Occupy Denver received a notice from the Department of Public works that they would face eviction if they did not remove their structures on Thursday, but by mid-day The Denver Post reported that the Department of Public Works was "reevaluating" their plans to remove protester structures at the park.
Now, as of Friday afternoon there has yet to be any police action or forced removal of their structures and personal goods. This is the first time since the protesters began to gather at the park that when threatened by the city, the city wound up changing course, deciding against taking action against the protesters.
In another first, new Denver police chief Robert White dropped by the park and spoke directly to the protesters. He even used the occupiers famed "mic check" to address them.
As seen in the video above, White repeatedly asks the protesters to remove the "encumbrances" from the park and says that at some point "they're going to have to come down." But, also expressed a desire to open up lines of communication between Occupy Denver and the city by setting up a meeting with the protesters on Monday, Dec. 19. White left the park and neither police nor Public Works officials ever ended up enforcing the "encumbrance" notice. It remains unclear if and when the city plans to evict the occupiers.
Brett Starr, a protester, spoke to Fox31 and said, "The fact that there hasn't been DPD in riot gear down here to assault peaceful protesters gives me a good feeling."
On Facebook, another protester involved with Occupy Denver named Tim Holland expressed similar sentiments over the lack of police action on Thursday, "Yesterday was awesome. It's the first time that Occupy Denver has successfully resisted an eviction. I'm not popping any champagne bottles yet, but every once in a while it feels good to be winning."
On their website, Occupy Denver made this statement:
This past Wednesday, Occupy Denver received an invitation to meet with the new Chief of Police, Robert White, to discuss our relationship. The same day, we also received a warning notice from the Department of Public Works stating that they would remove all encumbrances from the sidewalks between 10am and 2 pm on Thursday. Instead of meeting on Thursday, the Denver Police Department tweeted an invitation to meet with us on Monday. Occupy Denver's response was that the Chief come to a General Assembly. Fearing imminent eviction due to encumbrances, many occupiers began working through the night to "encumber" the park as a protest against the threat.
On Thursday Chief White came to Occupy Denver to ask us to remove encumbrances and to meet with him on Monday. The general opinion on the ground was that if we were evicted there would be nothing to meet about. It was still unclear after Chief White's visit if we would be evicted, so we held the grounds. Later that day, the Denver Post released a statement that "Public Works had backed off its plans." It is still unclear if an eviction will take place over the weekend, possibly in the dead of night, so we urge our supporters to stand with us this weekend.
This is the first time we have successfully resisted an eviction by the state, but we also must remain vigilant and keep our numbers up over the weekend to ensure the safety of our occupation. If you can't occupy with us, feel free to drop off food, water, and winter supplies. We are also accepting cash donations & paypal donations for legal support.