Today, on Inauguration Day 2021, there will be multiple demonstrations, marches and protests taking place at the Colorado State Capitol.

Some of them have been organized by Latino Groups like the Brown Berets, against ICE and their imprisonment of innocent immigrant children; others are pro-Trump movements planned in protest of the presidential election; and still others, like the Colorado Inauguration March are being organized by Black Lives Matter, to make sure “there is no honey moon for Biden!”

It’s undoubtedly going to be an interesting and diverse gathering of activists. And the eyes of the world are watching to see whether or not this turns violent — a prospect that seems more likely than ever, after last week’s storming of the US Capitol building.  

Iris Butler is a local activist, BLM organizer and medical worker. She has been involved with BLM movement since the George Floyd murder sparked global outrage this summer, sending millions of people out onto the streets to protest police brutality. She’s tied into Denver’s protest and activist communities, and she is the organizer in charge of today's BLM Inauguration March.

Butler says her goal is to put pressure on local lawmakers, to push Joe Biden to left and to remain critical of his policies. She also asserts that in organizing protests like this, The People of Denver can make it visually clear to our legislatures that we want to see change.

“It doesn’t matter the size of the group that shows up,” she says. “All that matters is the energy and the power of the moment.”

While Butler is aware of other, counter-protests that are being planned in response to hers, she isn’t afraid that there will be any violence this afternoon. Not only has BLM accounted for higher security than they normally would provide at an event like this, but Butler isn’t even worried that counter-protesters will actually show up.

“There was some stuff floating around, saying the Trumpers or the right wingers are going to come out, but they also said that they were going to come out the 17th, and we all know how that went: no one showed up.” Butler says. “What we’ve noticed about our Colorado right wingers is that they like to talk a big talk, but when it comes to showing up, they don’t… But that’s kind of a good thing for us. They’re just online babies, that talk shit and don’t do anything.”

The march is black and brown organized, but is welcoming to activists of all colors and denominations. It starts at 2 pm on the far side of the capitol, and their first speaker will start at 2:30 pm.

“If you feel like you’re at risk, coming out, then we support whatever decision you make,” Butler says. “However you support us, whether that’s coming out or supporting us through good vibes or whatever it may be, we want people to know that we’re grateful for every single one of them.”