Hundreds of protesters take to the streets Tuesday during a rally by the Service Employees International Union, which is holding its international convention in Denver. A police spokesman said there were no incidents or arrests during the demonstration. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

The Service Employees International Union and its partners took their message to the streets of Denver on Tuesday morning, calling on the "wealthiest 1 percent" to pay their "fair share of taxes" and create good jobs with good benefits.

Roughly 2,000 people rallied to bring attention to what they described as a disappearing middle class and the "1 percent" — a phrase popularized by the Occupy Movement — who aren't paying enough taxes.

About 3,000 members of the SEIU are in town through today for the union's annual convention. Tuesday's rally included a group of 19 coalitions representing labor and other causes.

The group specifically targeted Wells Fargo Bank's downtown office, with protesters complaining

A man stuck in traffic on Broadway on Tuesday waits as protesters add to congestion in downtown Denver. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)
that the bank hasn't done enough to stem the mortgage crisis by helping homeowners who are in foreclosure or who owe more than their homes are worth.

"When we ask Wells Fargo to listen to the cries of the people, when we ask Wells Fargo execs for a little mercy ... to consider measures that will abate the crisis ... the response is indifference," said Rev. Dawn Riley Duval, a community organizer at Together Colorado.

A Wells Fargo spokeswoman took issue with the protesters' claims, however.

"We've been working hard to help homeowners stay in their homes," Cristie Drumm said.

She added that the bank is focused on serving its customers and communities by making loans, donations to nonprofits and mortgage modifications and by volunteering in the community. Wells Fargo has also hosted foreclosure prevention workshops in Denver and other markets.

Denver City Councilman Paul Lopez was among the protesters.

"There aren't enough good-paying jobs," Lopez said. "And while the middle class is disappearing, a small percentage of the population is getting rich beyond belief — fueling a gap in income equality that is the worst it's been since the Roaring '20s."

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said that during the rally and march, there were no incidents or arrests. Police used rolling roadblocks to block off intersections and streets, he said.

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or