Copyright © The American Driver
Michael (JB) Schaffner
Denver’s First Protest Is a Mild One
The New York Times
By Dan Frosch
Published on Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Denver National Convention saw its first major protest today, and it ended peacefully with no immediate reports of arrests.

About 1,000 people organized by the group Recreate 68 gathered on the steps of Denver’s capitol on Sunday morning, carrying
colorful signs and shouting anti-establishment chants that railed against everything from corporate influences on U.S. politics to
the war in Iraq to big oil.

“We’re here to call the Democrats out, to let them hear our voices,” said Laurie Hunter, 55, of Denver, who said she was an
Obama supporter but still felt the protesters needed to be heard.

After listening to various speakers, including Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war protester, and a spirited performance by the rap
group dead prez, the protesters set off on a permitted parade route, bound for the Pepsi Center, just a few miles away. Curious
onlookers watched as the protest, led by Ron Kovic, the wheelchair-bound Vietnam Veteran and anti-war activist, snaked
through downtown Denver, accompanied by bicycle police.

At one point, a small contingent of people draped in American flag T-shirts and hats shouted at the group as they passed by.

One of those was Dale Parrish, 46, of LaSalle, Colo., who held a sign that said, “Freedom is not free.” Mr. Parrish said his son
had done two tours of duty in Iraq, was bound for Afghanistan, and was fighting so the protesters could have their right to free

Eventually the protest snaked its way through downtown and to the gates of a security perimeter set up by police around the
Pepsi Center.

There, as heavily armed police in riot gear and plain clothes Secret Service agents stood in formation, the protesters stopped for
about an hour — intermittently going silent and then shouting slogans.

“This is what a police state looks like,” one girl yelled at the police line.

After about an hour, however, the group began to disperse quietly.

“We’re pleased with the way things went,” said Detective John White, with the Denver Police. “We want people to know that
the city is open for business, and we want to encourage people to come downtown.”

To be sure, aside from the brief standoff with police at the Pepsi Center, the march went off without incident and organizers
seemed pleased with the turnout and their interaction with police.

While the numbers were not the tens of thousands some organizers had promised, Re-create 68 organizer Larry Hales said it was
about “quality not quantity.”

As the protesters wandered off, one teenager mumbled to his friend, “Dude, I’m thirsty. Let’s go get some water or something.”

(source: The New York Times)

Anti-War Protesters Greet Convention Goers in Denver
FoxNews .com
Published on Sunday, August 24, 2008
About 1,000 anti-war protesters marched toward the site of the Democratic National Convention Sunday in Denver, in the first
of at least five such rallies planned this week by the group Recreate 68.

The rally began with just a couple hundred demonstrators Sunday morning outside the Colorado State Capitol building, but
swiftly grew as they began their trek toward the Pepsi Center, which is under heavy security with the convention set to begin

Activists like Cindy Sheehan kicked off the event with more than two hours of speeches.

“We’re out here to speak out about the destruction of society and the impact on our own society as we have fewer and fewer
resources,” Denver local Jane Cahn told

She and her husband Eric said they have joined in on such rallies for 40 years.

“This is one of the primary gatherings [this week] that’s expected that’s for peace,” Denver resident Susan Stark said.

Participants Alison Jane and Joshua Marks traveled from St. Louis, Mo., to attend the demonstrations.

“We’re young kids and we don’t want to see our futures turn into s***,” Marks said.

Colorado Springs resident Bryan Ostren said he mostly heard of the events through word of mouth. He said Americans have the
freedom to use their voices to end the war.

Though demonstrators joined under the common cause of ending the war, they also spoke out in favor of abortion rights and
against torture, imperialism and the election process.

“I think [the Re-create 68 events are] going to get everyone together and feeling the same thing,” Ostren said.

Meanwhile, police officers in riot gear patrolled on bicycles and foot along the route.

The protesters marched as thousands of delegates, reporters and politicians descended on the Western city.’s Caitlin Dean and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Fox News .com)

Protesters Disrupt Convention Access; At Least Two Arrests Before
DNC Begins
ABC News
Published on Sunday, August 24, 2008
ABC News' Rick Klein, Herran Bekele, and Jennifer Parker report: A large anti-war protest disrupted  access to the site of the
Democratic National Convention for about 40 minutes Sunday afternoon -- a  full 24 hours before the convention even begins.

With a crowd of about 1,000 protesters massing on Auraria Boulevard, directly in front of the Pepsi  Center in Denver, Secret
Service and local police locked down the security perimeter about 12:30 p.m.  MT, shutting down the only access point for
media and most staff to get into or out of the site.

Anti-war protesters -- carrying signs reading "Send Them Home," "No War on Iran," and "Do-Nothing  Democrats" -- marched
in front of the convention site while police in full riot gear -- many  displaying their weapons -- looked on in a tense scene.

Several protesters taunted police by waving cameras in their faces or yelling, "Police state," but no  clashes erupted. While the
scene remained painful in front of the main entrance, at least two  protesters were arrested several blocks away.

One was told he was being arrested for having his face covered with a black scarf on convention  grounds, and another was
placed into custody for not cooperating with police after coming to the first protester's defense. Both were placed in plastic
handcuffs and escorted to a police van.

Earlier, several dozen protesters sat on the street directly outside the convention entrance point and engaged in several minutes
of chants: "We won't be silent," they said. The group dispersed without incident after a few minutes.

About 1 p.m. MT, leaders of the protest said their march would continue, and warned those who stayed  would probably be
arrested. Police began letting reporters and convention staff back through the metal detectors about 1:10 p.m. -- with the backup
delaying some people more than an hour.

Among those caught on the outside: Time columnist Joe Klein and Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter.  Among those caught
on the inside of the security perimeter, while police refused to let anyone in or out: Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., a close friend
of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Several protesters held signs evoking the famous clash with police outside the 1968 Democratic  National Convention in Chicago.

"We just finished a peace march recreating the '68 protest, marching for peace," Dan Manzanares, 61,  of Denver, told ABC
News. "We're here trying to hold the parties' and the platforms' feet to the fire on getting out of Iraq," he said. "I'm encouraged
by Obama, but I'm becoming convinced that, once these candidates get in the White House and the money and power starts
rolling in, they forget, and we're here to make sure they remember."

(source: ABC News)

Anti-war protesters speak out
Al Jazeera .net
Published on Monday, August 25, 2008
Activists have planned protests for the duration of the party convention
Hundreds of anti-war protesters have demonstrated amid heavy police security in the US city of Denver where the Democratic
national convention is set to kick-off on Monday.

It was the first in a series of protests by the group Recreate 68, whose name echoes the anti-war protests outside the party's
convention in Chicago in 1968.

Al Jazeera spoke to five protesters about why they were marching, and their hopes that those attending the convention would

Robert Joyet, Denver, Colorado
I'm here to try to give a voice to the voiceless. The Democrats are supposed to be the party that faces up to the Republicans and
provide an alternative voice, but they've sat back and passed every act that infringes our civil liberties; they supported the war.

I'm ashamed at the poor turnout here. I'd have hoped more Americans … maybe they're sidetracked by corporate interests.

I worked three times in Afghanistan as an engineer and when I was there security was tentative and that was three years ago.
The situation there is getting like it was in Iraq. I think it's a lost cause and we should just get out. It's a farce. These politicians
go on their "fact finding mission" and don't talk to anybody about it [the situation]. It's disgraceful.

Jean Toth, St Petersburgh, Florida
There's a big message going on here, regardless of Republican or Democrat: we have to change our whole way of thinking. I think
we're sending a message and I think if there's enough people they will listen as I don't think they'll have a choice. I'd love for
people to see that not all Americans are all about war.

The convention serves no purpose at all, it's a huge waste of money, we have helicopters flying around wasting gas to watch us
and there's no one here who's evil. It's insane.

Judy Gear, Denver
I'm here with a small international group who have been going just working for peace and justice throughout the world on
different issues.

We're very against the war and very concerned about the environment and that's why I'm here to stop all our invasions of
various countries.

I just hope that it will make a difference, to make sure Obama's sticking to what he's pledged about getting out of the war and
not expanding it. I hope my presence will make a difference. If you just sit at home watching TV you'll get really depressed so I
get out to protest.

Daniel Hernandez, Denver
Well I'm just here to show my solidarity with everyone else who opposes the war. I want to show the rest of the world that not
all Americans supported our invasion of Iraq.

Delaine Novak, Denver
We're here today because we don't believe in the occupation of Iraq. We need to pull the troops out and spend the money here at
home – this war was just about oil.

We have a lot of economic issues here now. We must be united; everyone should still have a voice and not be palmed off - never
mind the rhetoric.

We need to end this war, we didn't ask for this.

(source: Al Jazeera)

Protesters rally at Dem convention
Chicago Sun Times
By Abdon M. Pallasch and Dave McKinney, Staff Reporters
Published on Sunday, August 24, 2008
DENVER — Thousands of protesters opposing the war and championing other
causes marched from the Colorado State Capital to the Democratic National
Convention Sunday.

The convention doesn’t officially start until Monday, but staffers and press
were setting up shop. Denver police closed down the entrance, stranding
hundreds of journalists and staffers for an hour while the protesters sat down,
chanted or called police "fascist pigs."

"The whole world is watching," Katie Kloth, 21, a biology student from the
University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, chanted. "It does remind me of '68. In a
perfect world these cops would join us — I'm sure some of them oppose the

Kloth referred to the scores of Denver Police officers who carried guns and tear
gas canisters, which they did not have to use for today's protest.

While opposing the war in Iraq or the start of a war with Iran was the main
focus, some protesters carried signs reading "Immigrants are not criminals" or
"Humanity needs revolution and communism."
Protesters gather for
Dem convention
One chant criticized presidential nominee Barack Obama's vote to permit some government surveillance of telephone calls under
the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

"When Obama says FISA, we say 'No!'," they chanted.

Kloth said she came her with her school's College Democrats group and was disappointed she couldn't get more of them to come
to the protest.

After an hour the protesters moved on, and sunburned journalists and staffers were allowed to enter or exit the convention

(source: Chicago Sun Times)

Protesters: We're being treated like prisoners
Associated Press
By Judith Kohler
Published on Monday, August 25, 2008
DENVER (AP) — A small group of protesters marched to the demonstration
zone outside the Democratic National Convention, complaining they are being
treated like political prisoners.

Members of the protest group Recreate 68 Alliance visited the fenced-off zone
for the first time on Monday and vowed not to return because they oppose the
limits on where they can demonstrate.

Protesters derisively call the 47,000-square-foot zone the "Freedom Cage." It's
separated from the parking lot around the convention hall by metal fences atop
concrete barriers, about 700 feet from the Pepsi Center, where the delegates start
gathering Monday night.

"We're being treated by the city of Denver and the Secret Service like political
prisoners, like pariahs," said Recreate 68 organizer Mark Cohen.

Cohen and his wife, Barbara, each wore a red inverted triangle similar to the type
political prisoners in Nazi Germany were forced to wear.

"We're going to stay here for just a couple of minutes to state our disgust with
this abomination, the way the city and Secret Service are tearing the
Constitution of the United States to shreds and then we will leave," Mark
Cohen said.
Noah Sodano, left, and Nicole
Banowetz, both of Denver, carry
antiwar signs early on Monday
morning, as the city prepares for
Democratic National Convention in
Denver, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008.
The Democratic National
Convention begins Monday. (AP
Photo/Matt Rourke)
Another protester, Holly Heiman, 40, of Green Mountain Falls, said she wanted to show her opposition to what she believes is
an oppressive government that won't change no matter who is elected.

Elsewhere, about 100 people rallied at Civic Center Park in downtown Denver to draw attention to people they consider to be
political prisoners in the U.S., including American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, who's serving a life sentence for killing two
FBI agents during a 1975 standoff on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

The turnout for protest marches was lower than expected, however, and that led authorities to reopen some Denver traffic lanes
sooner than planned on the first day of the Democratic National Convention. About 12 blocks along two busy streets reopened
at around noon on Monday (local time), instead of 3 p.m. as planned. Authorities say they could remain open for the duration
of the convention if marches can be accommodated safely.

The Joint Information Center, an emergency-response command set up by the city for the convention, cites "low attendance and
parade participation" for the change.

(source: Associated Press)

Protests Grow at Denver Convention Center
The Wall Street Journal
By Sara Murray
Published on Monday, August 25, 2008
Protests are in full swing in front of the Colorado Convention Center in
downtown Denver, and a specific group of four are the spotlight as cops have
lined them up on the curb for questioning.

The four, who look to be somewhere in their teens or early 20s, were sporting
black bandanas covering their mouths and carrying a black flag. Police officers
stopped them but declined to say why, though one said there was some
suspicious activity and violations followed. One of the four, the only female
of the bunch, was handcuffed.

When she asked why she was being detained, the officer told her she had given
two names, two birthdates and had no proof of identification. Meanwhile her
peers yelled to the growing crowd of onlookers, insisting it was an illegal
search and seizure and threatening the police officers with legal action.

For the most part, onlookers and protesters alike were confused. Protesters
aren’t banned from the space in front of the Convention Center – as evidenced
by the array of John McCain supporters and anti-Obama protesters that have

(source:  The Wall Street Journal)

Protesters sit on the curb in front of
the Colorado Convention Center as
police question them. (WSJ)
Police, protesters clash as Dems convene in Denver
Associated Press
By Judith Kohler and Colleen Slevin
Published on Monday, August 25, 2008
DENVER (AP) — Denver authorities were busy early Tuesday processing
about 100 people who were arrested when police officers and protesters
clashed about a mile from the site of the Democratic National Convention.

The confrontation erupted Monday night as police in riot gear tried to
disperse a crowd of about 300 people that was disrupting traffic near the
Denver City and County Building.

Police said they were forced to use pepper spray when members of the
crowd, some carrying rocks, rushed a police safety line. But one protester said
officers charged the protesters with no warning.

Those arrested faced charges for violating city ordinances including failure to
obey a lawful order, obstructing a public roadway and interference.

"The bonds have ben set low enough so that we believe that most people will
bond out in a relatively short time," said John Harrison of the Joint
Information Center, a command set up by city, state and federal authorities to
field media inquiries during the convention.
Andy Devine, center, rests in front
of the Federal Courthouse as a
protest goes on behind him during
the Democratic National
Convention, Monday, Aug. 25, 2008,
in Denver. (AP Photo/The Rocky
Mountain News, Brian Lehmann)
Harrison said two officers deployed pepper spray during the incident, while another officer shot pepper balls, similar to a paint
ball containing pepper spray.

As events escalated, officers led at least two people away as the crowd chanted "Let them go!" Some of the protesters threw
bags containing a colored liquid at police.

Kaycee Ryann and Eric Finch said they were in the crowd marching through Civic Center Park when police tried to split the
crowd into smaller groups.

"There was no warning. We weren't coming at them. They were coming at us," Finch said.

AP Television News video showed one group of protesters counting down from 10 and then charging at police. They quickly
retreated as police shoved them back. Some of the officers gripped their batons, one hand at either end, as they pushed the
protesters back.

Finch said he was struck by rubber pellets and a baton.

Polly White of the Joint Information Center there were no reports of police firing rubber pellets.

Ryann and Finch described themselves as anti-capitalists who were protesting ecological devastation. They said others in the
crowd were protesting other issues.

It was believed to be the first time a police-protester confrontation turned physical and the first time officers used any kind of
chemical spray since demonstrations began on Sunday, a day before the convention.

Ron Kovic, a paralyzed Vietnam veteran and anti-war activist who led a peaceful march the day before, hurried to the scene in
his wheelchair from his downtown hotel after he heard about the confrontation.

"We must remain nonviolent. We must have the high moral ground," he told the crowd.

"There's a powerful police presence here. The chill of 1968 is in the air of Denver," said Kovic, whose story was chronicled in
the book and movie "Born on the Fourth of July."

At least eight other people were arrested across the city on Monday, including five detained about a mile southeast of the state
Capitol. Four faced charges of disobeying a lawful order, two faced a trespassing charge and two faced false information charges.

Associated Press Writers P. Solomon Banda and Catherine Tsai contributed to this report.

Associated Press)

Protesters Clash with Police at US Democratic National Convention
VOA News
Published on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Police in riot gear arrested at least 50 protesters as the U.S. Democratic
National Convention opened in the western U.S. city of Denver, Colorado.

Police fired tear gas and clashed with demonstrators late Monday, as
authorities tried to disperse some 300 protesters gathered in front of a local
government building, the Denver City and County Building.

Authorities say the protesters were disrupting traffic and blocking public

The clashes took place about a mile from the site of the Democratic National
Convention. Hundreds of activists have converged in the area to protest issues
like the war in Iraq and climate change.

Protesters held the first of several planned rallies Sunday, with a peaceful
march through downtown Denver. Hundreds of demonstrators took to the
heavily-patrolled streets, waving signs and chanting, "Stop the torture, stop
the war."

Authorities have deployed riot police and secret service officers to secure the
perimeters of the convention sites, where tens of thousands of people are
gathered for the Democratic party events. Police have also set up temporary
jail cells to detain unruly protesters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

VOA News)

Police detain and arrest several
protesters near Civic Center Park
during day one of the 2008
Democratic National Convention in
Denver, Colorado, 25 Aug 2008
DNC Protest Group Threatening Suit Against Police
abc 7News
By Lane Lyon
Published on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
DENVER -- Saying any trust had been lost with police, organizers of the
protest group Recreate 68 announced plans Tuesday to sue the City of

“The promise at the beginning of all of this was, ‘We stay peaceful, they
stay peaceful,’” said Glenn Spagnuolo, co-founder of the group.

“That truce was violated,” Spagnuolo said.

"We are talking to attorneys about suing the city of Denver," said Mark
Cohn, also a founder of the protest group.

Speaking through a bullhorn to reporters outside the Denver Police
Department headquarters, the group’s organizers accused police of illegally
detaining and arresting of people Monday night, when tensions escalated
into a stand-off between police and protesters.
Video: 100 Protesters Arrested
Monday Night
Denver police said it made limited use of pepper spray paintball-type bullets when the crowd, estimated at 300 people, refused
requests to disperse

Many were observed carrying rocks and other items that could be used to threaten public safety, according to a statement
released by Denver Police Tuesday morning.

"Some individuals I represented in court had nothing to do with the protests at all,” said Brian Vicente, Executive Director of the
People’s Law Project. “They were penned-in and were not allowed to leave."

Denver Police Lt. Ron Saunier defended the actions of police.

"Through the indications of a lot of things we felt (the protesters) were getting ready to move down, start creating destruction of
private property, and possibly assaulting people," Saunier said.

Eighty-five people were arrested on charges of obstruction, disobeying lawful orders, and interfering with a police officer,
Saunier said.

Police surrounded the area of 15th Street and Court Place out of concern for public safety, Saunier told 7NEWS Tuesday.

"We pretty much circled around (the demonstrators) and contained them within that area in an effort to deescalate the situation
which it did," Saunier said.

Spagnuolo verbally fired back Tuesday, accusing police of whipping up tension with protesters in the hour before
demonstrators dawned bandanas and linked arms on Bannock St.

“(Police were) pushing them with their feet saying, ‘move out of my way,’ instead of treating these people with respect,”
Spagnuolo said, adding the incidents occurred when much of the media was not around.

"They were building up that confrontation and this is what it lead to, it was totally unneccary," Spagnuolo said.

"It became clear very early on, through the totality of all circumstances, that their intent was not to be there to express their first
amendment rights," Saunier said of the increased police presence in the park at that time.

“There’s a lot of footage out there where officers were taking quit a bit of abuse and remained very professional,” Saunier said.

Cohn disagreed and said the group is considering seeking $50 million in damages -- the same amount Denver was award by the
federal government for security.

“We're not sure what was done with that money but we think it's about time that some of the money go to people who've been
victimized and whose civil liberties have been violated during this convention," Cohen said.

Related Story:
August 27, 2008: Police Officer Tells Protester 'Back It Up, B*tch'

(source:  The Denver Channel .com)

DNC: Protesters, Police Walk Away from Convention Satisfied
Fort Collins:Now
By Jakob Rodgers
Published on Thursday, August 28, 2008
Protests ended with a whimper on Thursday at a Democratic
National Convention largely devoid of wide-spread
disturbances—leaving interested parties on both sides of the
barricades generally upbeat and satisfied.

A total of 141 people were arrested as of Wednesday at the
DNC, and a fraction of the amount of protesters authorities
prepared for actually showed up for the convention. A total
of 62 law enforcement agencies combined to prepare for
protests of up to 25,000 people, according to Malcolm
Wiley, spokesperson for the Joint Information Center. Yet,
the largest protest, a march from the Denver Coliseum to the
Pepsi Center, garnered an estimated 3,000 people.

Despite the fact that the number of demonstrators didn’t
meet expectations, protest organizers were happy with how
the week turned out.
Eric Bellamy
Glenn Spagnuolo, organizer of Recreate 68, said he was “very satisfied” with the protest events at the convention, claiming
several “substantial victories” by marching in areas they were originally not allowed access and negotiating with police for
peaceful resolutions to conflicts.

Recreate 68 is a coalition of groups that protested at the DNC with the aim of re-creating mass political participation that was
witnessed in the 1960s, according to the organization’s Web site.

Jodie Evans, co-founder of Code Pink, also voiced her pleasure with an event she deemed “an enormous success. The
organization is a group of mostly women aiming to end the war in Iraq and gain better government services such as health care.

“We intended to bring a peaceful message to the convention, and we were amazed with how embraced we were,” Evans said.

Both organizations are still dealing with the events of the past week, however, as both Evans and Spagnuolo said they plan to
file lawsuits concerning the arrest of two protesters, one of Code Pink and one of Recreate 68, at the puppet parade on Tuesday.

Spanuolo was also upset by some of the police decisions Monday night that led to an hour standoff between demonstrators and
officers. Ninety-one arrests were made and several protesters were pepper-sprayed.

“I really didn’t want anybody to get arrested this week, but for some reason there was some sort of tactical decision made by
the police Monday night that they were going to instigate a situation, because that is exactly what happened,” Spagnuolo said.

The incident was the first major altercation after several protests beginning over the weekend. An anti-Iraq war protest on
Wednesday garnered the highest number of protesters, as 3,000 people marched from the Denver Coliseum to the Pepsi Center,
military veterans of the conflict.

The four-hour march ended with staff members from Obama’s campaign agreeing to meet with members of Iraq Veterans
Against the War—an act that was aided by the Denver Police Department and Secret Service.

“That went great—as good as can be expected,” said Lt. Vince Porter of the Denver Police Department, who delivered the
message of the meeting to the protesters.

“We were prepared either wa —we were prepared for large number and we were prepared for small numbers,” said Wiley of the
entire event.

(source:  Fort Collins:Now)