In more ways than one her face and body had been kissed by age; she sat patiently waiting in her wheelchair for the second Houston Women’s March to begin. At 87 years, her light green eyes shone bright with purpose. The daughter of immigrants who had just barely escaped Germany (her extended family had not been so lucky); she was here today to end racism, among other things.
Her son, who stood by her, stated, “My mom took me to my first political rally when I was seven years old in 1968 at Hermann Park, it was an anti-war rally… I have a strong mother and a strong wife and I’m here for them, they made me the man that I am today.”
Mothers, daughters, sons, husbands all gathered at the Sabine Waterworks building for any number of reasons that bridge the gap of sex, age and political affiliation.
Former Sheriff of Harris County and Houston City Council member Adrian Garcia told the Houston Press, “It has to be about all women, it has to be for all women, it has to be about the issues women care about. We as the broader society have to embrace that and we have to support it. For too long women have been treated as second-class citizens. We’ve got to step in and be a part of the fight.”
As the ‘fabric of Houston’ marched from Sabine to City Hall they chanted, “show me what democracy looks like,” “our body, our choice,” and “show up, fight back” over and over again. DJ Gracie ushered hundreds, and then thousands of people into Tranquility Park to Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up and with Florence and The Machine’s The Dog Days Are Over she had them jumping. Police Chief Art Acevedo clocked the crowd at about 12,000 people.
Civil rights, gun control, immigration, the crisis of women’s healthcare, LGBT rights, sexual harassment, the right to equal pay and many more topics were touched as mayors, city council members, judges, doctors and chefs took the stand. All spoke with conviction as the crowd electrified in response.
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The Press asked former Mayor Annise D. Parker to comment on how some conservative Republican women previously stated that this march doesn’t include their viewpoint.
She responded, “This march includes men and women who care about the future of America, who believe immigrants' rights are important, black lives matter, [in] refugee rights, [and] a right to privacy in this country, there is a range of issues here and everyone one of us here is concerned about the future of America. If you love America than you have a right to be here.”