Occupy Denver's Tim Holland on why Saturday's "F*ck the Police" march isn't official OD event
Update: The decision to stage a "Fuck the Police" rally is controversial even for the Occupy Denver members who support Saturday's event -- get details below. Still, occupier Tim Holland explains why the organization as a whole hasn't signed on: While Occupy Denver (by which he means the entire group -- the brand, if you will) supports free speech, it doesn't want to alienate either the 99 percent or the police by publicly supporting the march.
"Although 'fuck the police' is a sentiment that is widely shared by many people who have been brutalized by the Denver Police, this Saturday's 'Fuck The Police' march is not an Occupy Denver event," Holland says.
At least not officially. Some Occupy Denver protesters support the rally, but such backing has not undergone a vote at general assembly.
"This event does not come out of our events or tactics committees, who are responsible for our marches, nor has this event even been endorsed by our GA," Holland continues. "That said, Occupy Denver fully respects the rights of all Denver inhabitants to assemble and air their grievances against the state or the DPD, particularly in light of the obscene waste of blood and treasure that we have witnessed over the past six months."
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So there you have it. The line between what is an Occupy Denver event and what is merely supported by a number of people within Occupy Denver is a fine one (as it was during a protest of the annual homeless vigil). In the meantime, Holland and others emphasize a wish that this weekend's march begins and ends without violence of any kind.
Look below to see our earlier coverage.
Original item, 9:09 a.m. February 23: Although it is not a general assembly-sanctioned event, select members of Occupy Denver, the Internet collective Anonymous and "an array of other activists" are spreading word online of their first combined "Fuck the Police" march. Scheduled for this Saturday, the event has the potential to become a regular feature in the local movement, pending a successful turnout rate this weekend.
But its word choice -- and the occasionally rocky relationship between Denver's police and protesters -- make it a tough issue for the larger body to sign off on.
In other occupations, similar anti-police events have become more commonplace. Occupy Oakland, for example, stages regular "Fuck the Police" marches.
This Saturday, the first Denver version will begin at 7 p.m. at the D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe as part of a national push spread by Anonymous to build similar simultaneous events in several cities.
Protesters are encouraged to cover their faces for anonymity while shouting the slogan that is the event's name. "Join us as we don our masks and bandanas and unite as one strong voice opposing the violent and dystopian police state in which we all now live," reads one Anonymous website's entry on the march.
And while the event will be attended by a variety of Occupy Denver protesters, many of them stress that the event has not been approved by the group's general assembly -- or even brought up there -- although it might later be, depending on the success of this weekend's event. In addition, protesters -- who, appropriately enough, request anonymity -- also stress a focus on nonviolence.
On October 22, the group participated in another anti-police march, this one against police brutality, with organizations that included the Denver Anarchist Black Cross. Only one protester was charged with a crime (destruction of city property) as a result of that march.
More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver update: 100-plus arrests, more charges added, one case misplaced."