I am a stranger in a strange land, this is for certain. Aaron DeLay (distantly related to famous Republican Tom DeLay aka The Hammer) stood in the midst of 16th street mall today…and managed to make it out with the (R) still next to his name.
Considering all the events in question, I was lucky!
All kidding aside, it’s a mad house that is controlled chaos downtown and I would suggest anyone and everyone take a run down to check it out. Make sure you have someone with you (just in case the useless anarchists get a clue and start doing what they usually do) and enjoy the sights and sounds of Democracy in Denver. Today I walked from one end of the mall to the other taking video and just observing.
That video is sitting in a pile on my laptop right now. It’ll get there.
Things of note today. I ran into Tom Brokaw. Literally. Outside Johnny Rockets and on the corner taking video of the cops and all…when suddenly I noticed someone down the street. It couldn’t be. Just him and his wife. Nobody with him.
And it totally was. He walked by us and did the voice we all know and love. And continued on down. 9news reported today that most people didn’t even see him. I think I saw him because I was looking. And I couldn’t stop shaking after he had walked by. Only Walter Cronkite would have completed the moment and I just might have had another stroke (jokes about my stroke are a-ok, in case you’re wondering) and go to heaven happy meeting two of my idols.
I observed guys that are probably famous in government that I don’t know about. Secret Service and all kinds of law enforcement were out in well, force. It was calm for the most part until some (I really don’t like anarchists…and I can’t apologize for the dislike because I really…just don’t think they have a cause to stand on) dumb arsed anarchists got the lame (and I do mean lame) idea to either occupy or hang out in a parking structure on Stout in between 15th and 16th.
They also were walking down a street that was wide open…and you just really can’t do that with Sunday afternoon DNC traffic. I was up at Tremont and 16th when I heard on a nearby police radio, “Skirmish line at 15th and Stout…on the double” and the police moved pretty damned quickly.
At the time I had no idea what it was. And in that moment I forgot all about my safety. I wanted to be in the middle of that story digital camera, Twitter account and all. When I got to 15th and Stout the police presence was…intense. The video that I’ll upload will tell the tale but DPD (and the other jurisdictions in town) wasn’t playing any type of games. Horses, bikes, cars, SUV’s and the SWAT squad (the guys with the big guns, big plastic masks and intense uniforms with all kinds of Batman-esque tools attached) were lined up creating one helluva terrifying image.
The message was clear. Get the hell off this street that should be clear for traffic and light rail. They had a truck with a speaker. There were calls for them to move off the street and out of the parking garage. At this point the police presence felt liked it outnumbered us. And that was probably the intent. Well, it worked. And I was glad for it.
They closed off the street down at 16th and Stout and were playing it pretty tough. I had passed officers pulling gas and mace onto their uniforms. Now as I walked I realized what I was in the middle of and just where this could be headed.
People with DNC credentials were talking about why they should probably just go back to the hotel. I stood fast, videotaping and watching everyone was much as I could.
It took a little while but the anarchists blinked and played nice…for now. They had behaved for most of the day, marching around on the mall and doing the smart thing. Aside from the dark clothing and face masks (again, dumb and lacking serious courage…my bias is showing…dang) they had done the smart thing.
It even made 9news, if you can believe it.
The crowds dispersed a little more and the police moved on to simply watch the protesters and observe that they were indeed being lawful. That is mostly what DPD did today. Followed around the marchers of various groups and keeping tabs on what they were doing.
I will applaud DPD and various other agencies for doing a great job so far in keeping the area safe and well protected. Also, men in uniform are all kinds of attention grabbers for girls, especially the ones tagging along with me today. A note to the women in uniform today: I saw you. I crushed on you. I almost tried to talk to a few of you…even the four foot four cutie pie. But I knew that since she was short and a women in blue everyone had probably messed with her…so I figured I’d stay safe and stay away.
Looking forward to everyone being smart about the convention this year…please, let’s keep it safe and free. Leave your opinions and DNC experiences below. If there’s some good stuff I’ll even move it to a main page post! Woot!