A Community Rises, 50 Years After The Chicano Moratorium

A billboard honoring slain journalist Ruben Salazar overlooks Whittier Blvd. in East L.A. where the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium was marked. (Josie Huang / LAist)

Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium — a decisive moment in the Chicano movement.

On that day, tens of thousands of protesters marched through East Los Angeles against the Vietnam War and civil rights violations of Mexican Americans. While the U.S. Latino population was then less than 10%, Latinos made up 20% of all deaths in Vietnam.

With its depictions of passionate protest and law enforcement violence against the demonstrators, including the police killing of Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar, the event made national and international news on this day in 1970. Yet for many, the lessons of the day have faded into history, if they were taught at all.

Mis Ángeles columnist Erick Galindo and LAist videojournalist Chava Sanchez spent the past week searching for the meanings behind the historic day. Read and watch more here.

The Chicano Moratorium was marked Saturday with a series of events, including a march and car caravan retracing the original protest route along Whittier Boulevard.

Classic cars highlighted a caravan that traveled the route of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic protests. (Josie Huang/LAist)

Fernando Guerra, director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University (and a KPCC life trustee), says inequities motivating the Moratorium still exist:

"Today, the number one issue is COVID-19. And again, we see the disparity of people of color bearing the brunt of the virus, the essential workers, Latinos on the front lines. So to some extent, the more things change, the more they stay the same."

MORE SIGHTS AND SOUNDS FROM SATURDAY'S COMMEMORATION:

(Josie Huang / LAist)
(Josie Huang / LAist)

MORE ON THE CHICANO MORATORIUM:

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