Denver Fires Back Over Occupy Denver Lawsuit

DENVER (CBS4) – The city of Denver is firing back against a lawsuit claiming it is treating Occupy Denver protesters unfairly.

The city moved in for the first time Wednesday to clean up the site in Civic Center Park. For the past 2 months the park has been home to the Denver chapter of the national protest and it has taken its toll.

Cleaning crews moved in and protesters moved out — at least for a while. Trash and debris were removed and the sidewalk and plaza were scrubbed down with a power washer.

Many of the occupiers voluntarily moved back where it started 2 months ago on the Capitol side of Broadway.

Lindy Eichenbaum Lent is the executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy, a nonprofit group partnered with the city to restore and enhance the park.

“What we are seeing is vandalism, infrastructure damage; problems that I’m sure were unanticipated by well-intentioned demonstrators,” Eichenbaum Lent said.

They are consequences that need to be taken into account. The protest has left its mark on the park in more ways than one. It comes after a $9.5 million sprucing up this summer.

The city has made life more difficult for the demonstrators by ticketing cars that stop to give donations, even citing those that honk.

“They upright arrest you if you do something wrong,” demonstrator Mark Schachter said.

Attorney David Lane has filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court.

“When they are giving out tickets to people who are driving by Occupy Denver, honking their horn, they’re doing it in retaliation for First Amendment-protected speech,” Lane said.

In a response to the court the city claims the lawsuit aims to require the city to stop enforcing longstanding laws. It adds it has allowed and even facilitated First Amendment activities, so long as the conduct is reasonable and peaceful.

It all goes to federal court Monday where the protesters will ask a judge for an order limiting the enforcement of laws they claim are being used to harass them.

  • CRI Investigator

    Colorado showing they have their heads up their azz again. lol You cant ticket people for honking at the ows as they pass by or if they give them money. Are you #$%$# stupid? This is gonna cost because whoever gave the police the order to do that should lose his job.

    Whats a matter Mayor Hickenlooper. You didn’t have a common sense 101 elective to choose from and if anyone needs it it’s you.

  • Hilary Laufle Osborne

    I support the City of Denver. Occupy has become more of a nuisance than a voice, and any integrity it had to start with has been denigrated by its behavior and disregard for public property. When my tax dollars have to be spent cleaning up after these people and paying for extra law enforcement to maintain order, I say to the Occupiers: go find a job and deal with these issues by how you vote. Standing on a corner holding a sign does not change things. Be productive in ways that are productive, not by being a public nuisance.

  • Joseph LIttle

    There is some undesirable among the pccupiers, as with any group of three or more. It is interesting though of the people complaining loudly about the cost of cleanup, yet it’s not even a pimple on the amount of tax money that went into bonus payments for the folks who caused this mess. Where were you all then and why aren’t you doing something now? Standing on the corner holding signs is intended to motivate the populace to change things. If nothing happens, we are in a tragic tailspin.

    • PiedType

      The people who caused this mess are in Washington. That’s where the Occupy people should be.

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