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Monday, August 25, 2008

DNC Protesters Say They Feel Like Political Prisoners

Video showing protesters as heavily armed police keeping them in the demonstration zone, found here and shown below.

While the Democratic National Convention is kicking off it's first day with multiple speakers preparing to speak to the crowds inside, protesters outside the Pepsi Center are complaining about feeling like prisoners as heavily armed police surround them.
As the video above shows there is a heavy police presence outside the Pespi center keeping protesters in the demonstration zone which has been set up in Denver.

Associated Press
reports that the Recreate 68 group showed up and said they would not return after seeing the limitations of where they could move about while protesting the Democratic convention.

The demonstration area is a 47,000-square-foot zone protesters have nicknamed the "Freedom Cage" The zone is approximately 700 feet away from the Pepsi Center where Democratic supporters, officials, delegates and lawmakers are conducting their convention.

Mark Cohen who is an organizer for the Recreate 68 group tells reporters, "We're being treated by the city of Denver and the Secret Service like political prisoners, like pariahs," while he and his wife wear a red inverted triangle reminiscent of the type of symbol that political prisoners in Nazi Germany were made to war.

Despite massive preparations for the planned protests by the state of Denver and Secret Service agents who are there to protect the high profile lawmakers and Michelle Obama, who speaks today at the convention, the turnout of protesters has been smaller than what was expected.

It is the first day and many expect larger crowds tomorrow when Hillary Clinton speaks and there is speculation of a large turnout on the last day when Barack Obama is due to give his acceptance speech at the Invesco Field.

According to, the groups organizing the protests include, "Recreate 68, Alliance for Real Democracy, Unconventional Denver, DNC Disruption 08, Unconventional Action, World Can't Wait, and others."

Some photos of the protesters can be found at Little Green Footballs.

[Update] Riot gear and pepper spray brought out, as crowd starts to get out of control, according to Denver Post.

Police had the protesters surrounded between Court Street and Cleveland along 15th Street and moved up reinforcements, including an Aurora armored vehicle. They have made at least one arrest.

The standoff was continuing at 8 p.m.

Protesters and police had lined up across from one another in front of City and County Building about 7 p.m., the police wearing their full riot gear and holding batons, chanting "move back, move back."

At least one protester was sprayed with pepper spray before the mass of marchers moved back across the park and were cut off by police behind the Sheraton Hotel.

Live video found at he Denver Post.