Sanders has expressed condemnation of the ordinance and has proposed an arrangement of a protest against its passing, to be held on MLK day on Fremont Street. He joins TVT to share his plans and reasoning for organizing the protest.
He says it’s called the “Justice for the Poor” march. The protest is going to require the shutting down of Fremont Street, impacting business and community members not a part of the march. “We’re doing this to bring awareness,” said Sanders. “This has become a national issue, but no one nationally has taken action with us yet. To get those to join us and to see that this is a war against the poor and an inhumane situation, we must dramatize the situation by taking it to the streets.”
Sanders continues by explaining that he understands the ordinance more as a money issue. “This is a business deal. It has nothing to do with helping people and it has nothing to do with what’s best for the city. It is about what’s best for tourism and what’s best for the pockets of those who sit on our city council.”
Shapiro expresses his genuine agreement with Sanders but has one criticism. To understand the nature of protesting in general, Shapiro asks “why do this? Why block streets and inconvenience people and businesses?” Sanders responds saying that he asks for those that don’t want to be inconvenienced by the protest to simply join it. “On MLK day, we are asking that they come join us here. If they come join us then it’s not an inconvenience. It should be a state of emergency! In no city or town, large or small should there be anybody who’s on the street. We have funded an arena, bringing in sports teams and buildings. I counted 106 hotel and casinos on Google. Every person should be concerned with people without homes,” said Sanders. He goes on to criticize Shapiro for questioning the protest, although he continues to express agreement. Sanders is concerned that Las Vegas’ funding is focused on making money rather than helping the public.
He lastly comments that people only care about the homeless when the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas come around. “After Christmas, we don’t care. I’m asking the other ministers to get out of your four walls. Get out of your mosque, your synagogues, your churches, and get some courage and do what the prophets and people that you believe in would have done. If Jesus was alive right now physically, he would be marching with us.”
Sharp and Shapiro accept several calls, the first of which agrees with Sanders, even proposing that McCarran International Airport be shut down in addition to Freemont Street. “I think that you need to broaden your view of where you need to shut down. McCarran International Airport should be targeted as well,” said the caller. This sparked debate, as Sanders agreed the protest should be dramatized to this extent, while Shapiro believes inconveniencing international travelers and even impacting the lives of transplant recipients who await the transference of organs.
Another caller expressed concern that the protest will take place on MLK day, commenting that the protest will immortalize the holiday. “[MLK] was nonviolent, it’s wrong that you’re going to break laws to try to create laws that fix the problem,” said the caller to Sanders. Caller Angela, says that if Sanders can get the thousand or so expected protestors to participate, he should encourage many people to fundraise and open up a homeless shelter or even open up a homeless community.