San Antonio is not known as a city of protests. Perhaps this is because it is one of the most diverse cities in Texas and the Nation. I could quote statistics and cultural breakdowns, but hey, that’s what Google is for. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, such as our Tex-Mex style Fiesta, The Greek Funstival, one of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. parades in the nation, and the Chinese New Year celebration, which testifies to our diversity. Many different cultures – all getting along for the most part.
But times have changed. The long march toward absolute rule of the United States government by the Republican Party, culminating in the election of Donald Trump, has motivated the people of San Antonio like few events ever have.
For example, while cities across America experienced riots during the civil rights and Vietnam War protests, only a few hundred concerned citizens in San Antonio risked a misdemeanor ticket for congregating on the grass at Breckenridge Park. And about a thousand people marched down Commerce Street, then went back to having picnics on the grass at Breckenridge Park. Some parents did take measures to protect their children from the draft, but only a few. In fact the event that caused the most uproar in recent memory was the decision to build McAllister Freeway, aka 281, through Olmos Park. Several people chained themselves to bulldozers and delayed construction for a few days. It was good video for TV news, good ink and photos for the papers – there were two then – and dramatic audio for radio. In short, protests have been pretty rare. Until now.
As of this writing, more than 1800 people have registered with TX21 INDIVISIBLE in Texas’ 21st congressional district. As a percentage of population, having this many people taking action in the Alamo City is . . . not normal. It’s unique, historical, unprecedented. Accurate descriptions, yes, and in danger of becoming cliched from over-use, as the ineptitude of governing demonstrated by the Republican Party is revealed day by day.
As a result of the continuing group visits to the offices of Congressman Lamar Smith, Senator John Cornyn, and Senator Ted Cruz, senior staffers are now coming out to face the activists. Pressure is building. The District directors are probably marking their calendars in anticipation of the Tuesday event. This is not a one time phenomenon.
People are united in their civic duty like few other times in our Nation’s history. Every week sees an increase in activity in San Antonio. Every visitor relates how they are individually impacted by the quirky way our government is being run.
Healthcare? Denied. Science? Denied. Clean air? Denied. Drinking water? Denied. Majority rule? Denied. Our government as profit for the privileged few? Accepted.
The threat to the American form and style of government demonstrated by this Republican Administration has provoked a large and growing contingent of San Antonio citizens into action. They show no signs of going away.
You could say, “As San Antonio goes, so goes the Nation”.
Article contributed by Edgar Pace, a TX21 Indivisible member