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Thousands participate in 21st March of Justice to honor Cesar Chavez

SAN ANTONIO – Local leaders and thousands of San Antonians on Saturday morning participated in the 21st March of Justice to honor and memorialize the legacy of civil rights activist and labor leader Cesar Chavez.

People gathered at the corner of Brazos and Guadalupe streets.

“The kids have to understand there’s heroes amongst them that came before them that look just like them. Just like Roy Benavides, Cleto Rodriguez, and Gus Garcia and Henry B. Gonzalez, and that list goes on and on. But many times it’s not taught in school,” said Henry Rodriguez, executive director for the League of United Latin American Citizens Concilio Zapatista.

Born in 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, Chavez is best known for bringing to light the struggles and harsh life of American farm workers. He rallied nationwide support for their case through boycotts and marches.

Chavez co-founded United Farm Workers and fought for safer working conditions.

“In terms of agriculture and pesticides, (Chavez) moved mountains,” said Gabriel Quintero Velasquez, March of Justice organizer. “One of the timeless values he brought forth is the value of nonviolence and struggle for social justice.”

Participants said the march wasn’t just for justice but also to send a message of peace.

“We have to enter into a life of transformation and be able to turn our lives around and understand that the violence in our city, we have to accept responsibility for it. It begins with us. Cesar teaches us that,” Quintero Velasquez said.

Friday will be Chavez’s birthday. March 31 is recognized as a state holiday in California, Colorado and Texas.

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