Skip to comments.CA: Latino activist lauds student protests
Posted on 03/31/2006 9:19:21 AM PST by NormsRevenge
CLAREMONT - While the images of students marching, chanting and waving Mexican flags this week made a local Latino activist proud, he is discouraging students from protesting any further.
Sal Castro, a former teacher at Lincoln High School in Los Angeles, fears for the students' safety and puts the responsibility on the parents to keep pressure on lawmakers from passing the legislation. Castro spoke at Claremont McKenna College Thursday, as part of the Cesar Chavez Commemoration Program, about the contributions of Mexicans to American society.
Castro is familiar with student protests and walkouts. In 1968, nearly 10,000 students from five East Los Angeles high schools, including Lincoln High, walked out to protest the lack of quality and culturally sensitive education.
The 10-day walkout signified the beginning of the Chicano civil rights movement. Castro and 12 others were charged with instigating the walkout. After two years, the case was eventually dropped, Castro said.
"In 1968, students wanted a better education and to be treated with respect,'' he said. "The protests this week were fueled by the fear of their parents or other family members being deported.''
The 1968 walkouts are the subject of the HBO film "Walkout.''
Castro said that unlike the 1968 incidents where students feared the reaction of police officers, students today had the benefit of knowing that they wouldn't be harmed.
Much of his speech dealt with the 1968 walkouts and how 30 years later, giving students a good education continues to be an unattainable goal.
"We need to teach Chicano, Asian and African history to students,'' he said. "They are not getting the whole story of the U.S.''
Because the issues surrounding the two walkouts are different, similarities can't be made, Castro said. But he said that the end result is similar -- students are learning how to express themselves on an important issue and that students who walked out during the rain on Tuesday, made an even greater impact.
"The students are learning about the government and how the law works,'' he said. "They must have walked at least five miles in the rain, and they were soaked by the rain.''
While protests help unify groups, the difficult part is maintaining a strong level of commitment long after the flags are put away and students are back in the classrooms.
Good schools, he said, should devote some class time to address questions or concerns and have a public forum at lunch for speeches or large discussion groups.
"This is a great opportunity to talk about the law and the Constitution,'' he said.
Castro said he admits that any changes will be from elected officials, but that it's the public's responsibility in ensuring the right ones get voted in.
"We need officials who have a broader vision,'' he said.
This is and should remain a nation of laws not men!
With a name like that, he was doomed to be a clueless, leftie "activist" from the very outset, lol.
Also from the Daily Bulletin
Labor leaders talk about rally, walkouts
By Monica Rodriguez, Staff Writer
POMONA - There wasn't a lack of topics to discuss Thursday at the second annual Cesar Chavez Day Breakfast.
From current immigration legislation, Saturday's march in Los Angeles and recent student walkouts, the gathering of prominent figures in the labor movement touched on almost all of the latest news.
Maria Elena Durazo, interim executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, even went so far as to declare victory in the immigration debate.
Prior to this week, "very few had the courage to defend us,'' said Durazo, who was recognized as the event's Honored Guest. "We won because we have changed the debate.''
Political leaders such as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., have stepped up the call for legislation leading to positive immigration reform, and that's significant, Durazo said.
Dolores Huerta, who founded the United Farm Workers union with Cesar Chavez, said the march and the walkouts are evidence of "real democracy in action.''
Many Republicans have not supported Latinos when it comes to immigration-reform legislation, Huerta said, and although HR 4437 has had favorable modifications, it's still alive.
HR 4437, introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., calls for tightening of the nation's borders but also would make it possible to penalize those who aid undocumented immigrants, including religious and humanitarian organizations.
One way to make their opinion known against the bill is to send cards to the Republican National Committee expressing displeasure with most of the party's politicians, Huerta said.
"We can't all march to Washington, but we can send mail to Washington,'' said Huerta, who received the event's Lifetime Achievement Award.
The breakfast was sponsored by the San Gabriel and Pomona Valley Latino and Latina Round Table as well as the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement of the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire.
Organized labor representatives, elected officials, members of the business sector, local residents and others attended the meeting. In total, the event drew close to 300 people at Osuna's Restaurant on Holt Avenue in Pomona. Youth who participated in the walkouts also attended Thursday's meeting.
Mark Nava, 17, a Garey High School senior, said meeting Huerta was a special experience.
"It's the best opportunity I could have. It's wonderful,'' he said. "She is wise in mind and wonderful in spirit.'' Montclair resident Victor Gallegos, 22, said attending the event "was even more fulfilling than the march.'' Thursday's breakfast confirmed what he had begun to figure out, Gallegos said, that he can serve as a leader in the community and make a difference.
"I just really want to do something positive,'' he said.
Book him Danno.
"real democracy in action.''
more like mobocracy.
When laws mean nothing, the Republic is lost. We teeter on the edge of the precipice to becoming a Latino nation.
Who shall the elected officials decide to side with?
The US Constitution or the mob that seeks validation as they "protest" for their rights and equal protection under the same document.
I am always amazed when people move from one location to another because they want more freedom, jobs, opportunities, etc. and when they get there, the minute something doesn't go their way, they want it to be like the place they left.
It is becoming more apparent that the leaders and spokespeople of the illegal immigrants have more than jobs and opportunity in their plans.
Liberals really do live on another planet. To think that students in our schools are even getting the European story of the U.S. is absolutely preposterous!