On Tuesday afternoon Denver Mayor Michael Hancock met with three representatives from the Occupy Denver movement and there appears to be a stalemate.
Occupy Denver approached the mayor to discuss their request to protest in the park overnight, but the mayor was not willing to budge, Fox31 reports. Mayor Hancock had this to say about overnight protesting in the park:
It was clear to me they want to occupy the park. We simply cannot allow that to happen. We don't want to set a precedent by allowing people to pitch tents in our parks overnight. We'll honor their right to freedom of speech and freedom of assemble. We asked them to observe the laws of the City and County of Denver. And we asked them, for their own safety and wellbeing, to vacate the park each night at 11 p.m.
The mayor acknowledged that the occupiers can protest 24 hours-a-day if they move onto the sidewalk between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. -- the hours that the park is closed, according to CBSDenver.
9News reports that the mayor also said that they can't bring back their tents, not even a single tent just to keep food in.
According to statements on Occupy Denver's Facebook page, the meeting with the mayor was not seen as one that accomplished much, with one anonymous occupier described as a member of Occupy Denver's "media team" saying:
Yeah, we met in good faith, and that obviously didn't work. Although Michael Hancock's political campaign was built on the notion that "We Are All Denver," it is clear now that the 99% aren't included in that. We had a half-hour sit-down meeting full of 'politics as usual.' So, we're getting back to stopping the politics as usual! Stay tuned to Occupy Denver - 1%, we're coming for you!
There appears to be some plans to work with the mayor who agreed to keep the lines of communication open with the Denver protesters. Paula Fedyk, an Occupy Denver protester spoke to The Denver Post saying, "We have been abiding by the law. Our work with the mayor will continue and will be about meeting the basic needs of the people who choose to assemble, so we’re talking about things like food, water and shelter for the assembly."
The protesters also released this statement about their frustration with the meeting and call to action on their website:
AFTER POLITICS AS USUAL WITH MAYOR, A CALL TO ACTION
To the people of Denver, the people of Colorado, and the people of the world, we urge you to re-take the power of your voice and stand in solidarity with the people of Occupy Denver.
After we were evicted from our former site, we now find ourselves re-organizing with a renewed vigor in Civic Center Park. We will not back down from our demand to occupy, from our demand to have a kitchen serving all those in need, from our demand to have a medic tent, from our demand to offer clean and safe spaces, and from our demand to have a permanent place to create constructive solutions to the problems created by the 1%. We are asking for the ability to have a say over policies and politics that dictate our lives, to create policies and politics that offer us, the 99%, real economic justice and an end to corporate greed.
After a meeting with Mayor Hancock, we recognize his interest in playing politics as usual with our voice and our freedoms. We will not let this stand and we will continue to exercise our rights to peaceably assemble and to freedom of speech. Occupy Denver is at a crucial turning point at this very moment. We invite, we need, you to come down to Civic Center Park to stand with us in solidarity and exercise the power of your voice.
If we are to truly represent the 99% of the population of this nation with no voice, we must be 99% of the population. The laborers, the lawyers, the nurses, the bus drivers, the doctors, the retired, the firefighters, the veterans, the stay-at-home moms and dads, the teachers, and even the police. And although each day we wear these labels and these uniforms, each day we ask you to come to the capitol as a person with a voice to stand in solidarity with Occupy Denver and to be heard. The Occupation movement needs all people - Black, White, Brown, Latino, First Nation, and Asian – to show us the way forward. We have a space at our Assemblies for your voices to be heard.
We are not going away - We are stronger than ever! This Saturday we have our next large scale rally, Come stand with us Saturday, Oct. 22nd, from 10am to 11pm for a day of music, speakers, rallies and marches!
Occupy Denver have also set up a petition through Change.org to encourage Gov. John Hickenlooper to stop the arrests of fellow protesters in Denver. They have already received more than 3,000 signatures online, but are hoping to get 10,000. Check out the petition here.