Imelda showed up too, about 45 minutes into the rally. By 1 pm, quite a few of us were soaked through, as if we had all cannonballed into the reflecting pool at Hermann Square without stripping down first.
The young climate-strikers gave some speeches, ranging in quality from pretty good to excellent, on a barely adequate public address system. There were clever signs and lots of sincerity. After about an hour and a half, some young'ns started a slippery game of tag on the lawn. A few elected officials and candidates showed up, but they wisely did not try to hijack the proceedings from the young leaders.
Through the downpour, there were chants of "We're Still Here!" As, indeed, we were.
With any luck, yesterday's will not be the cathartic event that represents the movement's peak, with participants finding other pursuits to occupy their attention. The movement needs to keep moving. The rallies need to get bigger, then turn into direct action.
Speaking of direct action, Extinction Rebellion Houston had planned to add something either symbolic or very direct; however the meeting that XR HTX had scheduled for Wednesday evening to put together the props and costumes was flooded out. Members of the new XR chapter showed up individually, but not en masse in matching t-shirts.
I stood among the hundred-plus Unitarian Universalists in yellow Side with Love shirts. Both ministers and one recently retired minister from First UU Houston were present, including new associate minister Rev. D. Scott Cooper in his Side with Love stole.
While the UU contingent was large, the local Green Party contingent was disappointingly dinky. Laura Palmer was there with her children. I was there in my Green Party of Texas cap. Few of the other usual suspects managed to get there (that I saw). At least a small contingent from Socialist Alternative, including Brian Harrison was hanging out near the steps on one side, Revolutionary Communist Party on the other.
Maybe I'm wrong, but the vibe I got was that the overwhelming majority will still Vote Blue No Matter Who next year, even if the Democratic nominee has a shitty record on environmental issues. There were plenty of shirts and hats promoting wearers' favorite presidential candidates, giving the impression that they trust said candidates to get right to work reversing climate disruption once installed in the White House. The Sunrise Movement youth recognize that we cannot simply vote our way out of climate catastrophe (and show up with clever signs at occasional feel-good rallies), but I'm not so sure that these other folks understood that.