HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Border communities from across the Rio Grande Valley, including some from Laredo, came together in a peaceful demonstration in San Juan Tuesday afternoon.
The rally was held at the headquarters of La Union Del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, and joining in was former HUD Secretary and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.
Organizers said they wanted to send a message to President Trump that he was not welcome during his visit to the border wall on Tuesday.
LUPE Executive Director Juanita Valdez-Cox said the group didn’t want to hold a rally close to Trump supporters because after last weeks events at the Capitol, they were concerned there could be violence.
Valdez-Cox says during Trump’s presidency, Valley families have faced difficult times, adding that the events last week were instigated by the president.
Castro says he joined LUPE because he wanted to come down today to say that he stands with the Valley. Castro adds the most significant thing about Trump’s presidency is “not the wall he has built around us, but the one he has built between us,” calling the wall a division between neighbors.
“What we are here to say today, is that we have had enough of that division and hate and bigotry. We have had enough, ya basta!” Castro said.
Castro said all that Trump stands for has failed and it’s time to turn the page and embrace everything opposite of that.
LUPE organizers say they want everyone to know it is a peaceful organization, but when there is hurt in the community, people need to speak out.
Valdez-Cox said the money used to travel to Texas could have be better spent.
“Not to welcome him but to tell him that he is spending valuable resources to come here, when he could have used those for the vaccines that we need. We know that our area is a hot spot for COVID, so more meaningful things like that would be the thing that he should be doing,” she said.