Heat in the city: Protesting in Denver
June 15, 2017
The hot sun beat down illuminating the golden dome of the Colorado Capital as it towered over Civic Center Park like a giant beacon of hope. Passionate people lined the street in front of the stairs that lead to the building, where much history has taken place. People of many different backgrounds, political beliefs, and motives all voiced their displeasure with the rowdy group of bikers, families, and veterans that stood atop of the steps. The permitted group above were there to protest against something they believed was wrong, something that was very different from what they believed. They were there to protest against Sharia Law. Sharia is more of a comprehensive way of life than an actual legal system and can be expanded to support a Muslims needs in today's world.
Police filled the grassy area between the groups and kept the two sides at bay. Officers stood shoulder to shoulder with straight faces as many people shouted insults at them as they protected each side from one another.
Just as the mercury in the thermometer began to rise so did tensions at the capital. Sweat poured from everyone baking in the afternoon heat, while anger and curse words poured from their mouths. Constructive conversation was lost in the flood of emotion as the verbal tennis match bounced back and forth.
Things escalated minute to minute, but as minutes turned to hours the sounds of bullhorns and insults quickly faded as heat and dehydration took the steam out of the protesters.
A large vocal group of people ran up the sidewalk to greet the Anti-Sharia protesters as they tried to leave the venue.
Arguments erupted on the sidewalks of Denver, finally inches from one another the demonstration reached a boiling point. People shouted at one another confirming their passionate views. Police finally stepped in and helped separate the two group while escorting the Anti-Sharia demonstrators away from the Capital through the exit on the other side. The opposition sprinted to the other side to confront them as they left.
Police scrambled, once again building a human wall across the road and into the soft green grass of civic center park where many people, not involved in the protest enjoyed their Saturday afternoon. These people shouted at the escorted group with their own personal rejections to their beliefs. Racial slurs and fights filled the park as the group left.
Moving in quickly officers in full riot gear armed with clubs, and guns filled with rubber bullets and tear gas tried to push the two sides apart.
But tensions quickly spiraled out of control as fists and bodies began to fly. The most aggressive protesters were slung to the ground by police, wrenching their arms behind their back and taking them into custody.
Suddenly another wall of heavily armed officers formed pushing the angry mob back. Inch by inch forcing them from the park as protesters screamed into the faces of the masked officers, until finally reaching the sidewalk on far side of the park. Disappointment and insults were shouted for several minutes until the officers climbed back in their trucks and left the scene.
The large vocal group began to thin as the local parkgoers returned to their blankets and picnics to enjoy the rest of their Saturday afternoon.
The peace in Denver that day was shattered but my hope remains strong. Hopes that one day we can all work together to create a place of understanding, and acceptance … A place we can all call home.