Fire Weather Warning issued March 30 at 8:18AM MDT expiring March 30 at 6:00PM MDT in effect for: Cheyenne, Kit Carson
Bulldozers tore down tents and structures in a protest camp outside the Capitol just after midnight Tuesday.Police officers in riot gear closed several intersections, including Colfax and Broadway, and Lincoln and 14th, and forced protesters out of Civic Center Park.7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger talked to Police Chief Robert White at the park just before 1 a.m. White said protesters knew police would take action if they didn't move."We knew what to do and how to do it, but once the decision was made to do it tonight, it did require some planning over the course of the past couple days," said White.The encampment included makeshift wood structures, a Christmas tree and at least one television. A blue kayak and oscillating fan had also been lodged in the trees above the structures.Several fires were set as Denver police officers and Colorado State troopers moved into the park. Pictures posted on the State Patrol's Facebook page show officers trying to move protesters away from a fire so firefighters can move in to put it out.Protesters threw pieces of wood, parking cones, and other objects into the street between Civic Center and Lincoln parks, according to the State Patrol's Facebook page.Four people were arrested, Two on suspicion of arson and two for allegedly disobeying officer's orders.White met with protesters Monday afternoon, he told them their camp was illegal."It was clear they knew it was going to happen," said White.Though White told 7NEWS he did not share with protesters that police could move in Monday night."What is the plan in place to keep the Shanty-town from coming back?" asked Zelinger."Obviously, we're going to be here as long as they're going to be here. And we don't want to have to go through this again," said White.
Protesters March Throughout Capitol Hill, Downtown
One protester told 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger at 1:30 a.m., they will rebuild, even if law enforcement tears down the encampment again."It's going to happen again and again. Look across the country and see what's happened, this is a movement," said the protester.After being removed from Civic Center Park, protesters marched east to Colfax and Park Avenues while being followed by police in patrol vehicles and officers in riot gear."They evicted us, so this is all we have to do; go and march," said the protester. "We're trying to just take advantage of our First Amendment, freedom of speech, and they are kind of just following us all over town."Protesters continued their march after 2 a.m. to the 16th Street Mall."Where does the march take you? Where are you going to end?" asked Zelinger."We have no idea. We're going to march all night if we have to, until we're down to one person," said the protester.As of 6:30 a.m., protesters had not returned to Civic Center Park."I suspect that this probably will not get to this magnitude again," said White.