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Protesters gather in Austin to defend DACA

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The streets of Austin were filled with protesters marching to defend DACA on Sept. 2.
Photo by Bri Watkins

Over 11 activist organizations and protesters gathered at the Texas Capitol building Sept. 2 to march in solidarity against hate and defend the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program.

DACA, an immigration policy implemented by the Obama Administration in 2012, allows certain undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and eligibility for a work permit.

Photo by Bri Watkins

President Donald Trump was given a deadline of Sep. 5 by Republican lawmakers to make a stance on DACA by either discontinuing the program altogether or allowing the Republican attorneys general to fight the program in court.

Event organizer, Cristina Tzintzun, is the founder and executive director of Jolt, a multi-issue organization seeking to organize the Latino community as a collective voice in Texas politics.

“This cause is personal to me because I am the daughter of immigrants,” Tzintzun said. “This country is our home, and it is equally ours as much as anyone else’s. We have a bigoted minority that wants to roll back the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, that wants to legalize racial discrimination once again, and I refuse to allow the sacrifices of the Civil Rights Movement to be trampled on.”

Photo by Bri Watkins

Representatives of InfoWars, a right-wing syndicated news-talk radio program, attended the protest dressed in “Make America Free Again” caps and American flag shorts.

The InfoWars representatives followed the crowd of protestors, shouting in megaphones, “These are cultists. Do you know why cultists want to silence free speech? Because they know the truth will end their cult.”

Representatives did not elaborate on what “truth” they may have been referring to.

Lee Ann Cameron, a Caucasian protestor carrying a “Black Lives Matter” sign, said she brought the sign to show her solidarity with people of color including Latinos and African Americans.

“I wanted to make it clear that I stand with all people of color including immigrants as well as African Americans,” Cameron said. “I believe our strength is in our diversity and it’s time for people of privilege to stop hiding behind their privilege and realize that we will only survive if we all come together.”

Photo by Bri Watkins

Protestors not affiliated with activist organizations attended the march as well, including Ana Maria Rea, a former undocumented immigrant.

“I was an undocumented immigrant in this country for 15 years,” Rea said. “I have a lot of friends and family members that are still very much in that boat and it is very difficult. We contribute to this nation, and I’ve dedicated my life to the betterment of our communities for everybody. I just want us to be recognized too.”

Photo by Bri Watkins
Photo by Bri Watkins
Photo by Bri Watkins
Photo by Bri Watkins

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