My Thoughts on the Chavez Ravine Play

February 26, 2015

Last week, I had the opportunity to watch Chavez Ravine, the amazing play that talks about the displacement of the Mexican-American community in Los Angeles.

As a Chicano and die hard Dodgers fan, I had known about Chavez Ravine but never in the way the play was portrayed. The play provided me with further information and took away some of my guilt for being loyal to the Dodgers while at the same time maintaining my progressive politics.

In the next couple of paragraphs, I will share my thoughts/reflection on the play and hope it will also provide people with a different perspective of Chavez Ravine and the connection it had with the Dodgers.

The displacement of the Chavez Ravine residents is not the fault of the Los Angeles Dodgers. After watching the play, it became clear to me that the main issue was an attack on Public Housing. The initial plan was to use the land at the Ravine and create a new housing project, that was going to be referred as The Elysian Park Heights.

The plan for Elysian Park Heights would have included 24 thirteen-story towers and 163 low-rises, that would have created almost 3,600 apartments. The problem was this new housing plan couldn’t be built without dislocating the current residents at the Ravine. The city of L.A., called for the demolition of the entire community with the hopes of building better roads that would have connected the current neighborhoods. In the 1950’s the L.A. Housing Authority sent letters to the residents of Chavez Ravine informing them that, “a public housing development will be built on this location for families of low-income…the house you are living in is included…Later…you will have the first chance to move back into the new Elysian Park Heights development.”

Those plans quickly banished after a coaliton led by the L.A. Times, private home builders and a group calling themselves, Citizen Against Socialist Housing (CASH), used the fear tactic stating the Director of Housing Authority was a Communist and this new project would lead to more “socialist” housing projects being built.

During the 1950s, the word, “Communism,” “Socialism,” were terms that instilled fear just the same way as “terrorists” has since the 9-11 attacks. It is worth noting that during that 50s, the FBI had Edgar J. Hoover as their Director, a man who became notoriously known for cracking down the progressive state of working class communities and attacking the Black Panther Party and using COINTELPRO to kill many of our communities leaders such as MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton and preventing the rise of the Black Panther Party.

As I watched the play, I began to focus on the fear tactic that was used to put pressure on the director of Housing Authority, who was forced to state before a committee if he was ever involved in Communist meetings. When he refused to answered those personal questions and instead focused on the issue at hand, he was fired for refusing to answer personal questions.

To me, Poverty, lack of Education, lack of Housing, and lack of Social Services are “terrorizing” our community. We should fight this war on “terror.”

Currently, in the city of L.A., we are seeing many public housing sites such as Jordan Downs trying to be remodeled or change into mixed income but in reality those housing sites are the new Chavez Ravines that our communities have been resisting. Gentrification in L.A. is spreading faster than ever before. We have whole communities being forced to move up to give ways to the Hipsters such as we’ve seen in Silver Lake, Echo Park and in Highland Park.

The Dodgers come into the picture because the city officials at the time had Chavez Ravine as an empty lot and upon hearing that Walter O’Malley wanted to move the team to the West Coast, struck a deal with him and eventually used the site to build Dodger Stadium.

I know a lot of people will continue to refuse to step into Dodger Stadium because of what happen to the families who were removed by forced. But this played showed me that the Chavez Ravine land was all about the attack of Public Housing, something which the city of L.A. continues to engaged in. We are the Homeless Capital of the Nation and it pains me to see the Housing market blossom but to those who already have it, while thousands of homeless people continue to sleep in the streets.

I hope those who haven’t had the chance to see the play will see it and hopefully they will have a different way of seeing the connection between the Dodgers and Chavez Ravine.

Peaceful March in Skid Row

February 21, 2015

Today on the 50th death anniversary of Malcolm X, the community of Skid Row organized a peaceful march from Gladys Park to San Julian Park. In honor of Black History Month, the march was to pay tribute to our brothers and sisters who have passed away and to allow their spirit to continue to strengthen us as we continue to struggle for a more peaceful and just world.
The march was in silence but was deeply spiritual as members of the community played the drums and carry Sage. When the march ended in San Julian Park, a group of people were already there and after congregating for a while, the AGAPE choir led the community with some beautiful music.

Here are photos from today’s event.

Recordando al Compañero Ali Primera

February 16, 2015

Hoy es el 30 aniversario de la muerte del Compañero Ali Primera. Un gran ser humano que su musica inspiro a millones. El uso el folklore Venezolano y le dio alas con sus canciones llenas de amor, justicia y las luchas por la dignidad del ser humano. El fue un Revolucionario y siempre se mantuvo fiel a sus ideales y a la lucha por un mundo mas justo.

Aqui les dejo unas de mis canciones favoritas del gran Compañero:

Violeta Parra Resucitada en Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos

February 6, 2015

Violeta Parra para mi es la Madrina de Nueva Cancion Chilena. Esta pelicula resucito a la querida Violeta. Para los que no han visto la pelicula..Aqui les va.

Homeless Bill of Rights Day of Action This Weekend In Downtown Los Angeles

January 17, 2015

 

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Tomorrow come and join organizations from across Los Angeles as we gather for a day of action with music, art, dance and unity for all those whose mere existence is now considered a crime.

In the spirit of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we will reclaim public space in Downtown LA and uplift the rights of ALL people to sit, rest, and share food. Here is the info to tomorrow’s day of action:

1pm—Lunch/Parade begins at Gladys Park (6th and Gladys in Skid Row)
3pm to 6pm—Pershing Square Speak Out and Outreach
7pm thru Monday Morning—Sleep out outside the Central City Association (626 Wilshire Blvd)

Below are videos from our Parade last year in Venice Beach.

Dodgers Fans DEMAND Dodgers Take Down Photo Op Pic With Mexican President

December 10, 2014

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This is the Jersey AGON should have given the Mexican President

This past Monday, Dodgers fans from Mexican descent were meant with the surprising and shocking news that Adrian Gonzalez was captured giving Mexican President, Enrique Peña Nieto, a personalized #23 Dodgers jersey. That picture was uploaded in the social media sites operated by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Immediately fans began commenting and urging for the Dodgers to take the photo down.

As a lifelong and die-hard Dodgers fan, I was very upset! I am a passionate Dodgers fans who goes to about 20 games per season but my PASSION for Justice is stronger than my allegiance to my beloved team. After voicing my concerns in the Dodgers instagram account, I decided to give them a call this morning and talked to a represent of their PR department. I talked to a guy named Ray. I was not convinced that my concerns were heard so during my lunch break I decided to go to Dodger Stadium and speak directly to a representative of the Dodgers PR.

I talked to Yvonne Carrasco and explained to her that I ask the Dodgers to take the AGon pic down since it is very disrespectful to their fans who have voiced their concerns in their social media sites. She told me that it was that easy, that she was going to gather my concerns and take it to her team and decide where they go from here. I told her that their is nothing to think about and I gave her an example. I told her to imagine the Dodgers giving Darren Wilson a Dodgers Jersey while people are on the streets protesting and chanting, “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!,” and “I can’t breathe!” Yvonne disagree with me and stated both are separate incidents. She then informed me why people don’t focus on the great things that AGon has done to help our community and that the picture wasn’t political but people have made it political. I informed her that it is political. And if she didn’t want this to be bigger than it is, I let her know that by removing the pic will alleviate some of the damage. I went on to informed her that by the Dodgers ignoring peoples’ comments to remove the AGON pic and then uploading a Zack Greinke picture in their Instragram account that was a very disrespectful act.

I asked Yvonne if she was of Mexican descent to see if she truly understand where I was coming from. She said she wasn’t but stated that she understood my point of view. One doesn’t have to be of Mexican descent to see the damage that picture has done when the country is trying to heal from the loses of the 43 college students of Ayotzinapa and the thousands of lives that have been loss due to the Narco Government that has operated in Mexico for years. Yvonne is of Ecuadorian descent and after hearing her talk about Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa being a “communist,” made me come to a conclusion that her politics are pretty conservative given that Correa is not a communist but is a very Progressive President who has done more for Ecuador than all the right wingers did while they were in office.

If the Dodgers continue to ignore the fans demands to bring the AGON photo down, expect them to receive a huge backlash from the community. The community will want answers to their questions and the reputation of Adrian Gonzalez will be tarnished in our community. To avoid further damage it is in the best interest of the Dodgers organization to remove the picture and remove it immediately.

Below is the picture that has created this backlash and the pictures I took during my trip to Dodger Stadium to voice my concerns. This was the paper I handed over to her hoping she understand that Dodgers Fans stand on the side of Justice and in solidarity with the Ayotzinapa movement.

The November/December 2014 Community Connection is NOW AVAILABLE!

December 9, 2014

victorjara42:

Read about issues that you won’t get in the LA Times. Here you will find my article on The Homeless World Cup in Chile, Residents learning about the Participatory Budgeting, How the International Revolutionaries Day came about, Ayotzinapa and about the Homeless Bill of Rights. These articles and much more can be found in this latest edition of the Community Connection.

Originally posted on :

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Click HERE to read the November/December 2014 Community Connection.

Click HERE to download a high-resolution PDF version.

View original

Videos Del Concierto De Molotov En La Plaza Condesa

December 3, 2014

El 5 de Octubre del 2012, Molotov toco en la Plaza Condesa de la Ciudad de Mexico y tube la oportunidad de ir a este concierto chingon, ya que estaba en la cuidad cubriendo el Homeless World Cup que se llevo acabo en el Zocalo.

Hoy tocan en el Regent Theatre de Los Angeles y otra vez los voy a ir a verlos. Para revivir los momentos de la ultima vez que los vi, aqui les dejo estos videos que grabe. Disfrutenlos:

Todos Somos Ayotzinapa–Marcha en Solidaridad desde Los Angeles

November 30, 2014

Asi se vieron las marchas de solidaridad en el Paro Nacional, 20 de Noviembre, el dia de la Revolucion en Mexico.

Paul Boden Discusses Homelessness in America

November 30, 2014

My dear friend, Paul Boden, a longtime homeless advocate and a leader in the homeless rights movement was a guest on the Tavis Smiley show to discuss homelessness in America. Tavis did a great job at letting its viewers know about Paul’s new book. If you want a copy of the book please go to http://www.wraphome.org.
Here is Paul’s piece at the Tavis Smiley show.

Please feel free to share this video to whomever you think will benefit from it.
http://video.pbs.org/viralplayer/2365376438


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