RIDERS AGAINST RACISM SUPPORT THE WASHOE TRIBE AND RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT THE MINDEN 6PM SIREN
The Washoe still live next to their beloved Da-ow-a-ga, now known as Lake Tahoe. They must also listen to a racist sundown siren every evening. The Minden 6pm Siren is a nightly reminder that “their kind” was not always welcome in certain parts of the Lake Tahoe Basin.
The Minden town fathers have said their 6pm siren no longer has anything to do with the Washoe. They claim the 6pm siren has been repurposed. “Now the nightly siren honors first responders,” and the Washoe need to stop looking at the past.
At 8AM on Saturday morning, about 80 protestors showed up in Minden Park to a peaceful gathering to protest the siren. Participants heard stories from tribal leaders and Native American activists about the painful memories associated with the Minden sundown siren.
“May 29th was a special day in Minden. Washoe and Paiute tribal members gathered in the town park with an ally group of mountain bikers to denounce the siren. Stories were shared, dances were had, and collectively the group asked the same thing that has been asked many times before; ‘Stop the Siren!,'” Brennan Lagasse, Riders Against Racism participant.
The protest was followed by a group mountain bike ride from Genoa to Nevada Beach via the relentlessly steep Sierra Canyon Trail.
PHOTO: David Orr and Justin Huntington train for the protest ride with Genoa in the background. Photo by Anthony Cupaiuolo