Report Back: Denver Throws Down for #J20

From Denver:

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On January 20th, DC was on fire. Bold and beautiful comrades from across the United Snakes made their way to the streets of so-called Washington D.C. to loudly and fiercely set the standard for the coming 4 years. Barricades were erected and fires set to protect the permitted marchers from trigger happy riot cops, those who deployed all manner of chemical agents, flash bangs and concussion grenades. 230 comrades were arrested, many facing unprecedented felony charges and are threatened with up to 10 years of jail time. Please support their legal fund here.

Meanwhile, Denver was also unwilling to let this transition pass peacefully. Starting from the emergency march called the day after the election, and boasting nearly 2,000 attendees, to the call for action on inauguration day, we aimed to let it be known that the fight will not and does not end here.

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Comrades began to assemble in Civic Center Park starting at 8:00 am, merging with the permitted demo at 9:00am following the arrival of nearly 150 high school students. While speakers reminded the growing crowd that their event was to be “peaceful” and free of any agitators. Some of us “agitators” began to quietly call for the formation of a black bloc. As the march began, the bloc took to the front, quickly moving the still steadily growing group off of the sidewalks and into 15th St. Marshalls tried repeatedly to move the march back to the sidewalk, making contact with and complaining to police at several points, to no avail. About a quarter of the way through, anarchist comrades dropped a banner from a nearby parking garage reading “No More Presidents #Howbowdat,” inciting a roar of approval from the hundreds of teenagers and meme happy comrades below.

Before changing directions and heading towards 17th St, the bloc came into it’s first contact of the day with the vile cowards in Bikers Against Radical Islam. When confronted by the bloc and dozens of irate students, and while spewing hate speech and waving their small plastic ameriKKKan flags, the roughly ten bikers were quickly protected by those equally disgusting sounder of swine; the Denver Police Department. A small scuffle ensued, allowing several comrades to land blows before moving forward and avoiding arrest after cops moved in on all four directions.

Towards the end of the march, at the intersection of Broadway and Colfax, we were again met with the lewd and incoherent ravings of these bigots on bikes. Not willing to let up a second time, members of the bloc rushed forward to confront them and provide a line of protection for the contingent of high school students passing behind. Again, a scuffle ensued, prompting the pigs to attempt to trap protesters between SUV’s, a line of pigs on bikes, and the raving bigots. After several minutes of confrontation, and realizing the lack of reservation in police posturing, folks left the area to regroup for a second set of actions.

Actions continued around the city throughout the afternoon, including another demo and march through downtown held by a contingent of anti-fascist, anti-colonial and anti-capitalist comrades, as well as a banner drop from a pedestrian bridge above I-25 in the rapidly gentrifying north-side in support of the ongoing pipeline resistance in North Dakota and against all borders, pipelines and the fascist creep towards normalization.

At 6:00pm cops already had OC canisters and rubber ball guns as they circulated the few people who showed up on time. At 6:45pm around 200 people started marching through Marvin Booker plaza and onto 15th Street. Headed west down 15th towards Champa, the march quickly accumulated numbers on the way. After turning left onto Champa Street, the crowd made way to Speer Boulevard. By this point the march had grown significantly.

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More so than usual, the march was heavily populated with new blood; new faces ready to #DisruptJ20. Moving northbound on the southbound side of the Speer Boulevard against traffic, which effectively erected a barricade to block police vehicles from following. Someone in a SUV attempted to drive through protestors with no success.

Another left on Auraria Parkway and then cut through the Auraria campus. Soon the march faced off with Auraria police who politely asked protesters to take a different route. They were told to “fuck themselves” and the march carried on! They knew they were out-numbered. At this point the march reached the Colfax bridge, an entrance to take Interstate I-25 and shut it down. A large number of people quickly dropped off as the demo made its way up the bridge. At about 100 feet from the on ramp, a line of riot pigs had formed and shut down both sides of Colfax, Below, a gaggle of bicycle cops. On the Colfax bridge a 15 minute stand-off ensued that clogged up one of the cities main arteries. Over the loudspeakers the police declared the assembly “unlawful” and threatened everyone with arrest.  After some helicopter spotlight the cops started moving in to physically force protesters off the bridge. With numbers low, A tactical decision was made to march back downtown. As the tall buildings neared, the size of the march grew significantly large again. Cops scrambled to maintain control of the streets and folks stood off at several points, as snowballs, rocks, a hubcap, and other random shit was thrown at the cops. In this chaos, while crossing 15th going back to 16th street mall, the cops were able to split the march in half and arrested one person.

At 16th street mall the march dispersed and masked up comrades disappeared into the busy crowd, changed clothes and lived to fight again. Disrupt J20 was the most successful and largest radical march in Denver for years and that momentum seems to only be building.

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