44 years ago today, 30,000 marched in East LA in the Chicano Moratorium in protest of the Vietnam War, and in an act of self-determination for Chicanos. Historians believe the Chicano Moratorium was one of the largest anti-war protests of its day and the first to call attention to the number of Chicanos disproportionately represented in Vietnam.
Thousands who gathered at Laguna Park after the march to listen to speakers and performers were forced to run for cover after deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department began brutally attacking march-goers with night sticks. Reporter Rubén Salazar was one of them.
Salazar, who was a well-known journalist, was killed later that evening at the Silver Dollar Bar on Whittier Boulevard when sheriff’s deputies shot a tear gas canister into the bar. The canister hit Salazar in the head and killed him instantly. Salazar had clashed with local police in the months before his death, reports the LA Times. Ángel Díaz and Lynn Ward also died that day.