For a couple hours Friday afternoon, it seemed a compromise had been reached that would allow thousands of protesters under the banner "Tent State University" to demonstrate all day in a city park and camp at night at the Denver Coliseum.Ree spon suh bi lity?
That was until the protesters learned the cost.
Tent State organizer Jojo Pease said it was only after a Friday press conference with city officials that she learned the group would be charged $1,000 a night to camp in the Coliseum parking lot.
"It would be our responsibility to pay it," Pease said. "There won't be camping at the Coliseum."
Instead, the group, which Pease said may number 10,000, will spend its days at Cuernavaca Park and nights inside the official protest zone at the Pepsi Center.Ten thousand? What happened to 50,000?
Demonstrators will be allowed to stay overnight, but will not be allowed to pitch tents in the zone. Pease said it may work out that the protesters sleep during the day at nearby Cuernavaca, then protest all night outside the Pepsi Center.Wusses.
"We anticipate a lot of Red Bull will be involved," Pease said.
The group is also hoping that local residents and churches provide places to sleep for those who prefer not to stay mostly awake for four days.
City-owned Cuernavaca Park is within the "extraordinary event zone" for the convention, meaning the city will provide water and portable-toilet facilities there. If a tent city had been set up in City Park, protesters would have needed to plan for water and toilets.And, bless their pointed little heads, that was just too much for the lads and lasses.
Well, let's not quibble.
City Councilwoman Carla Madison, who represents the district around City Park, said earlier Friday that moving the protesters to Cuernavaca is a "huge relief" for her and her constituents.
"I really think it's great," Madison said. "It will work out a lot better for them (demonstrators)." The demonstrators will be at the Coliseum on Wednesday Aug. 27. They've paid rent that day to host a concert while buses shuttle protesters down to the Pepsi Center for the night of the nomination.
Beyond that, they can use Cuernevaca park from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m., but won't be able to camp there overnight.
"This will not paralyze us," Pease said. "This was our decision."