People gather at Washington Park to protest Trump’s visit

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People gather at Washington Park to protest Trump’s visit

August 7, 2019. Many El Pasoans join together at Washington Park to ask for change in policy prior to President Donald Trump’s visit.

August 7, 2019. Many El Pasoans join together at Washington Park to ask for change in policy prior to President Donald Trump’s visit.

Daniel Perez

August 7, 2019. Many El Pasoans join together at Washington Park to ask for change in policy prior to President Donald Trump’s visit.

Daniel Perez

Daniel Perez

August 7, 2019. Many El Pasoans join together at Washington Park to ask for change in policy prior to President Donald Trump’s visit.

President Donald J. Trump’s visit to the City of El Paso has stirred up controversy. President Trump announced via his Twitter account that he planned to visit the city of Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, to meet with the victims of the shootings that took place in both cities over the weekend. 

Trump was set to meet with first responders, law enforcement, and the victims at Universal Medical Center. However, his announcement prompted backlash from community members and political figures such as Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke and Rep. Veronica Escobar.

The Women’s March of El Paso held the El Paso Strong/El Paso Firme Community Action in peaceful protest of Trump’s visit. In the scorching heat, hundreds of members of the community attended the event, which took place at Washington Park, in solidarity.

Trump has been accused of dividing the country and making El Paso a target through his rhetoric.

Dr. Iliana Tiscareno-Grajeda was among the attendants at the event and believes that Trump has fostered a climate of hatred in the country. 

“I know he’s not going to apologize, that would be a miracle, but he can start changing his rhetoric,” Tiscareno-Grajeda said. 

O’Rourke, among others, spoke against Trump and his administration, and in favor of immigrants in the country at the event.

“We have a president who demonizes communities like this one, who vilifies immigrants, who says that those from Mexico are rapists and criminals,” O’Rourke said.

Fernanda Grajeda, a daughter of immigrants, said she feels a responsibility to speak up and defend her city. “My parents are immigrants and I know they’ve fought and sacrificed a lot to be here, and I need to do my part in fighting too,” Grajeda said. 

In reference to the shooting at Walmart, Grajeda stands in solidarity. “This has personally affected my home, my community, my culture, and my race,”  Grajeda said. 

When Trump landed at the El Paso International Airport, many present at the protest were seen sporting “Racism not welcome, Trump not welcome” t-shirts that were available for purchase at the park. 

Diana Guerrero, who was wearing a “Racism not welcome, Trump not welcome” t-shirt shared the same sentiment as others and did not want Trump to visit the city. “Trump is not welcome here especially for all the words he has said that have caused people to do stuff against Hispanics and every type of minority in the country,” Guerrero said. 

Escobar, present at the event, has also made it known that she does not approve of Trump’s visit. “I have publicly said he has a responsibility to acknowledge the power of his words, apologize for them, and take them back because they are still hanging over us,” Escobar wrote in a Facebook post. 

During her speech at the event, Escobar encouraged people to stand up and resist hate, bigotry, and racism. “I’m ready to stand with you and say no to hate, no to racism, and yes to love.” Escobar finalized. 

Despite the aftermath of the shooting, El Pasoans remain united and hopeful for the future. Jacob Probasco, who attended the protest with his family, says he and his family have empathy for those affected and wishes it never happens again. 

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