Police Clash With OWS Camps In Denver & Austin

The past week proved to be a trying one for hundreds of protesters at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the country.

Following the extreme display of violence at Occupy Oakland that put Iraq veteran Scott Olsen in the hospital with a skull fracture, police forces in Denver and Austin have become more forceful with protesters, eventually erupting in the use of violent force Saturday night.

At around 7:30 pm on Saturday, Denver Riot Police began to move in and request the remaining protesters clear Civic Center Park. The protesters reminded officers that they were allowed to be there until and initially held their ground.

According to a statement on the Occupy Denver website, police later brandished “less-than-lethal” weapons at photographers and non-violent protesters in an attempt to move them away from the tents at the center of the encampment. Protesters reminded riot police that tents are symbols through which they were exercising their freedom of speech.

That’s when things got ugly.

We openly condemn the Denver Police Department for using pepper balls, shotgun-propelled beanbag rounds, pepper spray and tear gas on an entirely unarmed and nonviolent group. We have collected scores of unedited photos and videos depicting sheer brutality on the part of police on site: officers choking already restrained protesters, using a stun wand on a female arrestee who was already face down and pinned to the ground by an officer, verbally threatening protesters during the standoff, and recklessly and indiscriminately deploying chemical weapons on unarmed civilians, to name a few.

Police violence has never, and will never stop our movement’s momentum. We will continue to organize and move forward, as have Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Oakland, Occupy Boston, and countless other occupations across the nation and around the globe.

Members of the Occupy Denver demonstration regrouped on Sunday to hold a sunset peace vigil in honor of the victims of police brutality and to ‘refocus their collective perspective on the primary goals of socioeconomic justice and peace.’

Also on Saturday, police arrested 38 participants from the Occupy Austin demonstration citing a city ordinance that bans anyone from sleeping on the mezzanine between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Protesters have been occupying the plaza in front of Austin’s City Hall peacefully since October 6th.

“This is private property, owned by the City of Austin as public space,” said an Occupy protester Brian Overman. “For them to come out with a memo saying we don’t feel that this particular area is appropriate for freedom of speech — there’s no precedent for that.”

Nineteen of the 38 people arrested have bonded out. They’re also banned from returning to city hall for at least two years.

According to KVUE, the arrests are drawing a reaction from the Texas Civil Rights Project. The director Jim Harrington released a statement saying, “If the police couldn’t handle the situation, then it would have been appropriate to bring in a mediator. It’s an absurd waste of tax money to spend police time and energy to break up a pure first amendment demonstration.”

Related Reading:

Tahrir Square Protesters Support Occupy Oakland

House Speaker John Boehner Ignores The 99% [Video]

Orange County Accepts Occupy Tents As Free Speech

Image Credit: OccupyAustin.org


William C
William C7 months ago

Thank you.

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Frances C.
Frances C5 years ago

It is just my opinion, but I believe Warren Buffet does deserve credit for doing the study. He showed the country that the rich pay less than their employees. People listen to Buffet and respect him. That is a fact that too many people didn't believe before. I have debated with friends that don't think the rich should not pay more taxes. But when I make the Buffet argument some change their minds. So if he can get through to more people that is good. The 99% movement is causing people to take a look at what is and has been happening in our Country. We are getting through to more and more people every day. Even Bank of America has rescinded their five dollar fee for debit card usage on their unsuspecting customers.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

In the past, there certainly was police brutality but the police's statements ALWAYS outweighed the other witness's account no matter how many there were. NOW, with the amount of cameras everywhere, we can see for ourselves what was suspected all along, the police are NOT there to serve and protect but to act as security guards for crooked governments and the wealthy.

When I was a young teenager, my brother,foster mother, and I were going to a movie and were viciously attacked by 2 brutes, one of who had a reputation for his sadistic brutality. They were drunk and needed money and cigarettes so I got the worst of it being repeatedly kicked in the head with steel toe boots. The police did finally show up and even knew both of their names but wouldn't even go and arrest them.Their reason? Because it would do no good,"they would just get out of jail tomorrow anyways".

Walter G.
Walter G5 years ago

Just going to prove that eastern dictatorships are not unique in breaking up demonstrations using illegal force and means. Ultimately it fosters hatred for the police, not the mayor who ordered or condoned it.

Maryanne E.
Maryanne E5 years ago

There is a huge difference between peaceful protesters and rioters. The higher ups who give the order to fire into peaceful crowds are the ones who ought to be held accountable here.

Oh, I don't think the OWS movement is going anywhere anytime soon. It's already at a 54% favorability rating. And anyone who says "they all need to go home and get a job!", wow. Not real clear on why they're protesting, are ya? If it were that easy, just 'get a job', they wouldn't be protesting. But with the current job market, it's no longer that easy.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Steven B. I don't know if you noticed but the same crap is going on here in Canada too. David Anderson, the minister for agriculture and a member of the Canadian Wheat Board intends to remove the CWB to, as he puts it, to make it more fair for farmers in the west to make money too. What he doesn't say is that what he means by "farmers in the west" is corporations in the west which, without the CWB Single Desk which collectively negotiates the best price for the farmers wheat, will mean that the corporations will make all the money and the farmers will be literally dirt poor slaves to their own land.
Keep in mind that no government department supports or subsidizes the CWB, it is entirely funded by the farmers and should not be interfered with by ANY government. See, we have corporate puppets in Canada too and some of us ARE doing what we can to stop this.

Patrick F.
Patrick f5 years ago

Frances C. The occupy movement is a positive step towards democracy but let's give credit where due. Warren Buffet does NOT deserve credit for his empty words regarding tax reform, he set out and succeeded to swindle Obama with his phony tax idea. He also is in litigation regarding a billion dollars in back taxes he refuses to pay. Between Buffet's idea and Obama's naivity, the only thing that was accomplished was a new form in which these ultra rich can OPT to "donate" more tax dollars in they so choose.

The cost to redesign the new form will far exceed the actual dollars coming in from this new plan, NOBODY with that much money is just going to give it to the government or anyone else.

Maitreya L5 years ago

Coming up with reasonable ideas is our leader's job, the protesters have lots of different ideas, but their main purpose is to make their wishes known to our leaders. Some more detailed solutions would be nice, and we should try, but our leaders should be the ones coming up with solutions, they are supposed to have the experience and education to figure out solutions (ha ha). They spend too much time giving themselves raises, giving tax breaks to their buddies, and starting wars to profit their lobbyists.

According to polls most of mainstream America wants wealth to be more evenly distributed too, even the conservatives.

Elizabeth K.
Elizabeth K5 years ago

Steven is correct, if reasonable worked, we would already succeeded.