DENVER (CBS4) – While protest organizers have asked for rallies to disrupt Saturday’s Parade of Lights, Friday night’s event was uneventful.
Denver police officers in riot gear watched over the crowd, but with the exception of a small peaceful protest a block from the parade, there was no turmoil.
“We did alter some of our plans and make sure that we had the resources that were necessary to address that,” police spokesman Matt Murray said Friday.
Protest groups organized on Facebook to conduct a rally called “No Silent Night” that targets the family-friendly event. It’s scheduled for Saturday’s parade.
Its organizer spoke with CBS4 on Friday, but would not confirm that Saturday’s protest would happen.
The announcement on Facebook told participants they are “encouraged to disperse discreetly amongst the crowd and pop off in to action” with signs, noise-makers or to even block an intersection with a “die-in.”
The possibility of another protest follows a week of rallies and marches in locations around the metro area that have denounced police violence toward citizens, notably the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York.
Denver police said they are aware of the potential problems.
“We are not going to have the parade be stopped. We’re going to do something about that. People are here to enjoy an event, and that’s our job to make sure it happens,” Murray said.
Dozens of officers were staged along the parade route during Friday’s event.
Police said the public can choose to attend or stay home but either way, officers are prepared, Murray said.
“We have no expectation that anybody plans to do anything that’s unsafe. We also are ready for whatever it is people may do,” he said.