In the Middle of Occupy Denver – What I Saw [PICS BELOW]

As you’re reading this I’ll likely be in bed after covering the Occupy Denver movement downtown for 10 hours.  Hopefully my journalism was fair, objective and accurate.

Covering protests are challenging because any observations I make, how I phrase words and my tone of voice can be interpreted as bias.

There’s no doubt there’s a lot of passion behind the protests and a lot of skepticism too.    I tried to be as neutral as possible while making significant observations.

My work began tonight/today after a regular shift at work.  I got home but I couldn’t sit still as the Occupy Movement was making news.  I headed downtown with the intent to tweet everything I saw.

You can read all of my twitter posts here.  You’ll have to scroll down quite a bit to see my first tweet with the #occupydenver hashtag.     I did quite a bit of tweets.

There was so much I saw and experienced, it’s hard to put everything in a nutshell.    But here are my impressions:

On the Protestors:

-Most protestors wanted to be peaceful.  Some tried to echo this attitude with megaphones.  They were successful at peace for the most part.

-A very small minority of protestors seemed to be trouble makers.  One suggested to break into the Governor’s house. At the end of the protest, some were yelling a lot of cuss words at police and calling them pigs.   It was clear these few protestors were trying to bait police.

-While there was no clear leader or organizer, some protestors wearing orange vests tried to self-police the crowd.  In many cases they were successful by removing drunks who were causing trouble. They also did a good job of keeping people from entering Broadway.

-Rumors were rampant in the crowd.  Several times some protestors announced with assurance police were coming at a specific moments.

-Spirits were high and there was a lot of comradery among protesters.

On our presence

-Someone said they saw a protestor throw a rock at our news unit.  I didn’t see this.

-I mentioned on air that some protestors seemed to be aggressively posturing at the capitol building.   Later we were yelled at by a guy with a mega phone who said we were promoting violence on air.

-Many protesters were happy we were there to document and observe and thanked us.

-One protestor started verbally attacking the wife of one of my  co-workers.

-One protestor was a champ and stood behind our crew and looked out for us as encounters between some protestors and police got intense.

-People who were able to see our live video coverage said we did a good job and actually came up to us on scene to shake our hands.  That felt good.

On Police

-I expected people to physically resist once police started breaking down and removing tents.  That didn’t happen.  Protestors mainly watched officers in riot gear dismantle tents methodically.

-With loads of vulgarities tossed at police towards the end of the protest, officers didn’t seem phased at all.  They remained stoic and reserved.

-Organization was clear.  It was clear there was a plan to surround protestors bit by bit.  It also seemed police didn’t move in quickly.  They waited until the weary went home and the crowd got smaller.

Overall:

In the end it was a fascinating scene to see everything play out.  Props to the peaceful protestors.  Props to the police who restrained themselves despite some pretty inciting comments from some people.   With the exception of a few bad protestors, this event didn’t result in serious injury or death.

While some have said there is no clear message among the protestors, it is clear they don’t like corporate greed and its influence over government.   Here are some of my cell phone pics:

About these ads

8 thoughts on “In the Middle of Occupy Denver – What I Saw [PICS BELOW]

  1. C Schneider

    I followed your tweets all night and was impressed with your comments and observations. I felt you were very fair and reported what you saw with no bias. Job well done!

    Reply
  2. James

    By devoting two or three paragraphs to explaining how you tried to be objective, you made me think this was definitely going to be a negative hit piece on the protesters. Actually it wasn’t bad.

    I just wish that instead of saying most were peaceful and a few were not, you tried to look into the motives and affiliations of the agitators. That might have been an interesting story. It came out that the DC protest was infiltrated by a provocateur trying to make things turn violent in order to discredit the movement and frighten the public. He mostly failed, but succeeded in getting a bunch of innocent people maced. I have no doubt some of that is happening in Denver.

    By the way, Governor Hinkenlooper needs to stand up to those pressuring him to stop the occupations. Short of calling out the National guard, he doesn’t have that power, just ask Bloomberg. The more he tries, the worse he’s going alienate his constituents, and the worse he’ll look when he fails.

    Reply
    1. Tolulope

      hello,we, The Chimagels are sotuprpers of the occupy we are the 99 percent movement.So we composed, produced, played a song about it.You can hear and download the song as often you like on youtubeWe guess, it would be helpful to sing this song during demonstrations worldwide.We guess, a common hymn or Anthem would be helpful for our targetsplease click on the URL wearethe99percent1 below

      Reply
  3. straight1straight

    I am off to sleep in Post Office square in Brisbane as part of Occupy Brisbane.

    I hope our authorities are a bit more civil than those in denver. They didnt have to move in. They didnt have to take such risks. They didnt have to squash the voice of the many. They chose to, they must own that choice and live with what that says about them as human beings living at such a critical time in human history.

    As one speaker said at todays rally in Brisbane, ‘when good men stand silent, f#@kheads rule’.

    Brisbane seemed to be similar to other such protests in that there was a lot of differing interests represented. It was however very clear that the majority of speakers were critical of the nature of corporate law and the way that corporations act in the world. They were very critical of the close relationship between very rich and powerful corporations and the government. Remember, there was a corporate coupe in this country in the past year. Julia Gillard toppled Kevin Rudd when Mr. Rudd wanted to put high taxes on what he called ‘Mining Super Profits’. With the backing of the miners Julia toppled Kevin and to the eternal shame of the Labor party in Australia, they supported here in reversing those new taxes.

    We have had enough, and we are indeed the lucky ones. I cant imagine what it is like to live in Indonesia or China… or god forbid, America.

    Reply
      1. Asya

        CAPITALISM creates ELITE CRIMINALS. BANKERS. DRUG LORDS. INEQUALITY. INSECURITY. GREED. RUTHLESS COMMUNISM. NWO. NAZI. TERRORISM. LAZY PEOPLE. REBEL POLITICIAN. ANARCHY. worst is WAR etc.. etc..CAPITALISM was disgened only for CORRUPT OPPORTUNISTIC MANIPULATIVE LAZY POLITICIAN. BANKERS. LAWYERS. DRUG LORDS. JUDGES. CRIMINALS. DICTATORS. RULERS. KING. SULTANATE. EMPEROR etc. etc..HARD WORKING PEACE LOVING HAPPY HONEST SOCIETY were always the slave victim and poorly starve to death.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s