PROTEST IN ZEPHYRHILLS. Mark Antokas04/29/04
INTRO: In Zephyrhills today, protesters gathered at three sites surrounding City Hall. They held signs, some of which read, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What you did has nothing with the gridÃ¢â‚¬?, and, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Silent no more, our voices will be heard.Ã¢â‚¬? They protested MondayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ruling to Un-Name Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. They say that they will be there every day. WMNFÃ¢â‚¬?S Mark Antokas was there.
Script. About thirty people gathered today on the corner of Martin Luther King Avenue, Uhhh, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sixth Avenue, to protest last MondayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 3-2 vote to change the street name back to Sixth Avenue. Most of the protesters were black. At MondayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meeting, Zephyrhills City Manager Steve Spina was the only white person to speak up for civil rights. Today, Spina sounded upbeat saying he hoped Zephyrhills could, Right this wrong and take this city to another level, at the councils next meeting. Roll Tape:
Irene Dobson, a woman in her eighties, originially came to the City Council last fall with the idea to honor King with the street name. Roll Tape:
Blanch Benford is with the Unity initiative, a forum to explore cultural differences in Zephyrhills, and is also the president of the Democratic Black Caucus in Pasco County. Roll Tape:
Benford said that race relations in Zephyrhills, for the most part, has been good in the past. Roll Tape:
Benford asked for unity in the community in backing the MLK designation. Roll Tape:
Closing: The Zephyrhills City Council meets again on May tenth. The Unity innitiave meets the last Tuesday of each month. This is Mark Antokas for WMNF radio news.