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2020 Women's marches in Texas: Here's what you need to know

The Corpus Christi Caller Times logo The Corpus Christi Caller Times 1/15/2020 John C Moritz Austin Bureau USA TODAY NETWORK, Corpus Christi Caller Times

AUSTIN — State Rep. Celia Israel called the women's marches that will be held in cities across Texas and across the nation beginning this weekend are the annual reminders of the raw political power that sits in the hands of female voters.

"It's a chance for progressive women to get together and share their angst and their energy into a positive direction, and I'm glad to be a part of it." Israel said. The Austin Democrat will be one of the featured speakers at the Women's March that starts noon Saturday at the state Capitol.

Similar marches, or in some cases, rallies, will be held in several other Texas cities. The nation's main march is planned for Washington, D.C. Most of the events will be held Saturday, but the marches in Dallas and Fort Worth are planned for Sunday. Houston's will be held Jan. 25.

Corpus Christi's event will be held Saturday and participants plan to gather at 3 p.m. outside the district office of Republican U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud, 101 N. Shoreline Blvd.

According to the Women’s March website, the annual events seek to "harness the political power of diverse women and their communities" to bring about social change through grassroots training and other outreach programs

"Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect," the organization's mission statement says.

The marches began Jan. 21, 2017, one day after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, and were organized by women who protested way the Republican referred to women during the 2016 campaign. 

That year, the Austin event drew an estimated 35,000 people to the Capitol who took part in a mile-long march through downtown.

Attendance dropped off in later years. Last year's event in Austin was bill as a reproductive rights rally to make the anniversary of the Jan. 22, 1973, Roe vs. Wade decision that effectively legalized abortion. About 1,000 people attended.

State Rep. Victoria Neave of Dallas, who plans to participate in the event in her home town, said one of the themes will be to mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.

"It's a prime time to highlight the struggles that women went through to fight for our ability to have a voice at the polls," Neave said.

The marches this weekend will happen as Trump plans his third visit to Texas since October and his eighth stop in the state in the past year. On Sunday, he is scheduled to address the American Farm Bureau Federation’s convention in Austin.

Texas has been the most reliable large state for Republicans in presidential elections dating back to 1980, but Democrats are promising to make the state competitive in the November elections.

Israel said progressive women in Texas don't need the prospect of another visit by the president to be motivated this election cycle.

"The damage that this president has done is exhibited every hour of every day," she said. "I don't how could people be energized any more."

John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at jmoritz@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

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More: Austin women's rally in 2019 focuses on political empowerment, reproductive rights

This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: 2020 Women's marches in Texas: Here's what you need to know

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