My name is Felipe Guillén and I am an intern with MFV.
Yesterday, Monday 26th, I woke up at 4:50AM to get ready to depart for San Antonio for my first rally. The ACLU coordinated buses from Houston to San Antonio to have a rally outside of the Federal Court where the first hearing of the lawsuit against SB 4 was taking place.
I met the rest of the MFV team in parking lot where I was greeted with some delicious egg and potato breakfast tacos with salsa verde while the sun had yet to shine. I was amazed at the number of people who were there. I didn’t expect to meet so many energized people at 5:50AM. All I wanted to do was rest my eyes and so I slept most of the way.
One we arrived to San Antonio we were greeted by a number of our comrades from the other major cities of Texas. The diligent organization of the rally struck me. There was a platform with a person chanting into the microphone, the sound waves produced by the speakers uplifting the crowd. There were many tarps with water bottles, chips, and other snacks for sustenance. I thought to myself, “How did organizations from all over the state of Texas coordinate so effectively?” I don’t know the answer to my question, but I like to think it’s because there is simply too much to lose if SB 4 goes into effect.
People from many different backgrounds spoke on the stage. But one speaker’s poem chilled me to the bone. She was worked as a cleaning staff for years, and crossed the desert to enter the United States. In her poem she pushed back on the idea of “ni de aquí, ni de allá”. She said (more or less) the following words “Soy de aquí y de allá. Amo a mi México pero los Estados Unidos también es mi hogar.” As I looked over to my right, I saw an middle aged woman with swollen red eyes, crying.
I half smiled.