President Barack Obama’s visit to Boise is a rare chance for Idaho groups to get their messages in front of the nation’s leader. Organizations critical of the President are organizing demonstrations outside the Boise State University sports complex where he'll speak Wednesday afternoon. Others will rally for causes and issues hoping to get attention from Obama.
Protesters who want the President to do more to free the Boise pastor imprisoned in Iran will show up wearing yellow t-shirts in support of Saeed Abedini. The Idaho Statesman reports Abedini's wife Naghmeh will get the chance to meet with Obama.
Another group planning to turn out is a coalition that has been trying for years to get the President to declare Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds Mountains a national monument. They want Obama to leave Boise with the impression that there’s a lot of support for the monument in Idaho.
The coalition has organized a rally and made more than 1,000 signs to hand out, says Kate Thorpe with Conservation Voters for Idaho.
“We’re definitely trying to figure out as much as we can about what the route will look like and what the entrance will look like so that we can be there,” Thorpe says. “We’re trying to position ourselves in a spot so that no matter where he were to enter that building, you could see our crowd.”
Thorpe doesn't think a rally will necessarily make the President declare the Boulder-White Clouds a national monument. But she says it's still important to seize Obama's Boise visit as an opportunity to rally.
“We believe strongly that should he [the President] show up for a visit and not see support, they would back off and they wouldn’t declare it [a national monument],” Thorpe says.
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