DENVER (CBS4) – There have been 45 arrests and four police officers hurt in Chicago where anti-NATO protesters squared off with police.
Demonstrators are trying to get their message across to world leaders in town for the NATO summit. They are protesting everything from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, climate change, and income disparity. The protests spread all the way to Denver.
The conflict in Chicago produced an Occupy Denver march that began at Lincoln Park. It was a last-minute gathering as Occupy Denver expressed its rage against NATO and what they call the war machine.
A two hour standoff produced a spasm of violence. Chicago police used batons on protestors attempting to reach a convention center where President Obama was hosting the NATO gathering. Earlier protestors were seen hurling objects at police.
“The only solution is global resolution,” a protestor said.
Occupy Denver responded with a solidarity march and a message.
“Beat us in Chicago, resist in Colorado,” an Occupy Denver protestor said.
Protestors in Chicago accuse NATO of starting wars and want the U.S. to avoid military intervention. That same message was heard in Denver.
“The U.S. is destabilizing Syria, they’re preparing to go into Iran,” the protestor said.
The Occupy movement began as a protest against banks and corporate America — that idea remains.
“I agree with them on fair taxes against the rich,” another protestor said.
And yet like the multiple messages from the Occupy movement, the Occupy Denver member wants NATO to be involved in removing Syria’s ruling family.
Roughly three dozen marched along the 16th Street Mall. Police kept a low profile, but as in past marches, curses were aimed at them and not appreciated by one tourist.
“They’re walking down a city street swearing, they’re talking about beating people up, it’s not what we’re about here,” the tourist said.
The turnout in Denver was smaller compared to other Occupy Denver gatherings last fall, but the hardcore remain.
“Even if the numbers have dwindled we still have a moral obligation to fight oppression,” the protestor said.
The Occupy Denver marchers walked the entire length of the 16th Street Mall, but unlike past Occupy Denver protests, there were no arrests, citations or criminal damaging.