August 29th, 2020: Chicano National Day of Action!
By Sol Marquez
Los Angeles, CA — Past Chicano political parties like the La Raza Unida Party and Chicano organizations like the Denver-based Crusade for Justice, declared August 29th as Chicano Liberation Day. In Boyle Heights, Centro Community Service Organization (CSO) has commemorated the day for many years. Centro CSO is calling for a Chicano National Day of Action on August 29th, 2020. The day coincides with the 50th year anniversary of the mass protest in East LA on August 29th 1970 recognized today as the Chicano Moratorium. Those who wish to participate must unite with this call and organize a protest in their cities, or join us in East LA on August 29th, 2020. The time is now to push for Chicano self-determination!
The Chicano Moratorium & Chicanos against U.S. Wars & Police Brutality
August 29, 1970 over 30,000 Chicanos from all over the U.S. united in East Los Angeles to protest against the high casualty rate of Chicanos in the Vietnam War. The protest also denounced the racist military draft, police brutality of Chicanos, as well as racism in general. LAPD and LASD brutally attacked the peaceful rally at Laguna Park, beating and tear gassing hundreds and arresting scores of people. The people fought back and many police went down, as the rebellion continued on Whittier Boulevard in East LA. The police killed event attendees, Angel Diaz and Ruben Salazar. Ruben Salazar was a KMEX News Director and LA Times news reporter covering the historic event. Lynn Ward, a Brown Beret, also died during the rebellion.
What you can do:
A protest or caravan for a Chicano/a victims of police brutality
From Carlos Ingram-Lopez killed in Tucson, Arizona, Sean Monterrosa killed in Vallejo, California, to Daniel Hernandez killed in South Central Los Angeles, Chicanos continue to die even after the brutal and racist murder of our African American brother in Minnesota, George Floyd. While organizations like CSO in Los Angeles have been leading the fight for Chicano liberation against police brutality, you can start your own action too. Our deaths are disproportionately high like our Black siblings. They happen all the time, and if you’re in an area with high populations of Chicanos, do a quick search of the words “officer involved shooting” and the name of your town or city to find the victims police create.
An event for the undocumented
Chicanos are of many mixed roots, and many of us are also undocumented, or have family who is. We must remain united with those who are haunted and terrorized by Border Patrol, ICE, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Since COVID-19 occurred, refugees in detention centers have not been protected against becoming infected by the virus. Before COVID-19 the country was shocked when many refugees were dying of fevers, diabetic attacks, and from wounds inflicted by agents. The abuses and horrors have not stopped, and in fact they are only increasing. Many have died of COVID-19 like 57-year-old Salvadoran, Carlos Escobar-Mejia, who had been living in the U.S. for over 40 years, before he was detained.
The Eloy Detention Center in Arizona has reported this week that 127 employees have tested positive for COVID-19. One guard has died, as well as 14 detained refugees. Putting the blame on the virus, Eloy is using excuses to justify not hiring more employees, properly sanitizing the detention center, not equipping the refugees with masks, hand sanitizer, nor clean cells, nor allowing refugees access to basic necessities like showers, and laundry! These conditions are completely deplorable and we must stand up against them! Demand the refugees to be released now, and demand legalization for all of them now.
Chicanos and Latinos have one of the highest groups of people hit by COVID-19. Chicano states like Arizona, Texas, and California (the LA area) have become very high-risk areas for the virus. In Florida, the population of Latinos is 25% but those who have COVID-19 are 44.5% Latino! Meanwhile right-wing politicians like DeSantis, Florida Governor, have been reopening their states. Florida’s economy heavily depends on tourism, but instead of tackling the root of the issue, DeSantis decided to instead blame the increasing number of cases on “Hispanic farm workers.” Boyle Heights, predominantly a Chicano and Latino neighborhood, is experiencing some of the highest numbers in COVID cases in the city of Los Angeles, due to many businesses reopening, and most service workers coming out of this area.
A protest or vigil demanding justice for Vanessa Guillen
A Chicana Army soldier named Vanessa Guillen was brutally murdered and disappeared after she reported sexual harassment by her superiors. Guillen was on duty when she disappeared and until now, the Army refuses to give concrete evidence of what truly happened to Guillen. Cover-ups, lies, and misogyny have long been the standing rule within the U.S. military ranks. Events around the country and directly outside of military recruitment centers have demanded justice for Guillen. A protest or vigil for Vanessa Guillen would be a perfect place to start.
Connecting to the national call
In Los Angeles, we will be taking to the streets with the 50th Chicano Moratorium Organizing Committee and we will be helping lead a caravan to commemorate the day. We will be making posters demanding justice for countless Chicano/a victims of LAPD and LASD, for Vanessa Guillen, and demanding legalization for all of the undocumented.
Once you have organized your event, be sure to contact CSO with your event flyer, or details at any of their following contact locations: (323) 943-2030, CentroCSO@gmail.com, or @CentroCSO on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
All events should include the national call as well as use the #ChicanoLiberationDay #ChicanoNationalDay #LegalizationForAll tags.