Against the backdrop of Independent Monitor Richard Rosenthal's conclusion that Officer Eric Sellers should have been fired, not suspended, for brutalizing volunteer firefighter Jared Lunn comes the latest protest against "police terror." According to an item on West Denver Copwatch featuring the graphic seen here, the march, scheduled to get underway at 7 p.m. at Sunken Garden Park, 8th and Speer, is being staged in memory of Marvin Booker, Oleg Gidenko and "all the victims!"
Booker, of course, is the man who died in the Denver County Jail on July 9, 2010 under controversial circumstances. The Denver District Attorney's Office declined to file charges against jail personnel in the case, but a lawsuit about the incident is still pending.
The death of Gidenko, twenty, has gotten less publicity. In late March, he was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Aurora that also wounded Yevgeniy Straystar, eighteen, and led to the arrest of a third man, Ruslan Giriyev, also eighteen, on the minor charge of criminal trespassing.
The item by West Denver Copwatch -- whose reps say they're helping to advertise the event, not hosting or sponsoring it -- notes the May 3 mayoral vote before declaring that "no matter who is elected, the police will still terrorize our communities."
The release continues like so:
High profile cases of police violence fill the headlines of local media. Officers beat, taze, and pepper spray residents of the Denver Metro Area with impunity. Though several tolkeinized terminations have recently taken place, these firings will ultimately not stop the police terror raging in our neighborhoods and streets. In Aurora, police execute Russian migrant youth merely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Denver, police raid homes and beat whole families.
This isn't a case of a few bad apples. The whole orchard is diseased and rotten.
As the U.S. military occupies countries across the world to maintain control over a global economy that impoverishes billions, police forces across the United States occupy neighborhoods to maintain a social order that impoverishes millions in this country.
The poor and working class are beaten, murdered, imprisoned, evicted, raped, abused, and tortured in Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. soldiers and in Denver by local police officers and other state agents.
We've marched three times in the last year, and our rage has become something that cannot be dismissed.
On May 6th, on a weekend that will see celebrations honoring the memories of struggles, revolutions, and people's victories from centuries ago, we will fill the streets.
This tone is echoed on the Queen City Antifa site, which claims that representatives of the Denver Police Department tried to "broker a deal" with march organizers, but "failed to reach anyone taking responsibility for the organizing." Not that the DPD would have capitulated to demands like the following:
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1. The abolition of the police department and the capitalist State in order to make way for a horizontally organized society based on the concepts of solidarity and mutual aid.
2. The immediate release of all material relating to the Marvin Booker case, specifically the video of his death, which we request be looped and broadcast on the side of one of Denver's high rises.
3. The home addresses of all officers involved in excessive force and police brutality cases.
4. All police resources relinquished for recycling and re-purposing.
A number of anti-police-violence protests have taken place in recent months, including one this past January that attracted between 200 and 300 people. Photos and a video can be viewed in the following post.
More from our News archive: "Marvin Booker protest rally and march on the 16th Street Mall: A photo gallery."