VIDEO: Hundreds in San Antonio Rally for Impeachment

Author and academic Kamala Platt reads a poem on the steps of the Hipolito Federal Buildling during the Impeach and Remove rally and march. Image: Greg Harman

Roughly 400 targeting US Rep. Will Hurd turn out on a cold night to support impeachment of ‘Donald tRumpudo.’

Greg Harman

There were ground rules. Keep focus. Watch out for one another. Don’t engage with the heckling MAGA hats snapping around the edges. With clear attention and common care hundreds gathered Tuesday night at the Impeach and Remove rally and march in front of the Federal Building on César E. Chávez Blvd.

We came to shame U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, who chose to retire from Congress forever stained by his Cult of Trump allegiance at one of the most critical moments in our nation’s history.

With Hurd’s office as a backdrop, the event opened slowly and respectfully with a lighting of the fire and prayer to the Four Directions. This was followed by an interdenominational call for urgent social change. But it was a dramatic poetry reading that fired up the crowd to begin their march to the Hiplolito F. Garcia Federal Building at the Alamo.

In San Antonio, where our poets are still our prophets, plenty of room was made for verse during the event. The celebrated David Zamora Casas read “Fuck 45” by local poet Victoria Garcia-Zapata as well as an original work tailor-made for the occasion, “Impeach and Remove Donald tRumpudo.”

“Fuck Donald Trump!” was the grito which, along with a re-gendering costume change, signified the shift between poems, drawing cheers and laughter and more chants of “Dump Trump!”

“Make America Beautiful Again!” Zamora Casas concluded. “Impeach and Remove Donald tRumpudo!”

Those words sent an estimated 400 chanting along Chávez and up Alamo Street, before taking the granite steps of the Hiplolito Federal Building across the street from the iconic Native cemetery known by some as the Shrine of Texas Liberty.

Here a number of powerful speakers wound together a variety of traumatic threads signifying the Trump era, including the wanton destruction of Native sites and wildlife corridors along the border, the war on immigrant families and children, and the horrific repeated Executive-level permissions that have fed the rising attacks on women, people of color, and the queer and trans communities.

If Ukraine was the final straw that broke the collective backs of the US House and drove them to impeach the president on Wednesday night, the violence of the last three years (and the range so many other impeachable offenses that have targeted the communities of South Texas especially) was what this crowd organized around.

Rebecca Flores of the Interfaith Welcome Coalition spoke of the administration’s inhumane policies around immigration.

Deceleration Co-Editor Marisol Cortez read local poet Anel Flores decrying the sexual violence Trump encourages.

And Judith Norman of Jewish Voice for Peace exposed the self-serving agenda of Trump and the radical right’s manipulation of their evangelical-identifying base on the topic of Israel in hopes of bringing about armageddon (and, you know, insider tip: believer “salvation” at the expense of Jew “damnation”).

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Media coverage of the historic march was respectable with cutting observations from several participants.

“You can’t watch your democracy get destroyed in front of your face,” Sister Geraldine Klein with the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate told the San Antonio Express-News. “I’d hate to see young people growing up in this.”

Texas Public Radio shared a short dispatch and slideshow, one that perhaps gave disproportionate room to the right-wing counter protestors mingling among the impeachment crowd before they were edged to the periphery.

See also: Univision (“San Antonio se manifiesta a favor del juicio político contra Trump“); Rivard Report (“Hundreds March in Downtown San Antonio to Call for Trump’s Impeachment“); Telemundo (“Marchan en San Antonio a favor de juicio político“).

As a national day of action, key organizers included the Sierra Club, Credo, Public Citizen, National Organization of Women, Voto Latino, and Greenpeace, among dozens of others. Here in SA, organizations that stepped up included SA Stands, Domesticas Unidas, Bexar County Green Party, Sierra Club, Interfaith Welcome Coalition, and others.

Two Brown Beret contingents served as peacekeepers for the crowd as San Antonio Police Department officers made sure the roads were clear for marchers.

Rep. Hurd has insisted Trump hasn’t violated any laws, a requirement for impeachment, in his mind. He said recently that there are as many interpretations of what impeachment requires as there are members of Congress.

Not only has a strong legal majority long existed on the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” but it is not what Hurd seems to think it is.

“A high crime is an affront to the state, to the people, the body politic,” Jeffrey A. Engel recently told PolitiFact. “A president, or any leader really, need not break any statute in order to break the public’s trust.”

Engel is not only the director of the Southern Methodist University Center for Presidential History but a contributor to the 2018 book Impeachment: An American History.

So with bankrupt arguments and moral failure, Hurd joins the unprecedented wave of Republican House members who have chosen to rush the exits on this president’s quest for complete dominance rather than stand up to rising facism and try to salvage a Republican Party that may (one day) be again due respect. May he rediscover his courage and conviction on what is sure to be a lonelier walk ahead.

Meanwhile, the rest of us remain blessed to march forward together, in community, with joyous and righteous chants denouncing the tRumpudos of this world even as we make the new one.

For those who missed the march, here it is from start to finish.

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