Group holds protest outside Brownsville courthouse

BROWNSVILLE — Members of Movimiento Del Valle Por Los Derechos Humanos, the American Civil Liberties Union and Rio Grande Valley residents gathered yesterday outside the federal courthouse on East Harrison Street in Brownsville to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump and other matters.

Protesters spoke in front of the courthouse about issues they were personally protesting for and walked around the courthouse while holding posters that included “Smash Trump and his agenda” and “Tenemos Derechos.”

“We decided to have the protest on this symbolic day because we are uniting and resisting against racism and hate and xenophobia and white supremacy,” said Nansi Guevara, a community artist and activist.

Josette Cruz, a Save RGV from LNG volunteer, said members of the community would like to see more accountability and more pressure put on local officials.

“Our local officials should start listening to what the people want,” Cruz said. “They want an end to corruption. They want (local officials) to do what they’re supposed to do, and that’s serve the people. We don’t really have much representation because not a lot of people speak up, so now’s the time for people to put that pressure on these officials because we have a new president today.”

Cruz said besides Trump’s inauguration, they also were protesting local matters such as the LNG plants in Port Isabel.

“We also do have a big issue with Trump’s administration, that he’s chosen someone who is a climate change denier, when science has already told us, ‘No, climate change is real’,” Cruz said, “And the fact that we have people like (U.S. Rep.) Filemon Vela signing letters in support of it without coming to any presentations and finding out the facts of how his people here feel about it.”

Juan Fidencio Treviño, a Brownsville resident, has arthogryposis, which affects the joints in his body, specifically his arms and legs. He was protesting because of how people with disabilities would be affected because of Trump’s choice for U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

“One thing that really bothered me was that she really didn’t know enough to answer the questions about holding schools accountable for the bullying or the mistreatment of their students with disabilities,” Treviño said. “While it’s not the only issue that I’m concerned about, it is definitely one that hits very directly.”