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Los Angeles: Boyle Heights demands Trump out and a people’s mandate

By staff

Jesse Romero's father speaking at Boyle Heights protest.

Los Angeles, CA – Boyle Heights joined the call from the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) for protests on November 4 to demand a people’s mandate and that Trump concede. Hosted by Centro CSO at Mariachi Plaza, the rally featured many family and friends of Chicanos and Chicanas killed by police in Los Angeles. Protesters celebrated the electoral defeat of District Attorney Jackie Lacey, a crucial victory for the movement against police crimes in Los Angeles. Lacey has notoriously refused to file charges on over 600 cops for killing Blacks, Chicanos and Latinos in LA County during her two terms in office.

Luis Sifuentes, a member of Centro CSO, kicked off the rally with a speech calling for community control of the police through a CPAC (Civilian Police Accountability Council), the end of ICE raids, and the defense of public education. “We need to recognize that we live in a time where women in detention centers are forcibly sterilized, where children have died under ICE custody, where children have disappeared by the thousands, where families are separated at the border, where refugees are falling ill from COVID-19 and dying. It’s outrageous!” said Sifuentes. “And this isn’t the time to slow down, this is the time to stand up, and fight back!” He led the crowd in chants of “Stand up! Fight back!”

Throughout the rally, the relatives of Jesse Romero, David Sullivan, Daniel Hernandez and Cesar Rodriguez spoke about their loved ones, the importance of DA Lacey’s loss, and the need to continue struggling. Minerva Garcia described the murder of her friend Vanessa Marquez, a famous Chicana actress killed by South Pasadena police in 2018. She explained how Marquez should not be remembered for her death, but rather her anti-war activism and efforts to fight sexual harassment in the entertainment industry decades before the #MeToo movement. The family of Paul Rea, killed by the East LA Sheriffs in 2018, also attended the rally in solidarity.

Other speakers included Kareem Youseff from the U.S. Palestinian Community Network and artist Sammy Quetzalli. Youseff connected the struggles for Chicano and Palestinian liberation before presenting some lessons from the Egyptian revolution for the fight against Trump. Quetzalli spoke of his own experience surviving LAPD brutality and performed an original poem. “We need to fight against police brutality on all fronts – through the legal system, in the streets, at the polls,” said Quetzalli. “There’s not just one avenue. There’s not just one approach.”

Lucia Torres, a leader of CSO Youth, gave two speeches, one directed at Trump, one directed at Biden. “I’m a woman and Trump wants to take my right to abortion and birth control away. Trump wants to take away the right to my own body as a woman,” said Torres. “I am queer and Trump wants to take my right to love and marry whoever I choose away.”

Zada Musica, a Chicana musician from Boyle Heights and member of Centro CSO, closed the rally with a number of songs inspired by the uprising in Los Angeles and across the U.S. against police terror.

The final vote count for POTUS is nearing an end. Sol Marquez, who helped lead the rally and who is a member of CSO as well as Freedom Road Socialist Organization, was featured in an FRSO panel on November 8. The online panel discussed the next steps post-election and can be watched here.

#LosAngelesCA #OppressedNationalities #PeoplesStruggles #ChicanoLatino #PoliceBrutality #CentroCSO #NationalAllianceAgainstRacistAndPoliticalRepressionNAARPR