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Churchill v CU Trial wraps up today

Denver Courthouse in court room sixDENVER- Can it be any easier to be a witness to history? Come to the Denver Courthouse this morning before 9 AM. It’s the large columned building opposite the state capitol. Ascend the imposing steps which rise directly from Civic Center Park. Passing the shortest security line, compared to the four ground floor entrances, take a right and go all the way down the hall. Court Room 6 is where Ward Churchill’s case against the University of Colorado will be put in the jury’s hands today.

Info about the where and how to attend the trial has been sparse, tailored to an audience familiar with Denver court battles perhaps, but do not be deterred. From the address advertised, “1437 Bannock Street,” you could envision any old judicial facility, but this is THE judicial facility, at Denver’s center, and for the last three weeks, the TV News vans give it away.

There is no court employee to answer questions outside. Go in any entrance and from there get to the second floor, and proceed to the NW end. There you’ll see media reporters huddled into a vending machine cranny converted for this occasion into a video feed center. Around the corner is room six.

If court is already in session, there will be nary a peep outside, but don’t hesitate to quietly open the door and circumnavigate the pews. If you still have a hat on, an officer seated directly right of the door will grab you as you enter and let you know to take it off.

The first row is reserved for the media, who spill over into the second row to have access to the power strip. More sit in folding chairs in the rear corners of the room, for the same reason. Laptops abound, and there’s a constant murmur of keyboards clicking. You won’t notice a lull until statements reveal something significant and the keyboardists resume in unison.

Breaks are at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM or so, with an hour and a half for lunch at noon. Leave a coat to mark your seat, or lose it to whoever returns first. The audience seated in the westward pews have a better view of the witness stand, as from elsewhere you are impeded by the lawyers or their laptops on the podium.

The audience is a largely friendly collection. Most everyone looks like a Churchill supporter, except for the CU representatives who stick to the last SW pew, and the occasional note-taker in the middle and SE rear. The owners of Left Hand Books in Boulder have been there almost everyday, as have Professor Churchill’s family and a number of friends.

You can’t miss it. Colfax and Civic Center Park.
Denver Courthouse

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