The Denver City Council on Monday rejected a proclamation that would have added Denver to the growing list of American cities that have called for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
That final vote — 8-4 — came via a hastily launched virtual meeting after council members vacated the council chamber at the Denver City and County Building following repeated disruptions of the meeting by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. Councilman Chris Hinds was unable to cast a vote due to issues logging into the online meeting.
Once the final vote was tallied and the results were shown on screens inside the room, the protesters — who numbered in the hundreds between the main chamber and overflow room — rallied in the building’s fourth-floor corridor. Chants included “Cease-fire now.” “Free, free Palestine” and “Vote them out.”
“We’re super disappointed but I don’t think it’s a surprise,” Emily Ingraham, one of the protesters who spoke in favor of the proclamation on Monday night, said after the final vote. “But there is always hope and we are going to keep fighting.”
The proclamation would have been a symbolic measure that would have been stamped with the city seal and forwarded to President Joe Biden and members of Colorado’s congressional delegation if approved.
The version the council voted on Monday was significantly pared down compared to a longer original draft that co-sponsors Sarah Parady and Shontel Lewis, two of the council’s most progressive members, discussed with colleagues at a committee hearing last month.
It outlined action steps already released by the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF. Those included calls for “an immediate and long-lasting humanitarian ceasefire” in Palestine and Israel and “[s]afe and unrestricted humanitarian access to and within the Gaza Strip to reach affected populations wherever they are.”
“The cease-fire is the floor. We are asking for liberation,” Lewis said in comments that drew cheers from the chamber. “None of us are free unless all of us are free.”
Despite the narrowed language, opponents on the council noted they have received extensive comments from constituents who support Israel that were not reflected in that draft.
“I think that our communities deserve better from us as elected officials,” said District 5 Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, who revealed during a committee meeting last month that she has a neighbor serving in the Israeli military. “We are divided up in a way that I haven’t seen us be divided in a very, very long time.”
One council member — District 7 representative Flor Alvidrez — indicated that her no vote was motivated in part by the behavior of the pro-Palestinian attendees at the meeting who regularly interrupted speakers they disagreed with.
During the public comment session, several speakers called out rising incidences of antisemitism in Denver and around the country.
One speaker, Elliot Fladen, said the proclamation “doesn’t call for peace, it calls for cessation that will allow Hamas to re-arm.”
Parady addressed antisemitism directly as she laid the case for calling for a cease-fire.
“I am here today to say that the killing in Gaza must stop, and I will be here tomorrow to say that we have to grapple with resurgent antisemitism and the fomentation of bigotry in our politics,” she said.
Parady, Lewis, and Councilmembers Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez and Jamie Torres voted in favor. Other politicians in the room Monday included progressive state Reps. Elisabeth Epps and Tim Hernandez.
The proclamation language included estimated death tolls from the conflict to date. They largely follow the latest reporting from The Associated Press, which counts the Palestinian losses from the war at more than 28,000 people, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza. Of those, more than 12,000 are children.
The war was ignited by Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7. Hamas killed about 1,200 people, a majority of them civilians, and took 250 hostages. According to Israeli authorities, about 100 hostages are still being held by Hamas, The AP reports.
Monday’s meeting was tense even before the cease-fire proclamation was called up. Earlier in the afternoon, the council tried and failed to override Mayor Mike Johnston’s veto of a measure that would have banned sweeps of homeless encampments when temperatures are below freezing. One supporter of that measure, Jerry Burton, got up and shouted at the council members after that vote and was flanked by a Denver sheriff deputy as he walked into the hall. Many protesters Monday were there to support both measures.
Monday was the second time in four months that pro-Palestinian demonstrators have altered the direction of a Denver City Council meeting. In late November, the council walked out of its chambers and postponed the rest of its agenda after protesters refused to stop speaking out against Denver hosting the Global Conference for Israel at the Colorado Convention Center later that week.
Other major American cities have recently passed measures calling for a cease-fire in Gaza including Chicago, San Francisco and Atlanta. In Minneapolis, the City Council overrode a veto by Mayor Jacob Frey, who is Jewish, last week to reinstate a cease-fire resolution.
That measure goes much further than the proclamation that was rejected in Denver on Monday. It called for the U.S. to stop funding the Israeli military.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Preview: Nuggets back at it against Heat
The Denver Nuggets have just two more back to backs to play this season, and one of them is tonight against the Miami Heat. Fresh off a big win over the Sacramento Kings, it’s a short turnaround for the defending champs. Working in their favor though is both last night’s game and tonight’s game are at home. Miami meanwhile is rested. They continue to be a perennial playoff team in the East and there’s no reason to think that won’t be the case again this year. Led by Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and bolstered by rookie Jaime Jacquez Jr. the Heat currently sit as the fifth seed in the west, embroiled in a battle with four other teams to avoid the play-in tournament and perhaps even gain homecourt advantage for the first round of the playoffs.
Who: Denver Nuggets (40-19) vs Miami Heat (33-25)
When: 6PM MST
Where: The Can. Denver, CO.
How to watch/listen: Denver Stiffs does not condone piracy….unless it’s the romanticized 18th century type. TNT. NBA League pass for those not in the Nuggets market. Altitude Radio 92.5. Show up with a 5 gallon bucket of industrial grade hair gel and say you are Pat Riley’s personal assistant.
Rival Blog: Hot Hot Hoops
|Michael Porter Jr.
|Christian Braun, Peyton Watson, Zeke Nnaji, Colin Gillespie
|Cody Martin, Jaime Jacquez Jr., Delon Wright, Duncan Robinson, Haywood Highsmith
Injury report*: Jamal Murray – questionable (shin), Hunter Tyson – out (finger), Vlatko Cancar – out (knee); Orlando Robinson – probable (back), Tyler Herro – questionable (knee), Josh Richardson – out (shoulder), Dru Smith – out (knee), Kevin Love – out (heel), Thomas Bryant – out (embracing the Heat’s fake tough guy culture), Jamal Cain – out (G-League), Cole Swider – out (G-League).*The Denver Nuggets injury report was not submitted at time of writing.
The Three Things
The thing to watch for: Nikola Jokic vs Bam Adebayo
No doubt the marquee matchup tonight is at the five. Nikola Jokic is a man on a mission and notched his fourth straight triple-double last night. It’s starting to feel like he may get a triple double every night for the rest of the season. His rebounding in particular has been insane since coming out of the all star break. Tonight Jokic faces the challenge of one of the best defensive (and overall) centers in the league. Bam has proven to be a star player that the Heat can count on night in and night out. That being said, he hasn’t had a ton of success against Jokic so I expect the triple double streak to continue if Joker can muster the energy.
The thing to remember: Miami is looking for payback
This is the first meeting between these two teams since they met in the Finals last summer. The Nuggets summarily dismissed the Heat’s hopes of a championship in five games and one can only imagine that this team has been stewing on it ever since. Tonight they get their chance for some revenge. It will also be ring night for Thomas Bryant. Even though he is currently suspended, the NBA will allow him to attend a pregame ceremony before immediately telling him to get out. There is also the whole history of the Markieff Morris/Nikola Jokic incident from a few years back so expect emotions to run high tonight. Which team that works in favor of remains to be seen.
The thing to bet: Miami first to ten points (+105)
Doing something a little different with the TTB tonight. Given that Miami will be looking for some revenge and given that they are the rested team while Denver played last night, I like the chances of the Heat getting out in front early. I’m not convinced they win this game but I expect them to try to make a statement from the jump. With positive odds on them being the team to score ten points first I’m going to give it a whirl.
Stiffs. Night. Out.
Alright you crazy Nuggets sickos, it’s time to collectively crawl out of our mother’s basements and socialize! We are throwing our very first SNO of the season this Saturday at Number Thirty Eight in RINO. We’re teaming up with the boys over at Mile High Sports to make this a really great event. We will have giveaways throughout the night, including a Nikola Jokic Jersey. We’re doing a live postgame podcast crossover episode with myself, Ryan Blackburn and Swipacam and most importantly we’re going to all gather and watch the Lakers get swept by the Nuggets once again. Great drink specials, great food and great times, you don’t want to miss it. It’s also your opportunity to tell me in person how much you hate my takes and who could say no to that, am I right? Party officially gets started at 6:30 but seating is first come first serve so get their early if you can!
Work to repair and replace items from Denver’s Martin Luther King Jr. monument to begin right away
Work will start right away to repair and replace the.
is looking at the extensive damage to pieces ripped away from it by thieves and planning repairs.
Police say the thieves hit the MLK Monument as well as the Thatcher Fountain nearby on Feb. 21.
“We have to replicate that all the way down,” said Dwight about welding and duplicating the damaged areas of a large panel that was cut into four pieces. “And then we’ll work on the next one and the next one and the next one.”
Denver Police Department’s Bias-motivated Crime Unit has been involved in the case but indicated that there is no indication it was a bias-motivated crime.
“Certainly I think it’s a reasonable suspicion that there was some racial motivation to that. It does appear it was not the motivation. But we can’t be sure of that just yet,” explained Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas, saying they will need to question the suspects in the case.
“There is a lot of historical and cultural significance to that particular monument. And really shame on them for not understanding that recognizing that and deciding to steal a piece of it,” said Thomas.
There are two still on the loose. 67-year-old Herman Duran and a yet-to-be-identified man police say is pictured in images from a security camera.
“All of these trends should stop. And we who care about America and about American heroes and about progress of our city and our state and our nation should not have these kinds of acts going on now,” said former Denver First Lady and State Rep. Wilma Webb.
It was during her husband’s administration that Wilma Webb was the driving force behind the creation of the monument, which was commissioned to Ed Dwight, a renowned sculptor of African American history whose past includes years in NASA’s astronaut training program in the 1960s.
Dwight believed it was stolen for the value of its bronze early on in the investigation.
On Wednesday he said what is currently most important is not motive, but getting it put back together which could take two months or more.
“The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t make any difference. Whether it was racially motivated or for the value. Whatever is done is done… if we can prove that it was done for racial reasons, then we can raise hell and raise more consciousness,” said Dwight.
For the time being he is focusing on how to accomplish repairs. The largest plate, showing early representations of African American history, including slavery and service in America’s conflicts, has to be secured better when it is replaced he says. It will take careful welding and planning to get the job done.
There is an online fundraising campaign to raise money to help in the work and to add security around the monument.
About $10,000 has been raised so far, but former mayor Wellington Webb pointed out that adding cameras is likely to cost more.
Game Thread: Denver Nuggets vs Sacramento Kings. February 28th, 2024. – Denver Stiffs
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