Cesar Chavez Day sees violence, racial tension

reposted from : http://theorion.com


Nicholas Carr • Allison Weeks • Isabel Charles

Although Chico police report that the number of arrests was down during Cesar Chavez weekend this year, the holiday was marred by two stabbings and a fight that sent two people to the hospital.

Students also found alternative ways to celebrate the legacy of Chavez by taking to the streets in a march for the labor organizer who fought for civil rights.


In addition to 33 alcohol-related arrests, two stabbings occurred over the three-day holiday weekend.

A 23-year-old man was stabbed at a residence on Sunrise Court early Saturday morning.

Chico police officers found the man lying in a driveway with multiple stab wounds, and he was taken to Enloe Medical Center.

Police received varying suspect descriptions from witnesses and do not know why the man was stabbed.

A second man was stabbed early Monday morning.

He was walking with a group of men when he knocked over a garbage can, which upset the can’s owner, said Sgt. George Laver of the Chico Police Department.

The woman resident and the man began arguing before the man took a swing at her. She swung back in retaliation.

A group of non-residents came to the woman’s aid and caused a large fight in the middle of the street, Laver said.

One of the suspects is accused of beating up the 19-year-old who knocked over the garbage can before taking out a knife, according to the release.

The 19-year-old’s hand was cut during the fight, and he was taken to the hospital.

Police encourage anyone with information about the stabbings to contact the Chico Police Department.

Overall crime decreases

Despite the stabbings, crime decreased this weekend compared to previous years, according to a press release from the Chico Police Department.

In 2011, 50 arrests were made on Cesar Chavez Day alone, compared to this year’s 38 total arrests between Friday and Monday morning. Last year, police made 42 arrests between March 30 and April 1.

While officers working overtime were required to stay on patrol Friday and Saturday nights, overtime staff members working Sunday night were released early.

The fact that Cesar Chavez Day fell on a rainy Easter Sunday may have contributed to decreased criminal activity, according to the press release.

Cesar Chavez Day march

The student groups Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan and the National Brown Berets participated in a march Sunday and shouted down those partying in sombreros and ponchos.

About 20 Chico State students marched through the south-campus area Sunday to peacefully protest what they saw as disrespectful partying.

The route led from the courtyard of the Student Services Center down Ivy Street.

From there, they marched up West Fifth Street to City Plaza, where a short ceremony was held onstage.

Last year’s march was mainly focused on the downtown and business area, MECha director Juan Guzman said. The revised route focused on the student neighborhoods of the south-campus area.

“All of the partying and stereotyping of the culture happens over there,” he said.

Andrea Lopez, a freshman social work major who grew up in Chico, said she doesn’t understand why students celebrate Cesar Chavez Day by promoting stereotypes.

“I just want people to know about out culture, and I still see a lot of racism around campus everywhere,” she said.

The groups marched through West Fifth and Ivy streets condemning students partying in ponchos and sombreros with cries of, “Shame on you!”

While collaborative steps from MEChA, Associated Students and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion helped reduce the negative aspects of the holiday’s party culture, there’s still work to be done, Guzman said.

There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a day off, but it shouldn’t be done in an offensive way, he said.

“We could care less if people get drunk,” Guzman said. “Just do it like you would on any other day.”

Regarding “Brown Beret Unity”

It has been seen played out so many times by seasoned Brown Berets, this concept of unity amongst major Brown Beret organizations. And yet, any seasoned Brown Beret knows that while the best of intent is sought in these attempts at affiliation, rarely does it work out, and often it leaves one or more organizations obliterated with distrust, off shoot groups, and mass confusion.
It is often a misnomer to think that such conglomerations would be beneficial to El Movimiento, and that will be explained here. This article is not meant to portray Carnalismo Brown Berets as “haters” or being stand offish. This article is meant to shed light on why such ambitions to cross affiliate may seem appealing on the surface, but often carry unforeseen hurdles and volatility.
For starters, many Brown Beret organizations hold some philosophical differences. Either in how they best see we Chicanos realize our goals, or what political affiliations we subscribe to, or how we manage our ranks. There are some organizations who impose their will on their members, imposing yet more institutions on their own people. Carnalismo doesn’t do that. Carnalismo encourages independent thought. There are some Brown Beret organizations who micro manage their members, inventing bizarre titles and ranks, sometimes changing as often as people change their chones. Some of these organization use this rank and file system to reward their devotees, or psychologically punish them by imposing demerits. This behavior is imposing, cult like and abusive. Carnalismo doesn’t do that. While we do have ranks, we generally treat one another as equals, and run by consensus, facilitation, and understanding of one-another.
Another reason that conglomerizing different organizations rarely pans out has to do with the under pinning of those calling for it. While some are whole heatedly sincere in their intentions (hey, we would ALL love to see unity) there are others who involve their egos, personal agendas, and vendido complexes. It is these individuals who bring the very corrosive seeds of corruption in almost everything they touch. We have seen mutations of Brown Beret groups who organize in a way that defies the very premise of Brown Berets; groups who deman their members swear their solidarity to individuals, rather than El Movimiento- men who behave like supreme pontiffs, and carry some twisted sense of self entitlement as if they should be bestowed with praise and devotion.
There are many, many, many, individuals who should never have been allowed to be Brown Berets, who weren’t properly vetted, or we’re hastily recruited in some effort to pump up their numbers. Again, Carnalismo Brown Berets don’t do this. We don’t ask people to join. They ask us. Carnalismo is not concerned with pumping up our numbers, or amassing power by conglomerizing. Often one productive, honorable individual can be far more effective than ten non productive, low calibre individuals.
This statement isn’t being put out to say Carnalismo is better than other organizations. This statement is being put out to explain what we have seen works and what hasn’t worked en El Movimiento. It is far more unifying to give the nod to one-another, to have a loose understanding of our unspoken bonds with our Gente, and to try to be intrinsically helpful in all ways that we can.

Tragedy in Connecticut

It’s horrific that we find ourselves puzzled over these spree killers and the carnage they leave in their lashing out at society. Everyone scratches their head, benumbed by why or how someone could possibly commit such acts of terror.
Few fail to examine the circumstances and the socio-political climate that exists in America today. Racial tensions, being on the brink of class war, and a lack of resources for treatment of the mentally ill, or at the very least identifying those whose personalities have a propensity toward spree killing.
The media of course latching on to such stories with no answers, but the need to sell ad space and hype are also to blame. Their hyped up coverage likely motivates aspiring spree killers to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors.
And then there are the gun issues: and to that all that can be said is that so long as people are going to try to cry fowl over any regulatory measures regarding gun control, then gun violence is simply an intrinsic, inherent part of Americanism. We examine the issues with assault weapons; gun that hold excessive rounds, etc. it is said limits on these types of weapons would limit the violence. But one must realize, that it is distinctly the ones who are “gun nuts” are the ones who hold such adulation for such fire arms. They are more intrigued with owning an instrument of death, of human death, than the concept of guns being a viable tool for hunting wild game and helping to feed their families.
It is very tragic, and disturbing, the shootings that went on in Connecticut, but we all must start bringing serious conversations to the table, realistic conversations to the table on what the real circumstances are that breed this kind of behavior.

The Brown Berets, Brown KKK, and Minutemen

All too often are we as Brown Berets misguidedly referred to by our detractors as the “Brown KKK, Brown Nazi’s,” etc. This term has been blasted out not only by Anglo-Americans, but also by our own gente.

I’m not sure of the origins of labeling us the “Brown KKK,” etc., but it certainly poses as a sheer propaganda effort as there haven’t been ANY discernible documents or findings that the Brown Berets take a stance of racial, ethnic, or national superiority over others. One would hard pressed to see the Brown Berets listed as a hate group with any reputable research institutions or with the press – the LEGITIMATE press, as in journalists.

The Brown Berets differ a lot from the KKK. For one, there lies no record the Brown Berets have lynched anybody, dragged anyone to their death by being dragged from a pick up truck, or burned crosses in anyone’s property. We can with absolute certainty however point to historical evidence of Chicano’s being lynched, as seen in the book, “500 Anos del Pueblo Chicano. 500 Years of Chicano History in pictures.

Why then would the Brown Berets be accused of being a “Brown KKK?” It’s simple: Propaganda. All too often in the United States (and elsewhere) when mminorities, or the oppressed band together, and affirm they rights – insist on their rights, they make the establishment and the mainstream very nervous. In America in particular, the is a call to homogenize, or “Americanize” people into one culture. That prevailing culture seems to be the one that stems from Anglo/Germanic cultures, mixed with Abrahamic religions from Middle Eastern deserts, and idyllic Norman Rockwell paintings.

When a minority or oppressed group not only bands together, but decides to affirm and insist on their rights and self determination, and they elect to do this by organizing in a militia-style fashion, they are called other things as well. The Brown Berets have been called “Brown Nazi’s,” for instance. But what about other “militia” groups? The Ruby Ridge types, or the Hutaree (radical Christian militia accused of plotting assaults at certain funerals), what about the “Minuteman Project?”

The Brown Berets chose to organize militarily simply because that level of regimented order is required to protect themselves and others. There is a huge difference than the Brown Berets and the Minutemen. For instance, when addressing problems with the community, the Brown Berets work multilaterally with other non-profits and seek ways to SERVE their communities. The Minutemen blame all of their problems on one ethnic group, and seek to drive it out by force. There is a huge difference between working within the framework of one’s community, and seeking to “push out” beyond the borders of it.

In summation, it is not only wrong to refer to the Brown Berets as the “Brown KKK,” or as “Brown Nazi’s,” but it is also insulting, and ignorant. Calling us names such as these is what I refer to as “reverse race-baiting,” like when a racist calls a minority a racist. We saw this during the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Election cycles, when many angry anglo tea baggers would shout that Obama was a socialist/national socialist, and so were the nazi’s so therefore he is one, or when they had signs depicting him as a nazi. This is a new right-wing technique to call your enemy what you are, or to somehow append your weaknesses to the opposition. Its like reverse, reverse racism – it’s like racism in a spin cycle.

Don’t believe what the moronic dolts shout out, calling us the “Brown KKK, Brown Nazi’s,” etc. They’re liars, and they’re too lazy to figure out how to solve their problems and would rather play the blame game.

Web overhaul

We are pleased to finally start streamlining and updating our website quickly and efficiently. We will even be able to put updates through mobile devices or while in rural areas where infrastructures may be nearly non existent. Our goals with this overhaul are to have a better real time means to respond to and serve our communities better, as well as interface resources with other organizers. This time has been a long way coming, so we are trying our best to keep abreast of the times, the changing technology, and the ever evolving movimiento to which our allegiances are sworn. Stay posted and see as this grows.