A lot has changed in the United States lately, and Air Alliance Houston is changing with it. Protesting a Presidential Inauguration is something I would not have contemplated us doing just a few months ago. But, as I have written about before, we have serious concerns about the signals President Donald Trump is sending about protection of public health and the environment under his administration. For this reason–and for many of us, for personal reasons as well–we chose to join with demonstrators across the nation in protesting these changes.
On Friday, Inauguration Day, we began by joining in the Houston J20 Counter Inauguration Day Rally. This event, organized by Houston Unido and the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, was one we were pleased to receive an invitation to from our friends in t.e.j.a.s.
The J20 Rally was an impressive event. We marched with our allies in the environmental movement. Other groups and movements marched with their allies. We saw our friends from Houston Unido, the Texas Organizing Project, and even the United Steelworkers Union (who we have previously supported in their movements). Hundreds of people joined together for a march that began at Sesquicentennial Park and ended at Houston City Hall. Along the way, chants of “This is what Democracy looks like!” and “No Justice, No Peace!” filled the streets.
I left the march feeling energized. A union supporter gave me and my coworkers box lunches he was passing out to attendees. I ate my lunch in Tranquility Park by City Hall and watched as another rally began forming. Before I knew it, I had joined this rally as well (0:55 in the video below).
After this march ended, I took the light rail back to my office and finished out the week’s work.
On Saturday, I am happy to say that I personally stood with my wife and daughter for the Houston Women’s March. We joined an estimated 22,000 supporters of equal rights for women–an issue that is unbelievably still contentious in our country. As my wife Ashley’s sign put it, “Women’s Rights are Human Rights!”
I am fortunate that I get to join protests and movements in both my personal and professional lives. If last week taught me anything, it is that Air Alliance Houston is joining the ranks of millions of activists across the nation. Millions of people are fired up, and they will give as much or as little of their time as their are able to put their energy to productive, democratic use. This movement is only beginning, and we are happy to be a part of it.