Hickenlooper was there to tout the project, the first solar garden of its kind in the state, that will allow customers to lease solar panels and receive utility bill credits for the saved energy.
Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jan Martin began to introduce Hickenlooper to the crowd of about 300 when she was interrupted by protesters chanting slogans deriding big banks, government bailouts and Wall Street.
The uproar stalled the ceremony and left Hickenlooper glued to his seat for a few minutes.
Twenty four-year-old SunShare founder David Amster-Olszewski stood and asked the protesters to be silent and respect the event.
“Thank you for coming,” he said. “But let’s please support this new business that is doing exactly what you’re asking for— creating new jobs.”
When Hickenlooper stood up, protesters began grilling him.
“Why aren’t you demanding accountability?” and why did “Hickenlooper’s police” use force to disband Occupy Denver protestors.
“Get your facts right,” Hickenlooper said. “Those aren’t my police. I control the State Patrol.”
He asked the crowd to respect those who had come to celebrate the creation of an innovative business.
When protesters refused, someone suggested Hickenlooper conduct a vote to determine the event’s direction.
“OK, all those who want to listen to the protestors, raise your hands,” Hickenlooper said.
A handful of protestors raised their hands.
“Now raise your hand if you want to listen to SunShare,” he said.
SunShare supporters were the majority, and Hickenlooper congratulated Amster-Olszewski and his employees on the project that is a reality only a few months after the idea was conceived.