Protesters Will Occupy Colorado Springs Around Clock
No crackdown planned on protesters ‘occupying’ park
Colorado Springs police are taking a wait-and-see approach to the Occupy Colorado Springs protesters at Acacia Park.
Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt said Wednesday the protesters aren’t creating a disturbance, so the issue of whether they are violating the city’s year-old anti-camping ordinance isn’t a high priority.
“It’s one of those things where we’re not really receiving any complaints,” he said. “We have referred this matter to our Homeless Outreach Team. They’re the ones that deal with camping issues.”
The HOT team is out of town on a conference and returning Monday, Noblitt said. The anti-camping ordinance was passed last year in response to the homeless living in tent cities that sprung up along creeks running through Colorado Springs.
“When they come back, they’re going to go down and make contact with them. But at this point, we haven’t really received any complaints,” he said.
“But if we start receiving complaints, if they’re blocking paths down there, sleeping down there, we’ve made it clear to them that it would be in violation of our ordinances, and they can be arrested. We’re not saying we’re waiting until Monday. We’re just simply saying we made a referral to our outreach team,” Noblitt said.
Noblitt said police haven’t planned a crackdown on the protesters despite reports the protesters would be evicted Tuesday night.
“It was misrepresented that we had some kind of ultimatum and that at 11 o’clock last night we were going out and arrest a bunch of people. That was never the case,” he said.
The park downtown park is closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.
Earlier Wednesday, it was reported via Twitter that the protesters were working with City Council “on a solution.”
Council President Scott Hente said that was news to him as well as President Pro Tem Jan Martin.
“Certainly, you’re not going to tell me as a responsible journalist you’re using Twitter as an acceptable news source,” he said.
No protesters have been arrested in Colorado Springs since the “occupation” began nearly two weeks ago in sympathy with the loosely defined Occupy Wall Street movement. Occupy Wall Street has spread to cities across the country in the past month, encompassing dissatisfaction with tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, funding for education being cut and unemployment as the economy sputters.
Tents were set up on the corner of Bijou and Tejon streets near the Uncle Wilber Fountain and the protesters had set in stores of canned food, noodles and camping stoves under canopies.
Police told the protesters Monday morning that camping within city limits is prohibited, although they were within their rights to remain overnight on the sidewalk as long as they were not sleeping there.
Officers reiterated that message Tuesday during a meeting with three of the protesters.
Occupy Wall Street Protesters Sleep On The Street
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Protesters with the Occupy Wall Street movement will now be occupying Colorado Springs around the clock, with no plans to stop. On Friday, some protesters started sleeping on the corner of Bijou and Tejon Streets, near Acacia Park.
“As we grow, hopefully we’ll have a village here,” said Jason Warf, an organizer. “We would eventually like to be how New York is set up.”
Warf said a police officer stopped over the weekend to talk to protesters about the city’s ban on camping, but drove away without ticketing anyone.
“I know we do have an ordinance here locally against the homeless living in parks, but there’s a difference between occupying and camping,” said Warf, citing First Amendment rights.
A Colorado Springs Police sergeant told KRDO Newschannel 13 Sunday that any action to prevent protesters from sleeping on the streets would go through the city attorney’s office first.
Sunday marked the tenth day for the Occupy Colorado Springs protests. KRDO Newschannel 13 talked to protesters who are doctors, nurses, hairstylists and stay at home moms.
They said what they share is anger and dissatisfaction with the direction of the country, citing the wars, bank bailouts, tax rate for the wealthy and corporate influence on politicians.
“I don’t think people in this country realize how much of the legislation is actually written by lobbyists,” said protester Larry Tucker.
“We need to take that power back away from the corporations and back to the people,” said Raven Martinez.
Organizers said the movement continues to grow. The Occupy Colorado Springs Facebook pagehas nearly 800 fans. Organizers said on their best days so far, close to 100 people have taken to the streets.
They said they don’t plan to stop protesting until they see results.
One passerby to Sunday’s protest said he just hopes protesters remember their cause on election day.
“The bottom line, if you want change you have to do one thing, that’s go to the ballot box,” said William Brooks. “You’ve got to exercise your right to vote because without that, all this is all window dressing. You’re going to have those in Washington, Republicans and Democrats, that are just going to ignore you.”
For more information on Occupy Colorado Springs you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, find them on Facebook , or on Twitter at @occupycosprings
Wells Fargo bank closes amid Occupy Together protests
On Saturday, October 08, 2011, the Occupy Together protesters of Colorado Springs, CO mustered at 10:30 am in Acacia Park to celebrate their first complete day of 24/7 occupation protesting in support of the Occupy Wall Street cause. After a short general assembly meeting, a commonality among the movement reflecting a respect for democracy and free speech, the protesters began a march targeting all of the major bank branches in downtown Colorado Springs.
The first bank to get protested was Chase Bank on East Boulder Street, where the particularly bold chant of “Close your accounts” broke out, in addition to rallying cries that have been a staple of this protest so far.
The march then began south on Tejon Street with stops at the many downtown banks in the area, turning West on East Pikes Peak Avenue and South again on South Cascade Avenue culminating in a protest in front of the Wells Fargo Branch in the Merrill Lynch building. Wells Fargo closed its branch for the day with a large group of people clearing out of the building to chants of “Hey Wells Fargo, You can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.