chicano rights


Did you know  it was mostly students and young adults people between the ages of 14- 25  from California and Texas made up 72 % of the people fighting for the cause. There was also a big number of people in Arizona considering the population at the time was hardly what it is today. 

So basically young people with not many resources ‘’unlike how we do have unlimited today’’ made this happen. So just imagine what people can do today if kept peaceful. Because at the same time statistics also show people killed during these events were ‘’students and young adults’’ as well.

I was silent as a child, and silenced as a young woman; I am taking my lumps and bumps for being a big mouth, now, but usually from those whose opinion I don’t respect.
—  Sandra Cisneros

Happy Birthday to miss Sandra Cisneros! 

You can shot a cop,or even kill them if necessary…

“An illegal arrest is an assault and battery. The person so attempted to be restrained of his liberty has the same right to use force in defending himself as he would in repelling any other assault and battery.” State v. Robinson, 145 ME. 77, 72 ATL. 260.

“Each person has the right to resist an unlawful arrest. In such a case, the person attempting the arrest stands in the position of a wrongdoer and may be resisted by the use of force, as in self- defense.” State v. Mobley, 240 N.C. 476, 83 S.E. 2d 100.

“One may come to the aid of another being unlawfully arrested, just as he may where one is being assaulted, molested, raped or kidnapped. Thus it is not an offense to liberate one from the unlawful custody of an officer, even though he may have submitted to such custody, without resistance.” Adams v. State, 121 Ga. 16, 48 S.E. 910.

“Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306.

This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529. The Court stated: “Where the officer is killed in the course of the disorder which naturally accompanies an attempted arrest that is resisted, the law looks with very different eyes upon the transaction, when the officer had the right to make the arrest, from what it does if the officer had no right. What may be murder in the first case might be nothing more than manslaughter in the other, or the facts might show that no offense had been committed.”

“An arrest made with a defective warrant, or one issued without affidavit, or one that fails to allege a crime is within jurisdiction, and one who is being arrested, may resist arrest and break away. lf the arresting officer is killed by one who is so resisting, the killing will be no more than an involuntary manslaughter.” Housh v. People, 75 111. 491; reaffirmed and quoted in State v. Leach, 7 Conn. 452; State v. Gleason, 32 Kan. 245; Ballard v. State, 43 Ohio 349; State v Rousseau, 241 P. 2d 447; State v. Spaulding, 34 Minn. 3621.

“These principles apply as well to an officer attempting to make an arrest, who abuses his authority and transcends the bounds thereof by the use of unnecessary force and violence, as they do to a private individual who unlawfully uses such force and violence.” Jones v. State, 26 Tex. App. I; Beaverts v. State, 4 Tex. App. 1 75; Skidmore v. State, 43 Tex. 93, 903.

As for grounds for arrest: “The carrying of arms in a quiet, peaceable, and orderly manner, concealed on or about the person, is not a breach of the peace. Nor does such an act of itself, lead to a breach of the peace.” (Wharton’s Criminal and Civil Procedure, 12th Ed., Vol.2: Judy v. Lashley, 5 W. Va. 628, 41 S.E. 197).

“Story affirmed the right of self-defense by persons held illegally. In his own writings, he had admitted that ‘a situation could arise in which the checks-and-balances principle ceased to work and the various branches of government concurred in a gross usurpation.’ There would be no usual remedy by changing the law or passing an amendment to the Constitution, should the oppressed party be a minority. Story concluded, ‘If there be any remedy at all … it is a remedy never provided for by human institutions.’ That was the ‘ultimate right of all human beings in extreme cases to resist oppression, and to apply force against ruinous injustice.’” (From Mutiny on the Amistad by Howard Jones, Oxford University Press, 1987, an account of the reading of the decision in the case by Justice Joseph Story of the Supreme Court.

Yall really need to know y'alls rights.

Originally posted by orianne-ugh

“La Causa” (The Cause), 2011

“This is one of two paintings I created especially for ¡ADELANTE!, an exhibit of Chicano art at the Forest Lawn Museum in Glendale, California. La Causa is a portrait of militants from the Brown Beret organization, a Chicano group that gained notoriety in the late 1960s for struggling to advance the civil and human rights of Mexican-Americans.

The Chicano Moratorium march againt the Vietnam War took place in East Los Angeles on August 29, 1970, and was partly organized by the Brown Berets. The group originally organized in East L.A. in 1967 as an outgrowth of the burgeoning Chicano civil rights movement. In 1968 the group organized the first student walkouts to protest racism and substandard schools in East L.A., electrifying an entire generation. Soon Brown Beret chapters sprang up throughout California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and beyond - but it all started in the city of Los Angeles.

Some 30,000 people took part in the 1970 moratorium march, which culminated in a rally at Laguna Park; dozens of Brown Berets acted as marshals, providing security for the protest. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department attacked the gathering, initiating a riot. Ultimately police killed four citizens that day, Lyn Ward, José Diaz (both Brown Berets), Gustav Montag, and L.A. Times reporter Rubén Salazar. Salazar was slain as he sat in the Silver Dollar Café; a deputy sheriff fired a tear gas projectile into the cafe, striking Salazar in the head and killing him instantly.”

Artist: Mark Vallen

“Lowriders express the refusal of a young Chicano American to be Anglicized (white washed). There has never been a clearer case of the automobile being used as an ethnic statement. The lowrider idea grew in the ‘60s and early '70s and linked itself to the emerging Chicano civil rights movement.” So happy my dad has and always will be apart of something so important to Chicano street culture.

Brown Berets Hail 'La Raza' and Scorn the Establishment by Ruben Salazar for the Los Angeles Times (June 16, 1969)

David Sánchez, prime minister of the Brown Berets, was at the East Los Angeles Free Clinic when he learned two of his top aides, along with eight other people, had been indicted for involvement in disturbances and fires set in the Biltmore April 24.

The fires in several floors of the hotel were started just before Gov. Reagan was to address a Mexican-American educator’s conference. The disturbances occurred during the governor’s speech.

Authorities say a rookie policeman who had infiltrated the militant Chicano organization tipped off police and firemen in advance, which probably prevented a catastrophe.

“It looks bad all right,” Sanchez said about the indictments, “but La Raza (the race) will understand. La Raza knows it’s just another maneuver by The Man to destroy us.”

Sánchez, voicing the unanimous sentiment of Brown Beret leadership, says he doesn’t care what “the white establishment or press” thinks of the organization. But, he adds, if it is true that his ministers of information and discipline were involved in arson “they did it as individuals and not as Brown Berets.”

The East Los Angeles Free Clinic at 5106 E. Whittier Blvd. was opened by the Brown Berets May 31 with financial help from the Ford Foundation.

Sánchez says the sparsely furnished facility was modeled after the Fairfax Free Clinic in Hollywood and is offering free medical, social and psychological services to Mexican-Americans with volunteer help of professionals. Indicted himself for his part in the East Los Angeles High School walkouts last year, Sánchez, 20, looks like a clean-cut Mexican-American boy.

But he’s much more complicated than that. He heads a tightly knit, quasi-military organization of about 60 disciplined youths which the police consider dangerous.

Besides Los Angeles, the Brown Berets claim to have chapters in 27 other cities including Fresno, San Francisco, Sacramento, Berkeley, Oxnard, Denver, Albuquerque and San Antonio. The members range in age from 14 to 35.

At a recent Chicano youth liberation conference in Denver, at which many Brown Berets participated mostly as security guards, about 1500 Chicano youths from the five Southwestern states adopted a statement of beliefs which condemned the “brutal gringo invasion of our territories.”

Brown Berets look up to the leadership of Reies López Tijerina, the New Mexico land grants crusader, and Rodolfo (Corky) Gonzáles, leader of the Denver-based civil rights organization, the Crusade for Justice. Both men preach ethnic nationalism and separatism.

Admirers of César Chávez

“We especially admire César Chávez (the farm labor leader) for his advocacy of nonviolence,” Sanchez says.

The Brown Beret manual, however, indicates the organization does not entirely condemn violence as does Chávez.

The manual says: “If those Anglos in power are willing to (give Chicanos their rights) in a peaceful and orderly process, then we will be only too happy to accept this way. Othenwise, we will be forced to other alternatives.”

The manual also points out that there are three ways to apply pressure: by direct communication with persons or agencies “you wish to change,” by “demonstrations or pickets” or “by any and all means necessary.”

As if remembering the rule in the Brown Beret manual which says, “The problem is not a problem, it is a situation that must be dealt with,” Sánchez perked up. 

Legal Defense Needed

“Our job now is to get adequate legal defense,” Sánchez said. The phone rang often and Sánchez would usually answer. “Raise the money for bail,” Sánchez said into the phone several times.

In the clinic’s outer office were Rona Fields, an instructor of educational psychology and sociology at San Fernando Valley State College, and her husband, Charles Fox, a political science teacher at Cal State Los Angeles.

Without commenting on the indicments, Miss Fields, who goes by her maiden name for professional reasons, agreed with Sanchez that the authorities are out to destroy the Brown Berets.

“In the context of East Los Angeles, the Brown Berets can be compared to the Israeli youth underground,” Miss Fields said.

Miss Fields Tells Views

A wiry Jewish woman with intense light eyes, Miss Fields, who hopes to write her Ph.D. dissertation on the Brown Berets, has written:

As an organization the Brown Berets are continually confronted with the established institutions in a social matrix which rigidifies structures and becomes irrelevant through antiquation before new institutions can be enacted.

“The consequent frustration would apparently provide only two alternatives for the Chicano youth - acquiescence to the established order, which would include acceptance of assimilation, or violence, either revolutionary style or delinquency.

"The Brown Berets are trying to develop a third alternative. This third alternative is embodied in the East Los Angeles Free Clinic. This alternative is to create new institutions which are devised to be flexible, to be continually responsive to the community and which grow out of and for the needs of the community as the community sees them.”

There is no doubt that the Brown Berets have rejected the first alternative Miss Fields talks about – assimilation. “There are very few Gabachos (Anglos) who don’t turn me off,” says Sánchez. “To the Anglo, justice means just us.”

In the Brown Beret manual, written by Sánchez, when he was in jail for disturbing the peace, appears a statement which must be memorized by every Brown Beret.

“For over 120 years the Mexican-American has suffered at the hands of the Angle establishment. He is discriminated against in schooling, housing, employment and in everyr other phase of life. Because of this situation, the Mexican-American has become the lowest achiever of any minority group in the entire Southwest.”

It’s when you discuss the second alternative that the Brown Berets are vague.

“We’re not a violent or a nonviolent organization,” says Sánchez, we are an emergency organization.“

What does that mean?

"Well, if we see a cop beating up a Chicano we move in and stop the cop,” Sánchez says. “We try to be ready for every emergency.”

But the testimony to the county grand jury by the undercover policeman Fernando Sumaya would indicate the Chicano militant organization is definitely violence-oriented.

Sumaya’s Account

Sumaya, 23, told the grand jury that the day of the Biltmore fires, he attended a meeting at East Los Angeles College with the Brown Berets and friends where guerrilla warfare tactics and civil disobedience were discussed.

According to Sumaya, Carlos Montez, 21, the Brown Berets’ minister of information, interrupted the meeting, saying the group shouldn’t just sit around talking about guerrilla warfare tactics but should put them into practice.

Sumaya said Montez urged the group to begin that night at the Biltmore, when Gov. Reagan was to speak.

Indicted with Montez and eight non-Brown Berets was Ralph Ramírez, I9, the Berets’ minister of discipline.

Original Leaders

Sánchez, Montez and Ramírez are the original leadership of an organization which began in 1967 as Young Citizens for Community Action. As it became militant, the organization’s name evolved into the Young Chicanos for Community Action and then the Brown Berets.

Sánchez, who was president of Mayor Sam Yorty’s Advisory Commission on Youth in 1967, still lives with his parents in a neat, well-furnished home (including a color TV set) in East Los Angeles.

On the wall of the living room is one of those silk souvenir banners service men buy for their mothers or sweethearts. This one was sent to Sánchez’ mother by her other son, Michael, 23, who recently returned from fighting in Vietnam.

Well-Kept Home

The well-kept lower middle-class home is in sharp contrast to the Brown Beret headquarters at 47I5 E. Olympic Blvd. where Sánchez spends much of his time after attending classes at Cal State Los Angeles.

The headquarters windows are boarded up and revolutionary posters pasted on them. Inside, the walls are covered with murals depicting Mexican-Indian civilizations.

On one wall is the startling legend in large black letters “Por mi raza mato.” (For my race, I kill.) The organization was recently given an eviction notice by the landlord. The previous Brown Beret headquarters on Soto St. was bombed last Christmas Eve.

Montez Background

Montez, who tends to be the organization’s visionary used to work as an assistant Teen Post director, lives near Sanchez’ home and is a native of Mexico. A lean, intense young man who often sports a Zapata moustache, Montez is noted for his articulateness on the Chicano movement and his wit. 

Ramírez, a beefy and laconic young tough, often travels to New Mexico from where his family came and likes to identify with the Indian as well as the Chicano.

“We try to bring about changes to help our people by working through conventional channels, including war on poverty programs,” says Sánchez. “But we soon found out the insensitivity and corruption of establishment bureaucracy and left in disgust.”

Open Coffee Shop

Changing their organization’s name to Young Chicano Youths for Community Action, Sánchez, Montez and Ramírez opened up a coffee house, La Piranya, in late 1967 with the help of an interfaith church organization.

By now the Young Chicano Youths for Community Action had taken on an ethnic nationalism image and were openly feuding with the Sheriffs Department and the police.

The coffee house served as an office and meeting hall. Reies Tijerina, César Chávez and black militants H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael and Ron Karenga met there with the group which by now had adopted its present name, the Brown Berets.

Plagued by inadequate licensing, curfew violations, insuffcient funds and “police harassment,” La Piranya closed on March 3, 1968, three days before the East Los Angeles High School walkouts.

At the time of the walkouts, Sánchez denied that the Brown Berets were, as the police charged, among the “outside agitators” who helped cause the student disturbances.

“The Chicano students were the main action group,” Sánchez says. “The Brown Berets were at the walkouts to protect our younger people. When they (law officers) started hitting with sticks, we went in, did our business, and got out.”

The “business” Sánchez explains, means that “we put ourselves between the police and the kids, and took the beating." 

Shock Troops

Sánchez says the Brown Berets, which could be called the shock troops of the Chicano movement, think and feel so alike that "we need few words to communicate with each other.”

Most of the members were once “batos locos,” literally barrio gang toughs, successors to the zootsuiters of the I940s.

“The Brown Berets recruit from the rebels without a cause and make them rebels with a cause,” says Sánchez.

The Brown Beret Manual stresses personal cleanliness, strict discipline, prohibition of drugs and excessive drinking and strict attendance at “all meetings, all demonstrations and drills.”

“I wear the Brown Beret,” says the organization’s pledge, “because it signifies my dignity and pride in the color of my skin and race.”

Because of the presumed close-knit makeup of the Brown Berets, it came as quite a shock to them that they had been infiltrated by the police.

On May 10, before the Biltmore fires, Sumaya, the police infiltrator, and three others who Sánchez says were trying to become Brown Berets but were not, were arrested following a fire at an East Los Angeles Safeway store.

Sumaya said he tipped off the police but allowed himself to be arrested for security reasons. The other three have been indicted by the grand jury.

As for Sumaya, Sánchez says “his mind has been messed with - the poor guy is trying to be a white Anglo.”

“I was in jail when he joined the Brown Berets last December,” Sánchez said. “It is a clear case of entrapment. It is obvious that he designed and manufactured the events that led to the indictments.”

“The day after the fires he told me how it was he who removed the battery from the Biltmore elevator to stop it. He said he was afraid the hotel manager might have seen him but he really bragged about his part.”
Sánchez said he started suspecting Sumaya early “because he would never be with me by himself. He always had someone with him.”

The Brown Beret leader said he then had someone call Sumaya’s old school in Calexico. Posing as a potential employer, the Brown Beret asked where Sumaya’s school transcripts had been sent.

The school said thev had been mailed to an Alhambra adult school. Using the same ruse, the Brown Berets learned Sumaya’s transcripts were then sent to the Los Angeles Police Deparment.

One day a Brown Beret called Sumaya’s home and asked whether S-257, Sumaya’s code name, was there, according to Sánchez. Told that he was, the Beret instructed the officer to report to Hollenbeck Police Station. When Sumaya reported there, the Brown Berets were sure they had been infiltrated.

Other Infiltration

At a recent news conference at the Greater Los Angeles Press Club, Sánchez claimed two other law-enforcement officers infiltrated the Brown Berets. The Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund, financed by the Ford Foundation, says it is interested in looking into the Brown Berets’ charge of entrapment.

Asked whether the Brown Berets would retaliate against Sumaya if they could, Sánchez said: “No, he’s got a wife and a family and he was doing what he thought was his job. Besides, we don’t do things which will be used by the press merely for the entertainment of the white middle class.”

On the issue of anti-Anglo sentiment, the Brown Beret leadership is unequivocal. They say they don’t care what the “white establishment or press” thinks of the organization. “Our only concern is Chicanos,” said Sánchez. 

Dangerous Aspect

This extreme ethnic nationalism, say some concerned observers, is what could be the most dangerous aspect of the Brown Berets. Admired by activists and high school students, the Brown Berets are working hard to polarize “Chicano youth.”

In a study by social scientists Fields and Fox it is pointed out that “the militancy of the Brown Berets is not much different from that of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS), Students Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the earlier Israeli Youth in Palmach.”

“As for the group (Brown Berets) as it is currently constituted, its main concern is to achieve an interfactional unity which would, through presenting a unified front, give Chicanos a modicum of political power at least comparable to the current Negro condition…,” the study said.

– by Ruben Salazar

the funny thing is that I don’t personally think trigger warnings per se would be that helpful to me! as most of these theorists have taken from the writings of actual survivors and people with ptsd and then recontextualized to harm those people pointed out, triggers can’t be mapped in any clean way. I always tell the story about how in the Ruth Wilson Jane Eyre I watched in a feminist theory class Mr. Rochester says something that was exactly what I had heard, you know, in a terrible situation, and I freaked out and spilled my coffee in the middle of the room. that is how it works! you can’t trigger warn for those things! how could you know? that’s the argument they want to pretend that they are making: how could I know that you’re triggered into panic and flashback when you hear a certain song or see an image of hipbones or whatever thing it is? triggers are, according to them, completely random. how could they know?

except they know because people are telling them and they are still refusing. and anyway, obviously, “triggered by Mr. Rochester” and “triggered by sexual violence that statistically a huge portion of your students experienced” are discernibly different categories which is what they are obscuring. they should know that a lot of people are triggered by rape scenes because they are grownups and they are getting paid so they should probably try harder. most universities, especially large public ones, will have at least a vaguely adequate sexual assault resource contact that can go over the basics with them, 1 in 4 or whatever. the least they could do.

but I mean, keep unpacking it: are these really all just scenarios where something “controversial” would be offhandedly mentioned in an assigned reading in a class already established to have controversial content? (a course about sexual violence. a course about the holocaust. a class in a women’s studies course identified on the syllabus as being about rape culture.) because I think that’s misdirection, don’t you?

what are we really looking at? probably fucking being asked to watch last house on the left in a semiotics class or some stupid shit. there is theorizing of trauma, there is teaching the practice of responding to trauma, there is literature (fictional or otherwise) that describes rape, there are testimonies of violence, there are documentaries of various orientations, and there are art films, and commercial films, and texts produced for market profit literally in all kinds of situations of actual violence, rape, and exploitation. my point: it’s pretty undisciplined for professors, producers in and of the academy, to act like they are not operating within those systems and have no obligation–not just ethically but, like, in terms of being a good scholar–to debrief, frame the source, and be real about parameters. (but if they did that, they would be exposed as Consumers, god forbid.)

I have had professors use something like trigger warnings! I took a class on childhood in film and we watched clips from a lot of difficult stuff, of course. Hard Candy, Hound Dog. and she would say, “this is what goes on in this scene” which, like, you should be framing your lessons anyway, right?

my chicano history professor worked on research about lynchings of mexican-americans in the nineteenth century and we read some pieces about this and when he introduced them he said something like, “there are some graphic descriptions in here” and then also said a few things about how important it was for him to talk about violence as violence in a class like that.

they were basically just…reasonably good instructors and scholars and not interested in being exploitative if they didn’t have to be. I mean, I also had a (white, unsurprisingly) professor of modern Mexican history show us color photos of Mexican victims of rape or decapitation in border towns, just, like, photos of their bodies, without warning or any sort of reasonable context, as powerpoint graphics. I hope that illustration brings out what I’m trying to say here about good teaching and exploitation and how it’s not just a matter of a good non-exploitative teacher just not using exclusive “politically correct” lingo as much as it is about some professors pretty obviously not caring that they make their money reproducing harm. (no, I don’t mean “harm” in the affect theorist way when I am talking about a white professor researching the drug wars without caring if he upsets his Mexican students. I mean, you know, “exploitation” and “oppression” and in this case “white supremacy.”)

I will restate the most obvious: people don’t request trigger warnings because they want to silence discussion of rape, they request trigger warnings so that they can discuss rape. “hey, we’re gonna talk about rape,” ok cool, let me prepare or whatever. people who are survivors of rape very very often want to talk about rape. people who might be triggered by discussions of child sexual assault very often take social work and women’s studies classes, or whatever, because they want to, because they want to participate, they want to help and they want to talk about it and, yes, believe it or not, think about it, theorize it, deconstruct their assumptions about it.

what we’re looking at is students who identify as survivors of trauma (etc.) organizing to make it easy for professors to accommodate the learning–yes, learning!–needs of a big portion of the student body. (and, I should say, they are often the same students organizing for more effective response to and prevention of on-campus rape, which is kind of a big deal nationwide and I think some of these professors should maybe be paying more attention to their campus politics or whatever.)

these theorists are literally only mad because they’re being asked to do something they didn’t think of doing first, because they really really don’t want to give up authorial curricular authority, because they’re mad that their position in (to steal Pritch’s phrasing) the neoliberal university is being exposed for what it is, and maybe most of all because if they can use Social Media to Take A Stand against the Reactionary Institution they can maybe try to obscure this structure of domination a little more and also feed their ‘68 complex.

and the funny thing is I’m not even mad about this because I require trigger warnings, necessarily. (I put myself into triggering situations all the time, a bit of a glutton for panic.) I’m mad about it because I’m not a stupid asshat and also, let me say this as many ways as I can think to say it, I am concerned more than anything about “accessibility” as a thing that operates on all kind of axes and should be prioritized if the institution wants to “reform” or “become better” or just even begin to pretend that it’s not a shithole industrial complex that should probably be looted.


Students speak out about their classes and books being banned in Tucson.