September 10, 2005 - Las Vegas, NV
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September 24, 2005 is to become one of the most important days in recent history for the Las Vegas community. While thousands of Americans will be marching nation wide on this day to demand the end of racist wars waged in our names throughout the world, Las Vegas will be rallying together in support of education, housing, healthcare, jobs, sovereignty, and peace NOW! This massive local rally will be held September 24th beginning at noon in Huntridge Circle Park (located on Maryland and Charleston). While being just one gathering among many, the September 24th event in Las Vegas will be unlike any other. The City of Las Vegas, elected to serve the people, recognizes the potential power of the people coming together on this day and is doing all that it can to block the organization of this event, all that it can to silence the demand that our community be funded properly. The Las Vegas community alone has lost over 416 million dollars to Iraq, yet the City of Las Vegas that offered up these funds collected from its citizens to the war are now proposing extensive fees be paid for the community to gather in opposition to their money being used to buy death rather than fund public services. The City of Las Vegas has not even been forthright calling for fees, choosing rather to ignore organizers requests for permits, with one elected officer, city attorney Bill Henry, dismissing an organizer with an unnecessarily biting personal insult.
In response to the lack of cooperation the community is facing in trying to secure a permit for Huntridge Circle Park, for sound, and for a secured march route, Peace NOW is calling on all citizens concerned with this breech on our First Amendment rights to contact the Deputy City Manager, Steve Houchens at http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Government/city_manager.htm as well as the Mayor Oscar Goodman at http://www.lasvegasnevada.gov/Government/city_manager.htm as well as the Mayor Oscar Goodman at link to www.lasvegasnevada.gov in order to hold the Deputy City Manager and the Mayor accountable to those that take the time to write them. This issue is important enough for a letter from everyone informed because, regardless of politics, free use of the park should be offered to all regardless of wealth. This will be a precedent setting issue regarding the future use of public space in Las Vegas. Peace NOW asserts that the community has a right to free use of public space without harassment and calls on all that agree to pressure these local officials.
Las Vegas's September 24th action will also be unique considering that no other rally will include a community festival. Entertainment will be provided by local favorites GDB, Over the Line, Nick Caparso, and DJ Shem. The funds saved from the outrageous permit cost will be used to provide free water and food at this event, with a free store also being coordinated. A variety of fun and artistic projects for adults and children will also be set up for the community to have a day full of fun and progress. The playfulness of this event will not overshadow the ultimate message that the struggles of our local community are intertwined with the struggling of oppressed people through out the nation and throughout the world. We support our troops by demanding that they return from combat. We support Iraqi freedom through liberation of their land. It is evident that life should be pursued rather than death, as our list of local and national speakers will demonstrate through linking struggles back to the oppressive war machine.