A large group of people wearing matching outfits and chanting in unison made a spectacle of themselves today.

This was their intent, a spectacle, featuring a documentarian, the local TV news folks, newspaper writers and photographers from across the valley.

In this, they succeeded.

Most of them donned red T-shirts as a sign of solidarity. Many carried signs. “Down but not out” was a popular one. They chanted and shouted and sang hymn-like songs as they marched down the Strip as lunchtime approached.

“The West Side fought the battle of F Street and the wall came tumbling down,” went some of their lyrics.

The group opposes the closure of F Street in the historic black neighborhood of West Las Vegas. This closure has been long planned as part of the Interstate 15 widening project.

“The system of segregation is on its deathbed,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. bellowed from a system of loudspeakers in the back of a green Dodge pickup truck accompanying the marchers.

And there is the argument this group makes. That the closure of F Street will in fact segregate them — will segregate their part of town — from the rest of Las Vegas.

This, they said, is not right. It is typical of how they have been treated for decades, they said.

And so they marched, hoping for attention, hoping for change. Hoping for respect.

They marched from behind the Flamingo, north on the Strip, to the Convention Center, where the National Association of Broadcasters is holding its annual show. It is not uncommon for protesters to seek attention by focusing on the NAB show.

Trish Geran, an event organizer, said getting attention was a main goal of the march.

Saul Willis is 58. He is thin, with a mostly white beard and bifocals. He said he lives at 602 McWilliams Ave, which is on the corner of F Street.

“The construction did a lot of damage to my home,” Willis said as the marchers began to organize this morning in the street outside the Second Baptist Church, which sits on the corner of F Street and Madison Avenue.

He said he has lived in the neighborhood since 1968, when he was a teenager. The neighborhood is mostly the same as it used to be, he said, just older. In that, West Las Vegas is almost the polar opposite of the rest of Las Vegas.

Over the years, Willis said, various streets into and out of the neighborhood have been shut down.

This F Street thing is the latest.

“I see some kind of a pattern,” he said.

Some blame racism. They say that if this weren’t a black neighborhood, none of this would have happened.

Or maybe it’s happening because it’s a poor neighborhood. Surely, this would never happen in Summerlin, they say.

“I can’t say what’s going on inside their minds,” Willis said of the project’s planners. “I don’t know what’s going on. I just don’t think it’s fair.”

Government officials have said they did all that was required of them in designing the freeway project, which involves widening I-15 where it passes over the neighborhood. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of neighborhood residents, though it has not been resolved.

State transportation officials say it would cost $30 million to redesign and reconstruct what’s been done already. The entire project will cost $240 million.

What’s being done makes the protesters angry. They say a main thoroughfare out of their neighborhood and into the city would be gone.

It would be like they’ve been walled off from the rest of town. In a cage, almost.

“It’s time for people who are disenfranchised, who have been pushed so far, to show America what’s going on,” said Piange Jackson, a protester.

Her companion, who said she goes by the single name Levi, said she feels like West Las Vegas is being left behind.

“Everything’s being built up in that direction,” she said, pointing toward downtown, a few blocks away. “They’re cutting us off. It’s just not right.”

So these dozens of protesters boarded a bus, a few cars, at least one motorcycle. They headed toward the Strip, where they chanted and shouted and sang hymn-like songs.

And they marched, in search of respect.

Contact reporter Richard Lake at rlake@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0307.

Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like