An anti-war concert headlined by the reunited Rage Against the Machine drew thousands of fans to the Denver Coliseum, many with tattoos, body piercings or “Iraq Veterans Against the War” T-shirts.
The mood was both laid-back and political as the show got under way Wednesday morning. A juggler performed on the sidewalk near a replica of a Guantanamo Bay prison cell.
The band State Radio opened while activists met backstage to plan a march once the show is over.
By the time Rage Against Machine took the stage, police estimated the crowd at 9,000.
When the concert concludes, Iraq war veterans and other protesters plan to march about four miles from the coliseum to the Pepsi Center, where the Democratic National Convention is being staged.
Protest organizers urged anyone participating in the march and willing to be arrested during a sit-in at the convention site walk at the front of the line.
Organizers said it would be an act of civil disobedience, not a violent protest. Protesters have been told not to react to the police presence or risk getting hit with pepper spray.
About 8,000 free tickets were handed out by lottery for the show, sponsored by Tent State University and Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Rage Against the Machine also plans a concert Sept. 3 in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention, which takes place just across the Mississippi river in St. Paul.