Occupy Denver Protesters Rally To Mark Movement’s Anniversary
DENVER (CBS4/AP)– Occupy Denver protesters gathered at the City County Building in Denver at noon Thursday.
After listening to some members of the crowd speak, about 100 supporters marched from there down the 16th pedestrian mall. They shouted slogans like “We got sold out, banks got bailed out.”
There were no apparent arrests.
During the rally at the city building, 10 police officers on bicycles watched the crowd. Several dozen police officers stood at the state Capitol building hundreds of yards away.
Supporters are also celebrating the two-month anniversary of Occupy Wall Street.
One of the Denver protesters, Claudia Livingston, 63, said she lost her job after eight years and hasn’t been able to find another. She had to move out of her home and rent it out to pay the mortgage, she said.
“I can’t afford to live in my own home,” Livingston said.
She went to Thursday’s rally to protest what she called violations of the First Amendment Rights of some Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Some Denver bystanders looked on with amusement and few appeared upset — not even the drivers who were forced to wait while the crowd blocked intersections.
“It’s good to be right here and see it,” said Kai Syliece, 19, who was driving to a college class when she had to wait for the marchers to pass. “We’ve been talking about this in class.”
Russ Glissmann, 48, watched as four protesters briefly sat in the middle of a street facing a half-dozen police cars before they stood and retreated to the curb.
“I think they’re absurd,” said Glissmann, who works in information technology.
He said he had no beef with the protesters’ message, only their methods.
“They have yet to say how they want (the economic system) changed,” he said. “They’re causing more problems than they’re solving.”
Police spokesman John White said he didn’t know whether the protesters had a permit to march but said the department has allowed the protesters to stage previous marches without official permission.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said that’s been the city’s position throughout the protests
“The whole idea (is), we’re not trying to provoke,” Hancock said.
“We believe that their right to free speech and assembly is first and foremost,” Hancock said, adding that police have confronted protesters only when a situation threatens the health and safety of the public or the protesters.
Police and protesters have had three run-ins, twice at the protesters’ encampment near the state Capitol and once on the Capitol steps.
Three protesters face state felony charges from two of those incidents, prosecutors said Thursday. The charges include inciting a riot, assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.
Prosecutors said at least 23 others have been issued citations on state misdemeanor charges, and more may have been issued citations for violating city ordinances.
AP Writer Dan Elliott contributed to this report (TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)