Black Lives Matter Activists Speak Out at the MLK Marade

Speeches made at City Park and Civic Center Park before and after today's Martin Luther King Jr. Day Marade were interrupted by protesting activists. The upheaval culminated in a speech at the podium by Black Lives Matter 5280 co-founder Amy Brown, who made an address directly to Mayor Michael Hancock.

Brown's speech echoed shouts from activists throughout the event, calling for the mayor to release tapes showing the alleged murder of Michael Marshall by deputies last November and to dismiss the deputies involved.

She also called for Hancock to end the city camping ban, take action on affordable housing, address developers' influence in government, "decriminalize homelessness," end gentrification and rename Stapleton, which bears the name of former Denver mayor and Ku Klux Klansman Benjamin Stapleton.
Brown said the mayor had "turned his back and left," and was "not surprised."

Hancock, who was not at the rally, later appeared on stage. His stealthy entrance was warmed by an introduction from Bishop Acen Phillips, who marched with Dr. King in the 1960s. Bishop Phillips thanked the young activists for their energy and urged the young people in the audience to engage through politics.

With the audience voicing its anger, Hancock kept his speech short. "Let me be clear," he said. "One thing I've never done is turn my back on this community." 
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.