||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
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)