Local youth protest broken and nonresponsive government

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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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Teenagers and young adults gathered at the corner of 100 S. and Main Street to protest national and local government on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Photo by Michael Flynn, St. George News

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  • Harveyn October 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Hey Kids if you need an old lady to protest with you-contact me.

  • Betty October 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    So what exactly are the youth asking for? They want something to do, they want to be entertained but they don’t want a dance club. Maybe we need to have a Jr. city council and they can provide feedback and solutions to the problems that face our local youth. Standing on a corner holding signs is not proactive. They may as well throw themselves down and have a fit like a five year-old.

    • Heather October 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm

      Really Betty? What is wrong with kids getting proactive about what is clearly a difficult time for our country? I think it is nothing short of amazing. I say I am proud of the next generation of people here. I say kudos kids and never listen to those who want to put a damper on your aspirations. Generations before you have left you with problems to fix and I for one am glad to see that at lest some of you are strong enough to stand up and fight. You deserve recognition and age appropriate entertainment to say the least. HOORAY for you all!!!

  • My Evil Twin October 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I am glad to see that young people are actually paying attention to the mess that my generation, and our children have left to them. Because it is obvious that not enough folks in these two generations have the intestinal fortitude to take on the problem and make changes that are so desperately needed.

    You kids that are now in high school and college are the best possible hope for this nation! I just hope you are not too late. I’m sorry that my and my kids generation has failed you.:(

    • Shemp October 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

      Your kids and your generation failed them? Really? I don’t know if I would be so bold as to make a blanket statement like that. I think it’s more our Government, media, entertainment industry, and public schools failed them. As parents, we all do what we think is best for our kids in a perfect scenario. Granted, some parents are better than others but the ability to make proper choices has been taken out of many parents hands.
      Kids today have more freedoms, material goods, and little incentive to work for what they get. They see the easy way that is handed to them from the Government and know Big Brother will bail them out when they need it. I am not suggesting we place them in work camps, sweat shops or dawn till dusk farms but the real failure is not always the parents. All of my kids have good jobs, education, and a roof over their heads.
      Maybe what the kids need is to learn accountability for their own actions and to take their own stand to make things better.

  • Live Free October 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I don’t recommend waiting for the government to develop an entertainment program for young people. If guvskool feels like prison, well, that’s by design.

    Take the initiative you used to organize your protest and …

    … start a small business

    … calm your mind through meditation/yoga

    … get volunteer experience with a local non-profit or internship experience with a business

    … read or listen to audiobooks to find and redefine your passions

  • truthseeker October 14, 2013 at 4:11 am

    I say good job to the kids. I would have loved to been as critical as they are at 18.. They are bright. It took me until I was 22 to ever question the govt. I hope they don’t stop there and hope it will open the door for them to see that govt is a false outdated institution and that the left right paradigm is back and forth show put on for people claiming they belong to one party or the other. These kids are on the right track. I’ll shall support them in their decisions. If you kids need help protesting or want some ideas let me know.

    • Tyler October 15, 2013 at 3:10 am

      For those that don’t get it, look to cities on the Wasatch Front, they have amusement parks, waterparks, haunted houses during Halloween, concerts, shows, skating rinks, countless venues offering local music scenes, bars and places for local talent to be exposed. It’s not that hard to figure out what a city of our size is lacking for youth and young adults, people!

      • Tyler October 15, 2013 at 3:12 am

        WT…, I didn’t mean this as a reply, but a comment.
        Ed. ellipsis

  • truthseeker October 14, 2013 at 4:16 am

    I agree with Shemps comment.

  • Nash October 15, 2013 at 3:13 am

    I’d take something as simple as an indoor skating rink and a venue like the Electric.

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