While speaking at a groundbreaking event for a new solar garden, Gov. John Hickenlooper was interrupted by several Occupy Colorado Springs protesters' chanting on Tuesday.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Hickenlooper was trying to give a speech for the groundbreaking of the SunShare community solar garden at Venetucci Farm when he was interrupted for several minutes by shouting protesters using their famed "mic check" style of repeating small phrases in unison.
Hossein Forouzandeh, an Occupy Colorado Springs protester, said that the group is not against the solar garden project, but felt like Hickenlooper was ignoring requests from the Occupy Denver movement to meet and showed up out of solidarity to address the governor.
Hickenlooper told the protesters that he respects their right to freedom of speech and asked if they would also respect his, CBS4 reports. "Wall Street got out with a slap on the wrist and they caused this recession, we don't disagree with that. But, I think, let's get more constructive," Hickenlooper said at the groundbreaking addressing the protesters.
At one point during the speech, Hickenlooper asked the audience, "everybody who wants to hear the protesters, raise their hands." According to KRDO, only a few people raised their hands. Hickenlooper then asked who would like to hear the rest of the solar garden speech which yielded cheers and applause from the attendees. "Okay, so we have a vote," Hickenlooper said.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the speech taking place at Garden of the Gods, the speech actually took place at Venetucci Farm.