Published August 29, 2016
OAKLAND – Members of the American Indian and Mexican American community, along with others, gathered in Oakland, California,, Sunday, August 28, 2016 to commemorate the historic Chicano Moratorium in 1970 against the Vietnam War.
At the Chicano Moratorium held in Los Angeles, four people were killed, two by the police, and some 150 people were arrested on that dreadful day on August 29, 1970.
Al Rojas of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement – AFL- CIO (LCLAA)
Sunday’s gathering started with a sunrise ceremony with prayers and smudging with copal and sage.
There were many speakers and performers, Al Rojas of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement – AFL- CIO (LCLAA) a national labor group based out of Northern California, was one of them. Al was with Cesar Chavez from the beginning. At 79 years old Al is still going strong, he told Native News Online “That he goes way back, he was with Dennis Banks at DQ University in the early 1970’s. Al said “We were there when we were doing our strike in 1973. Later on we were invited on the Longest Walk when they started off in Sacramento at the state capital. We marched with them all the way to Placerville, California, which is 44 miles.”
He also told Native News Online that AFL-CIO works very closely with many native people from states in Mexico, particularly
Michoacán, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guerrero. “The workers are very exploited people which is nothing new or different. To help the workers in this country,we formed the United Farm Workers Union about 50 years ago after the famous grape strike in Delano in 1965, which culminated in the boycott of 1968 through 70, We couldn’t win the strike because of all the violence.and repression by the courts and judicial systems. Now here we are again in 2016 a time of repression, crisis and resistance by the very people who promised us change was coming. The corparate attacks especially in rural areas, where many corporations are crossing the boarder, because of the free trade agreement.
Al Rojas ended his talk stating, “The current battle for justice is located just south of Tijuana, Mexico, in the agriculture region called San Quintin. The indigenous workers live in poor conditions, wages are extremely small with long hours and conditions are harsh.We must continue the boycott of Driscoll Farms, which supply many of the stores in the United States such as Safeway, Lucky’s, Whole Foods and Costco just to name a few.”
Eva Castro, Grupo Izkalli
Argelio Girón, Brown Beret and Danzer of Sonoma County
Robert Castro, Chicano Gold Coffee, YOALI- Youth Outreach and Learning Institute
Solidarity with Standing Rock
Native News Online photos by Christopher Burquez and Arthur Jacobs