Economic & Social Justice

Cinco de Mayo & the Gandhi Peace Picnic & Town Hall Meeting

May 3rd, 2014 | Posted by Occupy The Roads in Cinco de Mayo | Pueblo

We rode in the Cinco de Mayo parade on Saturday. It was only half the size as last year and sadly, upon reaching the park not too much happening to engage the people. Many of the participants just left. Having music outside and refreshments along with things for the kids to do, would have been really nice. Apparently something starts at 1pm but from 11 to 1 nothing, unless it was inside the El Centro building.    We sat for a bit and while parked on the street, John found us and gave us his take on what is happening (or not happening) on the east side. He shared what he’d like to see and who the main people who he felt were those who helped the east side.

We left El Centro de Sol to pick up some potato salad for the potluck at noon. Parked on 4th St. we went to visit Double J. Meats and owner Joe who came out to see the “V” and our newly painted canvas.   He knew Glen Burke and was thrilled to hear what we’re doing on and for the east side.  He said he would attend the meeting on the 6th where discussions will be held about revitalizing 4th St.
We arrived in Mineral Palace Park where we attended the Peace Picnic Sponsored by the Gandhi Peace Foundation:  Doug Gale, MaryAnn Roldan, Patrick Hurley, Steve Parke, Neema Caughran.

Many groups were represented in the small attendance. Everyone introduced themselves as we went around the group. Although there were only a dozen people present it was engaging. We discussed things happening around town that were open to the public. We talked about Veterans for Peace and the high cost of war, financially and emotionally for those who served and are serving. That, sadly, ended abruptly too when one member rushed everyone along so no discussion could take place that lasted more than the “allotted” two minutes.

Then a cop came by to tell the group..”Be sure you’re out by 2pm because another group is coming in”. Really? Was that was necessary, since the group had a permit and new their times?  Perhaps it was the presence of the “V” he found offensive? After the picnic we headed to Rawlings Library where Representative Leroy Garcia was holding a meeting to discuss the high cost of energy in Pueblo. As I pulled up to the only area conducive to dropping off an 87 yr old on oxygen and with a walker we were immediately asked to leave by a security guard. He wasn’t at all nice and appeared quite annoyed…again the presence of the “V” I wondered? When I told him we were helping a disabled person off he couldn’t care less. I wondered why this city is so unfriendly and so very intolerant? There are way too many rules!

When we arrived on the 4th floor we joined the meeting……apparently Black Hills Energy is looking for another rate increase of 3.9%. Pueblo has the highest electric/utility rates in all of Colorado and the greed of this company had a light shone on it at this meeting. Story after story from people directly affected by outlandish increases. Rep. Garcia is standing with the people to get a bill passed to stop the increases and help the people. Businesses are greatly affected by these increases, which also prove to be a deterrent for new businesses coming to Pueblo. This is what happens when a private (non transparent) company runs the publics utilities. Will the lessons ever be learned? (JW)

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