AURORA | A new activist group has planned to take protests to the homes of an immigration detention center warden, Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman and city council members, but it’s not clear when the demonstrations might take place or who is behind them.
An activist group named “Community E” is calling for demonstrations near officials’ homes sometime in the next two weeks on its Facebook page. The group, which did not respond to a request for comment and lists no members on its Facebook page, said the possible protests over the detention of immigrants and the death of Elijah McClain won’t be announced publicly.
The Facebook page has about 300 followers and likes, none revealed.
Community E told its members on Facebook, “We won’t tell you the date, location, or time of the protest until the day of the event in order to minimize police interference, so check in with us every day at 10 a.m. to see if today is the lucky day.”
The protests would target Mayor Mike Coffman and city council members Francoise Bergan, Marsha Berzins and Curtis Gardner where they live.
The protests’ planners also named the top official in charge of Aurora’s privately-run ICE detention center, Johnny Choate. Last year, a raucous demonstration organized by leftist groups snaked through the otherwise placid Tollgate neighborhood where Choate lived.
Berzins said she was aware of the possible demonstrations, and that police were “monitoring” the situation.
“Yes, we are aware that there is a group that has publicly stated they are planning to protest at the residences of certain council members,” Aurora Police Department Lt. Chris Amsler said in an email. “We have asked our patrol officers to increase patrols in those neighborhoods during the normal course of their duties.”
Councilmember Francoise Bergan and Mayor Mike Coffman did not respond to requests for comment.
Community E emphasized that any protests would be “PEACEFUL.”
“We want to emphasize that this protest is not about f***ing s*** up. It’s about making some mother f***ing noise to the people who think that they can sit in their racist glass castles all day while our communities suffer,” reads the Facebook post. “We have no intention of harm or destroying property. We only intend to send the loudest political message we can: we see you; we know you, and you shall not enjoy peace until there is justice.”
The group appears to be a new one aiming to unite various organizations protesting in Aurora and Denver over immigration and racial justice issues. The Facebook page was created Aug. 2.
“We are building a community among all the activist groups,” the group wrote. “We are an organization by People of Color for People of Color. Our focus is bringing all organizations that are for People of Color and underprivileged people together.”
Steve House, a Republican challenging Aurora Congressman Jason Crow for the 6th Congressional District seat in November, condemned the possible protests in a statement.
“No one who values public safety and the Rule of Law can remain silent as our Colorado neighborhoods and city streets become dangerous war zones. These radical groups have proven to be violent, brazen and focused on provoking confrontations with law enforcement. This must end before another Coloradan is seriously hurt or worse as a result of mob rule.”
Last year’s home protest against Johnny Choate yielded no violence, although three people were arrested and charged with minor infractions.
Crow had publicly disagreed with that demonstration.