Yesterday, we reported that avideographer at the Million Mask March
on Tuesday in downtown Denver hadalleged police brutality
against her and others at the City & County Building, and offered footage of the incident as evidence; see it below.
Since then, we've spoken at length with another marcher, who makes similar claims.
Check out what he has to say and see photos from the rally below.
"People were rallying in what locals call Marvin Booker Plaza, but it's also known as Veteran's Park," says the protester, who asks to be identified by the moniker Fiscal Cliff. "We rallied from about 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there were probably about fifty to 100 people there all day -- but around 4:30 p.m., the numbers swelled to around 300 for the march."
Participants included members of Anonymous and veterans of Occupy Denver, as well as a lot of first-time protesters, Cliff believes -- although he admittedly can't be sure about everyone, since such a high percentage of people were wearing masks.
The group "went down 15th Street," Cliff goes on -- and then, about twenty minutes into the event, he says, "they were attacked by cops. They were hitting people with their motorcycles and batons and using their cars to try and push people onto the sidewalk."
Cliff maintains that "a couple of people were slightly injured" in these incidents; he hasn't heard of anyone hurt badly enough to require hospitalization. Nonetheless, "we had women, children and people with disabilities in our march. So if people say there was police brutality going on, that's definitely accurate. The police were very aggressive and well-armed, but they didn't seem very well prepared."
By Cliff's estimate, fifty to sixty officers were on hand during various portions of the march and its aftermath, as well as four SWAT units -- and things really got dodgy when the participants headed to the City & County Building and the State Capitol. Here's the aforementioned video, which its creator, Janet Wilson, has labeled as an example of police brutality:
Assorted reports have noted that blocked streets appear to have either delayed or prevented people from dropping off ballots; Tuesday, of course, was election day. But Cliff stresses that disrupting the election was in no way a goal of the marchers. He says it was simply a coincidence that November 5 -- Guy Fawkes Day, a spur for the Million Mask March -- took place on the same day ballots were being cast.
Continue for more about the Million Mask March in Denver, including additional photos. In the end, the Denver Police Department confirms that six people were arrested during the demonstration: five adults and a juvenile. Cliff tells us that all of them were released yesterday. He says two were arrested for pedestrian walking on roadway/interference, one was charged with obstruction and interference, another with interference and resisting a police officer, the fifth with possession of a controlled substance and the last was busted on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear in court on an unrelated charge.
How were these individuals selected? Cliff refers to "snatch-and-grab, a tactic they use to try to scare protesters. They'll just go in and arrest a person, and hope that it's aggressive enough to end the protest. They try to trim the longest branch -- target people who are outspoken about what's happening right now in the world, in our financial system, in our communication system."
If that was indeed the goal, Cliff says it didn't work. "People banded together and took care of each other. The march was peaceful as far as our end of things.
"It was good to see how many people came out, and that they weren't afraid of the police. We had helicopters flying over us all day and riot units and motorcycles and police punching and assaulting people, but they weren't scared. I was really impressed."
Look below to see more photos from the event taken by Sue Kemp, who describes what went on like so: "The event was peaceful at the Capitol, but once we were on the move, the police became more aggressive: lots of show of force and crowding people. Two motorcycle police were especially vigilant on the sidewalks."
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Continue to see more photos by Sue Kemp from the Million Mask March in Denver. Continue to see more photos by Sue Kemp from the Million Mask March in Denver. Continue to see more photos by Sue Kemp from the Million Mask March in Denver.
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More from our News archive: "Videos: Million Mask March protester alleges police brutality."