While I was at Occupy Seattle today I’d heard that there was some police action at Occupy Denver today.
I did a bit of reading of various MSM outlets on what happened, but other than one short segment of video I didn’t see anything actually showing much of anything happening to corroborate either side’s story. Given the huge amount of camera phones folks have I figured I’d try to collect and link some of the good ones in a post.
Given that we’re talking about youtube videos it’s very difficult to determine what happened in what order. Whatever happend, it’s clear that the protest did not start out as antagonistic to the police and had every intention of carrying on the legacy of MLK Jr. and Gandhi.
Here is a great shot of one of the organizers trying to get the protesters ready for non-violent resistance:
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have worked well once the police started taking down the tents:
At some point either before or after this (people in Denver DM me on twitter at @samlevine if you have more information) we have a march to the capitol building (with massive amounts of finger on lens):
More marching here:
At the capitol building we see what appears to be some graffiti on a cop car:
Police try to arrest a guy (I’m not sure if this is Frank roaper), crowd starts chanting “the whole world is watching”:
In an incident that is clearly later in the day we find a guy trying to mess with police, only to have organizers pull him back and chastise him:
The protesters really want to make this work, even if everyone on both sides are incredibly stressed by the events of the day.
Here is the MSM story I mentioned earlier: (nice shots of pepper spray and pepper bullets):
And here we have someone possibly from the city of Denver asking the protesters to tone things down:
So far we have more than enough assholes to go around. The occupation movement needs to get better at getting arrested and being attacked by the police without resisting, and it needs to get better at policing the bad apples that make everyone look bad. The police need to stop inciting a riot just to get a couple tents off of public property while people bring their grievances to the public square. Send in police to police the events, tearing them down just risks having things get out of control without a significant upside to the public.
Peaceful protest can be effective, but it takes organization and training. Even normally pacific people can be goaded into being angry at the police when the police mess with them. Perhaps some occupation movements need to start teach-ins to help deal with the police overreacting to free assembly. One thing is for certain, this isn’t going away, and both police departments around the country and the occupy movement itself needs to up their games in order to prevent more tragedies like the shooting of Scott Olsen in Oakland from occurring.