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Movement to keep Thacher open picks up steam

The following day, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Capitol building to protest the closing of the 41 state parks." Protesters chanted such rallying calls as "hey, hey, ho, ho, these cuts to parks have got to go," "whose parks? Our parks " and" park's are the people's."

Anni Murray, one of the grassroots organizers of the protest, said "These parks belong to us, they are not government parks, they are our parksparks are spectacularly beautiful, and parks don't have political power."

Mary Boyce, of Voorheesville, was one of the protesters on hand to call for the legislature to keep the park open. "Thacher Park is beautiful, people come up there all year.I think Thacher Park is a whole lot more important than people realize.

Assemblyman Steve Englebright D-Setauket, chairman of the New York State Assembly's Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development, was on hand to support the protesters in their cause.

Englebright said that some state parks are already implementing parts of the cuts, turning away people who would like to use the parks as camp grounds. "Their implementing it, it's outrageous," he said. He also said such implementation may also be illegal and called for the parks to "stand down from preempting the people's voice."

"We are not going to be pushed around, and we are not going to let our state parks close," he said.

According to Englebright, the state has never closed down a park, not even in the Great Depression.

He also called on the supporters to keep up their efforts. "Keep up the pressure, keep those cards and letters coming," he said.

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