Governor Greg Abbott is visiting El Paso as a guest speaker of the El Paso Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Dinner, and several El Paso organizations are uniting outside of the fundraiser to protest Abbott’s political stances.
The protest, El Pasoans United Against Abbott, is the first action by the Continuing the Revolution coalition. The coalition is a collection of left-of-center to progressive left organizations around El Paso.
Eric Stotlz, an activist and organizer, is a part of several of those organizations in the Continuing the Revolution coalition, and was one of the main organizers of the protest.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s a private event so we really can’t talk to Abbott or ask him any questions or anything like that,” said Stotlz. “It’s $45 a dinner, so we just kind of wanted to have him aware that people in El Paso are not in favor of any of his policies, that people in El Paso are ready to continue to stand up and be against any policies that are going to affect any population in El Paso and in Texas as well.”
Gov. Abbott has long been criticized by the left for his conservative stances on a variety of social justice issues from immigration, LGBTQ rights, the environment, as well as abortion restriction.
“I feel as though people are against Trump, but in reality we have somebody who is just as bad as him—if not worse at a local level—and nobody really talks about it as much as we talk about Trump,” Stoltz said.
Continuing the Revolution also wants to address why Abbott has not made a public appearance in El Paso.
During Abbott’s State of the State address, he called Sanctuary Cities an emergency measure which enabled the SB 4 bill to be passed before the 60-day waiting period during the Texas legislation session. The bill will cut state funding towards cities who do not have a policy of regularly finding out the citizenship of individuals.
“He supports a border wall, and more militarization on our border,” said Stoltz. “Also his LGBT stances are very dangerous. He’s trying to push the supreme court to limit same-sex marriage rights in the state of Texas after gay marriage passed, his views on abortion and the choice of women to defend their own bodies, we saw with wanting to get fetal remains buried, which was actually pushed by his office.”
The organizations from the Continuing the Revolution will be the El Paso Green Party, Democratic Socialist of America, Frontera Water Protection Alliance and the Progressive Democrats of El Paso. Other organizations that are a part of the coalition cannot participate because they are a 501c3 which disallows lobbying for or against an office holder or candidate.
The protest will be outside the Blackstone Event Center on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m.