Protesters show up on the lawn of BACANG event in Broken Arrow
|Updated: 6/25/2012 9:17 am
||Published: 6/23/2012 10:40 pm
The National Indian Gaming Commission and a federal judge ruled against the Red Clay Casino in May.
Broken Arrow Citizens Against Neighborhood Gaming gathered with community volunteers at the Abiding Harvest United Methodist Church to celebrate the ruling today but, some expected guests showed up.
Protesters against BACANG showed up at the gathering "I will march until I have to, not just for me but for my grandkids here," said Kialagee Tribal member Rhonda Ellig.
U.S. Chief Judge, Gregory Frizzell, granted an injunction against the Red Clay Casino in May. Ultimately, the NIGC determined that the Kialagees lacked jurisdiction on the property.
Despite the ruling, members of the Kialagee tribe and members in opposition to BACANG showed up at the site of the Casino to organize the peaceful protest around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Rhonda said she can't give up the fight in honor of the casino and fair treatment for the Kialagee tribe.
Others said the protested for a different reason. Mike Bergman is from Broken Arrow and helped to organize the protest at the BACANG event.
Bergman told FOX23 that he is upset that U.S. Representative, John Sullivan, showed support of BACANG.
"He knows the group has put these racist comments out there and he stills supports it," Bergman said. Bergman accuses BACANG of making racist and rude statements against the Kialagee on Facebook.
"It's gone further than just racism its gone on to attacking special needs," Bergman said.
Founding member of BACANG, Jared Cawley, said that the claim is outlandish.
"The racism comments are ridiculous, I'm Native American and we have Native American supporters in our groups along with former Chiefs." Cawley said the accusations is a form of mud slinging. "They are trying to discredit us. They can't attack our argument so they attack us."
BACANG member, Rob Martinek, said the future of the casino site is in the laws hands but protesters have the right to have their voice heard. In response to the protest, Martinek said, "They can disagree, they have the right to disagree.""The are saying that we aren't citizens and that we cant do what we want to do here," said Rhonda. "We were here before anybody was here."
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