Group aims to cause DNC chaos
In Denver this weekend, a group of anarchists who have pledged to disrupt the Democratic National Convention will hold a secret action camp to learn about medical training and legal rights and to practice nonviolent tactics.
Unconventional Denver wants to shut down, disrupt or delay the convention; storm events; and "ensure that the DNC is a thing of rowdy beauty."
The website suggests activists "hold" intersections to strand delegates in buses and "swarm" streets to force police to retreat.
The group has posted a schedule of events for certain days:
Sunday, the group wants to reclaim public space in the city. Monday, there will be actions against parties or restaurant outings and a "black bloc" gathering against capitalism. Tuesday, the group wants to shut down access to the Pepsi Center. And Wednesday and Thursday, there will be "creative actions" to address specific issues such as global warming, racism and criminal injustice.
"We don't want history to remember the Democratic National Convention in Denver as something that went smoothly," said Tim Simons with the self-described anarchist group, Unconventional Denver.
"We want people to know there was dissent and people spoke up," he said.
In the meantime, local governments in the region are inking contracts to send hundreds of law enforcement officers into Denver during the last week of August to work the convention.
Aurora will send nearly half its force to Denver, Jefferson County will ship more than 100 deputies and Arapahoe County is expecting to add 100.
Dozens of other agencies are sending officers: Colorado State Patrol, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Englewood, Littleton, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Douglas County and many others.
"We want to make sure we are adequately staffed for the number of people who are going to be here," said Sonny Jackson, a Denver police spokesman. He would not disclose what agencies will be participating or how many officers are expected.
"We respect everyone's First Amendment rights," Jackson said. "We hope that the citizens will come in and conduct themselves in a law-abiding and responsible manner."
With the contingent of local officers and federal agents and the money being spent on security from a $50 million federal grant, protesters worry about possible outcomes.