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East LA demands: “No war against Iran”

By Jared Hamil

LA protest against U.S. war on Iran.

Los Angeles, CA – On January 25, protesters joined together at the U.S. Marine recruitment center to demand “No war against Iran!” The event was organized by the 50th Chicano Moratorium Organizing Committee and was part of a day of action across the U.S. against war with Iran.

The largest Chicano Moratorium happened on August 29, 1970 in which 30,000 Chicanos marched through East Los Angeles (ELA) to demand an end of the Vietnam War and against the draft. The protest was met with heavy repression from the sheriffs, and hundreds were arrested and three left dead, including Chicano journalist Ruben Salazar.

Protesters assembled in front of the ELA U.S. Marine recruitment center on First Street. They began chanting, “1, 2, 3, 4, we won’t fight a rich man’s war,” and “Raza si, guerra no!” They waved a banner that read: “No war! Chicanos belong in Aztlán, not in Iran.” Cars driving by honked their horns in support. At one point, a few marines came out of the offices to argue with protesters but quickly went back inside. The U.S. Marine recruiters target the local high schools. The local community was supportive of the protest. The crowd continued chanting and heard from a few speakers.

Committee Co-chair Coqui Rodriguez said, “They’re also waging a war against us here. Just yesterday, Trump announced that they are going to do cutbacks of Medicare and Social Security. Those are the only two safety nets that exist for poor and working and unemployed people in this country. There are two wars: the war externally out of the country and the war against us, the citizens, the working people of this country.”

Joseph Williams of Black Lives Matter also spoke. “Black and brown feeling real united today,” and, “We are out here fighting against war in multiple ways. Yes, there’s a war that they’ve been waging in Afghanistan and Iraq and many other places. There’s a war that they are trying to wage on Iran. There’s a war we’re supporting in the occupation of Palestine by the Israeli state. There’s a war that’s being waged against our people in these streets by the LAPD, by the LA Sheriff's department. We know our black and brown, working-class people are facing attacks on all sides!”

Parent activist with Eastside Padres Contra Privatizacion Eloisa Galindo stated, “They see us as Latinos who are not worth anything, that they can take away our education, that they can take away our children to go defend the bad things they are doing. We are demanding money for schools. We want money for education. Why are you investing money in war when universities are unreachable for our children?”

The still fired-up crowd continued chanting. As they chanted, five sheriff cars rolled up on the demonstration. They got out of their cars and attempted to intimidate the protesters. Not backing down, the protesters began picketing and the sheriffs quickly left.

The committee urged folks to join and invited them to their next public meeting happening February 29 at ELA College. See this website for more information:

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