San Diego immigrant and police accountability groups like the AFSC - American Friends Service Committee are calling for solidarity with student activists who are facing a crackdown by San Diego police because of their blowouts/walkouts over the past few days.
Local affiliates of the SouthWest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice or SNEEJ and Grassroots Global Justice like AIWA, PODER and the Chinese Progressive Association have worked closely with Jose Bravo from San Diego. See the call to Action below.
Historical note: when students from East LA high schools organized their March 1968 blowouts or walkouts of Wilson, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Garfield High Schools with support from students from many other schools they faced the same kind of police and school district repression that the current students are facing today.
But at its height in 1968 the blowout movement counted somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000 students, according to LA 13 veteran and UCB Prof. Carlos Munoz in his chroncle of the Chicano Movement "Youth Identity and Power" [Verso 1989]. See also Brown Beret founder Carlos Montes' reflection on the making of the 2006 HBO film Walkout. Montes was also arrested as one of the LA 13 in addition to Munoz, and David Sanchez and Moctezuma Esparza and others portrayed in the HBO film.
Today's youth protests are clearly much larger and widespread. The LA based Brown Berets and UMAS [United Mexican American Students] supported youth movement in 1968 spread to schools in Denver and Crystal City Texas and were encouraged by Corky Gonzalez' [Crusade for Justice] and Reies Lopez Tijerina and other movement leaders.
At the college level students at San Jose State held walkouts later that year, and the Mexican American Student Confederation - MASC - at San Francisco State and groups at UC Berkeley helped to form the multiracial Third World Liberation Fronts on those campuses to shut them down from November 1968 through the Spring of 1969 over demands for student power, fair admissions and student support programs, Ethnic Studies, an Autonomous Third World College and community control over education. The establishment of Chicano and La Raza Studies and Ethnic Studies at many campuses up and down the Southwest were, in part, a result of the walkout movement begun in East LA by high school students and the growing Chicano movement.
But it appears that today's walkouts are more massive, spontaneous and widespread - thus the intense crackdown by police and school districts.
From: Jose Bravo
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006
Subject: Emergency call to action! Pass it on!
San Diego Police are in the process of Intimidating, brutalizing and arresting hundreds of students right now as I write this email. Many are being held by the SD Police Department in the a sub-station in Barrio Sherman (Sherman Heights) next to Barrio Logan. Cristian Ramirez / Cesar Luna and other people mobilizing for their release and legal representation. We need your help urgently.
Call the SDPD and demand an end to the violence on students from Memorial Jr. High. If people need to contact Cristian Ramirez with AFSC at the scene or can get press to contact Cristian here is the number 619 885-1289 Cell.
Here is the SDPD contact information:
By telephone at (619) 531-2000
By mail: San Diego Police Department 1401 Broadway, Mail station 700 San Diego, CA 92101
Citizens' Review Boardon Police Practices1200 Third Avenue, Suite 916San Diego, CA 92101(619) 236-6296Email: http://us.f825.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Tofirstname.lastname@example.org
Jose T. Bravo
Jose T. Bravo Executive Director Just Transition Alliance 2434 Southport Way, Suite D National City, California 91950 Office Phone: 619 474-4001 Cell Phone: 619 838-6694 http://us.f825.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?Toemail@example.com
LA's independent media center just reported that the LA National Lawyers Guild is providing legal support for students -
Legal Defense for Walkouts
by Pachuco Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2006 at 10:14 AM
Legal Defense for Students Participating in Walkouts
For Students that have participated in the Walkouts and face legal issues resulting from their participation may contact the National Lawyers Guild at:
8124 West Third Street, Suite 101 Los Angeles, California 90048
(323) 653-4510; Fax (323) 653-3245