Taking On the Donald
Almost a thousand of us braved the 110 degree heat yesterday to protest Trump’s visit to Las Vegas. He came to support our total tool of a Senator – Dean Heller – who is considered to have the most at-risk Senate seat. Other celebrated Republican candidates in attendance included Adam Laxalt (running for Governor) and Danny Tarkanian (running for Congress). Both of these men have been banking off their family names: Laxalt being the grandson of Nevada royalty, Senator Paul Laxalt, and Tarkanian being the son of the infamous UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian and current city councilwoman Lois Tarkanian. Ideally all three men’s political careers will come to an end in November. Rumor had it that the cost of attending this GOP event was $25,000 per person.
Vibe on the Street
Protesters began assembling at the Suncoast Hotel/Casino at 10:00 to greet Trump who arrived at 11:40 after leaving a private event at someone’s home (possibly Sheldon Adelson who lives about a mile away from the Suncoast). While most passing vehicles who responded to the protest did so in a positive manner, giving a thumbs up, a fist up, or honking their horn in support, about one out of ten responders presented their middle finger or flew a Trump banner from their car or motorcycle. The crowd began thinning out after Trump’s arrival and only about 150 of us stayed to see him leave for his final venue at a roundtable discussion at the South Point Hotel/Casino.
Conditions at the Event
Despite the efforts of a few counter-protesters, the event was peaceful. The protest organizers were strict about ensuring that attendees stayed out of the street and off of the Suncoast’s property. However, Suncoast security and Metro cops were calm and allowed protesters to stand on the grassy area of the Suncoast property that was between the sidewalk and the parking lot so protesters could enjoy the shade provided by the pine trees and not succumb to heat stroke. Chilled bottled water was in liberal supply thanks to the event organizers. For such a hot day, all things transpired exceptionally well.
The protesters were a diverse group. At least a third of the crowd was over the age of 50 – many were over 65 – and less than a quarter of the crowd was under 25. Every ethnicity was represented. While many of the organizers were young, I was dismayed with the lopsided demographics of the participants. It is critical that younger people take on the mantle of this cause and especially that they get out to vote. After all, it is their future we are fighting for.
Why Bother Protesting?
What exactly inspires people to spend the better part of a day holding up a sign and group chanting their beliefs? In short, protesters are determined to demonstrate their support for a cause to the government, bring public attention to an issue, and commune with others who share their convictions. While protesting rarely brings immediate results – particularly peaceful protests – research shows that protests eventually deliver change.
Not My First Rodeo
From anti-nuclear protests to actions against the Reagan administration, I have been hitting the streets, the UNLV campus, and the Nevada Test Site since the mid-1980s to march for my beliefs. And as long as social, political, economic, and environmental injustice remains – and my health permits – you will find me taking non-violent action to make the world a better place for my children, grandchildren, and humanity in general.
The video shows Trump and his entourage leaving the Suncoast.