For Immediate Release
DNC Protest Organizers to Hold Press Conference at Denver Police Department
Where: Denver Police Department, W. 13th Ave & Cherokee St.
What: Press Conference
At 3:15 p.m. at 13th and Cherokee at the Denver police headquarters on 13th and Cherry, members of Recreate 68, the Troops Out Now Coalition, Unconventional Action, People's Law Collective and some now-released arrestees will gather to denounce the police state atmosphere surrounding the Democratic National Convention, police provocations and arrests last night and the police refusal to honor Recreate 68's legal permit for the park and their protection of right-wing hate speech provocateurs.
Last night, police swept into the park as hundreds were gathered at the Food Not Bombs' organized evening dinner. Using pepper spray, they forced people to run from the park directly into a police encirclement on the street at 14th and Cleveland. Many hundreds were surrounded in a standoff that lasted for hours. Through the organization of R68, hundreds of others surrounded the police, and the police finally released those encircled.
Recreate 68, organizers of the Democratic National Convention protests, will denounce the police state atmosphere that has been created this week. Larry Hales of R68 noted: "The Denver school budget has been cut by more than $50 million just to provide the funds to the Denver Police. This atmosphere has been created to justify that budget." Since the beginning of the protests, activists have faced hundreds of police forces in full riot gear, armed with gas, helicopters, horses, bikes and more.
Eighty six protestors were arrested and booked--although protest organizers note that there was no violence by the demonstrators, and that the march hadn't even begun. Glenn Spagnuolo of R68 stated, "Since the beginning of this mobilization, we have always said that any violence would not come from us, but would come from the police. Our predictions appear to have come true. We have never intended, planned or organized violence." R68 has organized this week's legal demonstrations with the message of ending illegal war, racism and occupation; and they believe that the police are trying to shut this message down.
Today, the police violated the legal permit that R68 has to the Civic Center Park, helping to protect and bring in right wing hate speech provocateurs such as Rev. Fred Phelps. When R68 organizers demanded their right to the permitted space, R68 organizer Carlo Garcia was arrested. Garcia has two brothers in Iraq and his father was given a purple heart.
When Code Pink organizer Alicia Torres questioned Garcia's arrest, she was struck by police and arrested as well.
At today's press conference, activists, those arrested, R68 permit holders and lawyers will raise the demands of stopping police provocations and harassment and an end to the massive police presence and intervention in the park.