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“Don’t Shoot! Hands Up!” “Say His Name – George Floyd” – A Demonstration Against Racism – and Donald Trump in Northwest Denver

June 3, 2020

District One Denverites Demonstrate, protesting the murder of George Floyd and the national epidemic of police abuse

1.

They were spirited, determined and their outrage at the sadistic murder of Minneapolis resident George Floyd just the tip of the iceberg of a much deeper malaise – the darkness into which this country has descended and the speed with which it has happened.

While much large crowds gathered and demonstrated in Denver’s downtown area now for more than a week, this was a neighborhood effort. Events like this one are happening nationwide.

Chanting “Say His Name – George Floyd” and “Don’t Shoot! Hands Up!: they marched. I would guess – and it is a guess – that at some point swelled to something close to 600-700 people marching up and down Tennyson St. from Smiley Library at Berkeley Park to Vitamin Cottage Natural Foods’ Grocery on W. 38 Ave. Overwhelmingly white, still, their banners read “Black Lives Matter,” “No Justice, No Peace,” “I Can’t Breath,” “I Stand With You.” among others.

Here is four minutes of the march’s chants: .

The protest came off peacefully.

As elsewhere in the country, Denver has seen its share of unchecked police violence this past week.

The Northwest Denver demonstration comes a day after a prominent Denver civil rights attorney, Elizabeth Epps, resigned from the city’s “Use of Force” Committee after having been been shot by a rubber bullet and tear gas by the Denver police force she was trying to regulate. In a tweet to the Denver Police, Epps wrote:”After 3 years working on your Use of Force committee, I hereby resign.We met last Thursday with Chief Pazen. Hours later, you gassed me. You shot my back and legs up—from behind. Plenty of Black folks will shuck & jive for ya, it just can’t be me anymore..”

In another story – which gives a flavor of Denver police rioting – a 35 year old Lakewood man (Lakewood is a suburb just west of Denver) lost an eye and will need facial reconstruction after a projectile fired by police hit him in the face. Likewise, a young man was shot by Denver police with a pepper pellet as he was filming a protest demonstration on May 30. While police spokespeople have denied these allegations these incidents – and others – have been filmed.

2.

Nancy saw a notice on a community bulletin – a demonstration planned for this evening in our neighborhood, Northwest Denver, one that has experienced nothing short of radical demographic changes with so many working class and poor folk pushed out, many of them Chicano and a whole new slew of upper middle class overwhelmingly white folk having moved in.

We both very much wanted to take to the streets and join those who have been demonstrating day in, day out in Denver and the surrounding area… but photos and video footage showed people wearing very few masks. Forget social distancing, it just didn’t exist. Nancy at 69 and myself at 75 with a history of (minor but still) respiratory problems, we resisted our temptation to join the swelling ranks of the bigger demonstrations downtown.

But now one was announced in our neighborhood, one we have lived in since 1976. Same house. We figured it would be small and thought it might be Coronavirus-safer to attend. I was saying to myself that I’d be surprised if there were 25 people, maybe 50 at the most. We were glad for the opportunity to “hit the streets.” Nothing, and I mean nothing is more important than this today, and while there are risks, we both knew that we had to do it. Our neighbor and friend Jamie Roth – who later wondered if he wasn’t the oldest person in attendance – felt likewise, as did another long-time acquaintance and fellow human rights activist, Martha Crowley, long associated with the Sisters of Loretto. A fifth “old timer”, Kathy Hamilton, local landscape architect was also there.

Everyone else – or pretty much was young, young by my definition meaning under 45 years of age. They came out as couples, in families, in groups of friends, fighting for their future, we were doing likewise as once we had fought for ours – against racism and foreign wars, against police abuse and for a healthier environment. Same struggle, fifty years on.

 

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. William Conklin permalink
    June 3, 2020 10:04 pm

    This is encouraging it sounds like I might get to relive the 60s before I leave the planet.

  2. June 4, 2020 1:32 pm

    Totally with you on this one. Say hello to Jamie and Martha. Thanks for marching and for then writing. John

Trackbacks

  1. „Nestřílejte! Ruce vzhůru!“ „Řekněte jeho jméno – George Floyd“ – Demonstrace proti rasismu – a Donaldu Trumpovi v severozápadním Denveru – Komunistický list DIALOG

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