By Faiz Siddiqui and Kelyn Soong
19 November 2017

(the Washington Post) – Demonstrators packed the Mall on Sunday for a Unity March in support of disaster relief for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rican flags flapped in the wind as speakers made impassioned pleas for funding and support for Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The hurricane made landfall in September and devastated the U.S. territory of 3.4 million people.

By afternoon, hundreds had amassed in front of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the Unity March for Puerto Rico. Many more had showed up in the morning to march from the U.S. Capitol, down Independence Avenue toward the Lincoln Memorial, as marchers observed attendance in the thousands.

Evelyn Mejil, Sunday’s event organizer, said the demonstration was a powerful display of unity behind the efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico. She said the event came together amid a tense personal struggle; she didn’t hear from her family for two weeks.

“It was a combination of frustration, anger, sadness, desperation, anxiety,” Mejil said.

Mejil, 40, who lives in northern New Jersey, learned that her relatives lost their homes.

“When you get that feeling of powerless and voiceless, I thought that something needed to be done.”

Hundreds of demonstrators amass in front of the Lincoln Memorial for a Unity March in support of disaster relief for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, 19 November 2017. Photo: Kelyn Soong / Twitter

She characterized the rally as a success.

“I think everyone was able to unify and be one message, which is, ‘We’re here for Puerto Rico and we’re going to continue to make sure we put pressure on Congress so that we do the right thing for Puerto Rico.’” [more]

Puerto Rico Unity March draws demonstrators in rally for disaster aid



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