Beto O'Rourke joins anti-Trump march in El Paso

Former Rep. Beto O-Rourke (D-Texas) on Monday joined a counter-protest in El Paso, Texas, designed to oppose a rally where President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to sign executive order promoting artificial intelligence Trump’s new Syria timetable raises concern among key anti-ISIS allies Trump officials considering Mar-a-Lago for next meeting with China’s Xi: report MORE is expected to promote border walls.

Photos of the demonstration showed hundreds of protestors making their way through El Paso in the hours before Trump’s rally in the border city. Some protestors repeatedly chanted “build bridges, not walls” as they marched along the border fence separating El Paso from Ciudad Juarez. 

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Many demonstrators held signs condemning Trump’s rhetoric on immigration. One read, “Trump made America hate again.” Another propped up a sign reading, “make tacos, not walls.”

Trump hosted a rally in El Paso on Monday night amid his calls for $5.7 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border. He said during his State of the Union last week that El Paso was an example of how walls work, a comment that prompted backlash from multiple local officials. 

The rally and march that O’Rourke headlined sought to “show the country the reality of the border,” according to a statement released by O’Rourke’s office Friday.

“Beto O’Rourke will join with his city on Monday evening to show the country the reality of the border — a vibrant, safe, binational community that proudly celebrates its culture, history, diversity and status as a city of immigrants,” the statement said before the rally. 

O’Rourke said during a speech at the rally that El Paso was one of the most safest cities in the country. 

“Safe not because of walls but in spite of walls,” he said.