by Christina Geovany
It has been 37 years between the first Chicano Moratorium and the present day. Raza is still constantly facing the same struggles and dealing with similar problems such as the war, immigration, deportation, gang violence, poverty, etc.
The first Chicano Moratorium was a march that took place on August 29, 1970 when people gathered to protest the outstanding number of casualties in the Vietnam War that were of Raza decent. On that day 20,000 to 30,000 Raza peacefully gathered and protested for the cause, which until recently was the first time that such a large amount of Raza had come together to unite their voices in protest here in the Aztlan/U.S. Territory.
It was a peaceful gathering until the East Los Angeles police used the excuse of a stolen six pack to suddenly riot against the protestors. As a result three young people died, many were injured, families were greatly affected and countless Americans were shocked by the brutal measures that the law enforcement acted upon that day.
On that day a young boy named Angel Dias, Lynn Ward, a teen Brown Beret and Rubén Salazar, a Mexican-American columnist, activist and reporter that worked for the Los Angeles Times, were killed by the police. Rubén Salazar was killed by being struck in the head by a tear gas canister shot at short range. Many people still believe that this was done purposefully because he was one of the public figures at the time that was shedding light on the struggles that Raza folks were facing and called people out to make change.
August 26 will be the 28th annual Xicana Moratorium Day where we will commemorate what happened that day and continue the fight to rid our people of injustices.
The Xicana Moratorium is a significant event for Raza because we remember those that have given themselves for the cause by commemorating them with an event that unites people to organize and fight for change.
This year the event will be held in San Francisco at Dolores Park on 20th and Dolores in the Mission District and will last from 11am to 4 p.m. There will be a sunrise ceremony at 5am with Danza Xitlali, vendors, food, fun activities for kids and the whole family to enjoy as well as live music and other performances from talented individuals from all around the bay area.
Our theme this year is “Con Nuestras Raices Rompemos Fronteras”or “With Our Roots We Break Borders.” As young folks we constantly see the borders in our neighborhoods by gangs and turfing, but through embracing and acknowledging our indigenous roots we can come together as Xicanas and prove that NO BORDER whether it may be physical or mental will ever stop us and our legacy of resistance. The youth organization Huaxtec, H.O.M.E.Y and the Xicana Moratorium Coalition organize this event for our community to come together with our families and friends to speak out on the injustices in our community.