Neighbors spearheading gas protest

Katherine Null, left, and Irene Tucker, are trying to organize a gas boycott in Clovis on Saturday to fight back against the oil industry. (Staff photo: Eric Kluth)

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

A stack of hand-written fliers and the Internet their arsenal, neighbors Irene Tucker and Katherine Null are fighting rising gas prices.

The Clovis residents have distributed more than 60 fliers throughout the county urging vehicle owners to refrain from purchasing gas Saturday.

Tucker and Null said the grass-roots, anti-oil company movement gained momentum on the Internet, with news of gas boycotts passing from one e-mail inbox to the next.

The e-mail that landed in Tucker’s inbox said if everyone in the United States did not purchase “a single drop of gasoline” for one day at the same time, oil companies would suffer “a net loss of over 4.6 billion dollars.”

The e-mail, sent by a Florida sales manager, goes on to declare Sept. 10th, “Stick It To Them Day.”

The feisty message prompted Tucker and Null to post fliers announcing the boycott all over Curry and Roosevelt Counties — in courthouses, the library, the community college, and Eastern New Mexico University, among other places, they said.

According to Tucker, the first gas boycott held Sept. 1 wasn’t successful. In hopes of turnaround Saturday, the duo said they will pass fliers to drivers today on Prince Street.

“I want to see gas prices go down, or not go up. If enough people get involved, it could happen,” said Tucker, a retired blue-collar worker.

Tucker and Null said record-high gas prices are virtually clamping the wallets of low-wage workers. A simple visit to the grocery store, said Tucker, leaves her unable to perform other weekly errands.

“Poor people can’t afford it,” an angered Tucker said.

Gas prices crept past $3 a gallon in many places last weekend.

“Clovis doesn’t have many high wage earners; I hope we can send the message that we won’t stand for these high gas prices,” said Null, a school bus driver who spent Tuesday afternoon at her next-door neighbor’s house organizing boycott efforts.

Null is riding her newly purchased bike to work. She said she will continue to rely on the bike for transportation if gas prices remain high. Her weekly trips to her daughter’s place of employment, Cannon Air Force Base, may also have to be curbed, she said.

“It’s always in the back of my mind,” said Null of gas prices. “I try to figure out how to combine errands and try to conserve gas in any way I can.”

“This time,” said Tucker, “we want to let people know (about the boycott). Word of mouth can travel fast.”