Denver protests this past weekend showed no signs of slowing down as they continued on into double digits. Speakers from a wide range of perspectives came together to talk to massive crowds about the importance of black lives.
Saturday kicked off with special athlete guests including many members of the Denver Broncos. Justin Simmons, safety for the Broncos, explained many of the players flew into Denver specifically to be there for the protests because “you show your support for us … it’s important for [us] to come back.” Other players came to the mic like linebacker Jerry Attaochu to lead the crowd in their team prayer whereas Von Miller kept it brief to thank the crowd before leading the march to the capitol.
During the march, Brothers of Brass played a Bill Withers tribute as protestors and players wove through stalled traffic on Broadway. A group of doctors came by in their white coats to showcase their solidarity holding up signs that said “White Coats for Black Lives.”
Sunday took a different tone as students of Denver Public Schools became the leaders and voices of the movement. Some recited poems of what it meant to be black whereas others explained the perspective of a younger generation. “When we say Black Lives Matter, we want to feel supported, we want to feel protected because we sure as hell don’t,” said one DPS student. Briefly, intergenerational conflict took the spotlight as one member of the crowd yelled at the students to “respect their elders.” However, the students who at first showed frustration ultimately handled the conflict with grace by explaining their appreciation of the older generation while also acknowledging the fight ahead will impact them the most.
As the crowd’s disbanded in the late afternoon, a group of Black Denver musicians put on an impromptu set in front of the City and County building. Crowds gathered in a moment of brevity as Kayla Marque, Kori Hazel and Sur Ellz played us into the evening.