Continuing the Revolution

Rene Delgadillo , Staff Reporter

A group of activists are trying to build a relationship between citizens and organizations that promote a dialogue and awareness about social issues and events happening in El Paso through Facebook.

Continuing the Revolution is a Facebook group where citizens and organizations can post information about protests, rallies, meetings and community service events.

The organizations that are part of the Continuing the Revolution coalition are focused on different social justice issues such as on LGBTQ rights, immigrant rights, abortion access, separation of church and state, homeless outreach and sustainable living.

Junior sociology major Nicholas Vasquez said he has attended all the meetings hosted by Continuing the Revolution because he was motivated by the current problems affecting the residents of the Durangito area, where residents are fighting the city to keep their homes. The neighborhood is located where the city wants to build a $180-million multipurpose arena.

“This group is an information hub and whatever information you’re looking for, you can find it here,” Vasquez said. “I would highly recommend the meetings to those citizens who are trying to help out our community. El Paso will benefit from these citizens because they’ll come together and work toward a better future.”

Eric Stoltz, who is one of the founders of the group, said the goal of the page is to build bridges between citizens and organizations, and that groups like Continuing the Revolution are important because they inform those in El Paso who are not always aware of the social inequalities and problems around them.

“We want to make sure people have the knowledge that there are organizations working toward a better future so they can volunteer and help. We’re trying to work together and build a bridge with each other,” Stoltz said. “We also want to create a stronger alliance of organizations, and making sure they are working together in solidarity instead of working on opposite ends.”

Stoltz said this group was created to offer support to different organizations that are trying to help those in need.

“We need to be more involved, we need to help out organizations. It’s not so much about politics, it’s about helping community organizations,” Stoltz said. “Sometimes they need help to feed homeless people, they need help with LGBT rights, they also might need our help with immigrants who don’t have any resources and we try to be there and offer our help.”

Stoltz said he has seen more involvement from the El Paso community after Donald Trump became president.

“It wasn’t because of Trump that we started this group, but we have seen a lot more people interested because of Trump’s election,” Stoltz said. “Out of the bad there’s always some small good, so I think that it kind of helped people to be aware of his policies, and since his win, we see more people wanting to volunteer.”

Some of the members who founded the group were supporters of presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Stoltz said they were inspired by his campaign and adopted a name that would continue Sanders’ “revolution.”

“We took the name of Continuing the Revolution even after he lost because of his work, ideas and approaches in building a true-left group of people,” Stoltz said. “We want to see things improve in El Paso and in the U.S.”

The first event organized by Continuing the Revolution was El Pasoans United Against Abbott, a protest against Governor Greg Abbott’s political stances on immigration, LGTBQ rights, the environment and abortion, when the governor was a guest speaker at the El Paso Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner fundraiser.

Stoltz, who was one of the main organizers of this event, said organizations of the Continuing the Revolution coalition such as the El Paso Green Party, Democratic Socialists of America, Frontera Water Protection Alliance and the Progressive Democrats of El Paso were present to protest against Abbott’s proposals.

Rodolfo Parra, who is another founder, said they are working on being more effective after noticing some communications problems amongst the members of the group.

“Many people of the group are spread among other organizations making it hard to maintain consistency in organizing future events. We need better communications amongst ourselves. For me personally, I want to break out of my shell and be able to go out and talk to anybody about certain topics and just getting people interested in our work,” Parra said.

Continuing the Revolution is in the process of creating a website similar to a volunteer database showing all of the organizations that are involved. Stoltz said this will allow citizens to be more aware of important laws and social issues that may affect them.

“This is just the beginning, so we’re just starting the process out and seeing what organizations want to see,” Stoltz said. “We’re not necessarily trying to do what we want, it’s about what the collective wants.”

On March 22, the Continuing the Revolution coalition will be meeting with The National Refuse Fascism, an activist organization that stands against the Trump and Pence presidency, at Glasbox, located at 210 Poplar St., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to talk about how NRF can help spread information around the country on social issues happening in El Paso.

For more information, contact Continuing the Revolution on Facebook.