They have been taking our land since 1492. They took even more in 1848, and now they take yet another piece. The historical continuity of this should not be shocking. Our land is constantly being gentrified. Gentrification means the taking of La Gente's land and using it for the benefit of the rich and powerful like was done in the Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium or in East LA to build freeways. We will continue to see this here in Los Angeles with the renovation of Downtown displacing working class renters to build luxury lofts.
One rich white man took the land of over 350 families who worked the land at the South Central Farm. That is true institutional power. One rich white man had the power of the state behind him, which meant that the full force of the police, sheriff and if necessary the National Guard, while 350 families have only themselves.
I am often told of the wonderful gains Raza have made since the civil rights movement. ?Look,? I am told, ?There is even a Latino Mayor.? However, what difference does that make? It does not matter who we vote into office. It does not matter how many Raza are placed in political office. The results are the same. One rich white man can take the land of over 350 families, while a Hispanic Mayor sits on the sidelines and watches.
Let us stop wasting our energy on such foolish endeavors as voting for democrats or electing sell-out Hispanics into office. This has never yielded results and we can see losing the farm as a prime example.
Instead, we must organize! We must build our "people power" to combat institutional power. We must join community organizations and build strong alliances with other working class and oppressed communities. We must learn form our past victories, such as, Chicano Park and from successful organizations like the Crusade for Justice in Denver.
The struggle for land will continue. And we shall continue to struggle for the land.
Jose x Lara is a strong community activist currently working with High school youth for the betterment of all gente. Please visit delaraza.org for more information. email@example.com