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This week, I've been thinking about Aug. 29, 1970, a key day in Los
Angeles history. It's a date that's being commemorated by many
Angelenos next month because it's the 40th anniversary of the Chicano
Moratorium, the large antiwar, civil-rights demonstration that brought
30,000 people to the streets of East Los Angeles.
On Thursday, I highlighted the story of Rosalío Muñoz,
then a 24-year-old UCLA graduate who became an unlikely Chicano icon
when he decided to resist the draft then sending legions of young
American men to Vietnam. Muñoz helped organize the Chicano Moratorium,
an event modeled, loosely, on the larger Moratorium Against the Vietnam
War being organized in cities across the U.S.
Muñoz's story showed how white, black and Latino history were united in that period of turbulent change.
On Friday, I took a look back at the life and work of Ruben Salazar,
the Times columnist who was killed after the Chicano Moratorium rally
had been broken up by sheriff's deputies, and after rioting broke out
on Whittier Boulevard. Salazar was killed by a tear-gas projectile
fired by a sheriff's deputy. Some 40 years after his death, my
colleague Robert J. Lopez is pressing the Sheriff's Department to
release its records on the case. Releasing those documents could help
clear up the enduring mystery of Salazar's final days.
here in 1970? Do you remember the moratorium? Please tell me your
memories of those fateful days of Los Angeles history and of that
legend of Los Angeles journalism, Ruben Salazar.
-- Hector Tobar
My mother spoke a lot about it when I was a kid, she died in 2009, and if I said what she saw in the Chicano movement for equal justice, better pay, affordable housing, safe streets etc that meant something not only to Latino's back in the day but to everyone that didnt get a fair shake, to this new radical shift to political power at all cost broke her heart.
There is no real people focused agenda now, just career politicians using Hispanics as pawns to accomplish their personal goals. Its sad but true, all the struggles for the American Chicano has gone out the window. and I must say I hate to see what the future will be because of it.
Mario Estrada |
July 11, 2010 at 11:02 AM
I remember watching all the police cars race down Olympic Blvd towards what was then Laguna Park, now Ruben Salazar Park. I was only 5 years old but remember the event clearly. I was playing in my yard at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Olympic Blvd. It would years before I realized what had transpired that day. As an adult, I later went to a play put on at the Silver Dollar Bar on Whittier Blvd that renacted the events of that night. We were in the bar as patrons as the play evolved around us, it was quite memorable to be in that bar as the play progressed, marking that moment in the history of the movement.
July 11, 2010 at 12:53 PM
I was 14 years old when the march took place, and I knew alot of people that went. I lived behind Garfield and my Mother worked at a plastic slipcover co. across the street from the Silver Dollar, and she was working that day. As the march got closer to the bar they were told to evacuate because the rioting had already started, so for me it was very scary and I was worried about my Mother's safety luckily, she left right before her building was burnt to the ground and right after that is when Ruben Salazar was killed. For me I don't understand how a peaceful march could turn into a riot and how people could do that to their own neighborhood. As a result of the riots my Mother had to take 2 buses to get to work because her company relocated to Compton which was to us was a dangerous place at that time. So in the end it just made life harder for people and the death of Ruben Salazar was a senseless tragedy.
Lorie Torres |
August 29, 2010 at 01:21 PM
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