Pepper Spray in Denver

So much for calm protests. The Denver Post reports, “About 7 p.m. Monday, riot police using pepper spray forced a couple of hundred protesters out of Civic Center and then blocked them before they could reach the 16th Street Mall. … Lynn Kimbrough, a spokeswoman for the convention’s Joint Information Center… said an officer fired the first spray when several of the protesters charged toward the police line, which had been set up to protect the roadway and prevent any movement toward the pedestrian mall.”

I am concerned by claims that, first, the group had a permit to protest there, and, second, the police surrounded the group, preventing people from dispersing. But it’s not like I exactly trust a group called Recreate 68.

I’ve done a bit of protesting myself — enough to know its tiring and in many contexts not very useful. In general, while I support people’s right to peacefully protest within the constraints of property rights, I have to wonder about people who get a kick out of routinely seeking confrontations with the police.