Archive | February, 2011

We ain’t takin this no mo’: The streets fill with rage against the Denver cops

1 Feb

Denver, Colorado. January 29, 2011.
We ain’t takin this no mo’!

The Action

In a third round of street demonstrations against police terror in the Denver metro area in the last six months, hundreds took to the streets of downtown Denver on the night of January 29th. A crowd that started as 150 and at times fluctuated to almost twice that number stormed the 16th Street Mall, a commercial epicenter of downtown Denver in a display of rage that hasn’t been seen in Denver in quite some time.

The actions come on the heels of an endless series of police misconduct incidents, including the killing of a prisoner named Marvin Booker by Denver County Sheriffs at the Van Cise-Simonet Detention Center in July 2010. A laundry list of beatings, rapes, child pornography and drug charges has marked police activity in the metro area. Lawsuit after lawsuit has been filed, with the city of Denver paying out millions of dollars over the last several years.

The crowd gathered at the Denver Skatepark at 19th and Little Raven Streets at 6pm. Because of its proximity to downtown and the locations of several high profile police misconduct cases, the Skatepark has been the launching site of two of the three street actions that have happened since the murder of Marvin.

The crowd assembled for several short speeches, and stormed off into the night, filling the streets. Banners accompanying the crowd included messages such as “Marvin Booker was murdered” and “6 months later, we have not forgotten”. Several more pointed banners also illustrated the anger seething within the crowd. One banner displayed a picture of a Glock pistol with the words “They have left us no other option” printed below the weapon. Another depicted twin unicorns impaling stereotypical renderings of a businessman and a police officer.

As the crowd moved toward downtown, united chants filled the air: “From Denver to Greece, Fuck the Police!”; “Cops, Pigs, Murderers!”; and “Oink, oink, bang, bang, every day the same old thang” were among the crowd’s favorites. Marvin Booker’s name was also chanted excitedly and for long periods of time, to remind the cops and other passerby of one of the many victims at the hands of Denver metro law enforcement agencies.

The march passed over the pedestrian bridge into the 16th Street Mall district, taking both lanes of the street, shutting down all bus traffic on the mall. As with the demonstration on October 22nd, hundreds of stickers of Marvin’s face were placed on storefronts, street poles, and other targets.

Although no permit existed, police worked to direct traffic away from the march, and kept their distance while the march worked its way toward the capitol and the detention center.
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