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LA rally marks 25 years since racist California Prop 187

By Sol Marquez |
November 14, 2019
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Los Angeles, CA - On November 9, hundreds rallied in downtown Los Angeles at Los Angeles State Historic Park to mark 25 years after the defeat of the racist California Proposition 187. California Proposition 187 which was commonly referred to as the Save Our State (SOS) initiative, was a 1994 ballot initiative initiated by the Republican Party with then Republican Governor Pete Wilson attacking mostly Mexican immigrants. Prop 187 called for a state-run citizenship screening system and prohibited the undocumented from using non-emergency health care, public education and other services in the State of California.

Prop 187 passed with a 53% vote in favor, but was met with a wave of massive protests. One such protest began at Cinco Puntos in Boyle Heights and ended at LA City Hall. It consisted of over 100,000 participants and was primarily led by SEIU 660 and One Stop Immigration. The resistance against Prop 187 also included a lawsuit. The measure was found unconstitutional on November 11, 1994.

During this time California faced other racist attacks like propositions to ban affirmative action and bilingual education. These attacks - especially Prop 187 - led to a period of activism. Millions of Latinos became U.S. citizens and began voting. Since the 1990s, California has elected a wave of new Chicano politicians.

The rally was organized by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and was joined by many union members. The rally included a concert to celebrate the defeat of an era of racist measures in California and to continue the struggle for legalization for all.