San José, CA - On Feb. 19, almost 50 people packed the San Jose Peace and Justice Center to hear Carlos Montes speak. The event was sponsored by the South Bay Committee Against Political Repression and co-sponsored by the Peace and Justice Center and by MAÍZ (Movimiento de Accion, Inspirando Servicio - Movement of Action, Inspiring Service).
A majority of the audience was oppressed nationality (Chicano, African American and Asian American). Participants included new and old activists: students with the San Jose State University MEChA , Chicano Vietnam War veteran and author Charlie Trujillo, members of Occupy San José, as well as long-time peace and Palestinian solidarity activists.
Carlos Montes spoke of his own history with the Chicano movement, the current struggle for immigrant rights, the 23 Midwest anti-war and international solidarity activists who were raided by the FBI and subpoenaed by a federal grand jury and his own arrest and upcoming trial. Montes stressed the importance of collective action and the need to mobilize the community to defeat the growing political repression.
The program also featured spoken word by Adriana Garcia of MAÍZ. The event collected more than $500, not including sales of T-shirts and posters. Afterwards, many in the audience went to the Day of Remembrance event in nearby Japantown.