Water Rally Planned for Downtown Fresno

June 26, 2009 12:17:51 AM PDT
A big rally is being planned for this Wednesday in Downtown Fresno. With celebrities joining the cause, and an expected crowd of 10,000 people, valley farmers say their fight for water is far from over.A room full of farmers, government representatives and concerned citizens met in West Central Fresno Thursday night. They talked about their next step in bringing more water to the Central Valley.

"We want to send a message right? Turn on the pumps. Well, wear your blue shirts."

On Wednesday, the California Latino Water Coalition is sponsoring a rally for water in Downtown Fresno. It falls less than three months after thousands of people spent four days marching for water in the Central Valley.

"Those are all victories that help toward getting us a solution, but we're far from being there so we expect to do a number of these events and do whatever it takes to get us to the finish line."

Though it's uncertain if they'll be at Wednesday's rally, actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and rocker Gene Simmons are reportedly joining Central Valley's water campaign. But organizers say the real voice in this fight are people like the Walls family. A generation of farmers who are now looking for alternatives because of the lack of water.

"The ground we have planted as permanent crops is what we're trying to hang onto now. The other properties that we have been fallowed haven't had anything planted for three years. There's just not enough water left to go plant."

"I actually had a job interview in North Carolina so I was gonna move to the complete other side of the country due to opportunity because I saw this coming since a while back."

The rally starts at noon in front of city hall, and will include a march throughout the streets of Downtown Fresno. But this Sunday, US Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar will hold a public forum starting at 2-30 at Fresno State.

Rally organizers are encouraging farmers and their supporters to show up to that event as well.

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