El Paso gathers in show of unity, sisterhood during Women’s March

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El Paso came together in a show of unity and sisterhood on Sunday afternoon.

About 500 women and men, of all ages, joined together for El Paso’s take on the Women’s March, a national grassroots effort now in its second year.

They braved stiff winds and cool temperatures, gathered at Centennial Plaza at the University of Texas at El Paso and then walked to San Jacinto Plaza in Downtown.

They enjoyed an afternoon of music, Native American dancers, fellowship and speakers.

All over the nation, similar Women’s March events took place this weekend to mark the one-year anniversary of last year’s landmark march in Washington, D.C. An estimated 500,000 men and women marched on the nation’s capital in 2016, largely to protest the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

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A group of walkers numbering in the hundreds make their way along Oregon Street on their way to San Jacinto plaza from UTEP during the El Paso 2018 Women’s March Sunday. A variety of speakers addressed the crowd at the plaza.

(Photo: RUDY GUTIERREZ / EL PASO TIMES)

In El Paso, the event was billed as nonpartisan with unity as the chief message, said Lyda Ness-Garcia, one of the organizers.

“The idea is that women aren’t one uniform type of individual,” Ness-Garcia said. “We have diverse intersected interests that are being represented here. We are a unity movement, and we recognize the power of the people and the power of the vote, so we want to represent those ideals.”

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Ysabella Garcia, an eighth-grader at Wiggs Middle School, called the march an “amazing event.”

Garcia said it was important for young people like her to participate.

“We are the generation of the future,” she said. “We will live in the world that is left for us. We need to speak out about all the things we want for the future.”

“It’s men, women, everyone just joining together and fighting for equality,” Garcia said. “It doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative. It is about everyone coming together to fight for equality, respect and equal rights for women.”

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Gina Nunez, an associate professor of anthropology and director of Women and Gender Studies at UTEP, said she was excited and inspired by so many young people participating in the El Paso event.

“What is exciting about this movement is it involved our young people,” Nunez said. “Our children and grandchildren are here. I am proud of El Paso with so many people coming together.”

Grace Flores-Robles, a junior at UTEP, said she was marching because she feels it is important for younger people, like herself, to get involved.

“It not only affects my generation but those who come after us,” she said.

Flores-Robles said she would like women to get energized and make sure they register to vote.

Elisa Morales, another of the local march’s organizers, said she would like to see the event transform from a march to a movement.

“We know that women are very multidimensional and we don’t always agree on all the same things, but we do have some of the same struggles that being a woman brings,” Morales said.

David Burge may be reached at 546-6126; dburge@elpasotimes.com; @dburge1962 on Twitter.

Speakers address the crowd at San Jacinto Plaza during the El Paso 2018 Women’s March Sunday.

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