Today: May 29, 2024

New Haven rallies for Ron Paul outside courthouse

Photo Courtesy | Michael BellmoreMIKE BELLMOREStaff Writer

Southern grad Billy Guida is not a political science major. He was not a member of the student government before he graduated last year. He was never one to plaster campus bulletin boards with fliers or hand out pamphlets, and he never raged against the machine. But this past Saturday he brought more than 25 people to the New Haven Courthouse to demonstrate in favor of Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul.

“I was always a Ron Paul fan, but never really thought he had a chance until last year when I saw there was actual support out there for him,” Guida said. “When I saw that all the various scenarios he talked about in the ‘08 debates coming true – economic, military, political – I knew it was now or never to get behind someone like Ron Paul. This 2012 election is going to be the most important of our lifetime.”

On what was a remarkably and possibly unseasonably pleasant day, Paul supporters waved their signs on the courthouse steps. Pam Neidig, a high school teacher from Waterford, traveled half the state to attend the rally. She said Paul is the only Republican candidate she would consider voting for.

“He’s just conservative enough to hold me,” Neidig said. “I’m pretty liberal, but I don’t think there’s any other really worthy candidates.”

Neidig said she was a huge supporter of President Barack Obama during the ‘08 election. But the last four years have changed her mind. She said she wished she could continue supporting Obama, but can’t. His promise to end the wars was high on her list as to why not.

“I still have a lot of students that are over in Afghanistan or have just returned from Iraq, and it took a long time for that to happen,” Neidig said. “And financially none of use are really in a better state than we were in four years ago.”

While she spoke, drivers passing down Elm Street honked their horns. The demonstrators scurried up to the open windows of cars idling at red lights, offering pamphlets. Some passersby whooped and shouted Paul’s name, some called out Obama’s. Everyone seemed to be having a good time.

The event, Guida said, was not the product of any particular organization. It was an entirely grass roots effort put together using social media sites.

“I thought I should probably see if there were other supporters in the New Haven area, and I decided to make a Facebook group,” Guida said. “Along with the meet-up groups, we organized, came together, and found out that there’s a lot of support here.”

Just across the street from the courthouse on the New Haven Green was another sort of demonstration – one that’s slightly more permanent and a little less jubilant than the sign waving event 100 yards away.

In the mess tent of the encampment was Chris Kidd, making tea. He said was not a true occupier, that he doesn’t sleep in the tents or participate in the general assemblies. But he does often help out around the camp because he believes in what the occupiers are doing. As far as the Paul rally across the street, he said, “I believe that if you feel something is wrong you should protest it and point it out.”

Kidd, a democrat, said he wouldn’t vote for Paul. He said he disagrees with the Paul supporters, but that he was happy to see people out in the streets, raising their voices for something they believe in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog