As headlines and timelines became filled with messages scrutinizing the turnout at President Donald Trump’s inauguration and his awkward dance with First Lady Melania Trump on Friday, an understated, but powerful protest took shape on the United States-Mexico border. According to Fusion, approximately 50 women from Texas and Mexico protested at the international pedestrian bridge that connects El Paso and Juarez. By braiding their hair together, they made a statement that the fates of the United States and Mexico are inextricably linked.
Nearly two years ago, Trump launched his presidential campaign by announcing that he’d build a wall on the US’ southern border to cut off immigration from Latin America and other parts of the world. Despite warnings of the environmental and economic ramifications, Trump promised to make the border wall one of his administration’s top priorities.
So on the first day of Trump’s tenure, the protesters stood back to back and held hands with the person directly in front of them. “We wanted something that referenced women directly, but that also sends a message about our common heritage and common backgrounds in a broader context,” said Xochitl Nicholson, one of the organizers. “It’s a symbol of collective strength.” Blue hair, black hair, red hair, blonde hair, and brown hair were woven together – highlighting their differences, as well as their shared commitment to the fight.
Compared to the Women’s March in Washington and across the nation, the Boundless Across Border demonstration garnered a more modest audience. Thousands of people use the bridge daily to get back and forth from the US and Mexico. Some ignored it as they made their way through the crowded bridge. Others took the protest in as they made their way to their destination.
And for protesters like Nicholson, they hoped to give both countries a little bit of hope. “I think it’s easy to feel like we’re in the dark right now. It’s really scary. Today especially – it was hard to wake up,” Nicholson said, choking back tears. “This was a nice way to crawl out of that darkness and stand in the light. We were standing together on the bridge as the sun rose and there’s nothing that can send a clearer message. No words, no act is stronger than coming together.”
Check out the protest below: