Dallas protesters rally against new president-elect

Dallas protesters rally against new president-elect

Protestors march through Victory Plaza as Next Generation Action Network hosted a protest in Dallas to express feelings toward the U.S. political agenda after Donald Trump was voted into office on Tuesday.

Dallas protesters rally against new president-elect
November 10
13:47 2016

By Sarah Sarder and Austin Jackson

Alejandra Villarreal was 3 years old when her parents crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and entered Texas. Her family’s journey was a long one, and on the way there, they found themselves without meals or paths to guide them.

Now, 17 years later, Villarreal fears being deported and separated from her own 3-year-old daughter.

“We’re here because we’re scared of the [election] results, we’re afraid of what’s going to happen to me and that our family’s going to be separated,” Villarreal said. “I can’t believe that we got to this point, that we have to fight for human rights. How did we even get this far?”

Villarreal was one of nearly 300 people who gathered in Dallas yesterday to protest Donald Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States. The rally began at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Plaza outside the American Airlines Center in Dallas, concluding at about 10:30 p.m.

The Next Generation Action Network, a non-profit organization based in Texas, organized the rally to draw attention to the dissatisfaction with the new president-elect choice and allow people the opportunity to vent.

“I think we got some attention tonight in the city of Dallas, and that’s what we were looking for,” NGAN vice president Damon Crenshaw Jr. said. “That was the main issue, that people understand that we’re not having it anymore. That was the statement tonight.”

Expressions of frustration abounded at the rally, with the protesters switching from chants about democracy and love to white supremacy and sexual misconduct, but always returning to the crowd favorite: “F–k Donald Trump.”

The rally veered off-course more than once, when participants left the designated marching route and moved outside of uptown Dallas, abandoning the sidewalk for the roads.

This prompted police to escort the rest of the march with police cars and position blockades at intersections. A few individuals, however, expressed anger at NGAN’s cooperation with the police.

“We try to do the best we can, there’s a lot of young kids out here,” Crenshaw Jr. said. “We kind of go into it expecting some people to be loose, but we’ll also work with the police to get them on the sidewalk. We want to peacefully protest.”

Despite the fractured route, a variety of factions marched in unison to express their opinions on the imminent Trump presidency. Mexican flags and rainbow flags waved in unison through the busy streets of downtown Dallas.

One of the protesters hoisting a rainbow flag was 36-year-old Dallas resident Daniel Cates. Cates, with his fiancé Michael Spencer at his side, said he had to let his voice be heard.

“It’s my moral duty to be here tonight and many nights to come to oppose Donald Trump and his fascist regime with every fiber of my being,” Cates said.

Cates, who’s HIV positive, said a Trump presidency leaves him with a lot of questions and concerns about his ability to protect his health, family and friends in the future.

Despite fear and uncertainty, Cates said the LGBTQ community is battle-tested and ready to take on the perceived challenges that lie ahead.

“My community in particular is no stranger to these types of situations. During the AIDs crisis, we had a Reagan and Bush administration that attempted to literally ignore our community to death while thousands of people were dying in the streets,” Cates said. “Our whole movement started with a riot. We know how to fight and I just look at this as another chapter in the fight. We’re going to move forward. There’s going to be some bad stuff ahead, but we know how to do this. We know how to win and we’re [going to].”

Like Cates, the NGAN seeks to continue their work at the local level, by organizing grassroots efforts and getting out the vote in elections for local representatives.

“There’s nothing we can do about the big election, but we can work here at home,” Crenshaw, Jr. said. “We’re [going to] trigger our people to rally them to the polls and take action on a local municipal level.”

Many rally-goers, like Villarreal, are nervously waiting to learn how the Trump presidency will affect them. Taking part in the protest, however, allowed for some hope.

“This isn’t what I expected my daughter to grow up in,” Villarreal said. “But this rally gives me hope that not everyone’s the same, and that maybe we can fight and still stand up for what’s right.”

Featured Image: Protestors march through Victory Plaza as Next Generation Action Network hosted a protest in Dallas to express feelings toward the U.S. political agenda after Donald Trump was voted into office on Tuesday. Tomas Gonzalez

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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