Sen. Greg Brophy Wants Those Hippies Gone

FRIDAY UPDATE 6:30AM: After an apparent standoff most of the night, police moved in after 6AM and are, as of this writing, clearing out tents and other structures from Lincoln Park. Media reports upwards of 1,000 protesters overnight.


UPDATE #3 10:45PM: Police appear to be preparing to enforce the order that protesters not camp in the area surrounding the Veteran’s Memorial. A sizable crowd has formed in the park.


UPDATE #2: 9NEWS reports:

[I]n a statement Thursday morning, Governor Hickenlooper clearly stated that the protesters have until Thursday night to pack their bags and leave. He claims that although he agrees that these protesters have a right to speak their mind – their camping out overnight could be dangerous to the public.

Mark Silverstein, the ACLU legal director, felt that the posting of tents could be a “symbolic speech that’s protected by the First Amendment.”

“I’m not saying they have a legal right in court to keep those tents there,” Silverstein went on to say. “We’d ask the question: Is there a way the government can accommodate the expression without having to shut it down, without having to clear people out of the park?”


UPDATE: In a tense press conference a few minutes ago, Gov. John Hickenlooper, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, and Attorney General John Suthers say (again) that protesters can’t camp where they are, specifying an 11PM-5AM period when they are not permitted to occupy the park. No word on any specific enforcement planned, but Occupy Denver protesters are interpreting Hickenlooper’s remarks as an imminent threat–and calling for backup.


FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:

With more than 100 people now camped out in Civic Center Park between Lincoln and Broadway, about 60 yards from Hickenlooper’s office, Sen. Greg Brophy issued a statement Thursday morning calling on the governor to take action.

“All of Colorado is watching and the Governor has already set a dangerous precedent by allowing this to happen,” said Brophy, R-Wray…

Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock aren’t certain what to do about the growing tent city of protesters even after meetings on Wednesday, after which they released a joint statement.

“The Occupy Denver protesters are on State property. The State and City are working together to find a solution that balances Occupy Denver’s First Amendment rights with growing concerns around public safety and public health in violation of city ordinance and state law.”

…Arresting all the protesters on misdemeanors and expecting them to be jailed is unrealistic, leaving Hickenlooper to joke Tuesday that the best solution may just be waiting for the weather to get colder.

For one thing, supporters of the Occupy Denver encampment–far more than ever appear on the site of the protest at any given time–are all linked by social networking technology. Part of the “unrealistic” nature of forcibly dismantling their encampment is the likelihood that thousands of people would instantly descend on it the moment police began preparations to do so. And yes, if the mass arrest of 100 people is something authorities feel uprepared to carry out, the arrest of several thousand is pretty much out of the question.

We are kind of wondering, though, what Sen. Greg Brophy, notable gun-toting mountain biking GOP tough guy, thinks the mass arrest and forcible dismantling of Occupy Denver would look like. And whether he’d really like to take responsibility for such a thing.

86 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. John Tzekara says:

    Now that it is clear he is in favor of jack-booted thugs arresting peaceful protesters I’m sure he would be a shoe-in for any primary.

  2. Craig says:

    You soil the name of hippies by your headline and besides which, Sen. Brophy is way too young to even know what hippies are and what they stood for.

  3. ajb says:

    It’s easy to criticize when you’re not the one making a decision.

  4. Mike Collins says:

    It seems to me that it is the responsibility of local and state government to protect and encourage the right to peaceably assemble and specifically not to establish “Free Speech Zones” which only applies to the President and the Secret Service. Of course the conservatives are adept at cherry picking the Constitution and know no limits in invoking obscure laws to usurp “THE LAW of the LAND”  Another thing conservatives excel in, shooting first and asking questions later.  Diplomacy is not in the tool kit.  Diplomacy without carrots is aggression and their is not a line separating war from sports, to them both are spectacles to be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of their man caves.  Yes, they tend to be girly men.

    By encouraging, I mean providing sanitary facilities as well as logistics.  As far as making a move on those encamped, I agree with the others that to inflame this situation would give the Denver movement the “martyr” that is required to engage those that would if they could and will if they must. The Saturday gathering will give us all an idea of the potential. Message to conservatives: “The Left is Right”

    The First Amendment (Amendment I) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.

    Originally, the First Amendment applied only to laws enacted by the Congress. However, starting with Gitlow v. New York, 268 U.S. 652 (1925), the Supreme Court has held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the First Amendment to each state, including any local government.


  5. Early Worm says:

    Hasn’t history shown that the most effective way to deal with peaceful civil disobedience is a show of force?  Bring out the police dogs and the water cannons.  That will show them and it will get the public sentiment on your side.  If you mace a few and crack a few heads, all the better.  Bull Connor, Mayor Daley, these were men of action.    

    • ArapaGOP says:

      You seem to have missed the update. Mushenlooper is your Bull Connor now!

      I’m delighted that Suthers has finally knocked some sense into Mushenlooper. I look forward to an orderly Broadway tonight!

      • Wong21fr says:

        Why are you strolling that section of Broadway tonight?

        I know it’s an area known for certain late night pleasures….

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I’m not saying the ‘looper is all that much of a street brawler, but if you’ve ever stood next to Suthers ( . . . probably all of 4’ 9″ would be my guess) you’d know he’s probably incapable of knocking sense, or anything else, into a smurf.

        • ArapaGOP says:

          You’re a regular here, and we’re polite to each other, so I assume that you were not one of the many people defecating in Lincoln Park. I assume you didn’t have anything to do with tapping the power illegally. And I assume now that you know these things were happening, you agree with the decision by your Democrat governor to finally put a stop to it. Or don’t you?

          • Irish Patti says:

            unfounded rumor, moron. We had generators and batteries. I guess you don’t know an adjective from a noun, or just don’t know how to spell DEMOCRATIC dumbass. I worked as a medic everyday, I was there; you weren’t. I cared for hundreds of people everyday.

            I may be a godless commie to you, but I am pretty sure the guy you believe in said whatever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me. We were feeding the hungry, comforting the sick and clothing the naked. We are more christian than you will ever be.  

    • BlueCat says:

      Looks Borg Brat completely missed your point. Shocked, eh?

    • DavidThi808 says:

      When you have a small group that does not have resonance then shutting it down hard usually does work. But when you have protests that are due to many people who are fundamentally upset and see no other alternative – this makes things worse.

      In the Civil Rights struggle, in the Vietnam war protests, in the Arab Spring, the pressure exists and peaceful protest is the best way of releasing that pressure. A lot of people figure the system is rigged and voting makes no difference. If demonstrations are shut down, that’s one more avenue that is shut off.

      And people will be surprised when things get worse after this happens?

  6. Wong21fr says:

    Set up some cell phone jammers prior to sending in the police and negate the ability of the protestors to Tweet for help.

    Cut off the means of communication, cordon off the area, then sift some heads.

    • ArapaGOP says:

      I see no reason to supply those services to people who use them to break the law. Cut off their precious Tweets!

      • Wong21fr says:

        And then ArapaGOP is allowed to seek his illicit pleasure in peace.

      • RedGreen says:

        are also breathing Colorado oxygen. Any way we can cut that off? That’ll learn ’em.  

        • ArapaGOP says:

          When liberals say ridiculous things like this. There is a difference between a mass communication device being used to start a riot and breathing. Maybe not to you, but to every reasonable person on this earth.

          So enjoy how extremely witty you are!

          • Aristotle says:

            Okay, Comrade A-GOP.

            Did you ever answer Ralphie’s observation about tea partiers ignoring the rule of law?

          • ClubTwitty says:

            All communications–say from journalists covering the matter–should be stopped?

            “Ve haf learnt that these people use this intertubz device to spread ill harmonious thoughts!  In ze name of order ve haf shut down all ze intertubz and ze tweeter, just as our allies in the Syrian Regime haf done.”

            Remind me again why you hate Freedom?  

      • MADCO says:

        a) reason to supply those services to people

        Because we paid for them.

        2) You may be smiling at the gov’t decision to silence your opposition tonight but once the gov’t gets going it may not agree with you who the opposition in need of silencing is.*


        I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. ~  Stephen G Tallentyre 1906


        …do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God…. unless I don’t agree with someone.

        Having voluntarily sworn (affirmed) and worn the uniform, I am sure you didn’t really mean to add the bold above.

      • ClubTwitty says:

        Obviously the Founding Fathers ™ only meant to protect discourse that was polite and politic, according to some random conservative poster many decades in the future.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      WTF?  Are you nugging futz??

      A cell phone jammer is even less discriminate than a shotgun.  Do you think that only hippy cell phones will be jammed??   No one else in the vicinity would need a cell phone to communicate, report an emergency, or check Coloradopols??

      Why do you fascists always have to go straight to lunacy?

      • RedGreen says:

        You’re not thinking big enough. If the police just spray gallons of pepper spray throughout Capitol Hill and downtown Denver, then everything will be easier on everyone. Maybe use the sprinklers.

      • Wong21fr says:

        I was thinking of the most effective way of isolating the group that had opted to remain in order to disperse them quickly.  I was also assuming that the tweets calling for backup would of had the detrimental effect of bringing in the professional rioters who look for excuses to exaggerate a situation.  In hindsight, the protest was probably always too small and static to allow these professionals the environment to actually operate.

        I wasn’t thinking of whether or not it would be morally correct and what the 2nd order effects would mean.  It was a theoretical exercise.

      • Wong21fr says:

        I was thinking of the most effective way of isolating the group that had opted to remain in order to disperse them quickly.  I was also assuming that the tweets calling for backup would of had the detrimental effect of bringing in the professional rioters who look for excuses to exaggerate a situation.  In hindsight, the protest was probably always too small and static to allow these professionals the environment to actually operate.

        I wasn’t thinking of whether or not it would be morally correct and what the 2nd order effects would mean.  It was a theoretical exercise.

  7. allyncooper says:

    After all, it worked for the Russians against Napoleon and Hitler. But then again I don’t think the relatively mild Denver winter is any match for a Russian winter.  

  8. DavidThi808 says:

    Senator Brophy demanded action. And subsequently Governor Hickenlooper, Mayor Hancock, and AG Suthers then stated people had to leave.

    So Senator Brophy has ultimate authority in Colorado?

  9. DavidThi808 says:… And pretty clearly Hickenlooper is going to be the one tied to tonight’s action – Hancock and Suthers are getting no mention.

    If this goes South say goodbye to Hick’s Vice President ambitions. (It’s the Republican primary where police arresting peaceful protestors is a plus.)

  10. But that could be a ruse to throw them off on the timing, so I don’t know.

  11. Ray Springfield says:

    Colorado has a rich history of Governor’s taking action against citizens. I see no political gain from this. I don’t understand it. One day after the Governor announces a company coming to Denevr, we have this.

    I hope that non-violence prevails.

  12. Or, more accurately, like a co-ordinated whining session from conservatives intent on disrupting the movement.

    Seeing increasing references to Freeper posts calling for mass complaints about the various Occupy protesters, and apparently an increasing number of infiltration attempts designed to make encampments essentially untenable due to rabble-rousing or other disruption.

    People being forced on the move tonight in Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City and NYC at the least, in addition to Denver.

    And clever to do it on a work day; if this had been tomorrow night there would have been many more people flocking to the defense of the camps.  As it is, tomorrow night might see a large “return force” and the weekend rallies will be that much larger for stirring the hornet’s nest.  Remember, if you go, be non-violent.

  13. DavidThi808 says:

    Best sources are the Denver Post (live video on the website) and KDVR (they had a live report at 11:00).

  14. gaf says:

    the City of Denver settled (paid out $200,000 to settle) the last lawsuit from the police overstepping in their response to protest assemblies during the 2008 Democratic Convention. Have the powers that be learned anything from that Denver experience?

  15. ScottP says:

    The OccupyWherever protests seem to have a lot more than usual.

    If the campers had SOMETHING they were protesting then I’d be on their side, but: “We’re generally upset with stuff” doesn’t cut it for me.

    “What do we want?!”


    “When do we want it?”


    • DavidThi808 says:

      That the system treat everyone equally and that everyone has an opportunity.

      • ScottP says:

        The Occupy Wall Street protests were because people are getting tired of out-going CEO’s getting million dollar bonuses after laying off tons of people. I get that.

        What is the purpose behind the Occupy Denver protests?

        Maybe the actual protesters need to do a better job of policing themselves. If you’re just there to camp out and taunt the police, then you shouldn’t be welcome.

        • sxp151 says:

          Basically against corporate power, in solidarity with the New York protests. They view it as a national/global issue, and why should they confine themselves to a couple of blocks in New York? Your claim that it’s all about bonuses really misses the point, I think.

          The ability of large corporations to get pretty much anything they want is a huge deal and pervades pretty much everything. They evade taxes, they profit without creating jobs, they kill any serious regulations, and they’ve escaped any penalty for destroying the economy, all because they basically own everyone in the system. The whole government is run for the benefit of the extremely wealthy owners of these corporations. We’ve basically accepted that it must be this way and has always been this way. The protesters disagree.

          It’s a bit hard to explain to someone who doesn’t imagine any alternative. Imagine protesters in Eastern Europe 20 years ago trying to explain to a committed communist what they were protesting.

          “We oppose communism.”

          “So do you want higher-quality bread on the store shelves?”

          “No, we want an end to the whole system.”

          “I don’t get it. Do you want more fuel-efficient cars?”

          “That would be nice, but an end to the whole communist system would be nicer.”

          “OK, OK, I think I’ve got it. You want more flex-time and to wear jeans on casual Fridays, am I right?”

          • ScottP says:

            It’s like Big Business keeps poking us in the head and we keep yelling “Stop it!” at Government while Big Business just snickers and us and does it again.

          • cunninjo says:

            but I don’t understand why they think yelling at the financial industry will accomplish anything. Large protests seem to be more effective when they are directed at politicians concerned about maintaining a good reputation.

            They are less effective when directed at multinational financial corporations that aren’t really making any money off those protesting anyway.

            If you want to change the behavior of government, protest and VOTE.

            If you want to change the behavior of a corporation, you have to go after their bottom line. An extreme measure would be to tank the stock market by coordinating a mass 401k withdraw and a run on the banks. But, that probably wouldn’t earn you much support from the rest of the country.  

        • Aristotle says:

          What was the purpose there?

  16. sxp151 says:

    the police started breaking down tents and such.


  17. The 9 News live feed is black; the Denver Post feed is still up, but it’ll remain crappy until the sun comes up, as it’s too distant to pick up the tents that the protesters were actually guarding.

    So far very peaceful, but the way they’re going about it means that city center traffic will be a mess this morning.

    The CSP is announcing that the park will remain closed indefinitely.  That’s not going to sit well with the protesters, I don’t think.

  18. The protesters have been told that they’ll be arrested within the next few minutes if they don’t take the core tents down.  Police are moving in to take action now.

    The protesters argue that they’ve been advised that those tents are on city property, not state, and that the city does not have any complaint about them so far.  Peaceful resistance and arrests seem inevitable.

  19. Say Hey Kid says:

    One Republican complains and the Occupy people are gone within hours.  

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