Sunday, Aug 17, 2008
DENVER – Activist groups say the converted warehouse poses a threat to civil liberties. The city maintains the facility is needed in case of mass arrests during the Democratic National Convention.
The makeshift holding center, dubbed “Gitmo on the Platte” by activists, is located on city-owned property near Steele Street and 38th Avenue. Newly-installed security cameras guard the exterior, chain-link fences and barbed wire form cells inside.
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“We feel the city should be ashamed of this secret prison they’ve set up,” said Re-create ’68 organizer Glenn Spagnuolo.
Spagnuolo and other activists gathered outside the formerly-secret facility on Friday to protest the city’s plan to use it as a processing center for all those arrested outside the DNC.
“The public was never going to view this place, it was just found out,” Spagnuolo said. “They got caught with this place. They told our lawyers in negotiations that this place didn’t even exist.”
“This was never a secret site,” said Undersheriff Bill Lovingier, the city’s director of corrections.
Lovingier said the city had long planned to build a new holding facility for the DNC, which triples the processing speed of the city jail. Lovingier said the Steele Street warehouse will be able to process 60 arrestees an hour.
This article was posted: Sunday, August 17, 2008 at 5:13 am