Women on US-Mexico border make solidarity braid to mark Trump's inauguration

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

On Saturday, millions of women around the world marched in defiance of President Donald Trump and to defend their rights. The day before, however, women on the U.S.-Mexico border offered a powerful message of their own.

As the sun rose on Friday, Fusion reports, 50 women from both U.S. and Mexico gathered on the international pedestrian bridge connecting El Paso, Texas, with Juárez, Mexico, to take part in a demonstration organized by Boundless Across Borders.

The women held hands and stood back-to-back on the bridge, Fusion notes, with each woman's hair (or scarf, if their hair was too short) interwoven with the hair of the woman behind them in a braid.

Female activists take part in the Inauguration Day protest on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Source: 
Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

"I'm born a white American and I'm going to be braiding my hair with a Latina woman," participant Leah Gillespie told Fusion. "It really marks this idea that, yes, we have our differences, but here are our similarities. And we're binding those similarities in an act of solidarity."

The move to literally interweave the two communities together offers a powerful symbolic message in the face of Trump's inauguration. The new president seeks to divide, rather than connect, the two countries through his infamous "border wall" plan — a wall, Fusion notes, that already exists between El Paso and Juárez.

"You can't help but understand that the wall slices through our humanity," Xochitl Nicholson, one of the demonstration's organizers, told Fusion.

The demonstration, Fusion notes, attracted the attention of many morning commuters, though others on the bridge simply pushed past. And though the demonstration may not have garnered the same massive turnout or attention as Saturday's marches, the small but symbolic act still made an impact.

Two protesters hold hands during the demonstration.
Source: 
Herika Martinez/AFP/Getty Images

"Change happens through small acts," participant Marisol Diaz reminded Fusion.

How the relationship between U.S. and Mexico and the border that divides them will fare under Trump still remains to be seen. But Friday's demonstration reminds us of the powerful alliances between the two nations and the people that call them home.

"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 to Fusion. "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."

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Alison Durkee

Alison is a New York-based news writer at Mic. You can get in touch with her at adurkee@mic.com.

MORE FROM

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.

8 of the biggest moments from the 48th NYC LGBT Pride March

The biggest Pride event in the world was a sight to behold.

Movement for Black Lives activists disrupt Minneapolis Pride to protest Philando Castile verdict

Protesters reportedly held signs with messages like "No KKKops at Pride."

Protesters reportedly arrested near NYC's Stonewall Inn, Pride March endpoint

The reason for the arrests were not immediately known.

Marchers arrested in Istanbul as Pride parade continues despite cancellation

The organizers' decision to move forward with the previously cancelled march led to clashes with police.

Car slams into Eid celebrants in UK, injuring 6; police say terrorism isn't suspected

Police say they believe an Eid celebrant was behind the wheel of the car that injured six outside a mosque.

Oil truck explodes in Pakistan, killing at least 153

The deadly fire broke out as residents rushed to collect the leaking oil from the overturned tanker.