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Chicano Moratorium Remembered:

Anti-war Rally and Cultural Arts Festival

by Carlos Montes |
October 1, 2003
Family speaking on stage
Blanca Dueñas of the Centro CSO Education Committee denounced racist and overcrowded conditions at Roosevelt High. (Fight Back! News/Carlos Montes)

Los Angeles, CA - Fernando Suarez Del Solar, from Escondido, father of Jesus Aleberto Suarez del Solar Navarro, a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq, spoke at a rally Aug. 30, in Hollenbeck Park in the heart of Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles. Mr. Solar has been an active vocal critic of the U.S. war on Iraq and the high casualty rate of Latinos in the war.

Latinos Against War, students, teachers, union members, artists and parents held the Rally and Cultural Arts Festival to demand an end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq and to raise the call, “New schools! Not new wars!” They also demanded the U.S stop attacks on immigrants and spoke out against Plan Colombia.

The rally commemorated the Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War held in East L.A. in 1970 - the largest protest march organized by Chicanos in the U.S. The Moratorium protested the high casualty rate of Latino youth in the Vietnam War and demanded self-determination for Chicanos in the U.S.

This summer’s rally featured Latino fusion bands Uprground and Eztlinahua and the rap group Terrax. Colombian poet Antonieta Villamil and Chicana poet Felicia Montes presented their work. Speakers addressed the U.S. war on Iraq, local school conditions and the U.S.-funded Plan Colombia.

Blanca Dueñas, a parent leader of the Centro CSO Education Committee, denounced the racist and overcrowded conditions at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, and the 50% drop out rate.

Angel Hurtado, from the Roosevelt Revolutionary Students, spoke about the bad conditions at Roosevelt High School and the need to build two new schools in East Los Angels to begin to relieve the overcrowded conditions. The two groups just launched a petition drive to pressure the Los Angeles Unified School District to speed up the building of new high schools, demanding one in Boyle Heights, at the corner of First Street and Mission Street.

Other speakers exposed Arnold Schwarzenegger’s investments in Coca-Cola, and that company’s role of collusion with the paramilitary death squads killing workers and union leaders in Colombia.

The event was cosponsored or endorsed by Centro CSO, SEIU Local 660, Roosevelt High Revolutionary Students, Free Rosario Muñoz Committee, HERE Local 11, the Casa Bohemia Show on KPFK radio, LA ANSWER and International Action Center.

Join us: Latinos Against War, c/o: Centro CSO, 511 Echandia St, Los Angeles, CA 90033 (323) 221-4000. www.latinoscontralaguerra.org or www.newcentrocso.org

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