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Boyle Heights commemorates the 49th anniversary of Chicano Moratorium

By Luis Sifuentes |
September 3, 2019
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49th anniversary of Chicano Moratorium marked in LA.
49th anniversary of Chicano Moratorium marked in LA. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Los Angeles, CA - On August 29, hundreds of community members, activists and families gathered at a local Chicano art center, Self Help Graphics, to commemorate the 49th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War.

The event marks the August 29, 1970 Chicano Moratorium, which included over 30,000 Chicanos and supporters marching against the Vietnam War in East Los Angeles. The large march ended with a rally at Laguna Park - now known as Ruben Salazar Park. The moratorium was against the Vietnam War, against the high casualty rate of Chicanos in that war, against police terror and against racism. East LA Sheriffs and LAPD attacked the peaceful rally, beating hundreds, tear gassing thousands and killing three participants. One of those killed was well-known Los Angeles Times reporter and KMEX news director Ruben Salazar.

The commemoration was organized by Centro CSO, which continues to denounce police terror, President Trump's ICE raid threats against undocumented immigrants, militarization of the U.S./Mexico border, and threats of intervention in Iran and Venezuela.

The event kickstarted with local indie-funk band Resonance, while everyone attending got food and refreshments. Centro CSO members Rosario Bonilla and Lupe Torres gave an introduction about Self Help Graphics.

The keynote speaker of the evening was the author and longtime Chicano activist from Denver, Colorado, Ernesto Vigil. Vigil spoke about the importance of organizing the community and having the correct ideas to defeat U.S. imperialism. Lisa Vargas, the mother of Anthony Vargas, who was shot and killed by East Los Angeles Sheriffs last August, spoke about her son's legacy and her fight to seek justice.

Antonia Montes, a public school teacher at Eastmont Avenue School spoke about charter schools’ devastating effects on public schools, about co-locations, and the parents, students and teachers united against privatization of education. They are currently fighting to remove Extera Charter school. Rudy Chavez, a Vietnam veteran and activist, performed an exclusive poem which included an atmospheric set up and props. Carlos Montes, a longtime Chicano activist, spoke about the Vietnam War and its high mortality rate of Chicano soldiers and about continuing the fight for public education, defeating the mega KIPP Promesa charter school and police killings.

Sol Marquez, member of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), spoke about different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean currently fighting back against U.S. domination. Marquez informed the crowd that FRSO trade union delegation arrived in Caracas, Venezuela for the “1st International Meeting of Workers in Solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, its Government and Its People,” which started on August 29.

“My FRSO comrades send their solidarity all the way from Caracas on this 49th commemoration of our self-determination. They are to return soon, and I ask that you be on standby if U.S. customs gives them a hard time. We may have to organize an emergency event, if they are not released in a timely manner.”

 

Join Centro CSO for their public meetings the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. at Benjamin Franklin Library. Look for /Centro CSO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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