We received this press release:
Aggression at 5 de mayo parade in Houston.
Today, at the 5de mayo parade in Houston, one of the organizers from
LULAC used the police force to remove the contingent of LATINOS POR LA
PAZ from the parade.
LATINOS POR LA PAZ was invited to march with THE HISPANIC COALITION FOR
JUSTICE AND DIGNITY in the Cinco de Mayo parade. Both organizations
agreed that at the parade they were going to raise their issues of
defense of the Hispanic dignity that has been attacked for racist
remarks of a Board trustee of the Houston Independent School District
and demand respect for the sovereignty and self determination of the
Iraqi People. After all, the entire Cinco de Mayo represents the victory
of the Mexican people over the French imperialism in the 19 century.
After 3 blocks of marching and being cheer by the crowd one of the
organizers from LULAC instructed the POLICE to pull the decorated pick
up that carried the identification of the Hispanic Coalition for Justice
and Dignity and that was in between of the 2 organizations LPLP and
HCJD. The argument used by the person from LULAC for such act was that
"they decided that at the parade none was going to be allowed to PROTEST
that the parade was only to celebrate the 5 de mayo and that none was
allowed to use it to do politics". The police treated the members from
LPLP that either we comply with the demand or that "they were going to
throw us in jail" "That we had to pull our posters away and if we wanted
to remain at the parade it was going to be at the side walks."
At the parade and marching behind us was the Republican Candidate that
is initiating his campaign to run for mayor of Houston Orlando Sanchez
and behind him another 4 or 5 candidates that are running for different
positions at the city council and the HISD Board of trustees. Most of
these candidates are well known for being Republicans; several of them
were using signs claiming their support to President Bush and the
Troops. NONE OF THESE CANDIDATES WERE PULL OUT OF THE PARADE FOR USING
THE EVENT TO DO THEIR POLITICS.
The only people that were allowed to continue in the parade were the 5
guys that were carrying the banner from Hispanic Coalition for Justice
and Dignity and the flags from Mexico and the USA. The rest were
following the march at the sidewalks and doing instants rallies
denouncing what just had happen to the LPLP Contingent. The People at
the sidewalks were upset for what LULAC did and cheer at the in pronto
speakers from LPLP.
THIS SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT. When an organization that claims to be
supportive of the minorities rights puts a gag on the right of speech of
grass roots organization as Latinos Por La PAZ and the Hispanic
Coalition for Justice and Dignity, letting only to the rich politicians
the right to do politics, IT IS TIME TO PUT A STOP.
PLEASE WRITE A LETTER DENOUNCING THE USE OF THIS DOBLE-STANDARD ON
FREEDOM OF SPEACH.
ASK YOUR ORGANIZATION TO DEMAND LULAC AN EXPLANATION OF WHY THE
AGREESION AGAINST LPLP.
WHY THEY USED THE POLICE FORCE TO SILENCE THE CLAIM FOR RSPECT TO THE
DIGNITY OF THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY.
WRITE YOUR LETTER TO:
LULAC DISTRICT #8
HOUSTON TX 77022
PHONE # 713-695-5980
And also to the LULAC office district of your particular location.
Latinos Por La Paz is a Hispanic grass root organization that emerged to
stand against the war on Iraq. You can visit its web site at:
Houston Coalition for Justice and Dignity is a grass roots organization
that emerged to demand actions against racism with in the School
District and in the community. LULAC participates in this coalition.
Thank you for the solidarity that you can give to LPLP.