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Denver police closing streets near Colorado Convention Center ahead of Global Conference for Israel event

14th Street will be closed thru traffic between Stout and Welton Streets “to ensure safety,” according to Denver police
Downtown Denver
Posted at 3:36 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-29 17:36:41-05

DENVER – Denverites who work downtown or who plan to be near the city center over the next few days will need to adjust their commutes to avoid delays as Denver police plans to shut down several streets “to ensure safety” ahead of a four-day gathering of prominent Jewish leaders and supporters of Israel at the Colorado Convention Center.

While only referencing “several large events” happening downtown over the next several days, Denver police said in a news release Wednesday that closures along a portion of 14th Street between Stout and Welton Streets near the Colorado Convention Center would take place between 6 a.m. Thursday to about 8 p.m. Sunday.

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The Global Conference for Israel, which has become the latest focal point of reaction locally to Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip – which it launched in response to Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israeli soil – coincides with the timing of the closures along 14th Street and is expected to attract around 2,500 people to downtown Denver over the weekend.

The Colorado Palestine Coalition is calling for activists to “shut down” the event with marches and rallies planned outside the convention center and around downtown Denver for the next few days.

“This weekend, another warmonger Democrat - Governor Jared Polis - is giving a speech at the JNF's Global Conference for Israel, welcoming Zionists to our city to fundraise and plan further genocide on Palestine,” states a post on the group’s Instagram page. “The community will be there, too, to #shutdownjnf.”

The planned protests are the latest among several pro-Palestine demonstrations that have occurred in Denver, with the most recent one taking place downtown Tuesday night during President Joe Biden’s visit for a fundraising campaign event.

"We've seen protests across the country. We have to be aware of that," said Ron Werner, vice president of the Jewish National Fund USA national board, the organization that's behind this weekend's conference. "I can tell you we have serious security protocols in place, because security is always critical to us — for all of our people. We welcome voices and democracy. ... Let your voice be heard. But do it peacefully. Don't attack others. Let's keep this nicer."

The other event happening inside the convention center over the weekend is the 2023 USA Volleyball Mountain Classic Boys Junior National Qualifier, which made its debut in Salt Lake City last year. It goes from Friday through Sunday.

Pro-Palestinian group gathers in downtown Denver to protest President Joe Biden's visit