Occupy Denver And Excessive Displays Of Force
Last night at Occupy Denver the weather was chilly, grey, and damp. Two lines of riot police, dressed in their black Vader outfits and saying nothing, stood facing the camp, motionless. In reserve was another group of riot clad police wearing olive drab instead of black. Broadway and Fourteenth were blocked off by more police cars and vehicles than I have seen anywhere -- literally. Even the bike police were there. The bike police?!
It was scary. It was scary because when your government confronts you, not the bad guys, with thugs whose dress, posture, weapons, and demeanor convey violence, that's scary.
It was also scary because violence indeed begets violence. The absurd, overreaction of the police seemed designed to provoke violence. And if you collect sixty protesters, all that remained after the police moved in, there are certain to be some people who will react to police violence with violence of their own.
Another sad, scary day in a country I once had great hopes for.