Colorado National Guard locks down university

More than 400 soldiers with the Colorado Army National Guard are stationed at a private university campus in the Denver area until Aug. 31, and they apparently don’t like photographers.

In July, The Colorado Independent reported that the Guard members would be commandeering Johnson & Wales University during the convention, the old University of Denver law school at 7150 Montview Blvd. in east Denver.

A blogger with Westword, an alt-weekly in Denver, actually traveled to the location this week, spotting camouflaged Humvees:

You know who have no sense of humor? National Guardsmen. They were not happy at all about having their pictures taken while they were hanging out in the sun at their official staging area: the Denver campus of Johnson & Wales University.

Is it a little weird that a college campus — generally accepted to be a hotbed of liberalism, anti-establishment protest and dudes in hippie sandals playing hacky-sack — should be the chosen campsite for a rather sizable army of Colorado National Guardsmen?

Good thing, too, because the Guardsmen are armed, have every entrance to the campus blocked off by camouflaged Humvees or hurricane fence, and didn’t even like it that I got close enough to snap a couple pictures.

The Colorado National Guard — composed of both Air and Army Guard units totaling over 5,000 military personnel — will not say why or how soldiers will be using the building, but officials have said that no other federal or local agencies will be using the space.

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at

Comments are closed.