Thursday, April 16, 2009

Albuquerque, New Mexico Tea Party

From Sylvia Bokor
Here in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Tea Party crowd was estimated at around 4,000. Protests were also being held in Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Farmington, who had the fewest---estimated at a hundred or so, the radio announcer reported.
Although the rally was scheduled to start at 4:PM I arrived at 1:38 to see if I could help out. Even so, the area in front of Independence Grill (HQ for the TeaParty) was already starting to fill up. By 2:PM vehicles starting to run east and west on Montgomery Blvd. At 3:PM I and a small group were asked to head out to Montgomery with our signs and line up. By 3:30 the place was packed, and a huge bus-load of people flocked in. By 4:PM it was a near mad-house with vehicles continuously streaming by on Montgomery Blvd blowing horns accompanied by a lot of cheering and thumbs up. By 4:20 the crowd of protestors spilled onto Montgomery going east and west for about a half mile in both directions on both sides of the street, plus some standing on the middle curbing. Bullhorns blared and one big vehicle with a marvelously horsey and loud roar came by a couple of times. Most of the vehicles carried sympathizers with their own signs or thumbs up and horns blasting.
A radio station or two broadcasted live and continuous coverage. They interviewed some of the protesters and a couple of pols. The radio commentator stationed in front Independence Grill was sympathetic to the protest and explained it accurately. I also spotted a TV camera or two.
I saw only one person carrying an opposing sign. Someone told me they saw two people who rode by and made an obscene gesture. Otherwise, no opposition to speak of.
I left a 5: PM to see what the media was reporting. KOB, the local affiliate of NBC and KOAT, the affiliate of ABC, both had photo coverage of the protest and light comment, none derogatory; another news station (I think it was CBS) reported that the rally was going to go on until 7:PM.
Most of the signs showed comments on fiscal responsibility, taxes and taking money from earners and giving it to non-earners. Several of us had signs supporting capitalism and against socialism. Several others showed signs with Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand on them. I also handed out flyers with that kind of message. The tenor of the crowd was positive and friendly.

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