But Where Will the Protesters Sleep?

March 2008
There's a to-do this week over permits for the Democratic National Convention. Mayor Hickenlooper announced a special permitting process for the convention that utilizes new and different forms for people seeking permits to rally, protest or sell their wares.
A declaration signed by Mayor John Hickenlooper cited "an unusually large-scale event of national and international significance" as the basis for requiring special permit procedures during the convention. The city will accept applications Monday through March 14. The "extraordinary event" announcement applies only to the downtown, Auraria and Civic Center areas between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31. It means people looking to get permits or licenses for those areas -- to do things like hold a rally in a park or sell goods -- must fill out an Extraordinary Event Permit and License request form.
At least one group, Recreate '68, is so upset they plan to file suit over the new application process, particularly because there will be no permits granted to camp in Civic Center Park:
That "concerns us a lot," said Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer of Re-create 68. "We have thousands of people coming, and there are no hotel rooms available. These people are going to have to stay somewhere."
How about the suburbs? Or the parks at Stapleton or the Platte? Thousands of state delegates are being housed in non-downtown hotels (pdf.) Denver has the largest park system in the country -- more than 200 of them in 2006. We have enough parks to accommodate everyone. Just maybe not downtown. Sometimes we all have to compromise.