Action Alert: Protest Police Treatment of DNC Activists
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Contact: Colorado Legal Eagles
For photos and more informaton, see:
[Denver, CO] – Glenn Spagnuolo, one of the main organizers of Recreate68, was interviewed on Peter Boyles on KHOW radio Tuesday morning about the pepper bullet incident on Monday. You can listen to the full interviews here:
Glenn said that the incident last night started around 5:30pm, when heavily-armed police in SWAT gear began making random sweeps through Civic Center Park, harassing people sitting in the grass by poking them with nightsticks and telling them to get up and leave. Glenn complained several times to the protester’s police liaison, and the police would stop the harassment, just to start it again a few minutes later. He said that happened about 4 or 5 times. Glenn said some of the kids in the park became annoyed and formed a circle and started chanting “No Justice, No Peace” and put bandanas on their faces. He said that the police got worked up and came in pretty heavy and opened up with pepper spray and pepper bullets into the crowd without warning. The police chased the crowd through the park towards 15th and Cleveland, where there was another line of police waiting to surround the people running from the police and prevent them from leaving. Glenn says the police surrounded the crowd, which included frightened and crying children, and began pushing them back and crushing the crowd together. He said they were detained for well over an hour.
With their heavy-handed tactics and lack of warning to the crowds, the police clearly were trying to provoke violence from the crowd. There had been over 2 days of peaceful protests up until this incident. Instead of trying to arrest the trouble-makers without endangering others, the police chose to react by firing pepper bullet guns, pepper spray and tear gas into groups of innocent bystanders without warning and rounding up crowds of innocent people and detaining them for over an hour.
In other incidents of police harassment, Cindy Sheehan, an antiwar activist running for office against Nancy Pelosi, returned to her hotel room in Denver yesterday to find a man trying to plant a bug in her telephone.
According to Glenn Spagnuolo, the police had been stopping and searching the cars of Recreate68 and Unconventional Action activists near their convergence center north of downtown.
Another report on colorado.indymedia.org states that 5 members of the Solidarity Radical Library and Revolutionary Center from Lawrence, Kansas were arrested Monday in Denver without any reason.
Other activists reported heavy intimidation and harassment by roving gangs of heavily-armed law enforcement officers in the Civic Center Park Festival of Democracy and elsewhere in Denver.
Please call the officials below and tell them to stop the harassment of antiwar activists by police. Forward this announcement to your friends. We need to let the city of Denver know that the “The Whole World is Watching!”
Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper
Phone: 720-865-9000 (Denver 311)
Ask for the Mayor’s Office
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter
Phone: (303) 866-2471
They say it’s the Mayor’s responsibility, not theirs, but they still need to feel the heat.