Fort Worth

‘We cannot be silenced. So today we march.’ Women’s March 2019 in Fort Worth

Sally Pearson is upset about so many things right now.

The government shutdown and how immigrants seeking asylum at the border are treated are just at the top of her list.

“So much injustice,” the 66-year-old Colleyville woman said, shaking her head. “It is ridiculous what is happening today in our country.”

So she headed downtown Sunday morning — with a balloon showing President Trump as a baby — to join others in the third annual Women’s March.

“We need to continue to march to make a change,” Pearson said.

More than 1,000 women, men and their families bundled up, braving freezing temperatures, to meet at the Tarrant County Courthouse, listen to speeches and march in the name of equality.

“It’s easy to call what we do here today a protest march,” Vicki Moore, president of Tarrant County Democratic Woman’s Club, told the crowd. “And God knows, we have plenty to protest — and more every day. But in reality, the reason that we come together is so much bigger than a protest.

“It’s so much bigger than just to protest the atrocities of the current administration,” she said. “We come together as human beings ... (to) remind our leaders that we cannot be silenced. So today we march.”

The local march came one day after many other marches across the country marking the anniversary of the first Women’s March in 2017. That first march drew millions of women to the streets, in support of equal rights, one day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Fort Worth’s march was delayed by one day because a different event — the city’s historic Stock Show & Rodeo Parade, which ultimately was canceled because of weather — was already scheduled downtown for Saturday.

Sunday’s local event drew a much smaller crowd than in the past, when between 5,000 and 8,000 marched. Organizers said they expected fewer people because the march was on a Sunday morning and in temperatures that ranged from the upper 20s to the low 30s.

Fort Worth activism

“Today we march to honor and in remembrance of all the women who have blazed the trail for us,” Moore told the crowd. “And we march to pave the way for all of those who come after us.”

Those who showed up Sunday were bundled up. Even dogs brought to the event wore coats.

Many brought signs.

Among the messages displayed: “Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted,” “We are not OVARY-acting,” “Speak the truth even when your voice shakes,” “I stand with DACA” and “Feminists Fight Back.”

Angelica Fuentes carried a sign that stated: “Ugh! Where do I even start?”

The 22-year-old student at the University of North Texas Health Science Center said she is studying public health and has learned that there are drastic inequalities in women’s health care.

So she wanted to show her support for women’s rights.

Many who marched at times joined their voices together.

“Show me what Democracy looks like!” some chanted at the beginning of the march. “This is what Democracy looks like!”

“Love, not hate, makes America great!” they later chanted.

Sunday’s march also came one day after thousands of anti-abortion protesters gathered in Dallas to show support for tougher abortion restrictions.

Women’s rights

Many who marched in Fort Worth on Sunday said they hoped to send a message to President Trump and all elected officials to represent all of their constituents — not just those in their political party — and do right by them all.

Barbara Rhine, a 52-year-old from Comanche, drove two hours to march with others in Fort Worth.

She carried a sign with one word: “Liar.”

“We are not being told the truth,” Rhine said. “We have a right to stand up for what’s right or not right in our lives.

“This is a message of honesty.”

Jeanette Doster, a 69-year-old from Southlake, said she hadn’t protested since the 1960s — until the first Women’s March in 2017.

She attended that march and the next two.

She’s worried about the country, elected leaders and the future.

“This is so serious, it brought me back out,” said Doster, who carried a sign that stated, “Shut down Trump Not the Government.”

“It’s just too important to stay home.”

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.
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