Twenty three people participated in the 104th week of the John Cornyn Houston Office Protest. As always we did it ourselves. We don’t coordinate with any political party or candidate.
We are at the Cornyn office at 5300 Memorial Dr. each week from 11:30 AM to 1PM on Tuesdays.
During our weekly demonstration, we yell our message to cars stopped at the the traffic lights at the busy intersection of Memorial and Detering. Sometimes we are asked to be quiet. While it is not our intent to be disruptive, we have an audience and we want people to hear what we are saying.
Most people who react are positive. We get far more thumbs up and friendly honks than middle fingers and anger.
Sometimes though people say angry things. Two weeks ago one of our regular protestors was called a “bitch” by a driver. He also said “You’ll be dead soon.” When pressed to explain, the motorist said he meant that since we were older than him, we’d be dead sooner than him.
Last week a man stopped his truck in the street and yelled at us: “I hope your daughter is the next one raped by a wetback.”
This past Tuesday we had another bad encounter. A man who lives in a nearby apartment building came down and said we were keeping him from sleeping. He asked me if I’d stop yelling. I explained that while I don’t intend to keep him up, this was a protest and it might well be loud.
At that point he said: “Well then I can only hope that someone flies off the handle and kills you.”
We reported the comment to the two police officers assigned to the protest. They talked to the man for a few minutes. He went back to his apartment. The officers came over and asked if I’d stop yelling to drivers stopped at the lights. I asked if that was an order. They said it was not. So I said, I would not stop yelling. I told them I would obey an order.
The officer I spoke with was professional. He did not seek to intimidate. At the same time, telling him no was a bit stressful. I’m not simply looking to make a point with a public display of bravado. But I know at bottom line we cannot yield our space or our voice at our weekly Cornyn protest.
I want to emphasize this point. The prospect of authoritarian and white supremacist government is real, the President of the United States is of questionable loyalty to the nation and hate groups, and hateful individuals feel empowered.
We must show up, assert our space and make our voices heard. This is the only way we are going to come out of this with our safety, our freedom and with the ability to look ourselves in the mirror.