Thursday, June 12, 2008

City releases DNC parade route

The News:
The designated parade route for the Democratic National Convention will start near Civic Center Park and proceed down Colfax Street to Speer Boulevard, finishing on the Auraria Campus, the city announced this morning.
Well short of the Pepsi Center.
City officials said parades will be allowed only from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the convention, scheduled for Aug. 25 to 28 at the Pepsi Center. . . .

Several of those organizers had hoped the parade route would travel past the Pepsi Center — either on Chopper Circle or Auraria Parkway — so they could be within sight and sound of delegates.

Glenn Spagnuolo, one of the organizers of the Re-Create 68 Alliance, said the route and hours essentially guarantee the delegates won't see or hear the marches.

"It sound like we're probably going to be heading to court on all of this," Spagnuolo said.
No kidding.
The parade staging area will open at 10 a.m. on Bannock Street between 14th Avenue and Colfax. Parades will be scheduled with staggered starts, with the final group leaving the staging area at 2:30 p.m. each day, city officials said.

The route uses only the westbound lane of Colfax and the southbound lane of Speer. It ends at Speer and Larimer.

City officials said the terminus is within walking distance of a 50,000-square-foot, fenced public demonstration area that will be erected in Lot A of the Pepsi Center.
Easy walking distance.
That spot will be used by protesters wanting to demonstrate on Pepsi Center grounds during the DNC.

Several groups have requested alternate routes, including a march to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals at 18th and Stout Streets and another parade that would start at 29th Avenue and Federal Boulevard and march down Speer Boulevard.

The city will announce June 19 whether those requests will be granted.

Mayor John Hickenlooper said in a press release today that while the city still is analyzing the impact on transportation, downtown will remain accessible.

"Both the parade route and its hours of operation respect the desire of demonstrators to be seen and heard — as well as the needs of downtown residents and commuters to get to and from work before and after the parades take place," Hickenlooper said.

Several protest groups, together with the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a federal lawsuit last month to get the city to release details of the parade route and the public demonstration area.
The Post adds a reassuring detail: "City crews will follow the last group to clean the streets on the parade route."

Update: Question: A parade by, say, Bipolar GBLT Anarchists for Palestine ends as required at the Larimer Street endpoint. All in the parade wish to continue on to the Pepsi Center to protest inside "The Catbox" (as I may or may not call the parking lot protest enclosure, but we need a name). What will they do? Walk single-file at spaced intervals, signs down? I mean, it's maybe a quarter-mile (I'll measure it sometime) from Larimer to the Pepsi Center. How do they propose to keep people from protesting along the way?

Maybe the city's just leaving itself room to give ground in the lawsuit Spagz has prophesied.

Update: Don't know if I missed this first time around or the Post updated:
The route released today ends at Speer and Larimer, though city officials said there will be a different "terminus," or final destination, announced later.
Very bizarre.

Update II: Wood Rasp Whitmer is pissed:
Quick, trolls, name one kind of quickly erected fencing that doesn’t allow those inside to see those outside?

For the life of me, I can’t think of a concentration camp in the world that doesn’t have a good concertina wire fence, which meets the city’s proposal to the letter.
Yes. Yes it does.
But, hey, on the bright side, it’ll give Medea Benjamin, Leslie Cagan and Adam Jung somewhere to pretend to be relevant.
Benjie actually thinks he's relevant.
The rest of us, those who actually have some respect for our rights, we won’t be in pigpens.

Update III: has a little more from Spagz on parade logistics:

We're hoping that what they sent out was a mistake," said Glenn Spagnuolo, head of Recreate68. . . .

Spagnuolo also said the city didn't include in the parade schedule the Sunday before the start of the convention. That's when Spagnuolo said his group plans to hold "the largest anti-war protest in the city's history."

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