29th annual San Antonio International Women’s Day March, March 2, 2019
High school teacher Yvonne Reyes and Leslie Flores, psychology senior at Texas Lutheran University, chant while marching along Dolorosa street March 2 at the 29th annual San Antonio International Women’s Day March. This was Reyes’ third time attending the march and Flores’ first time. Brianna Rodrigue
By Sarah F. Morgan
Despite light rain, the 29th annual Women’s Day March and Rally March 2 in Milam Park proceeded with about 150 people attending.
International Women’s Day is March 8, and March is Women’s History Month.
The event was sponsored by Mujeres Marcharan.
This year’s theme was “La Lucha Sigue! Nevertheless, We Persist!”
Dr. Susana N. Ramírez, Women’s Studies Institute Instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, led a blessing before the march.
Ramírez burned copal and prepared roses at an altar in a traditional native ceremony.
Copal is tree resin brought from Mexico and meant to provide spiritual connection with Native American ancestors.
Many of the ceremonial participants come from a range of indigenous backgrounds, Ramírez said.
It is a spiritual ceremony that takes place, Ramírez said.
“Sister, mother, elder, we walk with you,” the participants of the ceremony sang.
Marisa Gonzalez, an organizer of the event, reminded attendees not to engage with protesters as this was a peaceful march.
The march followed through North Santa Rosa Street to the Alamo and back on East Commerce Street.
“Show me what democracy looks like,” the leaders of the march shouted through megaphones.
“This is what democracy looks like,” the marchers shouted in response.
There were about 50 anti-abortion protesters waiting at the Alamo.
Though some marchers chanted “my body, my choice,” in retaliation to the protesters, the leaders of the march urged them to walk in silence in honor of the fallen heroes of the Alamo.
After the march, poet Amalia Ortiz read her poem, “Chocante.”
“Chocante” is Spanish for “shocking”.
“Sex, class, race, and education serve to keep me in a box,” Ortiz recited. “See, I’m as subtle as ‘machismo,’ which is always in my face. But I’m the one with the problem. I’m the one who’s out of place.”
“Machismo” is aggressive masculine pride.
Kamiya Factory, founder of local grassroots movement Change Rape Culture, demanded the end of the perpetuation of rape culture.
“We need to call out perpetuators. We need to make sure that we fight for those silenced every single day,” Factory said.
The rally ended with a call to support Planned Parenthood.
Barbie Hurtado, a main organizer of the event, listed the types of services Planned Parenthood provides.
Not only does Planned Parenthood provide abortion services and STD testing, but also hormone replacement therapy, Hurtado said.
She urged attendees to “stand with Planned Parenthood” at the capital in Austin April 11 against the voting of HB 1500, a bill in the Texas House of Representatives to ban abortions after six weeks.
“We voted (the legislators) in, so we can vote them out if they don’t stand with us,” Hurtado said.