Each and every Friday night in downtown Denver, 12-20 protestors show up to protest the Palm Restaurant located at 1672 Lawrence Street from the hours of 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. Therefore, each and every Friday night in downtown Denver, during that same time no less than five motorcycle police officers are taken off of the streets to keep the protest civil.
You might wonder why all of the fuss:
A. Is the food or service terrible?
B. Are they serving alcohol to minors?
C. Are the owners of the restaurant funding terrorism?
D. None of the Above.
If you chose “D” you are correct. The Palm is being protested because the manager had the audacity to show up at a City Council meeting in support of a proposed new ordinance titled: Urban Camping Ban. His prize: to be protested each Friday in an attempt to discourage citizens from patronizing the restaurant.
The protesters stand a few feet from the outdoor tables, shouting and heckling the patrons. Those not wishing to dine outside are verbally acosted as they enter and leave the building. This is all legal, mind you, as Denver does not have a “No Loitering Ordinance”, they are standing on a public sidewalk and entitled to free speech. One protestor, who was served with a notice from the courts due to her inappropriate behavior and speech during a recent protest is not allowed within 50 feet of the restaurant. She now stands approximately 51 feet from the building and shouts her message from a bullhorn.
Tonight, Joshua and I have a reservation for 2 adults and 2 puppies in the outdoor seating at 5 p.m. I want to witness this spectacle firsthand while supporting this restaurant for their boldness in supporting the Urban Camping Ban.
On a sad note, Old Chicago Pizza, located in Northwest LoDo also showed up at city council in support of the Urban Camping Ban. They were actually targeted by the protestors first and have since negated their support of the ordinance to avoid additional protests.
Public discussion over the ordinance lasted less than a month and City Council worked fast to pass the Urban Camping Ban which is a marked contrast to their normal slow, steady pace. I have linked the ordinance to this blog under the “Educate Yourself” tab, please take a look at it and then go to the tab titled “Don’t Drink the KoolAid” and read the untruths that the ACLU would have you believe. I had the pleasure of meeting with Lt. Kevin Edling of the Denver Police Department this past Tuesday; he explained the ordinance to me from a police standpoint and you can read in the wording that the homeless are not being arrested for being homeless.
I wonder sometimes if some of these protestors just can’t think for themselves so they have to believe whatever they are told. Personally, before I just ran off to protest a restaurant I would definitely gather some facts… instead, they are now passing out free burritos to anyone that stops by, hoping to attract a crowd of vagrants to assist them with their harassment of people that just want to have a nice dinner a glass of wine and enjoy the nice summer weather.
On a positive note… the Palm hosts an After-Protest Party every Friday night! I sincerely hope that they continue to ignore the protestors and that the community as a whole continues to support their business and tip the wait staff extra for all of the hassle
Thank you to Mark Lebo and Lt. Edling for educating me on the Urban Camping Ban!