ST. GEORGE – Yesterday afternoon, a crowd of teens and young adults gathered at the corner of 100 S. and Main Street in St. George to protest, what one protest sign described as a broken government.
Alex Ellis, a 17-year-old Dixie High School student, said that government officials prioritize party interests above those of the nation. “On one hand we’re protesting against partisanship as a whole because,” he said,” as we see in Congress, it’s becoming less and less about what is good for the people and more and more about Republicans-versus-Democrats.”
Another protester, Alex Engel, a young woman from Snow Canyon High School who participates in Dixie State College’s upward-bound program cites her online political science class as opening her eyes to what she said are very real problems in national politics.
On the issue of the federal shutdown, Engel said that partisan bickering has gotten so bad that it’s damaging the lives of every day people.
“I think they should agree on something at least,” Engel said, “because people’s lives are at stake.”
“Most of us are minors and we didn’t even vote for these people,” Isaac Ericksen, a student at DHS said. “This is all getting dropped in our laps.”
The students were not only protesting what they see as nonresponsive government on the national level, but they said they see the same sort of things happening at a local level.
Some of the protesters said that they feel that teenagers and young adults are largely ignored by the city government.
“All of the things to do here are for little kids or senior citizens,” Ellis said. He said that he wonders why every time a venue for live music aimed at young people opens up in town, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before they are shut down.
Josh Baldwin of Ivins said that the lack of recreational activities leads to other problems.
“That’s why there are so many drugs here,” Baldwin said, “because there’s not anything else for these kids to do but get high.”
Ellis acknowledged the recent opening of Club Rush, but he said that even if it sticks around, most of his friends aren’t into dance clubs. “Not every kid is going to want to go there.”
Ellis said that places like GOGO37 and The Academy at The Electric Theater were fun places for kids to hang out and enjoy themselves.
“They (the city) bought the Electric Theater for no reason, right out of the blue, without any real plan,” Ellis said. “Live music isn’t a negative thing, and lately I think there is a predetermined assumption that it has a negative effect.”
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- Augmenting the ‘Heart of St. George,’ Children’s Museum, purchase of Electric Theater
- City dance ordinances no obstacle for ‘The Rush’
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