Occupy Wall Street, gay rights movement rallied at past Sundances | ParkRecord.com

Occupy Wall Street, gay rights movement rallied at past Sundances

The Sundance Film Festival has long attracted a range of demonstrations even though none were held in 2015 as the festival entered its final two days.

Some of the notable demonstrations over the past last 10 years, a period of growth for the festival, have included:

  • the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2012. The demonstrators, few than 12 people, targeted the Wells Fargo bank branch on Kearns Boulevard, at one point storming into the lobby as they chanted and danced. Police officers quickly ordered them out of the bank. The Occupy Wall Street movement rallied on Main Street the day before, drawing between 30 and 40 people.
  • the Westboro Baptist Church in 2011 and a counterdemonstration at the same time by Park City High School students. The Kansas church preaches an anti-gay message and was at Sundance to picket a film that depicted a fictional congregation seen as resembling Westboro Baptist Church. The approximately 200 students overwhelmed the handful of demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church outside Park City High School.
  • the gay rights movement in 2010. Approximately 30 demonstrators unhappy with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ position on gay marriage rallied outside a documentary screening at the Racquet Club. The documentary explored the Mormon role in a controversial ballot measure in California against gay marriage.
  • the animal rights movement in 2009. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a small demonstration on Main Street, contending that primates should not be used in films. One of the demonstrators was dressed in a gorilla suit and repeatedly threw a banana peel on the sidewalk. The 2009 demonstration was one of many animal rights protests during Sundance over the years.
  • the movement in opposition to the Iraqi war in 2007. The demonstration did not draw more than 50 people at one time, far fewer than organizers had hoped would join. The demonstrators screamed "war is insanity" and "stop the escalation" at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue.
  • critics of President George W. Bush in 2005. The approximately 30 people gathered on Main Street to mark Bush’s second inauguration. It was one of the more dramatic demonstrations held during Sundance. The demonstrators slowly walked down Main Street carrying a makeshift coffin. It was meant to represent a funeral for the rights of everyday Americans.

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