Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Oppressed Nationalities

By Victor Rodriguez

Los Angeles event commemorates Chicano resistance during Zoot Suit Riots.  | Staff/Fight Back! News

Los Angeles, CA – On June 2, Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights was alive with vibrant culture and history as hundreds of Chicanos gathered for the Zoot Suit Cruise, an event commemorating the infamous Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943. Over 100 classic cars, affectionately known as “Bombas,” lined the streets, their glossy, bright paint jobs reflecting the pride and resilience of the Chicano community.

Chicanos, dressed in their finest zoot suits, danced the night away to the energetic rhythms of Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantés, a band known for their Chicano rock. The atmosphere was electric with celebration, yet charged with a somber remembrance of the violent history that necessitates such gatherings.

The Zoot Suit Riots were a dark chapter in Los Angeles' history, marked by a week-long series of brutal attacks. On June 3,1943, mobs of U.S. servicemen, off-duty police officers and civilians targeted young Chicanos and other oppressed nationality youth. These violent assaults, which eyewitnesses described as mass lynchings, were sparked by racial tensions, targeting those wearing the distinctive zoot suit popular among many young Chicanos.

For a week, U.S. Navy sailors, police officers and other white men roamed the barrios, attacking indiscriminately based on clothing and skin color. Chicana women were beaten and some raped by servicemen, while Chicano men faced beatings and imprisonment. The violence, which spread from downtown Los Angeles to East Los Angeles and Watts, was only quelled when military personnel were confined to their barracks. By then, the attacks had wrongfully imprisoned many and left an indelible scar on the community.

Decades later, the City of Los Angeles issued a formal apology, acknowledging the horrific events and the city's role in them. However, the apology was seen by many as half-hearted. For Chato Ranflas, one of the cruise's organizers, events like the Zoot Suit Cruise are crucial for cultural remembrance and community strength. “It's very important to have these types of cultural Chicano events in the neighborhood. Aquí estamos y no nos vamos,” Ranflas declared, emphasizing the enduring presence and resilience of the Chicano community.

Centro CSO members were present at the event, enjoying the festivities and documenting the community's vibrant celebration of culture and history. The Zoot Suit Cruise stands as a testament to the strength and unity of the Chicano community, a poignant reminder of their enduring spirit.

#LosAngelesCA #OppressedNationalities #ChicanoLatino #Zoot #CentroCSO

By Charlie Berg and Joe Vital

Minneapolis, MN – Residents of the East Phillips neighborhood and organizers with the Climate Justice Committee rallied outside of Smith Foundry on Tuesday, June 4, after an announcement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it had reached a settlement with Smith, with the most significant provision requiring that the heavy-polluting foundry shut down its furnace within 12 months.


By Thomas Spiers

Tallahassee community members gather to demand justice for Calvin Riley. | Ben Grant/Fight Back! News

Tallahassee, FL – On Saturday, June 1, around 25 community members held a rally at Leon County Courthouse to continue to demand that the false and racist charges against Calvin Riley be dropped.


By staff

Dallas, TX – La Frontera Nos Cruzo held a vigil, May 10, at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge to honor mothers who have lost their lives at the border. The event's host, Lesly Torres Guerrero, began the night by singing a rendition of Cielito Lindo before leading a moment of silent prayer for those affected by border violence. An altar of names and faces was decorated with flowers and candles, which passersby stopped to give their respects to.

A guest speaker from the Eagle Pass Border coalition, Amerika Grewal, spoke on the topic, “There is a time for mourning, then there is action!”


By Marisol Márquez

Students at Mendez High School walk out of classes demanding rehiring of the school principal.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Los Angeles, CA – On the morning of May 28, over 100 Chicano students at Mendez High School walked out of their classes. Students were demanding that their school principal Mauro Bautista be brought back after mysteriously being removed for more than a month now from the school.

Starting at 9 a.m., the students walked out of their classes and marched along the front of the school, holding a banner that read, “Free Jefe!” After the march and coming back to school premises, the students refused to return to classes and staged a sit-in, where organizers read their demands and made speeches.


By staff

FRSO Central Committee member  Carlos Montes speaks in Denver, Colorado.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Denver, CO – On May 26, Carlos Montes, a lifelong organizer and a member of the Central Committee of Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), came to Denver to speak about socialism and the struggle for Chicano liberation. Colorado has a long history of radical Chicano organizing, most famous being the Crusade for Justice of the 1960s.


By staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Tampa Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (TAARPR).

The Tampa Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression is delighted to announce that all charges on Antwan Glover have been dismissed! This victory would not have been possible without Antwan fighting with us against these false charges. We thank all who participated in the call-ins, email-ins, and attended his court date protests in Bartow.


By Henry Cornejo

Chicanos rally in East Los Angeles in solidarity with Palestine.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Los Angeles, CA – On May 17, Chicanos from the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, California held a rally for the 76th anniversary of the Nakba. Chants like “Desde el río hasta el mar, Palestina va ganar!” rang through the Cesar E. Chavez and Soto intersection. The rally was organized by members of Centro CSO, a Chicano-led grassroots organization, fighting for oppressed people in Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles.


By Kristin Bonner

NAARPR Executive Director Frank Chapman, guest keynote speaker,  gives opening remarks to begin the local DC Alliance Conference.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Washington, D.C. – On May 4, the DC Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (DCAARPR), hosted its first local conference. A first of its kind for a branch of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR), the conference brought about 50 organizers, activists and community members together for a discussion on police accountability and community control. Many of the attendees were Black, Latino, Arab, Asian, and Pacific Islanders.


By staff

Atlanta panel discussion on the fight against political repression.  | Fight Back! News/staff

Atlanta, GA – The Atlanta Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression hosted a May Day panel May 4 focused on fighting back against political repression.

Over 40 people attended to hear speakers from the Atlanta Alliance, Black Alliance for Peace, AUC (Atlanta University Consortium) Students for Justice in Palestine, AUC Student Intercommunal Coordinating Committee, GSU (Georgia State University) Students for Justice in Palestine, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization.