Post-election unrest erupts as left-wing demonstrators march in Denver
Property destruction reported as police deploy tear gas, make arrests
Police confront left-wing demonstrators on Colfax Avenue in Denver on Nov. 4, 2020. (Chase Woodruff/Colorado Newsline)
A crowd of hundreds of left-wing demonstrators marched through the streets of Denver on Wednesday night in an event billed by organizers as a protest to “stop a fascist coup,” which ended in a cloud of tear gas, sporadic acts of vandalism and several arrests made by police.
The demonstrations came as an apparent winner in Tuesday’s presidential election has yet to be determined, as President Donald Trump and his supporters make baseless claims of voter fraud and file lawsuits aimed at stopping vote counts and invalidating many mail-in ballots. Trump’s escalating attacks on the integrity of the election have raised widespread fears among Democrats and left-wing groups that the president could seek to overturn a legitimate electoral defeat in conservative-controlled courts.
“The only way to stop a seizure of power by the white supremacist Republican Party is mass civil disobedience and anti-capitalist disruption,” read a Twitter post advertising Wednesday’s protest.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m., demonstrators marched from Cheesman Park in Denver’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to Colfax Avenue, then headed west towards the Colorado State Capitol. Officers from the Denver Police Department responded by closing streets ahead of the marchers, but things remained relatively calm as police kept their distance. Some demonstrators set off fireworks and spray-painted street signs and boarded-up storefronts along Colfax.
While precipitated by Trump’s attacks on the electoral process, demonstrators had harsh words for both the president and his 2020 opponent, Democratic former Vice President Joe Biden. Activists from the Communist Party USA and other far-left groups participated in the march, chanting in support of radical causes like the abolition of police and prisons.
“Whoever they vote for, we are ungovernable,” read one banner carried by demonstrators. “Death to fascism and the liberalism that enables it,” said another.
As the march circled the Capitol and eventually returned to Colfax, heading east, the situation gradually escalated. Lines of police in riot gear appeared, while a handful demonstrators set off fireworks outside DPD’s District 6 headquarters at Colfax and Washington Street and others lit fires in dumpsters and trash cans.
Police SWAT units broadcasted a message ordering demonstrators to disperse and began to move toward the crowd more aggressively near the intersection of Colfax and Park Avenue. A few demonstrators began throwing rocks and smashing windows, and dozens of police eventually deployed chemical agents and stormed the crowd, making several arrests as demonstrators scattered.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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