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Gazette Premium Content Protesters rain on governor's speech at solar farm

ANDREW WINEKE Updated: November 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

About a dozen protesters from the Occupy Colorado Springs movement chanted and interrupted Gov. John Hickenlooper's remarks Tuesday morning at the groundbreaking for the SunShare community solar garden at Venetucci Farm.

Hickenlooper allowed the chants to go on for several minutes, then addressed the group directly.

"There's an awful lot of people who don't disagree with you that Wall Street got out with a slap on the wrist, but let's get more constructive," he said. "You guys are not helping your cause."

Protester Hossein Forouzandeh said the Occupy group wasn't against the solar garden project, but felt like the governor was ignoring requests to meet from Occupy Denver protesters.

"This is just an avenue for us to address the governor," he said. "We're here in solidarity with Occupy Denver and Occupy Wall Street, just trying to enlighten our elected officials."

The interruptions drew boos from the crowd attending the groundbreaking for the first solar garden in Colorado Springs.

Forouzandeh shrugged off the reaction.

"People don't like being upset," he said. "They'd rather be enjoying the solar garden."

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