HOUSTON — Thousands of people took part in women’s marches and rallies across the state on Saturday, with participants expressing their support for female empowerment, equality and immigrants’ rights while also being critical of President Donald Trump’s administration.
The Texas marches echoed similar sentiments expressed at rallies held across the country on the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration.
In Houston, thousands of women, men and children marched about a mile from a park near downtown to a rally at city hall.
People held up signs that read, “Brown is Beautiful,” ”Rise Up Woman” and “Love Not Hate Makes America Great” and they chanted “I’m undocumented and unafraid” and “Black Lives Matter.”
“We are changing this country one person … one vote, one woman and one caring man at a time. Do not stop the movement,” former Houston Mayor Annise Parker told a crowd gathered at city hall.
Her successor, Sylvester Turner, touted the city’s diverse population and leadership roles women hold in his current administration, including the first woman to lead Houston’s public works department.
Turner told the crowd the country must do better in providing health care and in supporting gender equality and reproductive rights.
“And when it comes to anybody that would create walls instead of building relationships, we must say no and that’s important,” he said.
In Austin, thousands of people gathered at city hall and the state Capitol for a series of day long events, including a rally against President Donald Trump and another in support of abortion and other reproductive rights.
The march from city hall to the Capitol included a group of women who wore red capes and white bonnets like characters from the dystopian novel “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
Among the speakers at the rally at the Capitol was former Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, who in 2013 garnered national attention for her nearly 13-hour filibuster over new Texas abortion restrictions.
Davis praised efforts by “young college change makers” to seek legislation in Texas against sex trafficking and against sexual assaults on college campuses.
One anti-Trump protester was arrested by police after causing a disturbance at the Austin rally.
Marches were also held in Dallas, San Antonio and several other Texas cities. A march was set for Sunday in El Paso.