Love and Riot

Book chronicles one of El Movimiento's greatest warriors

By Andrea Alessandra Cabello
Published on LatinoLA: March 6, 2004

Love and Riot

Brown Buffalo, as Oscar Zeta Acosta was known in the barrios of Los Angeles among street people, at the height of the riots in in the late 1960s and 70s, was the epitome of the Movimiento. He was smart, rebellious, unpredictable, occasionally high on drugs, but terrifyingly honest to himself and the world.

"Love and Riot: Oscar Zeta Acosta and the great Mexican American Revolt" is the story of the rage and fury that swept LA during the gestation of the Movimiento Chicano and of the remarkable life of Acosta, the radical civil-rights lawyer who defended Chicano activists, won new rights for Latinos, and challenged the LA establishment.

Burton Moore, a journalist and writer who worked with attorney Acosta, witnessed many of the events that swept Los Angeles into a new age. He recounts the famous school walk-outs, the confrontations with the Catholic Church, the arson at the Biltmore Hotel, the rebellion in the streets, the Chicano protest at UCLA, and the Moratorium Riot, which ended with the untimely death of Ruben Salazar.

These events are pictured against background of life in East Los Angeles a generation ago. It is written as a tribute to that generation and to the young men and women who were inspired by El Movimiento.

The author covers the legal skirmishes orchestrated by Oscar Acosta following the riots of the late 1960s?to free vatos y carnales from incarceration and police brutality?and provides an intimate biography replete with little known aspects of his life from his youth to his untimely and mysterious death.

Acosta emerges as a towering leader capable of inspiring and rallying the community in the streets, mesmerizing the TV audiences, and defending effectively the rioters in court. A restless man who was in conflict with himself, and unable in the end to endure his own nightmares.

Love and Riot: Oscar Zeta Acosta and the great Mexican American Revolt.
By Burton Moore.
With Preamble by Diego Vigil with the assistance of Richard E. Vigil, Nome de guerre, Mangas Coloradas.
Edited by Andrea Alessandra Cabello, UCBerkeley.
ISBN: 0-915745-29-1 $39.95

About Andrea Alessandra Cabello:
Andrea Alessandra Cabello is a student at UC Berkeley

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