Austin, TEXAS (KXAN) - Ever since UT leadersannounced they will shut down the
About 100 people, young and old, gathered at Maria's TacoX-Press in South Austin to rally behind UT's Cactus Cafe Saturdayafternoon.
"I want to be focused, I want to do everything we can in ourpower to try and stop this from happening," said Robert Steel, whoattended the organizational meeting.
Steel and other supporters are part of a grassroots grouporganizing online called Savethe Cactus Cafe.
"I am willing to make phone calls, get e-mail support groups,phone groups together, we can make a bunch of phone calls," Steelexplained.
One Cactus fan with a seat in the legislature said he'll go evenfarther than that.
"I put down that I will do anything that I can to help save theCactus Cafe," said Democratic Representative Elliott Naishtat.
Organizers said mobilizing people is good in the short term andare hoping numbers get the university to reconsider.
Long-term, they hope to start fundraising efforts to support theCactus.
"I think that if we can show that there's a viable way tomake the Cactus run in the black and a profitable enterprise thatit will benefit the university," said Reid Nelson, aSaveTheCactusCafe.org leader.
The inspiration behind the effort comes from the list ofperformers who've made the Cactus stage a legendary one.
"It's like breath-taking to know who all has stepped onthat stage over all these years and it is being taken away on awhim," Steel said, while reminiscing about the time he has spent atthe Cactus.
So far, Nelson said UT has not been receptive to his plan, buthe, along with other cafe lovers, are staying positive.
"We'll keep knocking at the door, we intend to keep knocking inmany ways," Nelson said.
Nelson told KXAN that the next phase of his organization'seffort is getting everyone from this afternoon's meeting intocommittees to work on the details of how to get the cafe turning aprofit for the school.
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