In addition to the Houston Democracy Project, I'm part of the John Cornyn Houston Office Protest.
We meet each Tuesday from 11:30 AM to 1 PM at 5300 Memorial Dr. This is where Senator Cornyn's office is located. The purpose of the protest is to show up each week to make the point that in addition to voting, we must show up physically and non-conventionally for the fights ahead over authoritarianism and white supremacy. The protest is at 343 weeks so far and going strong.
Our group is generally about 10 to 20 people. Most of the regulars are over 65. One is 82. We have signs and we address the motorists stuck at the red light at the intersection of Memorial & Detering.
Favorable reactions from passing motorists and folks at the light far-exceed middle fingers. But every so often we get an aggressive act directed our way.
For example, there was a man who threw eggs at us from a moving car. Some of what he threw hit us. We recorded him doing this. We followed up with police and after a process and some setbacks, we got the city to charge the man with a misdemeanor.
A few weeks ago a different man threw a softball at us from a fifth-floor balcony. The balcony is part of an apartment building. Included with this post is a picture of the offending softball. It missed one of us by just a foot and bounced onto Memorial Drive.
The softball man went away for a few weeks. Regretfully he came back last week and tossed more things at us. The police talked to the guy and said they told him to stop throwing things. At the same time, they essentially said we were partly to blame because our presence is disruptive to people in the apartment building.
The Cornyn Protest has an attorney who advises us pro-bono. It's important the protest groups have access to legal advice. We talked to him and he said to file an incident report with the police and to make public that this is occurring. He said the police might not want the incident report, but to file it anyway.
In case the situation with the softball man escalates, we need to make it clear that we have no role in his dangerous conduct. He has made the call to throw things at people from a fifth-floor balcony.
The right wants to scare us off. Police will do what the police want to do. It can be difficult and stressful to push back and demand the protections that all people deserve. Do it anyway. We can't let bullies go unaddressed and unpunished. Let's be clear that we will defend ourselves.
The Houston Democracy Project is working everyday to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino