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Tue January 21, 2014
Record Crowd Honors MLK, March For Their Own Dreams
This year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in San Antonio drew a record attendance on Monday -- between 150,000-200,000 -- and chants, songs and prayers echoed as marchers traversed the two-mile route from MLK Academy to Pittman-Sullivan park to keep the dream alive, which is different depending on who you ask.
Among the elected officials leading the march were Mayor Julián Castro, his brother, Congressman Joaquín Castro, and visiting state Sen. Wendy Davis. Davis said she chose to spend the day in San Antonio to see the march for herself. She said to her the dream is opportunity for everyone.
"Which, of course, is what we are trying achieve in Texas as well," she said. "His legacy lives on in the work that we all do and it’s amazing to be here with all the folks in San Antonio who celebrate his life and his legacy."
For Mayor Castro, Dr. Kings Dream is that each of us have a God-given potential.
It’s up to all of us as Americans to make sure each person reaches that potential, has the opportunity to reach that potential," Castro said. "That’s the kind of city we want to create and the kind of nation we want to create."
There was a plan for social justice organizations to try and take the front of the march away from the corporate sponsors. Graciela Sanchez of the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center said King's message has become commercialized.
"What we see here today is that the city continues to put the corporations, the sponsors for the march, up front and they push groups like ours, the folks who work around justice and equality, healthcare, towards the back," Sanchez said.
The larger-than-average turnout could be chalked up to the fair skies and cool weather. Towards the end of the collective mass, marchers Ruby More and Deborah Williams said to them equal rights is access to resources for everyone.
"Everything that makes life better for us -- not the color of your skin, not the amount of money you make -- it’s resources" they said. "The child, that poor child in the ghetto may have a cure for cancer, but he’ll never have a chance to go to school if things that change."
The march normally draws around 100,000 and is touted as the largest MLK march in the country.