Friday October 7, 2022
| Last update: Thursday at 9:38 PM

East LA commemorates the 52nd Chicano Moratorium

By staff |
August 31, 2022
Dr. Rocio Rivas speaking at Chicano Moratorium.
Dr. Rocio Rivas speaking at Chicano Moratorium. (Luis Sifuentes)

Los Angeles, CA - Over 100 Chicanos and other participants gathered for a rally at Salazar Park in East Los Angeles to commemorate the 52nd anniversary of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium. In 1970, 30,000 people once demanded a stop to the Vietnam War and an end to discrimination and racism. The LAPD and LA Sheriff's Department teargassed and beat protesters. Their actions led to the deaths of three Chicanos, including LA Times reporter Ruben Salazar.

August 29th is now recognized by our movement as Chicano Liberation Day, and is celebrated by many with rallies and marches yearly.

“We’re here supporting because we know what happened in 1970 and nothing has changed in regards to police brutality,” said Stephanie Luna, aunt of Anthony Vargas, who was killed by East LA Sheriffs August 12, 2018. “We’re here standing in solidarity with those that are coming out today to stand against the brutality of our people.” The sheriffs continue a campaign of terror and retaliation against the Vargas family for their demanding the accountability of the deputies responsible for his murder.

Other impacted family members of police killings were also united and included the families of David Ordaz Jr., David Sullivan, Leonel Chavez and Edgar Ortiz. Led by Centro CSO, the rally was complemented with energetic speakers, spoken word by Sammy Quetzali, Alex Alpharaoh, and Matt Sedillo, as well as a live band performance by Have a Good Summer.

Speaking from the CSO Education Committee was keynote speaker Dr. Rocio Rivas, who is running for Los Angeles School Board this November. Rivas spoke on her campaign platform of defending public schools and defeating privatization efforts spearheaded by billionaire privatizers. When asked why she came out Dr. Rivas said, “I’m here to stand in solidarity with my Raza to continue to fight for justice for our community. I’m here to fight for public schools - to protect them against privatization. I’m here to struggle for educational justice and equality.” Dr. Rivas is a proud Chicana and daughter of Mexican, immigrant parents.

The CSO Immigration Committee demanded legalization for all of the undocumented and participated in the national call to action by the Legalization for All Network (L4A), coinciding with four other actions around the country. The immigration section of the event included speakers from AFSCME 3299, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and others advocating for internationalism. Carlos Montes, a founding member of the Brown Berets and a veterano of the original Chicano Moratorium, read a statement of solidarity on behalf of the Free Alex Saab campaign - the Venezuelan diplomat who was kidnapped by the U.S. government.

Jenaro Ayala of La Raza Unida Party and who was also present at the original Chicano Moratorium said, “The Chicano Moratorium is a very important and historical event. It is a testament for our people’s struggle for national liberation. In 1970 we were marching against the Vietnam War. That struggle continues as we oppose imperialism and struggle against the attacks on our community.”

This sentiment was resonated by Alejandro Orellana, a young Chicano and former Marine who said he defected during the Trump regime. “They recruited me out of high school. They come after us Chicanos, as well as African American kids. They like to paint this perfect patriotic picture for us so that we’ll go fight and die for their empire.”

Upcoming plans for Centro CSO are to continue campaigning for Dr. Rocio Rivas’ election and also for a victory on Measure A. Measure A is a charter amendment that CSO fights for with the Check the Sheriffs Coalition. It would help remove LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, as well as any future sheriff guilty of brutality. The Office of Sheriff is up for election in November too.

For anyone wanting to be involved in the fight against privatization and against killer cops and sheriffs, send Centro CSO a message on any of their platforms: 323-484-8630, [email protected], or @CentroCSO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.