Local group planning protest rally

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

A Clovis group is asking citizens to bring lunch and a voice, and they’ll provide the TEA.

In following with the nationwide trend, a group that calls itself the Clovis Patriots is holding a noon forum Wednesday on Main Street. The portion of Main Street between Seventh and Eighth streets will be closed to traffic from noon to 1 p.m. for the rally.

“It’s non-partisan,” said Penny Bailey of Clovis, an event organizer. “There’s no Republican Party representation, there’s no Democratic Party representation. It’s American citizens coming together.

“If you don’t like the direction American officials are taken, this is a rare and wonderful opportunity to say so.”

Similar rallies are planned in 22 other cities in New Mexico, according to teapartyday.com, with Roswell being the closest neighboring city to host one.

Organizers are providing free tea, promoting the acronym Taxed Enough Already. Bailey said former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley will deliver a short keynote address before there is an open mic session for citizens for about 30 to 40 minutes.

“It’s a rally of citizens that want to send a message to their elected officials, whatever that message may be,” Bailey said.

Other features, Bailey said, included large cards for citizens to write notes to their elected representatives.

Bailey asked citizens to bring canned food items, which would be donated to the Clovis Food Pantry.

Greg Southard of Clovis said he was excited for the opportunity when he heard about it, and said coming together April 15 — the day income taxes are due — sends the message that it’s not good government to spend now and burden future generations with the bill.

“None of us are happy about the multiple bailouts that go on, and don’t seem to anything (but) delay the inevitable,” said Southard, who noted that the area’s three Congressional representatives have been invited. “Some businesses are going to fail. That’s the way the rest of the economy works. I think that is certainly one of the things that drives all of us crazy.”

Bailey said there are about 20 members of Clovis Patriots, but that number could grow after the rally.

“It’s not going to end with April 15,” Bailey said. “That’s just the beginning.”