Assimilated Into the Process of Protest

A sea of brown faces with defiant expressions were everywhere

By Rick Ortiz
Published on LatinoLA: June 15, 2003

Assimilated Into the Process of Protest

As a Angeleno one particular historical event comes to mind which occurred in 1970: The Chicano Moritorium.

That day I got word of a parade that was happening on Whittier Boulevard in East L.A. As a 14 year-old I was anxious to check out the scene and enjoy the colorful floats, marching bands and waving beauties.

To my dismay I found myself in the middle of a radical and militant protest.

Chicano's were marching from various towns and cities protesting discrimination and the War in Vietnam. A sea of brown faces with defiant expressions were everywhere.

At first I was bewildered and somewhat tentative but I listened and observed and by the end of the march I was assimmilated into the process of protest.

As we gathered at Laguna Park (now Ruben Salazar Park) I was in awe of the thousands of Chicanos in my midst. As the protest got out of control and the police attacked the demonstraters I'll never forget picking up a young female who had just got battered on the back of the head by an overzealous cop.

As we exited out of the park in a cloud of tear gas I consoled and comforted this young girl and eventually walked her home to safety. Her name is Leticia and I've been married to her for 25 years.

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