Sipping on a black cup of coffee and conversing with prospective constituents at a Loveland coffee shop Saturday, former mayor of New York City and presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani was surprised by a grassroots protest against his campaign, which is largely run on fuel from what the puclic view as an outstanding performance after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The protestors, most of them from a non-profit organization called We Are Change Colorado (WACC) came into the coffee shop and started chanting, “The 9/11 Commission Report is a farce!” and asking Giuliani questions about inconsistencies in his testimonies of the attacks.
Security agents attempted to quell the scene by pushing the dissenters from Loveland Coffee Co. where Loveland Police said people couldn’t protest, citing that it was private property.
But the dissent went from inside to outside as Giuliani attempted to leave for a fund raiser at a Windsor country club and a New York reporter attempted to continue the heckling.
Sander Hicks, from Drench Kiss Media Corporation, asked repeatedly why Giuliani had sent the melted steel away from ground zero to be recycled — evidence, protestors said, that should have been used in the investigation of the integrity of the building.
Loveland police and campaign security officers escorted Hicks from Loveland Coffee Co. property and warned that if he re-entered the premises he would be arrested.
Law enforcement officers also pushed Collegian reporters from the shop before they were able to ask questions.
“You guys are given the opportunity to leave right now,” said a security agent as he pushed protestors and reporters out the door.
Giuliani supporters drowned out the protest with chants of, “Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!”
The candidate answered questions from reporters about his campaign and signed autographs with a smile at a press conference outside the shop in the midst of the heckling.
The protesters stayed for about half an hour after Giuliani left to answer questions from reporters and debate with Giuliani supporters.
“I’m a reporter out of New York City and I was just assaulted by police here for asking a rational question,” Hicks said. “Boy, I really thought you could ask a question in this country!”
Hicks, who teamed up with WACC Saturday morning, said that he has been researching the truth about 9/11 since it happened and that Giuliani knew the buildings were coming down.
“I’m waking up the American people to the fact that we have criminals running the government,” he said.
One protestor used a megaphone to chant, “Rudy Giuliani is a fake conservative! Rudy Giuliani is pro abortion! Rudy Giuliani is pro North American Union!”
A Giuliani supporter said the dissenters were jumping to false conclusions.
“You’re being inhospitable and stupid without facts, without basis,” said one supporter.
Adam Miller from WACC told the Collegian that Giuliani knew the towers were going to come down without precedent, citing the fact that no building has ever collapsed from mere fire.
“I could believe the top floor could have fallen off, but not the entire building,” Miller said. “It’s all very creepy . shady.”
Bobby Carson, editor in chief of the Ram Republic, a student-run conservative news publication at CSU, attended Giuliani’s appearance to shake the candidate’s hand and was disheartened at the protest.
“It’s nice if they want to come tell Giuliani what they think about 9/11,” Carson said. “But it would have been nice to have some civil discourse.”
Fort Collins resident Jonathan Zehnder contributed to this report. Assistant News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.