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Walkout/1968-2006

It's like going back to the future

By Mita Cuaron
Published on LatinoLA: March 31, 2006


Walkout/1968-2006


The earth has shaken and our ancestors have spoken to us, are world as rock&roll. Chicanitas&Chicanitos. History speaks to us,our voices are louded,stronger and thousands of more bodies. With are feet to the ground marching in unity, abuelitas, abuelitos, mommies, popies, tias, tios, ni?os y babies (saturday), performed a life time performance of life that no one in there wildest of dreams cloud ever of imagined.B rown faces of every shade you could imagine rose to the occasion of telling this country government, we are proud, we are strong, in your face "George Bush", your not my president, I say not my body, not my neighbor, not my son will you be able to kill us all, in your face "George Bush". My sisters and brothers, this is a war for our survival. In the 60's we lifted our heads againt the corporate structure and it's ugly head of racism.We fought valently taking our message to the Board of Education, and the question of interruping our school education then is the very same question being asked of the students today. I say to the Board of Education, turn around and study the events,agendas and surveys we passed out, man you had it in front of your faces. So I say to you now and 40,000 brown faces staring at you, do the math, but you didn't lesson. We don't need any more think tanks telling us are schools are bad, man with all the research done and panels doing studies on poor people of color, we could turn around and educate are children. I applaud and bow to our children who "Walkout", they are the princes and princesses calling out to America, "Get it right this time". For all these years Sal Castro has spearheaded this beautiful retreat,"Chicano Youth Leadership Conference" for our young children to actualize and feel there history, culture and voice. With a skeleton crew sending applications to surrounding schools to get our children to be part of this gem, this diamond, calling out to all the schools teachers and counselors to please give these applications out to the kids. And so now in this momentous historical event, I find it so ironic but not surprizing that now the Board of Education can't get enough of Sal Castro to calm down tensions and restore order in the schools. My point is "Prevention", our schools are in desperate need of all the opportunties. It's not complex, don't make it abstract, the voices of our children need to be heard. We don't want quotas, we want equality. In closing like I told Paula,"You mean we can live and do this again?" Yes, indeed it's great being a Chicana to see it again. Having said all that on Monday of this week, I drove down to City Hall, because I just had to be with kids. And so upon arriving to City Hall, the 15 year old student from Montebello High was there. Let me backtrack a little, this last weekend I volunteerd at the Chicano Youth Leadership Conference as a Registered Nurse in the hills of Malibu. I've been doing this for the past 14 or so years. It is here that I met this beautiful student from Montebello High School. She just jumped all over me, please please, please speak to all of us (there were 60 kids) with the News rolling there cameras, the mike was given to me and I began to speak. I spoke of the bravery ,strength and courage these kids showed as they valianty walked across the streets. I applauded them and told them how much I loved them. However I did not want to see any blood, broken bones and cracked heads: "NO VIOLENCE". Because we did this before, we sacraficed our lives for the future, for their future. And so now we have a community of support systems who can help them, nourish them and parent them .MY VOICE WAS LOUD AND STRONG. NO BLOOD ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. The crowd was jubilant dancing and hugging me, it was life in the making, the spirit and soul making history. And so remember I came down there to help .A young man shouted, he needed a drive to his car or else it would be towed away and so within minutes there I was caught in the moment, his spirit,strength, and soul as I listened to him (totally forgetting to go to my car and before I knew it we were in Skid Row, witnessing every imaginable situation that Steve Lopez reported on in the LATimes recently). "Dude, where is your Car? I thought to myself. Well I got my cardio excercise that night, we finally got back to City Hall, the crowd had dwindled down to aroud 30 or so. It's here I decided to go out and get some food. So I decided to take a drive to Pollo Loco on Cesar Chavez. I put my ATM in the machine,it declines (OH NO THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO HAPPEN I NEED TO GET FOOD BACK) so I put another card. It goes thru. Oh thank you God, I say, get in my car, either I'm driving too fast or the car in front of me is driving too slow, but man I'm going to crash into this car. I was reading on the back windshield saying "We are not criminals. I just missed hitting them by an inch, my car swerving in the rain. Immediately the other car and myself roll down our windows to apologize to each other. It turns out they are taking blankets to the kids at CIty Hall and I tell them I'm taking Burritos to them. Well, this time I'm not parking at Placita I just drive into the ground of City Hall delivering the food. It's here that I decide to go back home to get more blankets and clothing and a tent if I can and bring them back to the kids. And so I drive home and go through every piece of warm clothing and blankets I can find, poles and a hammer into my car. I stop at Plaza where my son is doing homework with his father and I pick up a tarp and string. I drive back to City Hall and into the driveway as if it's my drive way, drop the blankets and start putting up a makeship tent for the kids. It was the most extrodinary 4 hours I've had in a long time. Like I say, it's like going back to the future. Walkout 2006, here we come, Mita Cuaron

About Mita Cuaron:
1968 Garfield High School student walkout leader




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