SAN ANTONIO - Saturday's rain did little to dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of people who gathered downtown to have their voices heard at the 27th Annual San Antonio International Women's Day March and Rally.
Under leaden skies that unleashed a constant but gentle rain, they carried signs promoting all kinds of causes while they gathered at Milam Park.
The theme of this year's event: "Muxerista, Existe y Resiste: Our Existence is Resistance!"
Lucinda Gonzalez made a sign that read "Unstoppable."
"I think we have been pushed and kicked and stepped on and still we continue to come back and we come back even stronger," she said.
Gonzalez said the rain was a test of strength.
"This is a God thing. He's testing us. He said you are unstoppable? Show me! We're doing it," she said.
Bianca Swingley came to the march with a group from Our Lady of the Lake University. They all carried elaborate messages as part of a class project.
Swingley's sign was a large, brightly-colored and adorned with the quote: "The question isn't who is going to let me. It's who is going to stop me."
"I really love that quote. It's by Ayn Rand, and I found it really inspirational because it's true. I never want to ask permission. I just want to do it, and I shouldn't have to ask permission," Swingley said.
Herb Gonzales came with an American flag, which he carried upside down.
"It's well known internationally as a symbol of distress. Come help me. Things are bad. That's what we have right now in the U.S.," Gonzales said.
Protected from the rain by a sea of colorful umbrellas, they prayed and chanted, burning incense and beating drums, each marching to their own beat.
Many who marched said these few steps are not the end of their efforts for justice.
Most promised to take their activism out on the road of life, to build a better community, like 12-year-old Qualiyah. She said the spirit of the march will move on with good works.
Qualiyah said her family taps into the power of women by sharing resources.
"Our family likes to help feed the homeless and give money to charity," she said.
Swingley agreed. "Especially at my school, a lot of the students have really come together. Women have worked together a lot more," she said.
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