Nearly 100 people gathered in Milam Park Friday evening for the “No Hate in S.A.” community rally, a family-friendly, inclusive gathering held in response to what organizers described as the “hate rhetoric” perpetuated by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Trumps’ s inflammatory campain rhetoric targeting Mexican people, women, and immigrants sparked Friday’s rally, which was a collaboration among a number of local artists and creatives. It followed the well-attended “Dump Trump” peaceful protest held Friday afternoon in front of the Oak Hills Country Club where Trump attended a campaign fundraiser.
The mid-day protest placed more of a focus on vocally denouncing Trump’s “hate rhetoric,” as more than one demonstrator called it, while the rally was an opportunity to express opposition through performance art and culture.
“When other cities seem to be torn apart any time Trump steps foot into their communities, we know that San Antonio can respond in our own unique and peaceful way – through our culture, dignity and lots of humor,” rally organizers stated in a Friday press release.
The early evening gathering in Milam Park took place in the shadow of the enormous Jesse Treviño mural on the facade of the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. A handful of San Antonio police looked on from a distance while other parkgoers enjoyed the end of the work week.
The park’s gazebo served as a stage for the evening’s performers. Attendees watched a traditional native dance performed by Grupo Ameyaltonal Tejaztlan, swayed to musical performances by El Tallercito De Son, Bombasta, Los Nahuatlatos, Mexican Stepgrandfather and others, and witnessed passionate poetry recitations by Anthony Flores, Vocabulous, and Amanda Flores.
Afterwards, children took turns swinging at a Trump piñata until it finally burst and disgorged its cache of candy.
Denise Hernandez, founder of local education, activism, and outreach group Maestranza, was one of several community activists who organized the protest and the community rally. Her hope for both of Friday’s “anti-hate” gatherings was to “show the country what San Antonio is all about, why we are such a great city and what they can expect from us.”
Top image: Grupo Ameyaltonal Tejaztlan performs a traditional dance at Milam Park. Photo by Michael Cirlos.