Thousands turn out for ‘No Ban, No Wall’ protest


Thousands turned out at the Texas Capitol Feb. 25, to protest President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican-American border and executive order calling for a temporary ban of Muslims from certain countries.

Thousands flooded the Capitol steps again at the “No Ban, No Wall” demonstration that materialized Feb. 25, in opposition to immigration policies imposed by both the state and national administrations.

The protest was one of a stream of similar events that have been organized since President Donald Trump took office in January, marking nearly two months of weekly demonstrations in the city.

Several notable politicians attended the rally, including Beto O’Rourke, D- El Paso, and Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who both spoke at the event and assured the crowd that their concerns were being heard.

“The border is under attack. Communities like El Paso are threatened by Trump’s policies, immigration round-ups, removal of our civil rights and the building of the wall,” O’Rourke said. “I know that thousands of people in Austin are gonna stand up for the border and stand up for everyone and communities like El Paso. I was really moved and touched and I wanted to be here to say thank you and stand in solidarity.”

Outspoken against Trump’s plans to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, O’Rourke’s attendance at the rally came a day after the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to implement construction plans. The areas where fencing will be replaced include El Paso, Tucson, Ariz., and El Centro, Calif.

The congressman also recently told the media of potential plans to run for Senate against Sen. Ted Cruz, a considerable challenge for the lesser-known Democrat.

Castro, who is also considering a run against Cruz, praised the crowd for showing up for the rally, saying that protests were a productive way to combat anti-immigration policies.

“In every generation, there have been people like you, Americans who have stood up and said that’s not the kind of country we want,” Castro said. “This is a time when we need to resist fear and paranoia and resist the politicians who would turn us against each other.”

He also noted that Congress had recently recorded its highest call volume ever and expressed his gratefulness for getting to work in politics.

“We stand for a different value. We stand for the values that make this nation great. And most of all we’re gonna stand up for each other no matter where we come from,” Castro said. “I feel blessed because I get to be on the frontlines representing you and fighting against this kind of bigotry.”

Sarah Santillan, the daughter of immigrants and a St. Edward’s student said that she was glad people were getting together to protest racism.

“We’re pretty much the generation that can support this change so if young people don’t come, then really what’s going to happen? Nothing. It’s going to stay the same,” Santillan said.