Demonstrators take to Denver’s streets for eighth day in push for racial justice following death of George Floyd
Masses of peaceful demonstrators took to Denver’s streets on Thursday evening, stopping traffic as they chanted and marched for an eighth day in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis — the tragedy that’s launched a national movement seeking racial justice and law-enforcement reform.
Activities kicked off in late afternoon at Civic Center Park with a “youth education” event that featured young speakers, including a 7-year-old named Jacob, who told the crowd, “Black lives matter as much as white lives matter.”
Not long after, hundreds of demonstrators began marching west on Colfax Avenue to Speer Boulevard, where they stopped traffic marching up the usually-busy thoroughfare, a crowd that stretched blocks.
The protesters gathered on the large field outside the Auraria Campus’s Tivoli Student Union for what has become one of the signature moments of these demonstrations: hundreds of people lied face-down on the grass, their arms behind their backs, for nine minutes of silence — symbolizing the length of time a now-former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck before he died.
Thursday evening’s demonstrations continued the clam and peaceful note that’s been struck the last few nights in Denver. The demonstrations late last week and over the weekend, and even into Monday night, were confrontational, and saw some crime and vandalism — each night ending in clouds of police tear gas and barrages of pepper balls.
Beginning Tuesday and continuing Wednesday, Denver police stepped back, allowing the protests to continue well past the the 9 p.m. emergency curfew that, unless extended, is now in its final night. The demonstrations proceeded peacefully those nights without the clashes with police that marred earlier marches.
Thursday evening, marchers were met by Denver police who distributed cases of bottled water.