Chicano Park Autodefensa: ¡Victoria!

by JUNCO CANCHÉ on February 5, 2018 in Cultura, El Now, Las Fotos

They came, on Saturday, they saw, and they were escorted out, as the home team chanted “fuera”… Once again.

Attempting to re- ignite the alt-right revolution with greasy pizza, local hater Roger Ogden and the Border Town Patriots, Inc. (sic) came down to San Diego’s Chicano Park to host “Patriot Picnic 2.0” promising to bring in a large number of supporters — all 25 of them — to stand up against the hundreds from the Chicano Park Autodefensa.

Unlike their response during the first confrontation last October, San Diego Police Department closed Logan Avenue and placed barricades, insuring that both “Patriots” and Autodefensa members remained separate (keeping the “Patriots” enclosed for a few hours until once again escorted out by SDPD).

Ogden gathered support for his luncheon under the pretense of standing up for free speech. But leaked emails before the first picnic revealed the purpose of Ogden’s event, calling the Chicano Park murals “racist”, “un-American”, and demanding their removal from the park.

While free speech is an unalienable right in this country, attempting tp erase the art and the voice of a community is rewriting history, and benefits the Euro-American perspective.

As an artist and a scholar, I see the walls of Chicano Park as not simply paintings: they are recorded history, no different than the murals and stelae created by my Maya ancestors.

Our voices resonate through the park, perpetuating our history from pre-Columbian times to the present day. All voices are welcome, but threats to damage the park will be dealt with.

To defend Chicano Park is to protect the voices of our people.

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