Home > Uncategorized > The Significance of Chicano Park and The Struggle To Stop Gentrification Today

The Significance of Chicano Park and The Struggle To Stop Gentrification Today

A few thoughts on the significance to the land take over to create Chicano Park and the continuing struggle against gentrification today.

Chicano Park was created on April 22nd, 1970 during a great period of struggle for people as well many oppressed people around the country and world. At this time the city wanted to create a highway patrol substation where the park is now located today. This was to go with the still fairly new freeway that had already divided our neighborhood in half and also as a way to bring the pigs into our neighborhood as another means of repression to our people. The people of Logan did not want this in the neighborhood and came together to stop the city from laying the foundations of another building to further disrupt our barrio, and instead laid the foundations for a park that symbolizes and fosters unity for our people on occupied land.

The Save Our Barrios Coalition sees the importance of this action against the state as incredibly significant to the struggle to regain this land for the people it belongs to, our people who have always been here. Chicano Park is a liberated piece of land from the state and now belongs to our people once again. Although it is a small park in a large neighborhood in an even larger city, its significance is colossal to our people in seeing that we can take back the land when we do come together. The struggle for land is one of the key elements to any mass revolutionary struggle, because without our own land and total control of it we are left powerless and without the ability to create our own way of living. Buying a house, or piece of land is a great accomplishment as our people have not always been allowed to buy land and property. As the last five years has shown with the housing crsis that it is not a guarantee that you’re home will not be taken away. We see that this is our land and that the only way to regain control of our community is through working together and becoming organized. As history has shown accomplishments such as Chicano Park only happen when people have united for a common goal.

Chicano Park is concrete example of organization and it’s power to get things done. The take over of the neighborhood may have stopped at the boundaries of the park, for the time being, but its significance goes well beyond this piece of land. The park is not only a cultural symbol as demonstrated by the murals and other art, but as more importantly a symbol of control of the land. That takeover for control can be replicated again through the organization of our people around the goal of regaining this land for ourselves and all the resources that go with it.

The Save Our Barrios Coalition understands that control of the land is of the up most importance. Without land we cannot truly battle so many other issues affecting our people. Although we see the importance fighting for so many causes for our people such as immigration, housing, police brutality, what people call racism, classism etc., these struggles can only be taken so far if we do not have an area of land for ourselves. What use is it fighting so many important causes without having solved the root issue first, land and it’s power and control over it. The complete ownership of our own land is the control of our own lives, such as when a person rents a house, although they are living there they are living under a landlords control who can evict and create disruption of your life at will and we feel this is the same as owning land now, we are buying it and we are using it, but ownership is not always permanent. Because of these reasons the Save Our Barrios Coalition feels that the fight against gentrification of our barrio by the city and other opportunist is also the struggle for a free and independent land for raza liberation.

Become involved, Chicano Park is the first important step towards raza self determination, and can be moved forward through an organized movement involving all gente.

The Save Our Barrios Coalition will have a booth this year at Chicano Park Day, April 20, 2013. Please feel welcomed to come and talk to us about this important cause and see what you can do about it. Come learn what we as a group are organizing for the upcoming year and beyond. There will also be flag raising and memorial for raza who were a part of the movement who have died in the past year and one of our founding members and guiding leaders will be remember at this time, Ernesto Bustillos. Ernesto Bustillos was a great leader and organizer for the movement who dedicated his life to creating a better existence for his family, the community, and oppressed people around the world.

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