Protesters rain on governor's speech at solar farm

By: ANDREW WINEKE
November 29, 2011
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photo - David Amster-Olszewski, right, talks with Hossein Forouzandeh of the Occupy Colorado Springs movement as the group disrupts remarks by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the groundbreaking for a solar garden built by Amster-Olszewski's company, SunShare Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Mark Reis, The Gazette Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE
David Amster-Olszewski, right, talks with Hossein Forouzandeh of the Occupy Colorado Springs movement as the group disrupts remarks by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the groundbreaking for a solar garden built by Amster-Olszewski's company, SunShare Tuesday, November 29, 2011. Mark Reis, The Gazette Photo by MARK REIS, THE GAZETTE 

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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