[sixties-l] Fwd: Chicano Moratorium (Screen display improved)

From: Carrol Cox (cbcox@ilstu.edu)
Date: Sun Sep 03 2000 - 23:14:07 CUT

  • Next message: Carrol Cox: "Re: [sixties-l] on selling out"

    I don't know about others, but I have a difficult time reading posts
    with too many >s in them. Not having anything better to do today and
    agreeing that this was an important post, I cleaned it up and an
    resubmitting it to the list.


    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: [sixties-l] Fwd: Chicano Moratorium
    Date: Sun, 03 Sep 2000 14:18:32 -0700
    From: radman <resist@best.com>
    Reply-To: sixties-l@lists.village.virginia.edu
    To: sixties-l@lists.village.virginia.edu

    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
    It was written by a participant in the Chicano Moratorium (and
    demonstrations) who paid a high price for his political activity during
    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
    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

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