Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tantrum Time

The Post on the final eviction (mebbe, and after three or four previous tries) of the Occupy Denver protesters from Civic Center Park:
At midnight today, they Tebowed.
Take me now, Jeebus.
Occupy Denver protesters took a knee at Broadway and West 13th Avenue as Denver police officers lined up at the Denver Public Library, corralling them after pressing them from their weeks-old encampment.
But protesters managed to pull one more I'm-gonna-hold-my-breath-till-I-turn-blue tantrum:
When the Tebowing was over, "God Bless America" rang out before the crowd of about 40protestors retreated south on Broadway, shouting pledges that the occupation was not over.

The clash had been intense and swift, with police shoving protestors and journalists alike with their batons, but it appeared only one protestor was taken into custody.

Afterwards, White said officers had hoped to ask the protestors a final time to remove their belongings, but when two prostestors began setting the shelters aflame, officers and firefighters had to move it.

A firetruck moved in to douse the flames as a battery of police closed ranks shouting, "Move back!" to allow firefighters access. Police said two protestors were arrested on arson charges and two were arrested on charges of failing to obey a lawful order.
According to a later story, nine ended up arrested. No journalists among them.
White had issued an ultimatum Monday afternoon to Occupy Denver protesters, saying that time was up and the city would forcibly dismantle their encampment near Civic Center at any moment.

The notice given at a meeting behind closed doors at police headquarters was the latest development in the battle between the Occupy Denver protesters and the city over the permanent demonstration on sidewalks that border Broadway between Colfax and 14th avenues. . . .

Protesters have built shelters, arranged tarps, set down sleeping bags and even tied a kayak to a tree, against [sic] violating a city ordinance that forbids "encumbrances" on public rights of way. They've tried to state their case in federal court, to no avail.

"A decision was made that that needs to occur. They were asked to do it. And they decided they weren't going to do it," White said earlier Monday. "Now it is on us to make that happen."
Mooches to the end:
The protesters left the meeting disgusted, calling the meeting "incredibly unproductive" and asking if they could take the crackers, fruits and veggie trays that were provided back to their protest.
From the later story:
During a joint news conference, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Police Chief Robert White said they remain committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of Occupy Denver protesters — but they will no longer tolerate structures on the sidewalks.

"If it goes up today, it goes down today," White said.
We'll see.

Update: Ace, of course, had it before I did, and a commenter on that post asks a plaintive question that should have occurred to me: "Is the Mayor Shelby, the Dog okay?" My guess: He was burned alive, screaming in a voice almost human, in one of those melting tents. Good doggie.

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