[sixties-l] Fwd: Chicano Moratorium

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Sun Sep 03 2000 - 21:18:32 CUT

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    >Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2000 12:14:59 -0500
    >From: chris@noc.org (Chris Mahin)
    >Subject: Chicano Moratorium
    >Because Tuesday was the 30th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, I
    >thought people on this list might find the article below to be of interest.
    >It was written by a participant in the Chicano Moratorium (and subsequent
    >demonstrations) who paid a high price for his political activity during that
    >time. (As the article describes, he was shot in the leg by Los Angeles
    >County sheriffs.)
    >I'd be interested in any comments people have on the article, and will pass
    >them on to the author.
    >Chris Mahin
    > >Chicano Moratorium: August 29 is the 30th Anniversary
    > >
    > >Equality is within our grasp
    > >
    > >By Rich Monje
    > >
    > >August 29, 2000 was the 30th anniversary of the Chicano
    > >Moratorium, a historic demonstration in East Los Angeles against
    > >the Vietnam War.
    > >
    > >The Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970 joined the issue of the
    > >Vietnam War with the struggles of Latinos for economic and
    > >political equality. On that day, Mexican minority communities
    > >expressed the frustration and anger with decades of oppression in
    > >the explosion that occurred. The demonstration had a profound
    > >affect on the Mexican minority movement for equality. The young
    > >people that were involved and their families -- especially those
    > >who had been in this country for generations -- began to assert a
    > >new political awareness influenced by the black and Puerto Rican
    > >movements. A significant percentage of those drafted to fight in
    > >Vietnam were minorities.
    > >
    > >The Chicano Moratorium brought over 30,000 people together.
    > >However, before the speeches could begin, the Los Angeles County
    > >sheriffs marched into the park and attacked the crowd and began
    > >beating anyone in their way. The people rebelled. This was a rally
    > >with families and children. My 1-year-old son was there. The young
    > >men had to fight the sheriffs to allow people to escape, as many
    > >were pinned in by a baseball backstop. Our fury and rage knew no
    > >bounds, and the fires burned well into the next day.
    > >
    > >East Los Angeles was under siege for several months. We could not
    > >go to the corner store without being stopped and harassed. After
    > >several community meetings, another protest was organized for
    > >January 31, 1971. After the rally, a march proceeded to Whittier
    > >Boulevard. Seven sheriffs stood by their cars with shotguns drawn.
    > >They ordered the crowd to halt. Several thousand marchers, unable
    > >to hear the order, surged, pushing those at the front forward.
    > >
    > >The sheriffs opened fire with "warning shots." I turned to run and
    > >was hit in the back of the left leg. The crowd was again attacked;
    > >one person was killed and many others were injured. As my friend
    > >helped me, the searing pain was intolerable. A lady over 60 years
    > >old told my friend to take me into her house. I looked around and
    > >there must have been 80 people in her home, with many standing in
    > >the yard. She was protecting us from the police riot going on.
    > >They helped me to the hospital.
    > >
    > >The lessons we learned at the Chicano Moratorium did not begin
    > >there. This event and subsequent actions were rooted in the
    > >history of struggle of the Mexican minority in the United States.
    > >
    > >The ethnic agenda promoted in the 1960s during the Chicano
    > >movement did not accomplish what many of us had hoped. The lesson
    > >we must learn is that many times in some struggles our interests
    > >are inter-linked as Latinos. The impact of the competition
    > >generated by the global economy has driven down wages and working
    > >conditions where many poor workers and immigrants are finding
    > >jobs. In their fight against those wages and conditions, Latinos
    > >are now the group that has the highest percentage of workers
    > >joining unions. I have witnessed organizing drives during which
    > >Latinos are many times some of the staunchest workers.
    > >
    > >Latinos, like their counterparts, have become an active and
    > >leading sector of the working class. They are a component part of
    > >the organized labor movement, a part of the growing movement
    > >against poverty, and a part of the movement for political
    > >independence. Many young people from Latino communities across the
    > >country are proudly donning the mantle of revolutionary.
    > >
    > >The struggle for equality is far from over. Laws are being passed
    > >to restrict our rights as we speak (Propositions 187 and 209, the
    > >"three-strikes" sentencing rules). However, the force for change
    > >is the emerging technology and its influence on the economic
    > >system that allows for the possibility for economic equality that
    > >would eliminate the basis for political inequality. Good schools,
    > >jobs, housing and food are the equalizing factors. The critical
    > >element is to have access to the power to have the basic
    > >necessities of life.
    > >
    > >The divisions of the past based in color, language, or nationality
    > >are decreasing in direct proportion to the understanding of our
    > >common economic needs for the revolutionary transformation to a
    > >cooperative society. This will be a society based on the principle
    > >"from each according to one's ability, to each according to one's
    > >needs" with mutual respect for our different histories, cultures,
    > >religions and languages, and guaranteeing real political equality.
    > >Our allegiance will be with those that can help us attain that
    > >economic and political equality.
    > >
    > >******************************************************************
    > >This article originated in the PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE/TRIBUNO DEL PUEBLO
    > >(Online Edition), Vol. 27 No. 9/ September, 2000; P.O. Box 3524,
    > >Chicago, IL 60654; Email: pt@noc.org; http://www.lrna.org
    > >Feel free to reproduce and use unless marked as copyrighted. The
    > >PEOPLE'S TRIBUNE/TRIBUNO DEL PUEBLO depends on donations from its
    > >readers.

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