. Some attempted to reconstruct their camping spaces, but police promptly took them down once again. The last of the tents were torn down at 7 a.m.

Watch Evrod Cassimy’s report on the the protesters returning:

Watch Stan Bush’s report on the protesters in court:

Gov. John Hickenlooper has ordered Veteran’s Park closed until further notice. The Executive Order was issued to allow authorities to completely clear the area and allow crews to clean up the area.

The Colorado State Patrol worked with Denver Police to keep crowds under control. They said they are pleased with the progress to clear protesters from the park.

“Last night I think was a great success for us. It was the State Patrol and everyone involved. Many of the Occupy Denver participants left before the 11 p.m. curfew as we suggested,” Sgt. Mike Baker with the Colorado State patrol

more tents Police Tear Down Tents, Occupy Denver Protesters Arrested

Denver Police in riot gear tore down tents of Occupy Denver protesters early Friday morning. (credit: CBS)

“We appreciate the cooperation of those individuals who chose to exit the park prior to 11 p.m.,” said Colonel James Wolfinbarger, Chief of the Colorado State Patrol.

The crowd started to get rowdy after dark Thursday evening when they received word that police would try to round up the protesters.

“I do not hate them for what they did. They simply did their job and very well. They didn’t hurt anybody. Arrests were minimal,” Neal Minter with Occupy Denver said.

Mayor Michael Hancock released a statement saying he commends the Denver Police Department and Colorado State Patrol for their professionalism throughout this operation.

On Thursday, Colorado State Troopers said they will enforce the 11 p.m. curfew. That means all of the tents and other structures must come down by that deadline.

There were street closures surrounding the state Capitol early Friday morning, including Lincoln from Colfax to 14th and 14th from Bannock to Lincoln. Police said those closures would remain through the morning commute depending on when crowds would be completely dispersed. All streets reopened by 8 a.m.

Protesters cannot camp in the park, which is state property. They must vacate the space between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

A news conference planned for outside the state Capitol at 9:30 p.m. Thursday had to be moved inside for the safety of the media and state troopers. Protesters pounded on the doors to get in.

A spokesperson for the Department of Personnel and Administration said they have a facilities maintenance group that takes care of the grounds.

The arrested protesters were in court on Friday. Robert Corry is an attorney representing most of the arrested protestors. He calls the arrests ironic. If the government wanted to quiet down to protests, they failed.

‘By arresting these people, by bringing in riot clad officers the eyes of the world as they never were before and never would have been had it been allowed to peter itself out,” Corry said.

Protestors say Hickenlooper’s decision to remove the rally is the harshest treatment the groups have seen. They say that’s put a national focus on Occupy Denver, making standing strong even more important to their cause.

‘America’s upset. We’re seeing the things that are happening. Our country is going in a direction we’re not happy with,” a protester said.

Occupy Denver set up camp last week. The movement started in New York with people protesting Wall Street greed. The crowd has grown considerably since Monday. There were more than 70 tents with dozens of protesters. They are vowing not to leave without a fight and claim it is their First Amendment right to gather and protest in a peaceful manner. The planned an even larger event for Wednesday night.

“We do know that people are going to come twice as many tonight becauyse they’ve seen what has happened. We’re getting support from New York, we’re getting support from the entire world with what is happeneing,” protester Chelsea Champ-Lopez said.

  • fee

    i believe it is time to take this protest to the next level. judgement day is coming very soon for the greedy bastids that THINK they run this country, START THE REVOLUTION NOW.

    • Jmac5280

      I would love to see the fleabaggers start a war. That way we have the legal right to exterminate them.

      • Lee

        Better check your aim if you’re going to start shooting. These protesters are left wingers, not right wingers.

  • Joe Middleclass

    That’s OK they are pushing for a full fledged revolution. Now it is peaceful and soon it will be not so peaceful. I don’t understand why it has to be pushed that far. What happened to America? Politics and professional politicians with their own agenda happened and the people are suffering and no one wants to listen.

    • Sharon

      Guess what? We are they. Don’t be too quick to think that everyone will join that revolution. People (citizens) were listening until the nut cases took over and decided their civil rights were more important than mine.

  • Elvis

    How about this:
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or 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.
    Hey Gov HICK, Police force and anyone involved in stopping our 1st amendment… I pray everyone in Denver and the metro area stopping serving you. I would love to see people refuse to ring you up at star bucks, refuse to ring up your groceries. I would be great if your neighbors stopped talking to you, it would be even better if the public in general just writes you off like you don’t exist…
    Oh… and Gov HICK… GOOD LUCK when you try and run for president…Cause you will not carry Colorado.
    Signed a 99%’er

    • A Moderate

      Congress didn’t make any law abridging the right of people peacable to assemble, nor to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Congress hasn’t done anything at all, in fact. These are state people, and city police, who are making these laws.

      I don’t dig forceful removal of people from a public park. I’m pretty PO’ed about that. But we do need to understand the arguments on both sides, if we want to sway anybody to ours.

      • Elvis

        So the next time we watch a Denver cop beat the $hit out of (any) person you’ll tell me that they somehow deserved it? Outside of that… what is the definition of a protest? It’s a formal declaration of disapproval or objection issued by a concerned person, group, or organization.
        So I have a few questions for you. Do you think the labor laws you take for granted were earned by people protesting from 5am-11pm at night? Are wars won by fighting during the hours that works best for you and the enemy?
        There has to be a point where all elected officials understand we the people are upset!

  • Painless Black Wolf

    Every time that a Politician has his or her strings pulled by the big money types who got them elected and sends in the police (under the cover of night this time) to break up one of these constitutionally guaranteed, rights of assembly type peaceful protests, they are in actuality, pounding another nail into the coffin of the System as it stands. The people are fed up and their collective voice is turning from a rumble of discontent into a single loud and focused shout of anarchy over a System that has deemed them valueless and disenfranchised.

  • NotALemming

    Look at you people! “Oh no, the police are here! You’re trampeling my first amendment right! I’m going to blame you, not me.” What part of “no camping on state property” did the protesters not understand? I saw a report on this very news channel stating that the organizers of occupy denver met with the chief of police and a policy was laid down concerning camping. Leave at 11. Come back after 5. You can most certainly assemble peacfully, but you are not above the law while doing so. Kudos to the police for keeping it as clean as they did. Do you understand how bad it could have been?

    • Wakeup

      Seriously, these people act like they’re special for some reason. Just because they saw some people in New York doing it, they act like they’re part of it. Nobody across the nation respects these people in Colorado because they’re not doing it for the 99%, they’re doing it because they want to be part of some wanna be hippie movement. Newsflash, you’re contributing nothing to society by “protesting” all day. Do something with your lives. I’m this so called “99%” but I don’t complain that things aren’t “going my way.”

    • Elvis

      So I have a few questions for you. Do you think the labor laws you take for granted were earned by people protesting from 5am-11pm at night? Are wars won by fighting during the hours that works best for you and the enemy?

      • T. Bates

        As far as I know its not against the law to carry a sign (protest sign) and walk around the block (of the capital building) between the hours of 11pm – 5am. As long as you keep moving they can’t call it loitering.

    • jack e blankenship

      RIGHT ON!!

  • MF


  • T. Bates

    I understand the no camping in the public park. I understand the park having a curfew of no one during hours of 11pm – 5am. But WHY did the police close the park indefinitely this morning (after 5am) when all day yesterday people were informed they could protest in the park between the hours of 5am-11pm?? This strikes me as the government is trying to cut off our first amendment right to gather and protest. And I feel this action will incite MORE people to protest.

  • marie

    Well gee isn’t he the Govenor? An executive order was issued to clear the park. He could just as well have issued an exceutive order to let them stay.
    Looks like Hick held out as long as he could against the big boys big $$ pressure to clear the rabble rousers bringing all the attention to these Wall Street criminals.
    But at the end of the day, he fell under the choice of allowing “We the People” to assemble and the $$ which put him in office.
    The $$ won and once again the people lost-for now. There is always another election.

  • Dan Geo

    Yep the rich get richer and the hell with the 99%…Hicko is no different!!!

  • dng22000

    Bet the British wish they had no camping rules at Valley Forge or Yorktown. Oh well this revolution will be more like the French one anyways.

    • Jesse Jackson

      Bring It! I have lot`s of ammo!

  • J. Kreydatus

    Good…now the police should shackle the protestors after they are arrested and then make them clean up all the trash they left behind.

  • Jack Mehoff

    There is no better system for the individual than the USA. Sadly these folk chose to study “Ethnic” studies, Chicano,Chicana, “African” American , Sociology,..You know what I mean.. “Basket Weaving” degrees.

    They don`t want to work,Lot`s of jobs in North Dakota..” Their” President wants to destroy Capitalism as do they.
    So smoke another bowl,find some Got manure for your “Dreads” and blame every one that wasn`t stoned at first hour for your plight. I`m only sorry that you didn`t resist more violently.. Can you say “Kent State”?

  • Ineeda Handjob

    What took Hick so long? Did he have to consult with his Chinook fund? Or was he financing them? They should have been kicked to the curb when the first tent went up.
    You can bet if there was an encampment of folks with AR 15`s excercising their 2nd amendment rights down there He`d of called in the guard!

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