Scores of anti-war protesters march in front of Venetian


On the eve of the Iraq war, Linda Turner protested, just as she did during Vietnam.

Five years later, she's still protesting.

"It's frustrating," the 66-year-old said Saturday. "They didn't listen to us then."

She then picked up a sign and joined about 100 people in front of The Venetian about 1 p.m., calling for an end to the war in Iraq and any potential action against Iran.

"Bring them home!" members of Nevada Workers Against the War shouted as onlookers gawked and tourists in the hotel's gondolas, just a few feet away, peered up to see what the fuss was about.

The organization made up mostly of members of various unions, targeted The Venetian because it is owned by Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson.

Adelson is a Republican political activist and significant contributor to Freedom's Watch, a right-wing group aiming to counter the liberal MoveOn.org. The resort also is not a union property.

Freedom's Watch's Web site warns of the "emerging Iranian threat" and "Big Labor's radical agenda."

During his trip to Las Vegas earlier this year, President Bush attended a Republican Party fundraiser at Adelson's home.

That message appeared to be lost on the hundreds of tourists walking past the rally. Only 23-year-old protester Sarah Kulkin carried a sign mentioning the casino tycoon. "Sheldon Adelson uses your $ to propagate war w/Iran," her sign read.

A call to a Las Vegas Sands Corp. spokesman was not returned.

Several tourists stopped to observe the protesters, who walked in an orderly semicircle on the sidewalk.

"Democracy in action. It's just great," said 35-year-old Tim Jackson, who was visiting Las Vegas from Great Britain.

Other tourists seemed puzzled by a protest on the Strip.

"This doesn't seem like an appropriate place," said 46-year-old Jim Genna of Dallas. "I think it would be better in Washington, where there's people in power."

Protest organizer Sean Sabatini said the protest was the first on the Strip for the organization, which he described as loosely knit.

Contact reporter Lawrence Mower at lmower@reviewjournal.com or (702) 383-0440.

 

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