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DNC C.I.R.C.A. Field Report
Field Report by C.I.R.C.A. In-Bed journalist Jesus-id from the DNC in Denver.
Riot Cops, Democrats, Clowns and Peaches!!
Denver DNC 2008 : C.I.R.C.A. Field Report
Submitted by Anonymous on Thu, 08/28/2008 - 12:58
Monday, August 25th - Denver, CO
We arrived to the convergence center in Denver on Brighton Street, overshadowed by the Pepsi Center, via clown car, excited to play games with our many new friends in Denver. What we saw when we got there :
A whole bunch of well-organized and well-educated individuals who were ready to make their voices heard, and who were sick of being squashed by the corporate-media-police-state-conglomerate. Everybody was gearing up to head into the "shit" - Downtown Denver. It seems that anyone who departed the convergence space in a personal automobile was immediately pulled over. I learned later that the Denver Police had rented a space across Brighton. When one carload was stopped, someone rode their bike down to the scene to provide legal support. When he arrived, the police arrested him, deleted pictures he had taken of the incident from his camera, and erased the People's Law Project phone number from his cell. He was arrested and charged with, literally, Pedestrian Use of a Sidewalk. He was later released. (The buddy system is highly recommended for this kind of reconnaissance.)
We decided that it would be a better, more fun idea to ride the bus! Just before we boarded, a group of four young people arrived at the space, very distraught. One girl was crying. They had just been pulled over, and had their car impounded.
"We just got totally fucked by the cops," one said.
On the bus, three Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clowns and myself (their In-Bed journalist) along with the four who had just gotten their car impounded (we helped them out by paying their bus fair) rode downtown telling really shitty monster jokes the whole way.
We got off the bus and started to wander, down the 16th street mall. Our mission was to pass out Complementary M-Peaches: peaches with red M's painted on them in beet juice, with Nancy Pelosi's phone number. "Thank her in advance for bringing the M-Peach to the table!" Pretty clever.
It had been about fifteen minutes since we had gotten of the bus, when a group of fifteen to twenty bicycles with police officers on top of them swarmed across the intersection and surrounded us. I ducked into the Subway on the corner so I could try and get some pictures with minimal harassment. This didn't work out so well because the camera I had sucks.
The officers were very concerned that the peaches would become projectile. We assured them that the peaches were simply a free treat for the many people walking around, who surely must be getting hungry.
One officer was quoted saying, "If we find out that those peaches are being thrown, I don't think you're gonna like what we're gonna do to you."
A little later, plain clothes police (white polo shirts, black slacks) holding gas masks warned us to stay out of the park, unless we "like the taste of tear gas."
Further up the 16th Street Mall, which was our main theater, on Cleveland Place, a cacophony of riot cops and media were humming about. We got closer to bring up everyone's spirits, and to take some photos, when the police formed a line and began pushing everyone back up to the 16th Street Mall. We showed everyone how to "back it up." Two school buses hauled some 200 people of to the police station to be processed, "like American cheese!"
After a little more mingling and a lot of mean looks from the cops, we walked up to Broadway, and crossed Colfax. Standing in the intersection, a gaggle of about five police clowns warned us once again to stay out of the Civic Center Park where the Recreate '68 Rally was being held. We went in anyway. It seems that the Denver Police Force had successfully put a damper on the rally, by rounding up and detaining the majority of its attendees.
We hung around there for a little while, deciding what to do next. We were almost out of M-Peaches, our mission was near completion. We went toward 14th Avenue, past another line of riot cops in the park, who were completely amused and taking pictures of the clowns with their personal cameras and cell phones. Then, like robots, once they were done with us, smiles immediately dispersed and they said, "OK now get out of here."
We had a little chat with a gentleman from Colorado Indy Media before continuing out of the park down 14th Street. (*NOTE: I am a resident of California, and I am in no way affiliated with Colorado Indy Media, but I felt I needed to add my little bit of this dynamic and complicated story for y'all to read. After this adventure, I am strongly considering purchasing a video camera so I can contribute to the Indy Media Network. This shit is CRUCIAL!!!!!!)
Walking down 14th Street, I called my mom in San Diego, just to let her know that we were all OK, and to tell her a little about what was REALLY going on in Denver, not just what people were seeing on the "news." She told me that the local San Diego network had cut into their DNC coverage to show the Chargers game. Big surprise.
SUV s with ten riot cops hanging off the outsides paraded down 14th, waving at us and giving us the peace sign. What a bunch of assholes.
We walked past the U.S. Mint on 14th, and turned down Federal Row, AKA Stout Street (where there was some insane action the night before, so I hear). On one intersection, we were discussing the police and detainee situation, when a fat old white pig of a cop (no offense meant to the cops, unless of course you are a fat white pig of a cop) approached and said in an instigating tone, "You know what, this is America. Why don't you get out? I don't have to hear it from your mouth. Take a hike. Seriously, get out of here."
This pissed me off a little. These fuckers are supposed to be keeping us safe, not tying to incite fights with the general public. This was not professional at all, and honestly, this type of behavior would be expected from someone like me, not a 50 year old Denver cop.
"You know what, I got a question," I said to this motherfucker. "Why can't we talk to YOU like that?"
"Because I'm older than you," was his argument.
I corrected him, by informing him it was because he had a gun. This type of exchange the police is really not recommended in that kind of situation. They really can do whatever they want to you and make up a bullshit cover story later. I am just a real prick. What do you expect, I'm from California.
Apparently, the Denver PD was the only Police Department in the nation that would accept those officers who were discharged from the LAPD after the Rodney King beating. Very interesting...
"The police department is like a crew : It does what ever it wants to do..."
This was the extent of our action. I just thought I would share a little bit of the kind of behavior I witnessed from the Denver Sheriff and Police Departments. Big thanks to C.I.R.C.A., Captain Cookie Chaos, General Lackey and the new Denver C.I.R.C.A. recruits. Thanks to everyone at the convergence space (we heard about the police seizure when we got back to S.D. last night, what a bunch of bullshit!), Food Not Bombs, Tent State University, and those who came to the Rebel Clown training course.
About me : I am Jesus-id, I used to write a 'zine called Plastic Fact Eaters, and I play in two bands - Dreaded Solution and Blood Stained Reality. Thanks to Antidote for playing an awesome set in San Diego on Friday, as well!
Keep fighting these bastards. Stand and be true!