As promised in a previous segment, Minister Stretch Sanders led a protest on Fremont St. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The protest is against the new city ordinance in attempt to clean up the streets of Las Vegas. The ordinance states that people who choose to live on the streets (homeless people) will be fined up to $1000 or up to six months in jail. In an attempt to diminish the homeless population on the streets, the city is punishing those who can’t help themselves. It is curious where someone with no job and no means to take care of themselves will come up with $1000 for the government.

 

It is also announced that Minister Sanders will not be returning to the show, as agreed between him and producers. He chooses to no longer be yelled at or sworn at by white people. Some of his previous comments, i.e. white people commit more crimes than black people, people of color can not be and are not racist, racism is a thing only white people can be, the majority of police officers are racist, have brought in callers who are disturbed and upset by his words. 

 

Occupy Fremont Protest occurred on MLK Day 2020, gathering one hundred protestors in downtown Las Vegas. Some set up camp in the middle of Fremont St.  Monday night. Protestors say that homeless is a very serious problem, but the bigger problem is that the government is not taking the opinion of the people into account. They held signs and chanted to show their outrage against the ordinance, standing and blocking the street. Police were on foot and on horseback, giving many options to disperse and leave. Many did, but about twelve did not. Those twelve were arrested. Minister Sanders was there with a bullhorn and a group of black panthers. He was vocal and leading the protest, getting the crowd pumped up, but was not one of the twelve arrested.

 

Shapiro’s opinion is that this was a waste of taxpayer money. He shares his thoughts that if these people thought they did something good by getting arrested on MLK day and doing nothing more than blocking streets, shouting chants, and holding signs was not accomplishing anything. JD Sharp weighs in, offering what would be a promoter’s standpoint. He suggests that the time Stretch Sanders spent on The Vegas Talk should have been used to talk about this protest, if he wanted to properly promote the event, especially in the two weeks leading up to the protest.

 

Yes, there has to be resistance. But if one were to ask how Martin Luther King Jr. would want to be remembered on MLK day, he may have said there would be better ways of going about it. In the end, what took place was twelve people getting arrested and the team isn’t sure what that does to solve the problem. This event was a bust. The objective was to change the ordinance. The purpose of the event was to change the way homeless people are treated, and put it in the books. This event wasn’t changing the minds, i.e. Caroline Goodman, to help fight for the homeless. Sharp asks if less than one hundred people joining Sanders, and a homeless man bringing a pack of beer to the event, would encourage government officials to take them seriously or make a change in policy. The lack of supporters and protestors suggests (to officials) that only 100 or less people care enough about the ordinance against the homeless community. One would hope that the number of people who disagree and are outraged by this ordinance is greater than those who showed up for the protest. However, the message wasn’t sent to those who needed to receive it. 

Rachael Edlow

Privacy Preference Center

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