Houston marches against Trump


Jimmieka Mills

Protesters at Friday’s Inauguration Protest in Houston.

Jimmieka Mills, Editor-in-Chief

Thousands of protesters marched in downtown Houston this weekend in opposition to President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The marchers were motivated by the same opposition sediment that spurred similar protests around the nation on inauguration day Friday and on Saturday.

On Friday hundreds marched downtown during Trump’s inauguration. Protests continued over the weekend with Saturday morning’s Women’s March on Washington in Houston protest bringing an estimated 22,000 marchers. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said the Saturday crowd was the largest gathering the city had ever seen.

Hawa Patel is a student at the University of St Thomas who attended the women’s march for many reasons.

“I am not just protesting President Trump, but all the injustice women and men everywhere have faced because of their gender. Coming from a traditional Pakistani-Indian family I know firsthand what it feels like to be held back, treated differently and made to feel lesser because of my gender. Throw in the race and religion cards—I am Muslim too—the hurt keeps piling on.”

Patel, who was also suffering from bronchitis, decided to march through the pain, for what she felt, was a greater gain. “I marched with my lungs on fire because the patriarchy is more dangerous to my health than a lung infection.”

The diversity of Houston was spread throughout the women’s march. Support spread across not only races but sexes as well.

“I decided to protest because it was an opportunity for me to gain experience from a march and really understand what the protest meant to women,” said Darius Daniels, a drama major at the University of St Thomas. He admits that when he first agreed to attend it was in large part a way for him to support friends who had invited him. However, by the end of the protest, Daniels had gained a new perspective.

“Once I got to meet other women and participate, I could feel their energy and passion. I thought about my mother and all of the other inspirational women who helped guide me or helped raise me as well while I was growing up,” said Daniels.

The Houstonians marching oppose the election of President Trump and the controversial policies he promised to enact after taking the oath of office. Trump has vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare; overturn the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA, and defund Planned Parenthood.

“This march meant that all these people, all the people the system tried to brush under the rug, are unifying. We have had enough, and we’re not just marching to end our own problems, we’re marching for everyone. To me the march felt like the most American thing, it was a march for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness of all people,” said Patel.

On inauguration day, organizers gathered at Sesquicentennial Park in downtown Houston, near the Theatre District where they rallied before marching through downtown.

An organizer from the Texas Organizing Project, which promotes social and economic equality for low to moderate income Texans through organizing, addressed the crowd on Friday:

“We are gathered here on this solemn day to so say goodbye to our dear friends. Friends that we’ve known for quite some time. We are here to lay to rest our civil rights, and it’s a shame because they were so young…They were barely beginning to live, they were barely beginning to come to a realization of the true meaning of justice for all.”

There is no room for hate in our state”

— Mayor Sylvester Turner

Houston Unido members passed out signs that protesters customized to reflect what they were willing to fight for. Healthcare, women’s rights, black lives and human dignity were just a few of the reasons stated. Others marched with signs that read “Don’t Take Away Our Care”, “We Will Resist”, “The Future Is Nasty”, and “Stop Racism Now”.

The push for immigrants rights and the future of undocumented workers and students was at the forefront of the inauguration day protest and it became even more clear at the start of the march as protesters began to chant, “We are here to stay.”

Saturday women’s march started in Hermann Square and ended at Houston City Hall. Mayor Sylvester Turner spoke at the event.

“There is no room for hate in our state,” Mayor Turner told the crowd.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee said in a statement that, “‘Women’s rights are human rights’ is the message of today’s marches, which resonates not just within the United States, but around the world.”