Nacogdoches women's rally participants to Washington: "We're wat - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Nacogdoches women's rally participants to Washington: "We're watching you"

Organizers were surprised at the amount of people in attendance. (Source: KTRE Staff) Organizers were surprised at the amount of people in attendance. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Women, children and men showed their support. (Source: KTRE Staff) Women, children and men showed their support. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Many participants brought homemade signs. (Source: KTRE Staff) Many participants brought homemade signs. (Source: KTRE Staff)
Nacogdoches -

Among the hundreds of women's marches and demonstrations held around the nation, there was one in Nacogdoches, where several hundred men, women and children participated.

The large crowd surprised participants, but many said they found comfort in learning they weren't alone in East Texas when it comes to voicing 'women's rights are human rights'.

No speakers were planned, but one woman led chants before the crowd. She yelled, “What do we want?” In unison, the crowd responded, “Respect”. “When do we want it?” “Now”, the crowd yelled back.

"I'm here to honor my daughters," participant Sharon Scifres said."When I was a girl, people were just starting to see the worth of women. And I want the world to be a better place for them."

The group didn't march, but rather, lined the sidewalk bordering the Nacogdoches County Courthouse.

Numerous passing motorists honked vehicle horns as an expression of approval. The crowd; some holding handmade signs with words expressing dignity, justice and unity; cheered back.

"We are all here to support each other," Sudeshna Roy, an SFA professor said. "Just saying that communities matter much more than one person."

Some participants were clearly sending a message to President Donald Trump.

"This is a way of saying Washington and Austin, 'we're watching you, and listen to us because we're a voice too,'" Retired educator and mother of two daughters Wynter Chauvin said.

Many men were in attendance, including Raul Garza Jr. of Garrison. "I just want to make sure we don't slide back all the gains we've made over the last 8 years," he said.

Women were asked to voice their concerns.

“I want to make sure that my kids and other kids with special needs are respected and get the access to education and healthcare that they need," University of Texas at Tyler professor and mother of a child with autism, Amy Hayes said.

LiIlah Bennett, an 8-year-old from Woden, spoke up on an issue some adults are uncomfortable addressing.

“I think that all gays should be treated equally," said the little girl from atop a wall that surrounds the courthouse. She held a sign reading, ‘I won’t be silent.’

A core group of political activists were astonished by the number of participants. Their hope is the momentum of sending a loud and clear message continues.

Word of the rally was spread through social media and media outlets. Some participants traveled from outlying cities to attend. The rally lasted for about two hours with no incident.

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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