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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 2 Sep 2000 12:14:59 -0500
From: email@example.com (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
I'd be interested in any comments people have on the article, and will
them on to the author.
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: firstname.lastname@example.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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