#OccupyDenver: Protesters Send Group Of Ten To Meet With Denver Police Chief White At Police Headquarters (UPDATES)
At 2 p.m. on Monday, members of Occupy Denver will meet with new Denver police chief Robert White at Denver police headquarters, according to The Denver Post.
The protesters nominated ten individuals to represent their interests with the chief at their Sunday night general assembly, announced via their Facebook page:
A group of 10 dedicated Occupiers were elected at GA tonight to meet with Police Chief White and the Public Works Manager tomorrow afternoon. Let's see how this goes because the fact is... we are not going anywhere ~ You Can't Evict An Idea #OCCUPY!
Occupy Denver met with Chief White Monday afternoon and early reports from Twitter are saying that the meeting was "incredibly unproductive."
Jeremy Meyer from The Denver Post tweeted:
@ jpmeyerDPost : #occupydenver protester call meeting "incredibly unproductive". But did leave w plate of crackers and veggies
Occupy Denver tweeted that White said that "encumbrances must come down" in the park.
And it sounds like Occupy Denver is expecting the worst -- Sole, a demonstrator involved with Occupy Denver, tweeted this statement:
@ mcsole : #occupydenver faces eviction at any moment. We need numbers at civic center park.
It remains to be seen if the city will take action against the occupiers.
Below is the full statement from Occupy Denver regarding the meeting with Chief White:
Statement On Occupy Denver's Meeting With Chief White
The group of 10 representatives nominated and voted on by Occupy Denver's General Assembly met with Chief White today for 45 minutes. It went as many expected. Chief White stated that the decision to forcibly evict the Occupation had already been made. Offers by Occupy Denver's representatives to come up with creative solutions to the impasse – including a way for Occupy Denver's residents to take charge of maintaining the park at no cost to the city – were rejected in the meeting.
It seems clear to us that the city's actions are not really about protecting the public right of way but about the city and state government using minor municipal codes to restrict the people's rights to assemble and protest. Chief White made clear that Occupy Denver continues to face a potential raid at any point.
We consider using the city's scarce resources to enforce municipal code in this way to be a huge waste, something Occupy Denver has been trying to avoid. Considering the DPD's reputation for police brutality, we feel it would be a shame for Chief White to start his relationship with the City of Denver in this way. If we are evicted, this will be the fifth time the DPD has forcibly removed the Occupation – a tactic which clearly has not been an effective resolution in the past. We urge Chief White and Mayor Hancock to reconsider their threats to evict us until they have made time and space to come together to find creative, peaceful, and constructive ways to resolve this impasse.
Considering the fact that many of the people who are participating in Occupy Denver are homeless and no safe alternative to living with Occupy Denver has been presented by the city, we question Mayor Hancock's and the city's commitment to addressing issues of economic inequality and human rights that the Occupy movement is protesting.
We will be holding a General Assembly tonight at 7pm in Civic Center Park to determine our response. We urge our supporters to help resist with their presence by standing in solidarity with Occupy Denver in Civic Center Park over the next few days. Help us show the residents of Denver that its citizens are not encumbrances, and that the people want to see Denver interacting with the Occupation in a more productive and cooperative manner.
General assembly minutes from OccupyDenver.org reveal the ten representatives (identified by their first names only) that the protesters hope can deliver a clear message to White:
Going into this meeting we have to be really careful/ smart/ strategic – There is list of criteria from a cross-committee meeting:
Be respectful, previous experience meeting with official, knowledge of inner-workings the movement as a whole, equal cross-section of occupy Denver, negotiation skills, no personal agendas, that group can agree on cohesive message, people need to be able to work together, have to meet before-hand to put together plan. Trustworthy on decision-making, regular participant on the ground, non-contentious, diverse body.
Elected TEAM: Cat, Ambrose, Jason, Dana, Ben, Roshan, Kat, Terese, Liberty & Tim
Chief White dropped by the Occupy Denver site at Civic Center Park on Thursday afternoon to open up a dialogue between the protesters and the city. The protesters were bracing for an eviction that never came after receiving notices from the Department of Public Works that the protesters tents, tarps and personal goods -- that the city refers to as "encumbrances" -- would be removed from the park. But by the end of the day on Thursday, Public Works made a new announcement saying they were "re-evaluating" their plans to remove protester structures -- the first time the city had changed course on a decision to evict the protesters from the park. Occupy Denver has not been forcibly evicted as of Monday.
From a statement Occupy Denver made from their website:
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.