Hundreds brave Vegas heat to blast Trump, Heller

By: - June 23, 2018 1:57 pm
trump demo

Demonstrators at the Nevada Republican Convention Saturday. Photo: Michael Lyle

Across the country, people have been speaking out against the Trump Administration’s policies that have resulted in immigrant families being separated at the border. With Donald Trump’s visit to Las Vegas Saturday, local protesters came out to voice their anger in person.

“No Trump, no KKK, no Racist USA,” some chanted.

“The people united will never be divided,” others said.

Trump was in town Saturday to campaign and raise money for Sen. Dean Heller, and address the GOP state convention at the Suncoast in Summerlin. For almost two hours before his arrival at the hotel, protesters filled the sidewalk of Rampart Boulevard next the the hotel.

They held up signs that said “Make America Tolerant Again,” “Abolish ICE,” and “So many issues, not enough signs.”

Several progressive organizations such as Make the Road Nevada, Battle Born Progress and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, organized the event.

Hundreds braved the triple-digit Las Vegas heat. “Las Vegas really showed up today,” said Annette Magnus, the executive director of Battle Born Progress.

When Trump drove down Rampart, his motorcade took a side entrance, bypassing the majority of the protesters on the sidewalk in front of the hotel.

“Of course he wouldn’t face us,” Magnus said.

Most stayed on the sidewalk, but some tried to cross into the Suncoast parking lot. However, security met them and warned them they were on private property.

Nevertheless, they persisted shouting chants such as, “Where are the children?” and “Deport Trump’s Hate.”

Among the crowd was Jean Melby-Mauer who wore a shirt that said “United Against Hate.” She is outraged by Trump’s actions.

“When you have a purposeful policy that dehumanizes people by calling them animals and claiming they’re infesting the country, then you have lost your soul,” she says.

If she had the opportunity, Melby-Mauer adds, she would be at the border speaking out against what’s happening. Standing on the sidewalk in Summerlin is the next best thing.

Also attending was Susan Abraham, the daughter of Polish immigrants. She held up a sign that said: “My parents were Holocaust survivors, my daughter is a scientist. We make the U.S. great.”

“When you have children held in chain link fences, that’s a cage,” she says. “Let’s not pretend it’s a summer camp.”

It wasn’t just about holding Trump accountable for his policies. The protestors were adamant about admonishing Heller as well as Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is running for governor. Both spoke at the Republican convention at the Suncoast. Trump was also in town to raise money for Heller.  

“As far as I’m concerned, Heller is milquetoast,” Melby-Mauer says. “What in the world is he doing (at the Suncoast)? He should be distancing himself from Trump.”

This wasn’t the first time Las Vegas activists have rallied against the administration.

“And we are going to keep doing this,” Magnus says. “Anytime Trump or someone from his administration comes here, we will be out here holding them accountable.”

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to be in Reno on Monday. And so will more protesters, Magnus adds.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.