Occupy Sniagrab: Protesters use annual sale to defy urban camping ban

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Even though this latest permit was doled out to Sports Authority for the shoppers, Occupy Denver decided to take full advantage. About twelve of them were hanging out with signs by around 8 p.m. last night, and representatives this morning told us that around twenty folks arrived in total. Jakeob Olson, a 22-year-old Occupy Denver member who is homeless, was still there this morning and said that about fifteen fellow activists stayed overnight, including a handful of homeless individuals that slept on cardboard, not in tents. "It gives us a sense of relief. We are not gonna get messed with by the cops," he says.

Pointing to Sports Authority, he says, "These lovely people went and got a permit for us," adding, "I still don't like them. They are still a corporation."

Janet Matzen, another Occupy Denver resident who set up her tent last night, says she is excited to be able to camp, but also wants to draw attention to the city's treatment of homeless residents.

"It is so wrong, I just can't even believe it," she says of the camping ban. "We wouldn't even treat dogs like this."

The sale, and thus the camping, goes until Saturday, and several members of Occupy say they hope to increase their numbers quite a bit over the next few days.

"We are setting up camp and letting the city know the homeless are not going away," says Robert Hudson, 25.

J.T. Colfax, another Occupy member, said it felt like a reunion last night. "There were people I hadn't seen in months."

And he hopes to see more.

"This is an occupation again, or it will be soon," says Colfax, 48. " It's gonna get interesting over the next few days.... It's really gonna grow."

Continue for more photos from Occupy Denver and Sniagrab.
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Sam Levin
Contact: Sam Levin