Hundreds protest arrest charges against Denver anti-racist organizers

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DENVER (KDVR) — Hundreds gathered at the Colorado State Capitol Saturday to condemn arrests and charges against several protest organizers.

“When activist lives are under attack, what do we do? Stand-up-fight-back,” hundreds chanted at the event.

Several activists were arrested this week in connection to Aurora protests in late June and July, demanding justice for Elijah McClain.

As of Saturday afternoon, three of the six bonded out.

“We are here today to demand their immediate release and that all of the charges against them be dropped,” Denver Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) organizer Marissa Sanchez said. 

They face various charges across Adams and Arapahoe counties, ranging from misdemeanors up to attempt to commit first-degree kidnapping, a class 3 felony.

According to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, the night of July 3, about 600 protesters surrounded the Aurora Police Department District One station at 13347 E. Montview Blvd. Organizers described the event as an “occupation,” the DA’s office said.

They blocked off streets around the police station with vehicles and items from a nearby construction site, the DA’s office said.

“They prevented 18 officers inside from leaving the building by barricading entrances and securing doors with wires, ropes, boards, picnic tables and sandbags. Some members of the group carried handguns and rifles and wore military or tactical clothing,” the DA’s office said in a statement issued Thursday afternoon.

“They have messed with the wrong Black mama,” Glynese Northam said.

Glynese’s son Joel Northam, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, was one of the six arrested. He remains in police custody and is charged with attempt to commit first-degree kidnapping, inciting a riot, inciting a riot by giving commands, engaging in a riot and obstructing government operations. 

“This is absurd and I know what I’m talking about because I am the wife of a law enforcement person,” Glynese said at Saturday’s event.

Glynese told the crowd about her son, sharing how he is a family-oriented man who graduated Magna Cum Laude with two degrees in four years.

“He’s a political prisoner and we know what they are going to do now, they are going to try to demonize him,” she said.

Terrance Roberts is the co-founder of Frontline Party for Revolutionary Action (FRPA). He was also arrested and bonded out on Friday.

“How can you kidnap someone who was already at work, we never touched an officer, we never told someone to touch an officer,” Roberts said. 

Robert’s charges did not stop him from showing up to Saturday’s protest.

“We can’t change the law today, we can’t get our charges dropped today, we can’t get the officers who killed Elijah McClain arrested today who are the real kidnappers but we can bring awareness to fascism,” he said. 

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