DENVER — After the Occupy Denver camp was shut down by police on Saturday, the protestors have returned to Civic Center Park to rebuild and continue the movement.
On Sunday the new camp held less than half the number of protestors that were present for Saturday’s violent struggle with the Denver Police Department. The camp’s medical station and kitchen had been completely dismantled and removed, and in place of tents some protestors were sleeping on quilts and flattened cardboard boxes on the sidewalk.
Signs of the police action were everywhere. Andrew (last name omitted), age 21, displayed the blood and bruises on his right arm left by pepper balls fired by a police officer. Andrew was sitting in a tree taking pictures when the officer fired on him.
“It was a battle from my vantage point,” Andrew said. “The police got surrounded and people were yelling ‘Shame, shame!’ They panicked and started firing. That’s when I was shot.”
The protestors who had returned to the camp by Sunday represented a broad spectrum of Coloradoans, many of whom witnessed the violence on Saturday.
Marie Cedabaca, 58, of the Apache Nation, said she wasn’t afraid of what might happen the next time Denver PD entered the camp. “They can make a martyr out of me.”
The Denver Post reported that the violence on Saturday started when a police officer was pushed off his motorcycle. Occupy Denver protestor John Thornton, age 30, told a different story. “One guy had his leg run over by the motorcycle. That’s why the bike got knocked over. He was reacting to getting run over. Then it all happened.”
Though not as bustling as it had been before Saturday, the camp was returning to order. One protestor swept dirt and trash from the sidewalk around Civic Center Park. Others helped unload donated jugs of water from the trunk of a car and bring them to the camp’s new kitchen.
Next Saturday the protest is expected to be bigger than ever, drawing in Occupy Denver supporters who are unable to assemble during the week because of their work schedules.
Several police vehicles are currently parked across Broadway from the Occupy Denver camp. The number of police present at Broadway and Colfax is also expected to rise on Saturday in anticipation of the protest growing.