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State motorcycle group plans peaceful protest ride Saturday

A state motorcycle organization is planning a group ride from Las Vegas to Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Saturday to peacefully protest the Affordable Care Act and recent federal cuts to veterans pensions.

The Nevada chapter of 2 Million Bikers to DC, a national organization that plans a massive ride to Washington, D.C., each Sept. 11, also is riding to honor the nation’s veterans.

“Most of our riders are veterans and they care about the community and what’s going on,” said D’Nese Davis, assistant state coordinator for 2 Million Bikers to DC Nevada.

The group is specifically riding to protest U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s support of the act and pension cuts. After the ride, the group plans to send Reid a letter outlining its displeasure with his representation.

“It’s kind of a letter-writing campaign,” Davis said. “No threats, No stupid stuff. Just ‘pay attention to us Harry.’ ”

The group will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday at Crowbar, 1113 S. Rainbow Blvd., Las Vegas, and then head to Boulder City.

Once the group arrives at the cemetery, it will participate in a coin-placing ritual that dates from to the Vietnam War. But rather than placing coins on graves, as is traditionally done, the group will place them in a central location at the cemetery.

“It pays respect to those fallen,” Davis said. “You pretty much don’t know the person but you’re thanking them for their service. So when the widows come to visit their husbands, they know someone was there to say ‘Thank you.’ ”

After the gathering, the coins will be donated to the cemetery.

Davis said she is expecting at least 30 people to ride, but likely more will participate.

“I won’t be surprised if 50 or more people showed up,” she said. “And weather doesn’t really bother the bikers here. So even if we get the wind and little sprinkles, we’re going to ride.”

Davis said the ride and gathering are open to everyone wishing to attend.

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