We must not only seek to win over those who are now members of other parties but more importantly we must work with those who are not now affiliated w i t h any other political party. This is a long and arduous task, for people are not uninvolved by chance. We have to counter the current socialization process now at work in our society. Rejecting the slanderous label of apathetic which is applied to the non-participants in the Chicano community, we know that we must offer something concrete to offset the insidious pattern of training Chicanos not to participate.
The schools, churches, and voluntary associations and so called political groups all work to inculcate an attitude of subject rather than one of citizen participant. Our people have rejected political activity because such activity has offered us l i t t l e return for our investment of scarce time, energy and resources. We do not waste our time on such meaningless a c tivity.
Only politics based on the heeds and wishes of our community as expressed by that community w i l l bring about increased participation. To bring about an expanded and active party in the electorate, we have to build a strong party organization. This is the essential field of activity of the Central Committee. The Central Committee must claim and exercise the authority to take up party problems, policies and strategy.
I t must guide and direct the activities of the party in the e l e c torate. Yet if we are to avoid the path of p o l i tical arrogance trod by the other parties, our central committee must always remain responsive and r e s ponsible to the party in the electorate. Unity w i l l prevail as long as we have this two way street a r r a n g e ment.
We all accept and work for goals and o b j e c tives which we have had a share in formulating. In this same spirit we a l l recognize that those who dedicate more of their t i m e , energy and personal. As these i n dividuals are accountable to the party in the electorate so too we must give them their due according to their contributions to the struggle to empower our people. The basic field of operation in which the party in the electorate and the party organization come t o gether is the campaign.
Here is the attempt to put the party into government. Yet this is but a proximate goal. We seek office to use those offices to bring about fundamental change in the daily lives of our people. The ultimate goal is to create change via the interaction of these three levels or sectors of the partido. The struggle is to bring about policy and resource utilization decisions that are the result of the collective interaction of all of us who are so callously labeled apathetic. Who among us does not care if we do not have enough to eat, are poorly clothed, living in substandard housing and are essentially illiterate?
Only those who are dead do not care about such matters. The Partido must work to resolve these issues and more. When offered some realistic opportunities to meet these basic needs in a manner consonant with human dignity, the p o l i tical non-participants w i l l respond. Furthermore, we must move in this direction i m mediately and seize the opportunity at hand.
The Republicans are feuding among themselves and if Ford's southern strategy of appointments and funds does not work then we w i l l see a rump party split off in the next year. The Democrats fare no better for while some Democrats court George Wallace others denounce h i m. Yet these latter always caution their party not to ignore the forces represented by the man f r o m Alabama. The Democrats too may well face a faction bolting their party in the near future.
In the next few months, the Chicano community w i l l face even a lesser choice between two greater evils. E l Partido must come forward with a strong party organization offering alternatives that form the basis of the creation of el partido among the e l e c torate. We must start to rebuild at the local level aiming at larger coalitions thereby empowering our community at all levels. Brown signed the Agricultural Labor Relations Act on June 6th of this year, farmworkers across the State of California were elated and h o p e ful that their n e w l y - w o n right to the secret ballot would be implemented in a free, democratic process.
Because agribusiness and the giant supermarket chains had been conferred with and had acknowledged a compromise bill, farmworkers, along with thousands of friends in the cities, assumed that the chaos which has occurred over the past century of f a r m labor o r g a n i z ing, would stop. I n fact, as the bill was signed, a l l parties, including the United Farmworkers.
Teamsters and grower organizations, agreed to live up "to the letter of the law" in "good f a i t h " until the bill actually took affect on August 28th. Here are a few examples:. They received lists within one hour the minimum is about a day. After UFW qualified, we are told the list was "erroneous.
Given another list, again told list was wrong. Final list omitted one crew of workers. Bud Antle Co. Hansen Lettuce Co.
Services on Demand
Six new workers hired on the stipulation that they sign Teamo a u t h o rization cards. Bruce Church: Worker laid off five days after a p p e a r ing on stage as volunteer organizer at UFW m e e t ing. Workers with less seniority not laid off. These kind of abuses might have been expected before the law went into effect. However, these acts continued and have intensified since the bill has been implemented. Kintz has done to implement the new law. Although not completely responsive, the effort has gained some definite results: —incompetent A L R B regional directors and agents fired or transferred —over 40 new lawyers hired as board agents —a special commission, appointed by Kintz himself, to investigate unfair labor charges —ALRB ordered elections where co.
The reason: at the elections the UFW has won, only 20 have been certified to begin "good f a i t h ' ' collective bargaining with the employer. Because the ALRB is " u n a b l e " to certify UFW victories, workers are coming under attack of grower reprisals, firings, intimidation, and use of the Border Patrol to scare workers from testifying in c e r t i f i c a tion hearings. But because the A L R B has accepted company charges that we "forced' workers to sign UFW authorization cards when we signed them up for unemployment insurance and that we are m i s representing the initiation fee to the union, over workers have been fired because the ranch has not been certified.
Not until a recent 24 hr per day, 7 day vigil took place in Chula Vista Salinas: in the past week, chaos has reined - the dreaded " m i g r a " Border patrol has " s w e e p e d - u p " : key witnesses and strong Chavistas were p i c k e d - u p at D'Arrigo, Meyer's Tomatoes where the UFW awaits certifications , Hansen, and Bud Antle where workers can testify to the Teamo co. Associated, and other ranches, speed-ups occur and protesting Chavistas are fired: although we have been certified at only 5 ranches in Salinas, the Teamos haven't been certified at a l l ; they would really like a Bud Antle certification - they have begun to play radio spots explaining how "free" and "fair'' that election was: ELECTION T A L L Y 1.
There have been elections representing 39, workers UFW: wins representing 18, workers Rightfully they support the progressive efforts of workingmen to struggle together and b a r gain collectively. However, just like in anything else, unions are not always progressive, and the l e a d e r ship often sells out its members for its own personal gains. The case of Local , Hodcarriers Union, is an example of corrupt union practices. I t is one of the largest construction workers' unions in the United States with over 10, members.
However, it is charged that it is run by a few men who manipulate it for their own purposes: They divide the workers, Black, Chicano and undocumented Mexican; they use goons; and they give job preference to favorites who kick back money to those in control. As a member of several unions and from a trade union family background, I followed the t r i a l brought by dissident workers against the union leadership with I N T E R E S T. Three workers Ponce, Esquivel, and Pesqueira brought a civil suit against Manuel Renteria, Local General Manager and the union for injuries sustained in May when they were attacked and beaten by goons led by Rosario Burgos while they were picketing their own union.
They charged that union leaders discriminated against them in assignment of jobs. They further charged that union representatives gave preference to u n d o c u mented workers because they were vulnerable and would do their bidding. This conflict proved to be the tip of the iceberg. It brought to light the struggle of a large sector of the union to democratize the union. Traditionally leadership posts wield tremendous power. The l e a d e r ship controls the hiring halls and the dispatchers are almost entirely free to ignore seniority rules.
I t is alleged that many have gotten fat by a system of k i c k backs and that the leadership insures its r e - e l e c t i o n by using the undocumented worker bloc vote. Moreover, the leadership runs black and Mexican American candidates who splinter the votes of those members. The civil t r i a l against Renteria et al brought f u r ther interesting facts to light. Cruz slowly overcame tremendous odds and intimidation.
He consistently exposed the c o n t r a dictions in the witnesses for the union. The P r e s ident of the Local, although he had attended a labor seminar at Harvard, could not identify labor groups and events such as Wobbly I. He displayed a total lack of political c o n sciousness.
I t was evident that this leadership was not in the mold of progressive union leaders such as Eugene Debs or Ricardo Flores Magon. The most sickening part of the t r i a l was the n a r r a tion of the bloody beatings of May 12, He had asked what the pickets were about. One of the goons told h i m not to worry about i t that they would be taken care of. The following week he returned and someone told h i m : " I told you they would be taken care of. You should have seen Mexicans kicking Mexicans' asses. The goons beat the picketers with knives and battery cables.
The ambulance carried three picketers away. The goons were not apprehended since they ran off before the police arrived. Now after four years, the three injured men have received a measure of justice. The problem however still remains. Renteria still controls the union. He has been in power since ; he was r e - e l e c t e d in and, although his r e - e l e c t i o n was declared fraudulent by the courts, he won again in Renteria continues to pit races and national groups against each other.
Men hungry for diminishing jobs, desperately obey h i m in hope of just eating. Local no longer represents the interests of the workers but has become an instrument of oppression. Los Angeles, California - State health officials have been enjoined from using federal funds for " v o l u n t a r y " sterilizations of women between 18 and 21 years of age, in a suit filed by 11 Chicanas in U.
Ten of the women are also seeking financial damages in their class action suit which charges that they were deceived and c o e r c e d into being sterilized at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center. Federal Judge E. Avery Crary also ordered California state officials to r e - t r a n s l a t e the current Spanish versions of the sterilization consent forms from and1 1 t h - g r a d elevel to a 6 t h - g r a d e level. Charles Nabarett, one of the attorneys for the women, said that it was " p r e t t y well document that some doctors were using high pressure tactics" to get women to consent to the operation.
The case, which w i l l continue on May 3, to resolve financial damages, represents a milestone in the fight against such sterilizations, according to observers here. The Chicano community has been w a g ing a fight over the past 18 months to halt the use of the operations after i t was discovered that Chicanas were being sterilized without their knowledge.
The judge, however, made i t clear he was not banning the use of voluntary sterilizations of women between 18 and 21 years old, but only the use of federal funds for such operations in California. C a l i fornia law permits voluntary sterilizations of anyone over 18 years of age while Federal law permits the same operation only if the person is 21 years or older. In a related action, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an , contract with the local Regional Family Planning Council for a new demonstration sterilization program and continuation of current family planning services.
Supervisors Edmund Edelman and Kenneth Hahn refused to vote for the program until Witherill pledged that men and women patients would be completely 'protected from coercion or deceit. Presentations and the exchange of ideas clearly demonstrated that Women from Third World Countries see their liberation closely integrated in the liberation. Third World Women do not agree with the United States Feminist liberation approaches and basic views.
They refuse to accept the notion of being liberated women as isolated individuals women detached from her social and economic reality. This in fact was the struggle between the two groups of WorId Women. Concrete events which lead to the adaption of the "Declaration of Mexico were the oppressive problems the majority of World Women from so called u n d e veloped and developing Countries exposed and d i s cussed in various Tribune workshops and in the papers delivered by official Government delegates at the Tlatelolco Conference.
I ' l l just mention a few of the many incidents I heard and saw at the Conference: 1. Many women from Latin and African Countries spoke about foreign controlled which they called Yankee m i l i t a r y regimes which oppressed their Coun-. One woman f r o m Chile showed me her leg turned black from the torture inflicted on her, she spoke of m i l i t a r y men forcing insects such as spiders into her vagina. Another spoke of being forced to witness sexual violence against her young daughter then seeing her murdered before her eyes.
Please note the list of Chilian Women prisoners at the end of this article. Ahmadon Mahtor M'Bow recently filed an official complaint of many sexual violence cases brought to her attention. M'Bow has charged that men round up young girls, forcing them to be prostitutes and torturing them i f they refuse. Herzog said that in "some cases little girls are obliged to submit to a l l kinds of sexual perversions inflicted on them. Proper investigation and v e r i f i c a tion of these cases have taken place according to Ms. Women from African Countries spoke with great passion about starvation - about being forced to make decisions like "who w i l l be fed and allowed to live the young or the o l d.
I heard many complaints and some well d o c u mented studies by Third World Women about United Stated F a m i l y Planning programs sterilizing the Women of their country. A brave Bolivian Woman, Mrs. D o m i t i l a de Chungara spoke about the deplorable working conditions of Bolivian Miners - and the life of misery forced upon the miners family. About three and four thousand wives of miners in her community organized themselves. According to her, women are beaten even if pregnant for attending some of he Union organizing meetings.
The Company has persons killed when Union organizers try to force the company to improve working conditions. The majority of miners to 14 hours daily - six days a week. She explained that education, health and adequate nutrition is impossible because of extremely low wages. According to her foreign controls which she called yankee in her countries mines are killing her people— they are depriving and stealing Bolivian people's God given natural resources which should be used for the benefit of Bolivian people.
These are but a few examples of the things "Brave World Women Leaders" said and saying about their " R e a l i t y " in the Society or Pueblos—and about children the responsibility all World Women have in building and becoming integrated into a new Economic S y s t e m based on Justice, Dignity and Peace. As was the case in the official Government Tlatelolco session likewise in the Tribune - the majority of United States feminist stood almost alone in presenting their International approach for the l i b e r ation of Women and Men, they stressed that basic to equality, development and peace was that of including women as leaders in their respective countries s y s t e m — in all levels of opportunity - political, economic and social.
The majority of World Women a few from U. The majority of women favored rather the building of new social and economic structures which would give all people - women, men, children an opportunity to exercise their human powers in a just manner. I was really surprised to see the lack of Politication of United States Feminist and with them a handfull of women from developed and developing countries.
Other events worth noting, one was the work coming from the "Journalist Encounter" Journalist mainly from the United States, among them Gloria Steinem, who met before the I. Conference started June The Manifesto was shot down. This incident reminded me of the many community program development sessions Chicanos are asked to p a r t i c i pate in - not withstanding the fact that someone else has already organized the plan.
We were called to organize a plan that was already organized for us. Another similar event was organized by Betty Friedan's group N. They had great difficulty reaching Third World Women in particular Latin American Women I was asked to chair a session but graciously declined. Topics discussed in the sessions were abortion greater involvement of Women in policy positions greater educational opportunities - a great deal of the time was spent expressing displeasure over the fact that a M A N and not a WOMAN was chairing the official Government Tlatelolco Conference - strategies for unseating him took a great deal of time.
Recommended changes by the United Nations Proposed Plan of Action were small and not truly substantial. E x i g i r modificaciones de leyes al enemigo es crear falsas expectativas en el pueblo. Denunciamos cualquier intento. Denuciamos categroricamente os intentos del imperialismo de control de la natalidad como forma de r e p r i m i r la potencialidad revolucionaria de los. Solo el triunfo del conunto de los pueblos l a t i n o americanos contra el imperialismo resolvera los problemas de los trabajadores inmigrantes legales e ilegales, temporales or residentes.
The United States and Israel voted against. Included in the plan are certain "minimum" goals to be reached by which are a marked increase in literacy of women, extension of vocational training, parity of enrollment in p r i m a r y education and increased employment opportunities. On the international level, the plan calls for full involvement of women in policy—making and g o v e r n ments are asked to guarantee that women are equally represented at international meetings. Regarding that family structure, the plan also states that the functions and roles traditionally allotted to each sex within the family should be continually reexamined and reassessed in the light of changing conditions if women are to have equal rights.
Official registration of marriages should be made compulsory and practices such as child marriages and inheritance of widow s should be abolished. Mexico, 27 de Junio de We decided to tell the entire Tribune and U. Feminist how we felt and why we rejected their International Task Force b u t — - w e were not allowed to do so. In the confusion microphones were taken f r o m us, sounds were turned off - I ' m sure you all heard and read about this confusion.
Had we voted at this t i m e our recommendations would have taken the entire Tribune. Monday morning the so called International Task F o r c e made a last effort to be the spokes piece of the Tribune - they again made a poor i n t e r pretation of our clarification d o c u m e n t - — w e again discussed reasons why we did not agree with their i n t e r p r e t a d o r — t h e y did not want to hear our reasons and again the meeting ended up by our standing f i r m l y behind our approach to women's liberation We succeeded in exposing the phony International Task F o r c e — - e v e n through the United States still announced that they w i l l work with this so called International Task Force through an announced I n t e r national Network.
I t was sad to see a few well meaning Black, Mexican, M e x i c a n - A m e r i c a n and the Chicana Coalition women caught up supporting this situation. The conference was a major success - World Women. Couples should also be enabled to determine freely the number of and spacing of their children and legal, financial and social obstacles to the d i s s e m i n a t i o n of family planning knowledge, means and services should be abolished. The p l a n s purpose also is to set guidelines for national and international measures to be taken up by the individual countries at their own volition.
The Declaration of Mexico, stated that "International cooperation and peace require the a c h i e v e ment of national liberation and independence, the elimination of colonialism, imperialism foreign occupation, Zionism, apartjeod amd racoa: doscro, omatopm in all its forms. The declaration also asks for the establishing and implementing of a New International Economic Order of which the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States "constitutes a basic element. They gave us a ring made of the material f r o m the last United States plane shot down in South Vietnam.
The Vietnamese women were very warm - they send greetings to all U. I had the honor of receiving a special i n v i t a tion f r o m Vilma Spim of Cuba to a reception at the Cuban Embassy. I t was really great to be among progressive - humanistic - joyful and very o p t i m i s t i c people. I was asked to speak at a major session about the I m m i g r a t i o n problems we have in the United States. Some of the points I discussed were: a.
The U. I m m i g r a t i o n in a Congressional investigation was found to be involved in many illegal activities such as Drug traffic, smuggling workers, prostitution, bribes etc. As a result of this investigation i m m i g r a t i o n officers have been forced to resign. Many others involved in this corrupt activities are still employees of the United States I m m i g r a t i o n Department. A Los Angeles report and investigation completed by Ms. Susan Racho found many cases of i m m i g r a tion officers sexually attacking women workers w i t h out documents upon deporting the.
Nothing has teen done to take corrective steps. The United States Immigration Department together with the Media have given the nation the impression that Mexican workers coming to the U. This publicity pins Chicano against his Mexican brother and sister. Some studies we have show that undocumented workers receive meager wages even below the Welfare subsidy. Growers hire work contractors who go into Mexico to seek workers - - - w i t h the cooperation of I m m i g r a tion officials they smuggle these workers through the border sometimes these workers are used as strike breakers in particular against United F a r m Workers Union without their knowledge.
In many cases growers or contractors call the I m m i g r a t i o n on these workers before the workers receive their salary. The most serious or basic problem which we are studying is the question - to what extent is the U. We have found hat for example out of every 42 cents put in by United States Mexico Boarder factories the United States reaps 5 dollars. Economically Mexico depends on the United States just check to see where Mexico's clothing, soft drinks, auto, utilities etc.
In view of these facts we reject any laws that would ban workers from migrating into the United States. We propose that all workers even the undocumented be allowed to join a union and that those not be allowed to break s t r i k e. In closing - I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mexico is ahead of the United States in the passage of a constitutional amendment providing equal rights to men and women under the law. Mexico has a special Women's Department working for the i m p l e mentation of this law of equality for women and men. So many studies and other items were given free in Mexican booths.
Finally - I am including in this report a small list of Chilean Women who are political prisoners in their country because they were fighting for Democracy in Chile. The torture - sexual violence committed against these women calls for justice. Alicia Romo representing the m i l i t a r y regime in Chile denied that these concentration camps exist in Chile - she invited us to come to Chile and see. The Chilean women delegates attending the Tribune conference reaffirmed and gave many evidence that torture and that these concentration camps exist. These and other cases plus other documentations can be obtained f r o m La Casa de Chile in Mexico City.
Some closing thoughts you might like to ask your congress and Senator representative to investigate the m i l i t a r y training programs our country is giving to foreign Third World Countries m i l i t a r y personnel in this country. Many Third World Women complained about the brutal training these men are receiving to use against their own people. The Catholic Church has done so much to welcome the e x i l e d Vietnamese it seems to me that Latin American people are also being tortured and killed why can't we open our doors to the Chilean political prison. If countries people choose Socialism as then form of government then we as a people should defend then right to choose such.
Many incidents in the conference proved that s h a r ing their countries resources helped the majority of people to eat, receive adequate health service and become educated. It seems to me t h a t in the United States publicity has forced us to protect the capital interests of a few millionaires not for our good but for their wealth.
W h y is Olga still a prisoner in Argentina? For more than 10 months the Argentine Government of Isabel Peron has held Olga Talamante - a 25 year old Chicana from Gilroy, California - in j a i l with an estimated 3, other political prisoners. Her crime? Association with the broad mass of Argentine people who for years have struggled for the restoration of democracy in their country.
For more than 10 months the U. Government has been guilty of complicity by supporting this repression against the Argentine people and by refusing to press for Olgas release all the time assuring Olgas family and many supporters that " w e are doing the best we can. It is now the time for progressive people and their organizations a l l over the. The enormous support already shown for Olga and her fellow prisoners in the past months has surely saved their lives and brought much attention to the suppression of democratic rights in that country, but a much greater effort is now necessary.
Government apparently does not want to free Olga, perhaps afraid that the American people w i l l hear her story. But we, whom the Government pretends to represent, can and must free Olga and her fellow prisoners by our public and united outcry. I n the background, the posters of Cuba and Zapata reflect the current political climate in the community. He is unique because of his method of approach to law and his commitment to the overall people's movement in this country to preserve democratic rights of all people.
With a deep sense of commitment, he has taken on the institution of police. Miguel Garcia has been before the California Supreme Court and won. Two of the cases are Pitches v. Supreme Court, 11 Cal 3d , His method of approach in police brutality cases is effective because Miguel has been able to get into the personnel records of police officers who have a history of brutalizing people. He has been able to bring witnesses to testify about the propensity for violence on the part of police officers in these cases.
In this context, he is demonstrating aggressive qualities of a leader for political change in this country. And since police brutality i n the Chicano community is one of the most serious problems, he is in the forefront of our struggle. Q: I would like us to discuss the responsibilities presently faced by the Chicano resistance movement. But to get to the heart of the matter, we should hear your opinion of the movement's past progress and whether or not it moved in the right direction.
A: I think there has been progress. We have certainly moved to a different level f r o m what I remember way back in when I first started getting involved because of the w a l k - o u t s when ten thousand Chicanos here in Eastlos said the education stinks and that really had a great impact on me. So my involvement dates f r o m about that time and I have-seen the different stages. The first stage was very much an aggressive level, a level where i t was Chicano. Chicano, Chicano. It was very cultural, very ethnic, and very n a t i o n a l istic. I t lacked ideology in terms of we going beyond our culture and beyond our own group and see what was happening i n society as a whole and even the world as a whole and how we f i t into that.
I think there has been two changes. One is the street level has kind of decreased and the people who were heavily involved and committed in that type of p a r ticipation have gone to doing different things, for example, to learning particular systems within the whole structure of the government, the whole structure of society, and then trying to use them for the benefit of poor people.
There has been a definite change in terms of we developing a higher level of sophistication and knowledge and being able to use i t. Secondly, I think there has been a big change in terms of now the movement is not so nationalistic, not entirely for Chicano but is good for working class people, good for poor people. I think we have to pay special attention and importance to ourselves because who is going to take care of our needs but we have to have a broader perspective too.
Q: Like any other people, the Chicanos follow various ideological trends. Surely, i t is natural that these trends be expressed through different o r g a n i zational forms, especially at such a stage as national liberation. What is your opinion on this matter? A: I think we have to have room for difference within the Chicano community, within the political community. I think i f we become too dogmatic, if we draw lines too distinctively, too strongly, then people become alienated. And i n terms of unity and. There is, at some point, where I myself personally w i l l not be willing to work or associate with certain individuals who I feel are too conservative, too reactionary, too opposed to goals and objectives that I have which I feel strongly about.
However, I am also more tolerant of persons who may not agree with me but are not at the point that I consider them to be reactionary. I think i t is at that level we have to have more understanding. We, in fact, have to t r y to bring people along in terms of trying to have them see that maybe some of the values and some of the styles of life that they follow is not really what is important to us as a people or to them as individuals. I think that people are at different stages of development so if we draw very hard lines we are excluding what can be alot of support for objectives that the extreme left may have.
I think there should be more tolerance of different ideologies but there is at some point where I would say fuck you too. Q: What are your thoughts on raising the consciousness of those people who are more spectators than participators? What kinds of programs can be developed to politicize them? A: Through study groups, but in study groups you are assuming the persons who are going to p a r t i cipate have enough interest that they would even come together.
Nevertheless, i t is an effective method for raising the consciousness of he people. I can talk about the methods that I use, for example, in the courtroom. I do police cases, not only to make a strong legal attack against the institution of police but it is also, in one sense, to educate people in the majority community and in our own community about what is happening, that is, what the police are doing in our community. Each time I have a case. I have twelve people who are my audience f r o m several days to as much as four or five weeks. Certainly, you use that process to educate them, and to impress them with the kind of repression that that agency of the state is into.
Q: There are different theories of what should be done in terms of raising the consciousness of the people. The Marxist theory, for example, says that people w i l l not reach a level of consciousness until the productive f o r c e s effect them in a way that they w i l l have some kind of consciousness of a class, some kind of consciousness of their condition. And there is the other view that some vanguard, in this p a r t i cular case, a Chicano intellectual vanguard, that w i l l feed an ideology to the people. What are your thoughts on this problem? A: You can't just rely on the working conditions raising the consciousness of the people.
I have to get back to what I am into because that is concrete. In terms of the police issue, we have a Police Practices Panel which we recently organized.
Valdano: “Isco prefiere ir de víctima a mostrarse como jugador de raza”
One of the things that has come out of the panel is a monthly newsletter which goes out to the community. The first issue is coming out in about a month because we have just organized the panel. That is one method of raising the consciousness of the people on these p a r ticular issues. We are also developing a centralized complaint file against the police officers c o u n t y - w i d e. So one of the regular stories in this newsletter will. In other words, to expose those people to that kind of pressure and at the same lime to educate the community on a particular issue.
I think the process of education when i t is done in terms of what people can understand and w h e n i t is done in a logical common sensible w a y does alot i n raising the consciousness of the people. How much, I don't know. In police cases, most of the time people can't b e lieve what goes on until they themselves are the victims of it or until a family member is a v i c t i m of i t. I a m not sure the newsletter is going to do that much but i t is an effort. I think you have to take an active role in educating people.
Q: Do you think there is a possibility in the future of having a permanent organization that the people could identify with, collectively, have some kind of point of reference, a militant sense of belonging? A: Sure, and it is happening in every n a t i o n. You have the communist party in alot of countries where that is the kind of organization that you are talking about. We have not reached the level here in the United States or in the Chicano community where that a c t u a l l y can happen.
Translation of "No insultes a" in English
I am not really into the international thing at this point. My goals are much more modest. I am into learning a system that is very much oppressing our people and has done that historically. Q: Break that down. How do you see police and their role within the community, the Chicano community? A: They are the representatives of the people in power. They are the intimidators of the poor in this country so the people w i l l not overwhelm those that have alot to lose.
That is what the police really are about. The police express the racism against Chicanos, against Blacks. Poor people are i n t i m i dated very much by the police. There is no doubt about i t. They represent the power in this country. They are some of the representatives of that power. Q: Are you saying the police department is an instrument? A: Sure. I think that the system of police repression is only a very small part of what the overall people's movement in this country has to contend with.
I see myself as a participant in the overall movement of poor people but i t is a very small part. I think there are other people who, and here again it comes to levels of involvement are at the level of trying to develop a more broad base and broader resistance to repression in this country and to capitalism too. I see it and I think what I do also has an impact on the people who are working at this other level because the work that I do w i l l certainly benefit the political activist. While I have established principles that deal with the democratic rights of everybody, i n c l u d ing political activist, include Chicanos, including any class of people who will be prosecuted because they are disliked, because they are on the outside.
So it is all interrelated but I see myself in a certain role or in a certain way that I am participating in the people's movement. It is not always in the level of a lawyer because I am also at the level of an organizer when I am doing the Police Practices Panel and we are putting together a newsletter that is educating people in the community while we are developing a centralized c o m plaint file which can be used in political ways.
Q: Can you tell us about some of the Supreme Court decisions that you have initiated or played a role in? A: F i r s t let me tell you more or less the method of work that I have which I think is important because to my knowledge it is really the first time any political lawyer developed a very systematic and methodological way of dealing with the agency of the State. We have had Spanish surname lawyers for a long time but in terms of political Chicano lawyers we have had very few. Before my time, the only Chicano lawyer I knew about was Zeta Acosta and he dealt with the legal system in a very aggressive way.
I deal with the legal system in a very aggressive way too. But he limited his work to a great extent to using the court case to educate people in the community and that was beautiful. I have to develop more of a knowledge in a way to do that, but my method of work has been to use the. L a r r y Romero de Casablanca, Riverside -v i c t i m a de brutalidad policiaca system and its principles to effect the rights of people on a broad base l e v e l.
And I have confined my work to a certain area because I think that the law is so broad that you have to know the area that you're into very well when you're really going up against the institutions who are part of the State, who are status quo. So the reason why I think this method is important is by doing systematic and sometimes very routine work you begin to accumulate knowledge just by the e v e r y day work on that institution because the legal struggle like any other struggle is not something that is static.
You may win a victory but there w i l l always be a reaction from the State agency, f r o m the system in terms of that victory. And the reaction almost begins immediately and so if you just leave that victory and nothing else happens soon that victory w i l l be no longer existing, or any of the results f r o m that.
So by concentrating on one institution, you win a victory. They develop strategy to counteract that victory, and then you have to develop counterstrategy. I t is a constant struggle, constant movement that change in terms of what is happening in the legal system as well as any place else. In the past, lawyers confined their work to reacting to the system entirely by defending the big political case.
The Pentagon Papers, the Chicago Seven cases, you name i t , just about any case and there was always lawyers representing people who had to be represented because they were brothers in the struggle and certainly those cases can even be used to raise consciousness but they were still reacting to what the government was doing and what I have tried to do and have been effective and actually achieving it is to instead concentrate on one a r m of the state, accumulate knowledge on that and to begin to take it on very aggressively in a legal kind of struggle.
And we're. We are almost at the point where the internal affairs section of the L A P D and the Sheriffs have to be eliminated. Coming to court cases, we established the principle that in a police brutality case that the question of the officer is very much an issue. When the police officer says Jose Gonzalez jumped on me, we should be able to go into his background, and see if he has a history of b r u t a l i z ing people, if he has a history of complaints being filed against h i m. So we were able to get into the personnel records of police officers and to bring witnesses to testify about this kind of trait of character, this propensity for violence on the part of the police officer.
In a police brutality case, that subject was never brought up, and that you could never get i n f o r mation about. I t just didn't make sense. This also brings me to the point of my approach of using the legal system, my approach to the law. I think the legal system that we have in this country, in theory, is a very beautiful system.
In practice, i t is fucked up because it is not really intended to uphold and follow the principles i t is based on. But my approach is always to deal with those principles and to develop arguments that are very logical, that make sense, that in terms of the needs of the overall society, where people have democratic rights, where they have a right to earn a living, a right to have a peaceful life.
If you analyze what the law is or should be in terms of those principles and you make arguments based on it and based on concrete factual situations of people that have been fucked over, it can be a very effective way. That is a different style of working for most lawyers who have been caught up into the system so that they never even have an overview of what the system is suppose to do. Most lawyers of course are into the. So they do not think of what the law is suppose to be.
But I find that most lawyers get caught up with what cases have said for so many years even if those cases do not make sense. And that is not my approach at a l l. I always look at it in terms of what the law should be and what makes sense, what is just and what is fair. Q: How did you develop this kind of consciousness? What you are expressing is some kind of c o m m i t ment.
Es difícil saber qué hacer, qué sentir y cuáles son sus opciones después de un abuso sexual.
How did you escape the brainwashing at the higher institutions of learning, at law school? A: The w a l k - o u t s had a tremendous impact on my mind. I could not wait until I became a lawyer. I felt it was something I had to get into now, and it was a slow process in terms of first organizing a social worker's group which we called Social Action Latinos for Unity Development.
But it was a group that was very effective. With a consciousness of what we could do for the Chicano community but no ideology. We were very political in the sense that we were able to form a coalition between the group that we formed within with welfare lights groups f r o m outside in another community and we were able to get things done in about a period of about a year that the Social Worker's Union was not able to do in many years. When I was in law school, it was in my second year, when I began to be involved and that went a great deal from keeping me from adopting other values.
Lately my perspective of society has changed even more. I can no longer be an active participant in terms of the consumer society. For example, the b u y ing syndrome, the always being in debt and wanting to have nice clothes, wanting to have a new car. I have abandoned all of those things because I saw no value for me as an individual. What was important in my life, what gave me satisfaction and by abandoning those values i t has also given me a great deal more independence because I am no longer caught up in that syndrome.
I don't have to compete with people as much as I did before. I t is my point of view that society needs to change a great deal. In terms of the kind of world I want to see, the kind of world I want to live in, being a lawyer, making money, distinguishing myself in traditional ways is not WHAT I am into. I t gives me much more great s a t i s faction to establish a principle of law that is going to be here as long as the court functions, as long as the law is given lip service. Q: Do you believe in our human right to defend ourselves if necessary f r o m police brutality?
A: Without a doubt. The principle of s e l f defense is a beautiful principle and even recognized in law and certainly any time your life or your physical being is in danger you have the right to defend y o u r self. Confined in the Boniato Prison near santiago de Cuba, after the events of Moncada, Haydee Santa maria and Melba Hernandez, who had participated in the attack against the fortress, decided to. Still fresh was the blood spilled at Moneada when, without time to assimilate those blows, the women fighters of Moneada were c o n fined in prison and placed in the hands of the jailers of the tyranny.
First in the j a i l we lived in the tremendous u n certainty of not knowing who was still alive, and mainly what fate had befallen Fidel. We were stunned, so many things had happened. We weren't afraid for ourselves, but we were depressed about what had happened to many of our comrades; nevertheless we were alert and ready to face whatever necessary in those terrible circumstances.
Above a l l , we had the same faith in the principles which guided us in that first great struggle against the tyranny. The bloc housing the Moneada attackers had two wings with a common corridor. They put all of them in one wing, four in each cell. I n the other wing, originally destined for political prisoners but now used as a sick bay, they shut up Fidel, alone, in a locked cell. The rest of the wing was occupied by common prisoners who were i l l. Access f r o m one wing to another was guarded by four soldiers. A little while after the Moneada attackers had arrived i n Boniato, the director of the prisoner was changed.
The new director was someone called Rosabal. The situation was more and more d i f f i cult for the combatants. Melba and Haydee were moved to Fidel's wing: "They wanted to deprive us of the protection we had by being w i t h the other Moncada attackers, so they pitted us against the common prisoners. What the attackers wanted was to receive instructions from Fidel, who was then p r e paring for his t r i a l.
The strike started mainly i n protest against the isolation of Fidel and the consequent danger to his life. The jailers were becoming more infuriated with Fidel because f r o m the office i n the bloc they could see h i m constantly writing, but they didn't know what he was w r i t i n g or where he used to hide his notes, how they were smuggled out of the cell or how they circulated from one pavilion to another.
Thus what was supposed to be a punishment for Melba and Haydee turned into a victory. Being in the wing allowed them to establish contact with Fidel and transmit his instructions for the t r i a l. They succeeded i n smuggling out the letter that Fidel wrote to the court, denying the version that he was i l l and therefore could not be tried with the rest of the attackers.
Melba and Haydee were taken to t r i a l i n h a n d cuffs, as were the others. Fidel's energetic protest over this illegal procedure forced the magistrates to order the removal of the handcuffs during the t r i a l. At the t r i a l , Melba, i n a heroic gesture, read out the historic letter.
We agreed that we would interrupt the t r i a l at some early point. We stood up, i t was against the rule, but we did i t anyway. The court tried to order us to obey the rules, but we didn't. We forced the court to listen to us. Then we presented the letter. Melba Hernandez in the third session of the t r i a l on September I succeeded i n sending it to her, in spite of the implacable vigilance I was subjected to. Because of that letter, immediate r e prisals were taken: D r.
Hernandez was held i n comunicado and since I was already incomumcado I was put in the most isolated spot of the prison. F r o m then on, all the accused were carefully searched f r o m head to toes before leaving for the t r i a l. Melba and Haydee were given the same punishment as Fidel, they were c o n fined to the reduced space of their cells. They un The separation of the two women combatants from the group meant a new stage i n the struggle: facing prison alone, with only their own convictions for company and stimulus.
In Guanajay the women lived under the g o v e r n ment-established prison regime. They were never taken to the courtyard to receive sun. They left their cell only on visitors' day. When they arrived at the women's prison their rebelliousness was s o m e what neutralized, since they had no concrete way to express i t. The director of the prison was obliged to go to their cell and talk at length with the prisoners. The situation of the prisoners' children was dramatic. There were more than 20 children, a l l under five years of age, who were i n j a i l with their mothers.
Those little children had been born punished by society without having committed any crime, they were like the children of the slaves who were born slaves. Exactly the same. During Christmas of , Melba and Haydee gave the children toys they had received through Melba's father f r o m the Women's M a r t i Society. On that day, the journalist Marta Rojas entered the prison under the pretext of taking photos of the children with their toys. She managed to take a historic photo of Melba and Haydee, the only p i c ture that exists of the Moncada attackers in the Guanajay prison.
Melba Hernandez after the attack. When D r.
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Baudilio Castellanos, said Melba and Haydee, came to tell us that we were to be set free, we energetically opposed i t , and i n court we stated that we rejected the absolution, that i f our comrades were declared guilty we also were equally guilty and i f our comrades were given sentences we should be sentenced also.
We acted that way because we wanted to run the same risks our comrades were running, since we did not have the opportunity to run the risks of those who had been killed. And here is the secret of the m a t t e r : if we couldn't be with Abel or Boris, then we had to be in j a i l , side by side with our comrades.
Thus Melba and Haydee became the first women political prisoners i n the history of the Cuban Republic. Translation in Spanish. Caricias antinaturales de un hombre sin remordimiento. No se dio cuenta de que el amor no puede ser comandado. Difundir la locura como enfermedad. Experiencia cercana a la muerte. Una sonrisa sucia se integra en la cara del asesino. Escondido en el interior. Monta las alas del sacrificio pero nunca juega al tonto. No perteneces a la raza humana. Report a problem. Last activities A. Last edit by. Synced by Krupthzeh Blau. Edit translation.