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Rules on Tools Could Handcuff DNC Protesters

By Daniel J. Chacon, Rocky Mountain News

The prospect of protesters linking themselves with devices that bolt cutters can’t sever or throwing buckets of feces on police has Denver considering putting a new law on the books before the Democratic National Convention.

Demonstrators would be banned from having items such as chains, quick-setting cement, homemade locking devices that are resistant to bolt cutters and “any noxious substance,” City Council members said Monday.

“Protesters are getting pretty sophisticated,” said Councilman Doug Linkhart.

“They put their handcuffs inside PVC tubes, which are inside concrete. They’ve figured out ways that keep the police from just using bolt cutters to cut them apart. They also use buckets of urine and feces and various noxious substances to pour on themselves or the police.”Denver’s proposed ordinance would make it illegal to carry any “tool, object, instrument or other article” that can be used to obstruct streets, sidewalks and entry or exits from buildings or for hindering emergency equipment.

“We’re just trying to very narrowly define an area where, if they have these kinds of tools and we can prove intent, then we can arrest them,” Linkhart said.

Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, another safety committee member, said Denver’s proposal is “more restrictive” than an ordinance approved by Arapahoe County, where some of the convention delegates will be staying.

Last month, Arapahoe County commissioners passed an ordinance that makes it unlawful for demonstrators to carry shafts, rods, projectile launchers and other potential weapons at picket lines and other public assemblies.

While the Arapahoe County ordinance deals with specific weapons, Denver’s focuses on tools that could impede police.

The ban in Arapahoe County also includes gas masks.


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