The movement that began as Occupy Wall Street has spread across the nation like wildfire. To many the movement is confusing and bemusing-many of the protestors in these movements have been unable to clearly articulate exactly what it is they are trying to accomplish, aside from the ephemeral “Change,” and that they are against corporate greed. The one thing that is certain, however, is that more and more these movements are finding themselves at odds with authorities, a fact that is keeping Colorado criminal defense attorneys busy these days.
A recent clash between protestors in the Occupy Denver movement and hundreds of Denver police and SWAT officers has resulted in twenty arrests. Two of those arrested have been charged with felonies after being accused of assaulting police, charges that will stick with them for the rest of their lives unless their defense attorneys do a very good job.
The protest began when police moved into the park near the Denver Civic Center to remove illegal sleeping tents; the city has granted permits for food tables, but not sleeping structures. Protestors took umbrage to the efforts of police and surged in, which resulted in a melee that saw police firing pepper bullets into the crowd and using pepper spray.
Whether or not the force exercised by police was excessive will be an issue for the courts to decide; certainly the tactics used will come under scrutiny by the Denver criminal law attorneys that try the case.
Still, it’s clear that things are getting tense with the “Occupy” movements and something has to give, soon. The biggest question, however, is “what will give?” It would help if more people actually understood the agenda of the movement-it’s difficult to address demands when there are none clearly articulated.