Occupy Denver protesters clashed with Denver police again Saturday night in a battle over the groups' belongings blocking the sidewalk. 17 protesters have been arrested.
The Denver Post reports that at 4:30 p.m. Saturday officers met with Occupy Denver protesters and told them they needed to remove items from the sidewalk. Close to half of the protesters then vacated Lincoln Park and Civic Center, with the remainder of the group staying to march downtown.
A notice posted early Friday morning at Occupy Denver reads:
It is illegal to place any encumbrance on the public right of way. An encumbrance is defined as "any article, vehical or thing whatsoever" which is on "any street, alley, sidewalk, parkway or other public way or place." D.R.M.C. 49-246 et. seq. The manager of Public works may order all encumbrances in the public right-of-way to be removed. The failure to remove items so ordered is a criminal offense; the maximum possible penalty for which is up to one year in the county jail and/or up to $999 fine.
PLEASE REMOVE ALL PERSONAL ITEMS FROM THIS AREA.
If personal items are not removed immediately, you may be subject to an order of removal at which time all items will be subject to removal by the Denver Police Department.
Agency- Denver Police Department
"The right of way enforcement is going to definitely be taken seriously. We can't afford for people to be injured, tripped, hurt as they walk through the area," police spokesperson Sonny Jackson told 7News.
Westword notes there were approximately 200 riot-gear equipped officers in Civic Center Park clashing with 100 protesters over the erection of three tents. Occupiers reportedly hummed the imperial march, better known as Darth Vader's musical score in Star Wars, as officers closed in with pepper spray.
Yesterday, Occupy Denver attempted to disrupt a conservative bloggers conference being held at Crowne Plaza downtown. KDVR reports one protester was arrested.