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Protest Group Invades Denver Neighborhood

DENVER (CBS4) - A protest group called "Occupy Denver" that used to protest in downtown Denver and in public areas has now reverted to a different tactic -- descending on a quiet Denver neighborhood every Sunday afternoon and protesting outside the private home of a Denver business leader whose organization supported Denver's urban camping ban, which Occupy Denver opposes.

"Tami Door hates the poor," one demonstrator repeatedly shouted on a recent Sunday, outside the home of Tami Door, CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Other protestors marched and carried signs, one chanting, "Repeal the urban camping ban Tami." Door's Downtown Denver Partnership supported the urban camping ban which was approved in 2012 by Denver City Council by a 9-4 vote.

Due to the picketing every Sunday, the City of Denver has now mounted a HALO camera outside Door's home to monitor the ongoing protests and police are dispatched to watch the demonstrators every Sunday.

"She spearheaded this law to criminalize homelessness in Denver," demonstrator Janet Matzen said. "We have to stop it."

Matzen told CBS4 the group was willing to protest in front of Door's home "until it's repealed, I think."

Asked about encroaching into a neighborhood, one of the protestors, Eddie Morrah, expressed no remorse.

"Yeah, we're going to hit you where it hurts," he said. 'And we're standing up against bullies. Tami Door is a bully."

Morrah refused to show his face to a CBS4 camera, saying it was his "God given right to protect my identity," even as he did all that he could to publicize Door's home address.

Morrah was asked if harassment works.

"It's worked so far. We got two wins."

Morrah was referring to two restaurants that supported the urban camping ban but then rescinded their support after ongoing protests by the Occupy Denver protestors.

Contacted by CBS4, Door declined to discuss the protests at her doorstep which have been going on since last November. The weekly protests usually attract anywhere from four to 24 protestors, according to police.

Door's neighbors were quick to defend her and condemn the actions of the protestors.

"It's not okay. It means she can't walk out of her house without being accosted by them," said neighbor Linda Wyse. "I find it really unpleasant. I think they think I'm going to knock on her door and tell her to bend her ways but that's not going to happen, I'm not going to do that."

Several neighbors told CBS4 they were especially offended by a "Wanted" poster the protestors made up and distributed around the neighborhood and on social media. It shows a photo of Door, who is a mother, saying she is "wanted for stealing blankets from homeless children and other crimes against humanity." The poster lists her home address and home phone number along with her cellphone number and work phone number.

"Give me a break," said Bob Nelson, who lives one block north. "I think it's pushing the envelope. This is very offensive to me and pushing the envelope and violating people's rights. I know Tami. She is a nice lady. Tami has nothing to do with the fact the city had rules about camping in the park."

Denver police told CBS4 there was nothing they could do to force the protestors out of Door's Park Hill neighborhood.

The Occupy Denver demonstrators said they planned to picket at Door's house indefinitely.

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