Homeless Sweeps: Protests Planned at Rockies Opener, Denver Art Museum

Today, thousands of fans and revelers will flock to Denver's Ballpark neighborhood as the Rockies play their first game of the season. But not everyone hanging around Coors Field will be there to celebrate. 

At 12:30 p.m., Denver Homeless Out Loud is staging a protest at 20th and Blake streets against the city's continued crackdown on the homeless. The rally, titled "Denver Homeless Need a Home Base," is meant to bring attention to Denver's ongoing sweeps, which began in force on March 8 and have displaced many homeless individuals — including those who had camped along Park Avenue West, not far from where today's protest will be held. 

Earlier this week, we published a cover story on the sweeps, detailing how the crackdown is causing tension between the Mayor's Office and some of the city's service providers for the homeless. 

During the past month, DHOL organizers say that they have repeatedly asked Mayor Hancock for a meeting to discuss the sweeps, but have been denied. Their demands during today's protest will be simple: End the sweeps. 

The protest at the Rockies opener is not the only event being held this weekend that aims to bring awareness of Denver's homeless sweeps. 
On Sunday at 3 p.m., a local artist named Eric Shumake is gathering people in front of the Denver Art Museum to protest the sweeps using performance art.

This will be the second time the artist has organized a "Stop the Sweeps" event there; the first involved a staged photo of participants being "swept" away as they laid in front of the broom and dustpan statue just outside of the museum's entrance.

Find out more on the Facebook event page for the protest
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker