Story and Photos by Ty O’Neil
Saturday, June 3 might go down as one of the busiest of the year in Reno with regular events like Street Vibrations Spring Rally, Reno Tahoe Odyssey, and the Epic Crawl keeping downtown bustling from corner to corner throughout the day. But this year those festivities were joined by the National March For The Truth, kicking off at 10 a.m. at City Plaza near the Believe sculpture.
Politically active locals gathered at the march to call for independent investigation into ties between the Russian government and President Trump. The event was also an outlet for people to exhibit their dismay about the withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and debate the meaning of “covfefe.”
The event began with a performance of “I Can’t Stay Quiet” by The Biggest Little Choir. After the applause speakers took to the stage.
Sean Savoy of NiCE: Nevada Interfaith Coalition for Equality & Inclusion. Savoy emphasized the march’s goal to “seek the truth” about White House connections with Russia and climate change. Someone cried out “traitor” during the speech, referring to Donald Trump, and applause and agreement followed. Savoy continued by discussing democracy and emphasized the non-violent approach that elections give to remove government officials. On the same theme he discussed the right to assemble, the audience cheering when he added “like we’re doing right now.” Savoy ended with NiCE’s motto “be nice Nevada, be nice America, be nice Mr. President.”
Verita Prothro recited a section of the Declaration of Independence and spoke on the idea of truth.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she recited as the audience joined in. Prothro ended by asserting that Russia desires to harm the US.
The crowd set off towards Wingfield Park chanting together as Reno Police stopped traffic. After pouring into the park marchers gathered around the stage to enjoy a variety of songs, both covers and originals, performed by Spike McGuire.
Much of Reno radio host Chip Evans’ speech went unheard by many, drowned out by a woman yelling and holding a sign that referenced the theory that Seth Rich was murdered for his part in leaking DNC documents to Wiki Leaks. She was almost immediately surrounded by other protesters who used their signs to shield the stage from her shouts. By the time the woman had departed, Evans was wrapping up.
Frankie Sue Del Papa had an easier time with her speech, which quoted political figures like John F. Kennedy. The 2018 election, she explained, should be the main focus moving forward; “Don’t keep quiet,” she said.
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Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.