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Hundreds of Chicanos honor heritage and remember the Zoot Suit Riots at Boyle Heights Cruise

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Los Angeles event commemorates Chicano resistance during Zoot Suit Riots. | Staff/Fight Back! News

Los Angeles, CA – On June 2, Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights was alive with vibrant culture and history as hundreds of Chicanos gathered for the Zoot Suit Cruise, an event commemorating the infamous Zoot Suit Riots of June 1943. Over 100 classic cars, affectionately known as “Bombas,” lined the streets, their glossy, bright paint jobs reflecting the pride and resilience of the Chicano community.

Chicanos, dressed in their finest zoot suits, danced the night away to the energetic rhythms of Pachuco Jose Y Los Diamantés, a band known for their Chicano rock. The atmosphere was electric with celebration, yet charged with a somber remembrance of the violent history that necessitates such gatherings.

The Zoot Suit Riots were a dark chapter in Los Angeles’ history, marked by a week-long series of brutal attacks. On June 3,1943, mobs of U.S. servicemen, off-duty police officers and civilians targeted young Chicanos and other oppressed nationality youth. These violent assaults, which eyewitnesses described as mass lynchings, were sparked by racial tensions, targeting those wearing the distinctive zoot suit popular among many young Chicanos.

For a week, U.S. Navy sailors, police officers and other white men roamed the barrios, attacking indiscriminately based on clothing and skin color. Chicana women were beaten and some raped by servicemen, while Chicano men faced beatings and imprisonment. The violence, which spread from downtown Los Angeles to East Los Angeles and Watts, was only quelled when military personnel were confined to their barracks. By then, the attacks had wrongfully imprisoned many and left an indelible scar on the community.

Decades later, the City of Los Angeles issued a formal apology, acknowledging the horrific events and the city’s role in them. However, the apology was seen by many as half-hearted. For Chato Ranflas, one of the cruise’s organizers, events like the Zoot Suit Cruise are crucial for cultural remembrance and community strength. “It’s very important to have these types of cultural Chicano events in the neighborhood. Aquí estamos y no nos vamos,” Ranflas declared, emphasizing the enduring presence and resilience of the Chicano community.

Centro CSO members were present at the event, enjoying the festivities and documenting the community’s vibrant celebration of culture and history. The Zoot Suit Cruise stands as a testament to the strength and unity of the Chicano community, a poignant reminder of their enduring spirit.

#LosAngelesCA #OppressedNationalities #ChicanoLatino #Zoot #CentroCSO


Source: https://fightbacknews.org/hundreds-of-chicanos-honor-heritage-and-remember-the-zoot-suit-riots-at-boyle?pk_campaign=rss-feed


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