Sunday, August 28, 2011

Varied Roles for a Common Cause

The Mexican Cultural Institute is one of the organizations that is found at and around Calle Olvera/Olvera Street. In addition to highlighting Mexican culture it also frequently has exhibits that present the Chicano experience. By comparison to some of our larger institutions in Los Angeles, it is a small space. This space has had some powerful exhibits, Mental Menudos, and panel discussions.

Last night a panel discussed events that led up to and followed the Chicano Moratorium of August 29, 1970. The gathering that began as a peaceful, if pointed, protest in East L.A., but is perhaps best known because of the death of journalist Rubén Salazár.

Phrases that kept surfacing last night included the keywords - education, discrimination, and organization.
I was reminded that this was a multigenerational effort. The Familia Cuarón, welcomed those who couldn't return home because their parents would not have dissidents in their home.

College aged students like Vicky Castro, Phil Castruita, Monte Perez, and Armando Vasquez-Ramos were there to help high school students "stay in line" and since they were older students, they were to take the blows that might be dealt by the LAPD. They were told that the protest was to be led by the generation that included Mita Cuarón and Harry Gamboa, Jr. they were there to offer guidance and physical protection.

All ages roles defined, committed to a common cause, working together so that the youth of East L.A. might have a better future.

Thanks to each of them for their sacrifice to bring positive change to their communities.

Thanks also to the professors and instructors who will give extra credit to the students who attended the panel they are doing their part to keep this legacy alive.

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