Occupy Denver asks John Hickenlooper to allow camping, invites him to general assembly
Earlier today, a Colorado State Patrol spokesman said the law-enforcement approach to Occupy Denver's tent city is evolving, and could be finalized soon. But rather than waiting to see how agencies might try to enforce Governor John Hickenlooper's apparent wish to end overnight camping near the State Capitol, the Occupy Denver forces voted on and approved a letter to Hick that was delivered a short time ago. In it, they request a waiver to continue overnight camping in support of demonstrators' First Amendment rights.
They've also invited Hickenlooper to attend one of the twice-daily general assembly meetings of participants. The next one gets underway at 3 p.m., just over thirty minutes from this writing.
Look below to read an Occupy Denver press release, posted online here, followed by the letter itself.
Occupy Denver release:
OCCUPY DENVER DELIVERS LETTER TO HICKENLOOPER TO REQUEST PERMISSION TO CONTINUE CAMPING; INVITES HICKENLOOPER TO ATTEND GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING
Denver, Colorado, 12 October 2011 -- Occupy Denver was recently notified of Governor Hickenlooper's intention to have our tent encampment removed from the Veteran's Memorial Park. Today, at 1PM, we hand delivered the on open letter to Governor Hickenlooper and his representatives (attached), to request a waiver that will permit the encampment to continue.
Occupy Denver was started on September 22nd in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. The occupation, which began as roughly a dozen concerned citizens protesting corporate greed and a lack of a forum to express related grievances, has swelled to over 100 citizens occupying the area in front of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver 24-hours a day. In the letter to Governor Hickenlooper, the group requests that the Governor and members of his administration address their concerns to their General Assembly to be rectified. The movement is an autonomous, horizontally-structured body that meets in a General Assembly at 3 & 7 PM daily.
Now on the 20th day, the numbers at the occupation swell into the hundreds during the daytime, drawing over 1,000 concerned citizens of the Denver-area to march in protest on Saturdays between 12-3 PM. The occupation includes a health code-compliant free-standing kitchen that serves snacks and hot meals 24-hours a day, a fully-stocked and staffed medical tent, and a trained security team that patrols for trouble and communicates by radio around the clock.
Occupy Denver urges all citizens of Colorado to phone Governor Hickenlooper's office at (303) 866-2471 to voice their support for the right of the occupiers to make use of public space for their First Amendment right to assemble.
ABOUT OCCUPY DENVER
Occupy Denver's is an autonomous group of concerned citizens aiming to bring awareness to the issues of corporate inequality and greed, and to begin a dialogue among the 99% of the citizenry that does not benefit from the policies that support this objectionable structure.
OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR HICKENLOOPER
Dear Governor Hickenlooper,
As you are already aware, several members of the Occupy Denver movement have constructed a tent city in the park area surrounding Veteran's Memorial. We are non-violent. We utilize a non-hierarchical, democratic, decision making process. We are organized. We respect our state park as our home, as it currently is our home.
We will ensure that the park remains an open and welcoming space to the General Public and citizenry of Colorado.
Our tents are a symbol. We are here to draw attention to the injustice of corporate sovereignty over modern life.
We respectfully request that your administration honor our constitutional right to peaceable assembly: we are formally requesting a variance or waiver pursuant to the municipal code of the City and County of Denver and Colorado state law that would allow us to continue occupying the park area surrounding Veteran's Memorial.
Tuesday, October 11 on KOA you stated, "we have always supported the First Amendment," and that you are worried about the precedent set by our tent city, because it could lead to multiple tent cities across Colorado.
Governor Hickenlooper--there are already multiple tent cities across Colorado--the only difference is that ours isn't hidden from the general public. If you are truly concerned about the precedent set by our occupation, we invite you to work with us to create a Colorado in which tent cities are no longer a necessity.
We, the people of Colorado, have no proper institutional forum to organize and address the issues that confront us. As such, the tent city that we have constructed serves not only as a symbol, but a forum in which to organize, voice our concerns, and demonstrate solidarity with our under-represented brothers and sisters across The United States of America.
If you have concerns of public safety or health, we invite you to work with us to ensure that we have adequately addressed public safety and health issues.
If you have other questions, concerns, or requests, we invite you and members of your administration to join us at one of our General Assemblies to address them. Our General Assemblies are held daily at 3pm or 7pm.
Thank you for your time and careful consideration of this matter.
With Sincere Regards,
Occupy Denver General Assembly
(ratified 3pm & 7pm)
More from our Videos archive: "Occupy Denver video collection chronicles ongoing protests."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.