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Hemisfair Park Event Encourages People To Share Their 'Battle Cry' For Vanessa Guillen

Participants at an event to honor Vanessa Guillen in July 2020.
Jolene Almendarez | Texas Public Radio
Participants at an event to honor Vanessa Guillen in July 2020.

Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday to honor the memory of Vanessa Guillen, the slain Fort Hood soldier and now a standard around which hundreds of thousands of people have rallied to demand justice for survivors of sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. military.

Organizers gathered participants at Hemisfair Park late Saturday morning and encouraged them to share their "battle cry." The Pink Berets, Our Sister's Keeper Movement and Circle of Arms hosted the event.

"We constantly battle the PTSD affects daily and to some they go unnoticed," the organizers wrote on the event's Facebook page. "Now is the time to shout our battle cry for all to hear that we want to be believed and heard."

Those interested could participate in person or virtually, according to organizers. The event page included instructions to join via Zoom.

Those who decided to go to Hemisfair Park, near the Magik Theater, could receive a Vanessa Guillen dog tag.

"[O]ur focus will be specifically on military sexual trauma awareness, survivor stories, current justice requests and collaboration," organizers explained on the event page. "This cause is just as important and has been denied our soldiers for decades. Community support is essential to make change for our current and future soldiers mental and physical well-being."

The demonstration comes at the end of a week that saw Guillen's family meet with President Donald Trump, supporters in Washington D.C. march in her honor and Congress consider new legislation meant to reform how the Army handles sexual assault and harassment cases.

This was not the only notable demonstration in San Antonio on Saturday. Demonstrators in solidarity with nationwide Black Lives Matter protests took part in a car caravan and hosted a food drive for the needy.

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