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Dozens gather above I-15 to protest U.S. action in Syria

Paulo Cavalcanti, left, and Marcus Shepherd, center, express their opposition to proposed U.S. military action in Syria during a protest at the Tropicana Avenue overpass above I-15 Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Cavalcanti said the American flag was hung upside down as a distress signal. (Steve Marcus)
Paulo Cavalcanti, left, and Marcus Shepherd, center, express their opposition to proposed U.S. military action in Syria during a protest at the Tropicana Avenue overpass above I-15 Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Cavalcanti said the American flag was hung upside down as a distress signal. (Steve Marcus)
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Updated: 9/07/2013 4:07 pm
By Ana Ley
LAS VEGAS SUN

A cacophony of honks rang out along Interstate 15 to the delight of protesters who gathered along the Tropicana Avenue overpass early Saturday to shun President Barack Obama's push to launch a military strike against Syria.

The group, whose numbers peaked at about 50 late in the morning, chatted and cheered in unison as reggae music bellowed from a portable radio whose sound was mostly drowned out by the noise of highway traffic below.

While the adults stood waving at the honking vehicles whizzing by, 6-year-old Marley Baker sat on the sidewalk and used a marker to create a sign of her own for the protest. Though the end result was a yellow poster board covered in unintelligible black scribbles, she proudly held it up for passers-by to see.

"She loves it," said her mother, MacKenzie Holt, who regularly takes her daughter to protests organized by Angie Morelli and Jen Hartney. "We really talk about why we're here. She gets that we don't want to fight, and our president is not quite listening."

A taped-up sign facing I-15 instructed travelers to "honk for peace," which was met by hundreds of honks that ranged from the thundering boom of big rigs to the high-pitched squeak of tiny sports cars.

A pack of men in suits gave the group the thumbs-up as they strolled past, and one woman — a visitor from Indiana who was walking back to her hotel room at the Orleans — stopped, grabbed a sign and joined in.

"I feel that (strongly) against the war," said Marge Gehrke, 50. "It's a huge step in the wrong direction."

It was the second such protest at the location in as many weeks.

"We've gotta keep up the pressure," Hartney said. "Nobody wants this war. It's unpopular."
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