200 gather in park for freedom rally
Nearly 200 people gathered Saturday afternoon at a so-called “Freedom Rally” in Lincoln Park to lament the direction of state and federal government ahead of Monday’s tax-filing deadline.
The tradition began in April 2009. The tea bag-decorated hats of that first event were gone Saturday, and the mostly handwritten signs of four years ago mostly had been replaced by printed ones with updated slogans like “Recall Hickenlooper” and “Take Back Colorado 2014.”
A bake sale full of sweets mocked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recently proposed ban on soda drinks larger than 16 ounces.
Kevin McCarney of Freedom! Colorado, the organizing group of this year’s rally, told the crowd that new laws, including those pertaining to guns, were chipping away at people’s freedoms.
“We have a choice: freedom or slavery,” he said.
District 51 School Board member Jeff Leany told the crowd he wore a black shirt to Saturday’s rally because he was mourning Colorado falling 12 spots over four years on a freedom ranking, although he did not specify which ranking.
He encouraged the audience to attend more school board meetings and to vote for conservative candidates to fill three School Board spots up for election this November.
The seats belonging to Harry Butler and Leslie Kiesler, who are term-limited, will be on the ballot, as will the spot of Palisade board member Greg Mikolai.
“It’s up to us to get involved,” Leany said, adding he also hopes conservatives can come together to unseat Hickenlooper and an unnamed senator.
Sen. Mark Udall, a Colorado Democrat, is up for re-election in November 2014 and fellow Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet is up for re-election in 2016.
Palisade farmer David Cox told rally attendees the word gun control used to mean handling a gun properly. But he believes it has morphed into a term meaning citizen disarmament.
“If we are conned into this, we will go the way of other countries who have been disarmed — mass annihilation. This is not a joke,” Cox said, adding, “Free people are armed people.”
The event also included patriotic songs, booths where people could sign petitions and join groups and a recitation of a speech from the movie “Braveheart.”