Three Sonorans is out of town this weekend at UCLA celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 East LA Walkouts. Sadly in Tucson, we now we live in an age were white students proudly walk out over constitutionally-protected guns, but TUSD students still have not walked out to demand that their beloved Mexican American Studies Department be brought back after the Federal Court found that Arizona’s ban of it was unconstitutional.
Perhaps this is the main reason the new watered-down Culturally Relevant Classes that replaced MAS in TUSD are kept; they have tamed the young indigenous scholar to accept, to not protest and to not walkout and to not demand the return of their wrongfully taken classes? All while these writing essays on the East LA Walkouts… or how MAS students used to walkout (see video above).
As Los Angeles schools and others this week observe the 50th anniversary of the East L.A. walkouts, when thousands of Mexican American students marched to demand a better education, much attention has focused on those who became known as the Eastside 13.
But who were the Eastside 13?
They were 13 men secretly indicted by a grand jury June 1, 1968, on conspiracy charges stemming from the East L.A. “blowouts.” The walkouts kicked off March 5, 1968, when students began protesting at Garfield High School, and spread to other campuses to decry the shortcomings of public schools in Los Angeles’ barrios. The walkouts are viewed as a turning point in the political development of the nation’s Mexican American community.
Some local leaders at the time, including Mayor Sam Yorty, denounced the walkouts as a communist plot, and in the months that followed, law enforcement responded with undercover operations, raids and arrests.