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Thousands rally in Denver against wall and Muslim Ban

DENVER, COLORADO- Thousands streamed into Civic Center Park to spend Saturday afternoon listening to speeches against President Trump's MUSLIM BAN. Lots of families with kids so I kept my sign on the fringe pointed outward. I don't usually favor profanity but this slogan was spotted at New York's JFK airport last Satruday, then replicated across the country the same weekend. I spotted several at the Denver rally AND in Colorado Springs, because I think, NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKER says it best. Racism, bigotry and wanton abuse of power is obscene.

Denver Daze

Occupy Colorado Springs is and has been a relatively staid affair. Our biggest marches have drawn maybe 200 participants, and the street corner has been generally host to small crowds and mostly friendly or indifferent passers by. Visits from police have been just that--visits, rather than assaults, even when the HOTT Team came to arrest me early in the morning on 18 October, and the intrepid Camping Jack on two more recent occasions. We had to take steps to force them to make my arrest. Many of the core participants at Acacia Park have never been involved in any sort of political processes at all, let alone public protestations. So when several of our number traveled to Denver last Saturday to join a boisterous crowd of around 3,000 souls emotions were high, mixed, and complex. There can be no denying the nervous air among one van load during the trip to Civic Center Park, directly in front of the State Capitol building, on the western side. Shana expressed open fear, bless her heart, and i suspect she wasn't the only of our number of like mind. Fear was generally dispelled by the excitement of the much larger Denver crowd, though, and as we marched around downtown under clear blue unseasonably warm Colorado skies, past the Mint, the Federal Reserve Building, down the 16th St. Mall where city employees took an unscheduled break to let us pass and bewildered shoppers either stared aghast or waved and grinned in support, up 17th St. past all the towering bank centers, and finally mounting the steps at the Capitol Building in defiance of specific instruction from city and police. Throughout the march, spirits were exuberant as cooperative bullhorn operators traded various, sometimes conflicting perspectives while our horde danced and prated along the sidewalks and streets, and we arrived at the Capitol in high, expectant spirits. There had been quite a lot of friendly cops along for the march, but shortly after our arrival at the Capitol the armored legion showed up and began tactical operations to expel the somewhat rowdy crowd from its perch. I was there with my 15 year old son, so we pulled back from the danger zone when the announcement was made waving off the "unarrestable." Adin and i observed the obscure scuffling, complete with clouds of gas, from the Park as we waited for the valiant crew of absurdly comical drag queens "manning" the field kitchen to finish the "pimp-ass risotto" we later had for lunch, flavored by tear gas. The cops cleared the Capitol steps and formed a double-lined phalanx at the eastern face of the Park, at the street edge of the sidewalk directly across from the kitchen and the hastily erected camps. The kitchen crew struggled to put a specifically verboten makeshift canopy over their operation, so the police could be sure and find them. The police blocked Broadway for several blocks and pushed protesters off the street into the Park and stayed in a threatening stance

Mother Jones at Denver Capitol steps

In this photograph from her autobiography, Mother Jones leads a labor protest march in the heavy snow of the winter of 1914, past the courthouse, across Civic Center Park, around the Civil War Memorial, and unto the steps of the state capitol. August 2008: the press assembles for the first rally to protest the Democratic National Convention.

August 2008 at the Denver Courthouse

Spending so much time at the courthouse for the Ward Churchill v CU case, I was prompted to review these yet-unseen photos from last August's DNC, featuring... the Denver Courthouse! Monday morning, August 25, 2008 Peacefully assembled demonstrators are protesting the arrest and brutalization of an R-68 organizer and a Code Pink activist. Chants of "LET THEM GO, LET THEM GO" prompt this response from the police. Monday afternoon, August 25, 2008 same place Unconventional Action marchers are attempting to leave Civic Center Park, northward on Bannock. Police move in to block their way.

Churchill v CU Trial wraps up today

DENVER- 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.

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