Posted at 11:05 PM on August 25, 2008
by Jeff Horwich
I'm in town for the first night of the DNC, and as a few of us wandered out to dinner, we noticed the police presence was huge. Ridiculously huge: Cops everywhere in full riot gear, even as most people (who weren't inside the Pepsi Center) wandered down the pedestrian mall in full sightseeing mode.
Turns out they were out for a reason. On the way back from dinner, we saw a huge crowd down one street. We headed down to the crowd, and ran into the tear gas. A line of police in gas masks, backed by horse-mounted cops, started pushing the onlookers back.
Turns out they'd isolated a decent-sized protest down the block. Where we were, it was a thoroughly post-modern scene: A line of fully decked-out riot police, confronted by a line of people wielding camera phones.
(Photos by Stephanie Curtis)
Along with the camera phones, there were a smattering of bandana-wearing anarchists who got separated from the main group, and who were taunting the line of cops.
We wandered down to the next block, where the police line was mysteriously much closer to the actual action. Protests were chanting down the way, and the paddy wagons rolled up to take them away. Overheard a police radio say they were arresting 30 to 50.
Not sure why people are even protesting in Denver. If this is any indication, the RNC ought to be really interesting.
The RNC should be interesting indeed. Word on the street is that many of the activists out there protesting in Denver plan to pack up and travel to St. Paul as soon as the fun is done at the DNC. That'll make the protests at the RNC much bigger than the ones at the DNC. I don't think the same could be said for the police force.
What does tear gas smell like Jeff?