LA artists commemorate 50th anniversary of Chicano Moratorium with mural in East LA

A group of Latino artists painted a mural in East Los Angeles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, the day when Mexican-Americans started a movement against the Vietnam War.
EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A group of artists, called 3B Collective, came together to paint a mural in East Los Angeles on Whittier Boulevard to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium, which falls on August 29. The anniversary marks the day Mexican-Americans started a movement against the Vietnam War.

"We've done our part, you know, we did our research and we made sure that whatever is on the wall is what, what the truth is," said Alfredo Diaz, an artist of the 3B Collective. "I felt really connected. I think connected and proud would be you know two words I feel about the whole project in itself."

The Los Angeles based muralist group painted words and symbols reflective of the historical event, which happened on August 29,1970.

"It was just families and kids, and it was huge," said Oscar Magallanes, an artist of the 3B Collective. "To protest the disproportionate amount of Mexican-Americans that were being killed in Vietnam. And we're talking about systemic racism, right."

More than 20,000 people marched that day. The peaceful protest turned violent during a police response, which resulted with three people dead, including Ruben Salazar--the first Mexican-American journalist covering the Chicano community in Los Angeles.

"Ruben Salazar was murdered one block away from there," Diaz said, pointing to where the mural was painted. "So putting that up, and you know, seeing people's reaction - kids, we had a few people come by with the kids and tell them the story of Ruben Salazar."

The Latino artists also honored the life of Salazar in the mural. The art project is part of a larger social impact campaign in honor of the anniversary.

"It's the first its kind to commemorate the 50th anniversary," said Norma Manzanares, a campaign strategist for the Ruben Salazar/Chicano Moratorium social impact campaign.

Activists said they hope the march of 1970 is never forgotten.

"The 50th commemoration is really about commemorating the sacrifice of our people 50 years ago," said YC Guadalupe Cardona, an ethnic studies educator. "But also reigniting this sort of movement to continue to fight against war at home."

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