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Mar 7, 17

Black Bloc Confronts March 4 Trump in Denver

As part of the national call to show support for Trump, Denver held a “March 4 Trump” at the capitol building. A counter event was called by the Denver Action Network to disrupt the rally. Unicorn riot was live in downtown Denver to cover it.

From the Denver Action Network facebook event:

Nazis in Denver have stated they are planning on attending.
Mask up, wear all black! #blackbloc – Denver Action Network

The reference to Nazi’s attending stemmed from posts made in the white supremacist forum, the Daily Stormer, which Southern Poverty Law Center has deemed “the top hate site in America”. One poster asks the forum if they can “afford to go full-fash.”

Both the Denver Police Department and State Troopers were holding lines between the pro-trump rally and the counter event. Yellow police tape had been placed across the width of the park.

An estimated 200-300 people were in attendance at the pro-Trump rally while about 80-100 counter demonstrators arrived.

Recordings of Donald Trump speeches and further speeches by organizers for the March 4 Trump on the steps of the capitol building were met with counter protesters chants of “Fuck Donald Trump” and “America was never great.”

Flags were burned by the counter-protesters and eventually put out by the police. At one point, people stepped in to dance on a smoldering flag on the ground.

Another individual reported that his flag was taken and burned, however, we were unable to verify the time and the place this alleged flag burning took place.

Simultaneously on the other side of the police line a small child wearing a Trump mask and sheriff’s badge could be seen running in circles with an American flag in front of a cardboard cutout of the president.

Some of the pro-trump rally began chanting “Antifa, ha ha ha”. In response, the black bloc quickly adopted the chant as their own and began repeating it back to the crowd.

We were able to interview someone about the III percent movement. He had this to say about the militarized response to the protests against DAPL at Standing Rock:

“We have a prolific police state happening in this country whether people recognize it or not. The heavy handedness that they displayed towards the protesters, totally wrong. totally wrong. I don’t agree with how it was handled. I was actually quite shocked when the mraps and all the big equipment showed up to throw these people around. That’s not right. That’s not cool. They have a right to protest.”

During the interview, he stated that his own father had been undocumented and referred to himself as a first generation American and then went on to use the term “illegal” when referring to undocumented people (which has been widely criticized for being dehumanizing).

Individuals were inspired by the turnout of the counter protest and were making plans for ongoing antifa presence in Denver. The day was described by someone who requested to remain anonymous as “the largest black bloc Denver has seen in years. The antifascist movement is strong here.”

Clashes resulting in arrests occurred in other cities across the country as well including Berkeley, St Paul, and Lake Oswego.

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Unicorn Riot is a volunteer-operated decentralized media collective comprised of multimedia artists and journalists. Born from the Internet in 2015, we operate non-hierarchically, independent of corporate and government funding. Our non-profit media organization currently spans across multiple US cities including Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and New York City. Unicorn Riot’s purpose is to amplify the voices of people who might otherwise go unheard, and broadcast the stories that might otherwise go untold, as we further understanding of dynamic social struggles. We are committed to producing media that exposes root causes of social conflict and explores sustainable alternatives in today’s globalized world.

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