Denver activists blocking Webb Municipal Building doors to protest evictions during pandemic

Activists linking arms are blocking the entrance to the Webb Municipal Building to protest evictions taking place inside.

Police are on scene at the plaza where someone wrote, “Cancel eviction,” in chalk on the stone walkway. Officers in SWAT gear are trying to get protesters to disperse.

Gov. Jared Polis allowed a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures to expire June 14, but he added a provision that required landlords to give tenants 30 days notice rather than the usual 10-day warning. Once that window passes, landlords can ask a judge to evict the tenants.

The moratorium was established in March when thousands lost their jobs due to businesses closing at the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Despite pleas from housing advocates for an extension, the governor let the moratorium fade.

Some housing advocates have estimated that more than 300,000 Coloradans could lose their homes because they cannot pay their rent or mortgages after losing jobs. Colorado’s unemployment rate sat at 10.5% in June.

Activists protesting Thursday said there wasn’t a specific case that brought them the building, but a general concern about housing affordability.