Michael Moore speaks at Occupy Denver to a crowd that leaves shortly after

michael moore tiny.jpg
Michael Moore.
Michael Moore was late. The man whose personality is almost as big as his mouth, and for whom both eclipse his documentaries, was an hour late by the time he reached the unusually large crowd waiting for him at Occupy Denver. By the time he arrived, its size was at least twelve times larger than normal: more than 600 people instead of the 50 typical of 6 p.m. on a weekday. By the time he arrived, a point had already been made, albeit quietly.

And when he did appear, the director of Bowling For Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 wasted little time before presenting a valuable disclaimer. "I am not the spokesperson of this movement," Moore told the crowd. "Everybody is the spokesperson."

michael moore 1.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
Michael Moore speaks to a crowd at Occupy Denver.
Everybody, that is, except for the 1 percent -- a category of people in which Moore might fit more comfortably than the 99, muttered a few while waiting for him.

"Are you here because you want change or because you want to see Michael Moore?" longtime occupier Pat Marsden shouted to the crowd before the filmmaker arrived. "I love Michael Moore, too, but you should be here more often if you really want change. You should be here every day."

Moore's eventual speech, sandwiched before a book signing at Tattered Cover on Colfax, was as passionate as you'd expect from a man perhaps a little bit more infamous than famous, though it was briefer than you'd hope. He spoke of the realities of the economy, of the faces of the 1 percent -- BP looming large among them -- and the unlikely and impressive success of a movement that has somehow earned the approval of 59 percent of the American people in around six weeks, according to the most recent poll.

michael moore crowd.jpg
Kelsey Whipple
The crowd for Michael Moore's speech swelled to at least twelve times past its normal size.
"Please know that the rest of the country sees this," he said. "You're not alone. If you remember the other movements, when the Civil Rights movement was six weeks old, it didn't have 59 percent of the American people behind it."


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23 comments
jj
jj

Everyone wants to be heard. No one wants to listen.

johninlongmont
johninlongmont

occupy movement has no goal - kids screaming "pay for my college tuition"?...."tax the 1% that already pays 30%+ of all taxes"?...if they were intellectually honest, they would park their butts in front of the White House

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Quadrophinc
Quadrophinc

and somehpw South Park edited that into their show last night lol

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

The audience was full of drunks and daft expostulators of several sorts.  Of all the speeches made before a GA here, this was arguably the one at which to just STFU, but Moore had trouble being heard at times over the constant interjections by fellow-feelers who thought (wrongly) that by shouting out words or catchphrases they associated with what he was saying they were adding something to his delivery, and those of the several alcoholics and deranged people present.  Sketchy, Denver.

Equivocal
Equivocal

Michael Moore's net worth is irrelevant. He earned this money shedding light on government and private sector abuses of Americans, and more than likely Americans who read this paper.  The point is not to decry material success; it is instead to balance the playing field to create a more jut society. Right-wing shot-callers have and will use this circular logic against liberals ad infinitum. Liberals should be more vehement about calling them out. You don't have to agree with everything Moore says, but I'l guarantee you he speaks more for readers of Westword than do the Koch bros, Republicans, evangelicals, financiers and Tea Partiers.

Mikey's Mom
Mikey's Mom

"Those in power are scared shitless," -M. Moore

Hardly. Why would anyone be afraid of 20somethings who don't even vote, or even know where the real power lies...???

Go home Mikey... no one likely.

Jason Bosch
Jason Bosch

In 2004, just before the election some friends and I organized a conference to educate about the issues surrounding the election. The "Vision for America" conference lasted three days and had debates on issues of health care, foreign policy, education, the media, and local initiatives. We had participants from many perspectives including Medea Benjamin, Robert Jensen, and even the Heritage Foundation to hash it out. Our Keynote speaker was Al Franken. It was a great opportunity to learn about the issues and engage in discourse but very few people showed up...except for when Al Franken spoke. Then we had a full house and as soon as he was done speaking everyone left. What's sad is his talk was the least informative part of the conference.

I think there is some constructive criticism that can be made about the groupie-like mentality around certain "made" spokespersons.

Respectfully,Jason BoschArgusFest Founder

Jtcolfax
Jtcolfax

I wouldn't say that the people who shouted at Moore were provacateurs.  There is a VERY valid point in noting that Moore is flopping from one occupy to the next while on a Book Tour.  I consider him a giant blowhard like Limbaugh, but I did enjoy the energy down there this afternoon, much more during the wait, than during his blather.  In other news about provacateurs,  someone has realized that they do indeed have footage of the couple who assaulted protesters the other night, (which I witnessed).  He's gonna start posting that footage tonight.

Boogie
Boogie

It was disturbing to read your article - you are so obviously against Occupy Denver.  I wouldbe interested to know why.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

Don't you feel even slightly foolish making up lies about something as well-documented as Occupy Denver?  You are a fool, in any event.

Mikey's Mom
Mikey's Mom

I've been saying this all along. OD Denver is nothing more than drunks and homeless people.

If you want to shut this down, get rid of the free food distributed from their kitchen...

Gold Man-Sacks
Gold Man-Sacks

What's the use in electing representatives that don't represent their constituents? We want real change, not regime change.

BF
BF

She's been one of the few who have been flooding the Westword blog with profiles of, and recaps showcasing some of the more interesting points of the movement. I'd say she's very for the Occupy. It would be nice, however, to see some journalistic approach to interviewing the DPD, or even try their hand at getting some of the 1% to stake their claim and give their side to things. 

That said, it's extremely disheartening to see the Westword time and time again supporting violence against police and making a mountain out of a mole-hill when things like Saturdays fiasco happen. Have there been isolated incidents where power went too far? Sure. But just like in little-town-minded Denver fashion we forget that these things do unfortunately happen, yet scream far too loud and far too long to ever come up with a viable solution. Kicking Hickenlooper out of office, berating the police force and breaking the laws that are in place for our own citizens safety is certainly not the best alternative.But I digress. Fact of the matter is we NEED more people to speak out against the movement so that it forces them to come to terms with the fact they have no right to speak for everyone, no right to destroy public space while wasting tons of tax dollars doing so and to maybe get them to REALLY come together to find a solution...not just an idealist theory spout from some glorified bong circle. Just because you don't have guns and aren't throwing fists doesn't mean you shouldn't be forced upon with action from DPD. 

Also laughable is Michael Moore crying about the 1%. He's worth more than $50 million. I'm sure it's just a well placed promotional tour for an up and coming documentary he's making. Whatever - if you need me I'll be at Subway.

kecker
kecker

What did he "lie" about?  From what I've seen that's a pretty good characterization of the movement.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

You have problems understanding what you read -- the audience included hundreds of people who rarely come to Civic Center Park and included any number of woud-be Moore detractors.  It helps not to be wasted and/or off one's meds when trying to interrupt a cogent, respected speaker.

Gold Man-Sacks
Gold Man-Sacks

Occupy Denver is not just the people sleeping outside in the park. That part is pretty pathetic, and is largely made up of drunks, bums, and crusty hippies. To see those people as the spokespersons for this movement is a farce. The better part of this movement is sitting at home reading the news, discussing politics, fundraising for bail, and planning to represent next Saturday.

Gold Man-Sacks
Gold Man-Sacks

General assembly is an open forum. Every day at 3pm and 7pm. Let's come to some kind of a consensus.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

BS!  You sap the valid efforts of the movement and slander it and Westword with crap like "Westword time and time again supporting violence against police" -- absolute nonsense! "destroy public space" -- Lincoln Park and Civic Center Park are entirely intact, except for all the tire tracks left by cop cars.  You are one more person who doesn't let total ignorance get in the way of forming an opinion and vomiting it forth.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Strong take, Anonymous. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous
Anonymous

You know, that's the thing. We're not all "entitled little brats asking for handouts" I, like many of the people who go out and occupy and protest, getting awareness for the problems that really do plague our country, have a job, pay taxes, and live paycheck to paycheck. I don't expect to be given a free ride, I don't expect to have things handed to me. I speak for many that I've spoken to and who feel the same way, we all value hard work and dedication and earning what you receive. These people, the ones who exploit our system just to benefit themselves, to me they do not earn what they receive. Not all, like I said, just the ones exploiting people and causing the suffering they cause, those are who ruin the system. Arguing Capitalism is another point entirely and for right now, the conversation hasn't gotten to that point. Let's weed out the rotten apples in our system, what's so wrong with that? How is it so hard for those who speak out against this movement to understand?

BF
BF

Robert - if there were any "valid" efforts to the movement I'd sure like to see them. It's nice that the whole "Obama is in office he'll save us" mentality is done and people are getting off the couch and being convicted for something, however, if that something is in essence truly nothing - then what's the point? I'm tired of the Occupy movement crying about police brutality (which there is none past reasonable force), wanting to kick out the 1% from their earned positions and throwing temper tantrums when people don't think the way they think. (Always the ignorance card if someone is against Occupy right?)

And slander is when something is made up, a farce, falsely accusing someone of something they didn't do. It's the same rhetoric from them, different day. If you don't think Saturdays downtown are being decimated go in to any of the nearby restaurants and ask the wait staff if they're as busy, or less busy, as any other weekend day. Because they sure as shit can't pay rent now because people are afraid to go downtown. Why bring the wife and kids for a day out on 16th st mall when the movement is shouting "fuck the police," all afternoon. You're bad apples - and I ask again kindly to stop wasting my tax dollars and go do something constructive. To all others I will take it upon myself to apologize for my generation's behavior and I truly hope that you know we're not all entitled little brats asking for handouts.

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