Denver Backing Off Removing Occupy Items For Now

DENVER (AP) — The city of Denver backed off a plan Thursday to remove items left by anti-Wall Street protesters on a downtown sidewalk that has become their base, at least for now.

The public works department warned Occupy Denver supporters to get rid of things like tarps and cardboard boxes by Thursday or city workers would remove them. Occupy supporters opposed the move, with about 50 turning up at the height of a show of support.

Denver Public Works issued a statement saying it was “re-evaluating the situation” because of some people’s unwillingness to cooperate.

Agency spokeswoman Christine Downs said the agency never intended to evict protesters, just remove larger items blocking the sidewalk.

“The priority for the City of Denver is the safety of all involved, including the protesters and visitors to Civic Center Park, which is why we decided to reassess the situation instead of proceeding as planned,” the agency said in a statement.

The city’s new police chief, Robert White, stopped by to urge supporters to move their things but didn’t set a deadline. He has also offered to meet with some Occupy representatives on Monday.

Some supporters who turned up cleared trash from the sidewalk. Some items were moved from the sidewalk across the street to a grass strip between that sidewalk and the street.

Among the items there were a structure made out of plywood and cardboard, next to a Christmas tree and a dog house labeled “Shelby” — the name of the border collie mix that supporters picked to head their leaderless movement.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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