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44 years after Chicano Moratorium, demand of ‘legalization for all’ pushed

By staff |
September 2, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA –More than 30 people gathered at the Salesian Family and Youth Center, located inthe Boyle Heights neighborhood in the heart of East Los Angeles, Aug. 23, to discuss the battle for the Legalization for All campaign and to help build for the 44-year anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium.

The event began with a documentary showing of the first Chicano Moratorium, which took place on Aug. 29, 1970. David Cid, a Chicano activist from Boyle Heights, moderated the speakers panel, stating, "We are gathered here to remember the life and death of Rubén Salazar. Chicano journalist Ruben Salazar dedicated his work to chronicling the Chicano experience and the struggle for self-determination during the Chicano Movement in the late 1960s. 44 years after his assassination by the LA sheriffs on Aug. 29, 1970 at the Chicano Moratorium Against the Viet Nam War, the Chicano community still seeks justice. Salazar is a hero to our people. Salazar's enduring legacy is that Chicanos must continue to fight for equality and dignity."

The Los Angeles County government will place a plaque honoring Ruben Salazar in Ruben Salazar Park Aug. 29.

Marisol Márquez, of the Florida group Raíces en Tampa and a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, was another speaker. She said, "Over 1000 people daily are deported; our people are being detained, their cars impounded, they are raided while in their own homes and at their workplaces. Time and time again we are told to abandon our culture, our language, our way of thinking and our fights for equality and told to integrate. We don't want to integrate! We want liberation!"

Among the other speakers were Chicano Studies professor Karina Olivo Alvarado, who is from El Salvador. Alvarado spoke to the crowd about the ripple effects of the repression against immigrants. "One of my students called me asking for help. Her mother was being abused by a boss and needed help being removed from the situation. It is imperative that we understand not only are the undocumented harmed by repression; their children are as well."

Ingrid Villeda, the United Teachers Los Angeles South Area Chair talked about the DUI checkpoints commonly seen all over California. Currently, drivers licenses are not available to those who are undocumented, but this is quickly going to change beginning in 2015. Quotas until then are being pushed onto local police who act as an extension of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Villeda told the crowd, "Public records we demanded from the police at one particular checkpoint showed that only two out of about 98 arrests done were for driving under the influence. The other 98 were vehicle impounds belonging to the undocumented."

Carlos Montes a founder of the Chicano liberation organization Brown Berets and organizer with the Community Service Organization (CSO), concluded the event by reminding attendees about the importance of learning history of struggle in East Los Angeles and about the importance of organizing for migrant rights, public education and against U.S. wars.

“We are all a part of the Legalization for All Network which opposes any continued oppression against people like us. We must continue organizing and fighting for liberation. For those of you who will be in Los Angeles on the 29th, we expect to see you honoring the Chicano Moratorium's 44 year anniversary!" said Montes.

The Legalization for All Network is currently pushing Congress and President Obama to extend Deferred Action to all of the undocumented. You can sign their petition here: bit.ly/Daca4AllPetition