There are plenty of differences between the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements, as cartoonist Kenny Be pointed out in his post "Occupy Wall Street vs. the Tea Party: A visual guide." But their members' shared sense of dissatisfaction inspired The Daily Beast to use them as a barometer to determine America's ten angriest cities. And you guessed it: Denver tops the chart.
The website reached this conclusion by combining the per capita turnouts for the Tea Party's April 15, 2009 protests and the Occupy Wall Street-related demonstrations on October 15. In addition, cities had to have a population of more than 500,000 in order to have a shot at the anger championship -- and Denver, with an estimated 582,447 resisdents, snuck in under the wire, and took the title from the big boys. Here's the top-ten countdown:
10. New York City 9. Chicago, Illinois 8. Washington, D.C. 7. Las Vegas, Nevada 6. Phoenix, Arizona 5. Tucson, Arizona 4. San Francisco, California 3. Seattle, Washington 2. Portland, Oregon 1. Denver
The Beast's estimates put the April 2009 Tea Party protest attendance here at 5,000 and the October 15 Occupy Denver crowd at 2,000 -- a number at the low end of the scale. Our Kelsey Whipple gauged the later sum at 3,000, and plenty of folks suggest the actual number was closer to 4,000. Nonetheless, these digits result in a "Total protesters per million" of 12,018 -- far higher than Chicago's comparatively paltry 1,416, Tucson's 4,204 or even Portland's 8,197.
Here's the blurb explaining Denver's achievement in ire:
Denver has had high attendance for both the conservative and progressive movements that have sprung up since Barack Obama took the White House, and local politicians have started taking sides since the Occupy Wall Street protests began last month. "Plenty of people in the world are hurting right now," Denver councilwoman Susan Shepherd said yesterday. "The time is right for truthful leadership. We would be very wise to enter into productive dialogue with these folks. It's rare that 100,000 people in this country are out in the streets."
Of course, when councilwoman Shepherd spoke to Westword, she seemed inspired and optimistic about the Occupy Denver protests, not brimming with resentment and negative emotions -- and that's true of many folks we've profiled in recent days. That includes yesterday's subject, Scianda Long, who said she may be cynical about the system, but is less cynical about humanity because of her participation in Occupy Denver.
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Whether these views qualify as anger is open to debate -- and that's not even to mention the latest Occupy Denver fashion accessory, the wearable protest tent. But let's not miss the forest for the trees. The most important thing is, Denver's number one again.
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More from our Occupy Denver archive: "Occupy Denver petition protests arrests, hopes for 10,000 signatures."