Mayor says no to Tent State overnight
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The City might turn on the sprinklers if the protesters don't abide by Denver's 11 p.m. curfew.
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Denver Councilwoman Carla Madison, whose district includes City Park, agrees with the mayor that overnight camping in the park is not an option. "If we say yes in City Park, I'm not sure how we could say no in Civic Center park," she says.
A college-age protest group that wants to camp overnight in City Park during the Democratic National Convention next month is going to have to find another place to sleep.
Mayor John Hickenlooper told radio host Mike Rosen, who writes a column for the Rocky, that Tent State University's plans for a sleepover for as many as 50,000 protesters are out of the question.
Councilwoman Carla Madison, whose district includes City Park, said overnight camping is not an option.
"We want them to have a good, successful event, and we're working with them to try to see what kind of possibilities can happen," Madison said. "But I don't see camping in the park as being one of those."
Jung has said allowing camping in the park is the best way to "retain control over the entire event."
The group, which received a conditional-use permit from the city, is expected to submit by Aug. 8 a detailed plan that covers everything from security to portable toilets, said Kevin Scott, event and film liaison for the Office of Cultural Affairs.
Madison, who lives across the street from the park, said one of her concerns is that an influx of people will descend on Denver to participate in a big sleepover.
"We could just get a lot of people just showing up to camp," she said. "People from out of state, if they found out that we were going to open up free camping in the park, would say, 'Hey, we can actually go to the DNC and stay for free. We don't have to pay $500 a night.' "
Madison said other protest groups could make similar requests if Tent State were given permission.
"My concern is all the Re-create '68 folks who've been wanting to sleep in Civic Center Park," she said, referring to the group that promised to make the bloody 1968 Democratic convention "look like a small get-together."
"If we say yes in City Park, I'm not sure how we could say no in Civic Center Park," she said.
Madison also is worried about the precedent it could set.
"Right now, we don't even let the Boy Scouts sleep in the parks. It isn't political. It doesn't have anything to do with any message or anybody. It's just that we don't do that," she said.
The downside, she said, is that no one knows where the protesters will go at 11 p.m.
"Everybody is batting around ideas and trying to confirm and calling around and things like that," she said. "But there is nothing that's even close enough to a possibility that I would feel comfortable to say."