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Protesters rally to demand charges be dropped against protest organizers

Six protest organizers were arrested this week and charged with crimes in relation to protests in June and July.

DENVER — Hundreds of protesters marched through Denver Saturday demanding that charges be dropped against six people who have organized many of the large protests in Colorado over the past months. Half of those charged remain in jail tonight, facing charges including attempted kidnapping and inciting a riot.

Behind most of the protests we’ve seen, there are organizers and leaders like Terrance Roberts.

Roberts is with the Frontline Party for Revolutionary Action. He’s been to protest after protest over the last few months. Thursday, he was arrested for his part in organizing them.

"I was actually jogging around Washington Park. I parked my car on the East side and by the time I got to the West side they swooped up on me with a bunch of cars and a bunch of officers," said Roberts. "We’re going to continue to protest. We are here protesting right now. We are not going to stop, even if I go to prison. We are going to keep it up."

Roberts is part of a group of six organizers facing charges including inciting riots, stemming from demonstrations in Aurora in June and July. Roberts was released on bond.

Saturday he was back leading chants outside the detention center he was held in just days ago.

"If I’ve got to go to prison for doing something right this time, then I will go to prison for doing something right," said Roberts. "These are fantasy charges. We were not there when the incidents that took place happened."

The march was organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a group in Denver that’s organized many of the large events over the past months. Saturday they asked for all charges against protest organizers to be dropped.

Charges including the attempted kidnapping charge Glynese Northam’s son Joel is facing for his part in a July protest in Aurora. He’s still in jail as his mother and father joined the protest outside the detention center.

"My son is one of the greatest people I know," said Glynese Northam. "They put Joel in jail, but exponentially they got a lot more than they were probably bargaining for."

The mother of Elijah McClain was at the protest as well today. The family attorney says the McClains stand up for the rights of peaceful protesters.

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“The family and lawyers of Elijah McClain condemn retaliation against political activists who have spoken out against police violence and racism," McClain's lawyer Mari Newman said in a statement. "District Attorneys Dave Young’s and George Brauchler’s politically-motivated prosecution of those who have exercised their First Amendment rights – while letting Elijah’s killers go free – is cowardly and wrong.  They have clearly prioritized repressing protestors over prosecuting the police who murdered an innocent young man on video.”

Prosecutors say they support the right to peacefully protest, but the events in Aurora over the past months crossed the line.

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