Occupy Denver Marks Second Month By Shutting Down Streets

District Attorney Files Assault, Incitement, Riot Charges In Prior Incidents

Two months after their first protest, members of Occupy Denver took to the streets to renew their call for change.

Unhappy that a few fellow protesters have been charged with inciting a riot, assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest during previous incidents, the marchers called on Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey to resign.

The protesters come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some are business owners, some are employees. Some are students and some are unemployed.

Among the protesters is a 33-year-old man who gave his name only as Neil. He described himself as a business owner, father, husband and substitute teacher.

“I’ve been here since day one,” Neil said. “I firmly believe these people have a voice about corruption in our banking system.”

Neil told 7NEWS that he owns a bar and grill in Texas but that he’s lived in Colorado for about four years.

He’s not the only business owner taking part in the protests. David Anderson owns a storage shed company called A-Shed. He said he, too, has been on the front lines of Occupy Denver since it began.

“This is the first protest I’ve ever been involved with,” Anderson said. “I felt it was my duty as an American citizen because of the things that I’ve seen.”

Anderson said Wall Street and Washington aren’t his only concerns. He said he’s also concerned about local efforts to silence the Occupy movement.

“Those two police cars,” he said, pointing to two vehicles just a few feet away in Civic Center Park, “I’ve never seen them up this close before.”

“That’s intimidation," he added. "They’re trying to make us go away, and I don’t think they’re going to be successful.”

Lucas Ellison described himself as a former marine from Cheyenne, Wyo. He said he came down to Civic Center Park because he knew there would be news coverage of the events Thursday.

Ellison said the main problem with this country is that some corporations are corrupt. He said the solution is transparency.

“We need laws that take away some of the privacy of corporations,” he said. “And people need to boycott corporations that do not follow the rules, morals and ethics of people buying their product.”

Ellison said he knows that many people consider the protesters a nuisance.

“I think this protest absolutely is a nuisance. That’s why it’s getting attention,” he said. “That’s the purpose.”

A retired art teacher, who gave only her first name, Deborah, said this was her first day among the protesters.

She said she came down because, “We’ve moved away from a truly representative form of government. I think that money has too loud a voice.”

When asked if the ongoing protest was getting the message across, Deborah said, “I think the whole national Occupy movement will come to be seen as very important, and I think a big change will come from it.”

Nicole Sisneros hopes that it does.

“I’ve been homeless in Denver for five years now,” Sisneros said. “I moved here to get into the methadone clinic.”

Sisneros admits to drug addiction and mental health issues. She said she doesn’t camp out overnight with the Occupiers, but that she does spend time at Civic Center Park during daylight hours.

Some members of Occupy Denver don’t want her there, and didn’t want 7NEWS talking to her.

“She doesn’t speak for Occupy Denver,” one woman screamed. “How come a crazy, homeless (expletive) that drinks and assaults people gets on Channel 7 News?”

Several other protesters said they were angry about a weekend news report that stated that protesters tried to overturn a police car.

“We didn’t do that,” one of them said.

Sisneros said calmly that homelessness is a big problem in Denver and that homeless people need help.

The protesters said that despite a crackdown by police and despite the arrests, they have no intention of going away.

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