August 21, 2008 News » Cover Story

Want to protest? 

Denver police have set up holding pens, in case protests at the Democratic National Convention get too unruly. The city's leaders have passed a law barring people from carrying certain protesting "tools" (chains or quick-setting cement) and noxious substances (urine or "feces bombs") that could be used to ward off authorities.

Against these ominous developments, protesters will still flock to Denver during the convention to cast light on their chosen causes.

"The center of the world is going to shift from the Olympics to Denver next week," says Colorado Springs activist Eric Verlo, explaining why he wouldn't imagine missing the week's events. Verlo has helped organize protests for the week with the Recreate 68 Alliance, a group that has drawn some fire for recalling the violence that marked the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Though Verlo one of the St. Paddy's Day Seven and a Democratic State Convention arrestee has had a few brushes with police, he says the group's name actually references the intensity of 1968, and he insists that getting arrested is something he tries to avoid.

For what it's worth, Verlo has a few suggestions for protesters wanting to avoid trouble:

Stay with friends.

Be orderly.

If you see protesters preferring mayhem to message, try to get them to behave, or, if that fails, get away from them.

And, per Denver's new ordinance, think twice about carrying around carabiners, chains, locks, cement or bottles of urine.

Recreate 68 has planned protesting training sessions, multiple marches, speeches and concerts during the week, including a free Tuesday afternoon concert by seminal hip-hop group Public Enemy at Civic Center Park. Details are at recreate68.com.


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