The Great Los Angeles March Against Racism: An Indigenous Perspective

by Manuel A., Mexica Movement Monday, Mar. 27, 2006 at 9:50 PM

The largest march in Los Angeles history; Indigenous People protest racism against them and their rights. Estimates are between 500,000 and 2 million people.

The Great Los Angele...
lamarch.jpg, image/jpeg, 534x400

They came by car.

They came by bus, trains, planes, and simply by walking.

Young, old, and families alike...they came. And afterwards, the debate over "Mexican and Central American immigration" would never be the same again.

In a tremendous show of collective resistance, an estimated 2 million people (police downplay it to 500,000) marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles to protest HR 4437, the racist "Sensenbrenner Bill", which seeks to felonize and imprison Mexicans and Central Americans (Indigenous People) who are "without papers" on their own continent.

"This is our land, and we're not going!"

The march was the largest in Los Angeles history.

Not only did it fill the downtown streets to capacity, but it overflowed into the nearby freeway overpass area. Thousands waved signs and chanted slogans, as the oncoming traffic passed underneath them.

Attending the history-making protest march were workers' unions, individuals, families, political groups, and cultural groups (such as the Mexica Movement). Moving as one, they marched approximately a dozen blocks from Olympic and Broadway to City Hall, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. There were as many American flags as there were Mexican flags, and the crowds repeatedly chanted "Esta es nuestra tierra, y no nos vamos!" ("This is our land, and we're not going!")

Whose land? Whose labels?

Almost all media reporting on The Great March of Los Angeles chose to focus on economic-centric rhetoric and sound bites that reflected the Marchers as The Outsiders of this land. The media repeated slogans and shibboeleths like "America was built on immigration" and "Immigrants deserve repsect." However, a visual scan of the marchers clearly revealed that [i]Mexicans and Central Americans are not a people who came via Ellis Island[/i], nor through the The Port of San Francisco. These marchers looked very much like the "Indians" one sees in a history book on pre-European peoples of this continent.

And that's because they are.

The fact that Mexicans and Central Americans are not officially classified as Indigenous People by the United States government attests to the power of definitions. Those who hold the power to name and define can affirm what is true, or they can suppress truth and substitute it with horrendous lies (e.g. WMD's). In the current "immigration debate", what is lost in mainstream reporting is an obvious, "The Emperor-Has-No-Clothing" fact: Mexicans and Central Americans are truly Indigenous People (mixed bloods and full bloods), just as "Native Americans" are Indigenous People (again, mixed bloods and full bloods).

They look like "Indians."

The Great March of Los Angeles has been protrayed an an "immigrant" protest. The underlying assumption is that being White (European descent) and/or speaking in English (which curiously takes its namesake from a foreign land called England) means one is not an immigrant.

Mexicans and Central Americans have been defined from a top-down, White-led government which suggests that anyone who speaks in Spanish (or ever had relatives that spoke in Spanish) is automatically an "Hispanic" or a "Latino."

Curiously, the people termed "Native Americans" (a designation that did not exist until 1913) are never defined in this way, on the basis of language. Most of them speak English, yet they are never labeled as "Britannics" or "Anglos." This double standard of definitions shows an inconsistency in the logic of labels used on Indigenous People of Mexican and Central American descent.

What if 2 million "Native Americans" marched through downtown Los Angeles? Most people would, at first glance, assume them to be Mexicans and Central Americans. And even after it was made clear that they were "Native Americans" (with many mixed-bloods among them), the media would not label the event as "A Britanic March" or an "Anglo Rights Protest."

Mexicans, Central Americans, Native Americans, and Canadian First Nations are actually one people of shared blood, culture, and lengthy history. They also share the same recent history of occupation under European-descent people, with 95% of their populations killed and their lands carved up to satisfy people from Europe. It is a carving and occupation which the Sensenbrenner Bill seeks to reinforce through police-state powers and continued lies about "who these brown people really are."

Words of Mass Deception: Hispanic and Latino

Even a "third generation Mexican-American" is still labeled as an Hispanic or a Latino

Strangely, this is applied even if he or she speaks only English! The Word of Mass Deception (WMD) on the Great March of Los Angeles is the false labeling of the marchers as Outsiders and as "Hispanics" (Nowhere among the marchers was a flag of Spain.) And so the media deception surrounding this march is the notion that these people are "immigrants", that they are Outsiders.

This false labeling is tantamount to labeling "Native Americans" as "Britannic Immigrants" soley on the basis of the language they have been made to speak. The dangerous truth, however, is that the Los Angeles marchers didn't come through Ellis Island or some trans-oceanic continent: they are the Indigenous People of this continent.

And they seem to be waking up to that fact, from Chicago to D.C., from Milwaukee to Los Angeles:

Indigenous People are slowly waking up.

Original: The Great Los Angeles March Against Racism: An Indigenous Perspective