Populist Moore’s talk draws diverse audience

The event sold out shortly before it began.

Chelsie Hanstad

The line of people gathered to see populist author and filmmaker Michael Moore wrapped around the block Saturday evening at the Sports Pavilion.

The diverse crowd – which included students, families and senior citizens – waited in the rain to hear Moore address issues relating to pop culture, politics and current events.

“He’s very sharp and down to earth,” said Diane Zwirn, a graduate student in education. “You don’t read his books and feel like he’s talking down to you.”

Other students said they appreciate Moore’s ability to explain complicated issues.

“He puts together ideas and makes it so you can understand,” child psychology sophomore Emily Tautges said.

Several people wore T-shirts and buttons supporting University union workers. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3800 took the opportunity to hand out fliers with information about their negotiations with the University and possible strike.

“People who are interested in Michael Moore would probably be interested in the struggle for justice,” said Brad Sigal, a University office specialist and AFSCME Local 3800 member. “Moore speaks to and for working people.”

Moore, whose latest book, “Dude, Where’s My Country?” came out last week, won an Academy Award for his 2002 documentary “Bowling for Columbine.”

Tickets for his University event sold out shortly before it began, but people were still hopeful.

“Does anyone have one extra ticket?” one woman asked, strolling up and down the sidewalk.