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Occupy smackdown 

"Excuse me, do you like your fucking equipment, bitch?!"

An agitated blond man in an Aspen T-shirt yells at Mr. Clean, both hands raised to flip him off.

Mr. Clean turns his videocamera away from his argument with AJ Bridgewater, and captures what appears to be footage of his camera being smacked out of his hands by the man, followed by a brief scuffle. Moments later, the man appears to attack again.

Mr. Clean can have this effect on people. A regular visitor to the Occupy Colorado Springs protest in Acacia Park — who won't give his real name for fear of retaliation — he's been confrontational and juvenile with protesters, say Bridgewater and others with OCS. And while they say the blond man from Sunday's video wasn't part of their group, Occupiers have at times reacted to Mr. Clean's presence by shouting him down or implying the potential for violence.

"No doubt tensions are high and I'm sure my presence doesn't help," Mr. Clean says in an e-mail. "The thing is, I want this group gone."

Mr. Clean is upset that the city gave the protesters a revocable permit to occupy the sidewalk. He plans to bring his complaint directly to the office of Mayor Steve Bach this week, saying: "My goal is to make enough noise so that the mayor doesn't renew the permit when it comes due for renewal consideration [on Nov. 20]."

In videos available on YouTube, the man is vocal in his opposition to Occupy, and needling in his tactics: In one, he refuses to interact with the protesters, instead standing among them and making asides about them to his camera.

"I have cursed and yelled at these guys in the past," Mr. Clean says, "but I have never threatened anyone."

Sunday's attacks were unprovoked, he adds, and left him with "a sore neck and a couple of bumps and bruises." For his part, Bridgewater says the attacks were minor, and that Mr. Clean "was laughing the whole time ... and said, 'This is exactly what I need to shut you guys down.'"

Despite apparently having been attacked twice, Mr. Clean has yet to press charges. As to why, he offers this: "OCS protesters try to silence my dissenting opinion by calling the police — a government agency that, by all outward appearances, they despise. I think for this reason they are hypocrites and I don't want to stoop to that level."

— Chet Hardin

  • A protest provocateur tries to 'make enough noise' to doom OCS.

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