Last month, Lakayana and Nathan, two student leaders from Madison, Wisconsin, drove over 2,000 miles to Las Vegas, Nevada, to help out with an action at Stations Casino. When they arrived in Las Vegas they teamed up with Fatima and Jonathan, two Loyola Marymount students from Los Angeles who were fresh off their organizing victory with the food service workers on their campus.
Their work culminated in an exciting action when, on June 2nd, 150 people were arrested outside of a Stations Casino, and over 1,000 people came to support them. "Getting arrested was a very personal decision for many of the workers. For many, it was their first time being arrested, and they fought their fear to make sure they made a stance against injustice. It was quite powerful to witness so much courage," Fatima said.
Nathan compared his time in Vegas to his experience fighting the anti-union onslaught by his Governor in Wisconsin. "My time in Las Vegas has taught me how to turn people out before all of their rights are gone. It takes going to the casinos and having real conversations with the workers. It takes pushing leaders to achieve further than they thought they could. It takes tireless grinding every week. It takes open ears, perseverance, clear vision, and sheer force of will," he said.
Jonathan walked away from the action by saying he learned, "that in order to keep your rights, young people will have to start showing their support. They are the future leaders of the union and soon they will have to fight for their rights, too. Whether it’s at work or in school, the older people have to be the leaders and teachers of the young folk."
After the rally, Lakayana said "I liken my journey to Las Vegas, to riding a wave. I have ridden this wave from Wisconsin all the way down to Las Vegas, not knowing what I was going to find, but knowing it felt right. The rally this past Thursday has reaffirmed that I am still riding this wave, continuing to see and be a part of amazing events. It has strengthened my belief in the power of the people and our ability to overcome all odds, Si Se Puede!