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The crowds have been coming out all week.
The crowds have been coming out all week.
Evan Semón Photography

Reader: Where Were You Before This, Denver?

Over the past week, thousands of people have filled the streets of downtown Denver, where brass bands are blasting their music, drummers are rat-a-tat-tatting, chants are erupting, and all the energy of the best concerts is being funneled into a mass demonstration against police violence.

"Here in Denver — where we’ve witnessed law enforcement killings of people like Jessie Hernandez, Michael Marshall, Marvin Booker and countless more, where the city has paid out millions in settlements with the families of the dead — the streets have rarely been this full for so long," Kyle Harris wrote after a night at the protests.

"Where were the thousands we see today after those victims of killer cops died: Red Rocks? The Pepsi Center? Broncos Stadium? A multiplex?"

But his piece expanding on that question just raised more questions. Asks Marcos:

 What kind of out-of-touch, privileged, elitist nonsense is this?

Responds Mark:

There is some truth to this. That's why brutal professional sport spectating and organized school athletics and playgrounds and recreation centers and gyms and fairs ands concerts and all else I missed are so important to the smooth functioning of society. Every person on this planet has a fire burning deep within them as well as energy to burn — 'cause we're humans and alive and full of passion and hunger and yearning. And if we don't let it all out, things get ugly. And municipal and state and, formerly, national leaders know this.

Replies Janet: 

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Yeah. Like I miss my concerts, art, social gatherings. So like one morning I saw yet another Black man snuffed out with yet another cop’s knee. So I said, “Geez, think I’m gonna go protest racial injustice and place myself at the hands of COVID-19, tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets”! All just because I couldn’t go to THAT concert. Westword: you sucking right now. Are you going soft with the selections of your authors? Maybe you’re just mad because your $$$ is not coming in for publishing all those musical venues and shows...maybe you’ll blame it on all the weed next. Cuz that’s your only income now right?!!

Notes Gina:

Honestly, anyone that’s against this post: What are we doing out in the streets? It’s been a week and we haven’t seen much change. People dancing in the streets, partying and treating the Capitol like a block party is not going to fight systemic racism. Last week, we were fighting for change. Today, we’re following a brass band around and dancing in the streets. This isn’t a celebration. We need change. Yeah, we got justice for Floyd but what about all of the other victims? Breonna? Elijah? This issue goes much further than that. Police brutality is what we are fighting against. Rehabilitation for convicts and a chance at a new life is what we should be fighting for. Our system is fucked.

Responds Ian:

 Anything to excuse legitimate protesting for a legitimate reason. Once again, Westword with the trash take.

Comments Morgan:

 “Because here in Denver — where we’ve witnessed law enforcement killings of people like Jessie Hernandez, Michael Marshall, Marvin Booker and countless more, where the city has paid out millions in settlements with the families of the dead — the streets have rarely been this full for so long.”
I don’t necessarily agree with the title, but he poses an important question: Where were you, Denver? People have been dying by the hands of police in our streets, so where were the crowds for our own?

Concludes Jami: 

I think the question is really, "How has this national pause forced people to pay attention and prioritize justice over entertainment." My two cents.

Have you been at the protests? Did you read Kyle's piece? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.

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