Monday, July 17th 2006
No Somos El U.S. Army
Raza Students continue to say “No Somos El U.S. Army”
By Jose Lara
Los Angeles, CA—Over 40 students gathered at a south central LA high school to hear anti-war activist, Carlos Arredondo, speak about his son’s death in Iraq. Mr. Aderedao, a Costa Rican immigrant, is on a national tour speaking to students about the realities of U.S. military Service.
While showing a blown up picture of his son lying peacefully in a coffin, he told his story of being so outraged by his son’s death, that he did the unthinkable. He jumped inside the military van driven by the soldiers who came to his door to announce his son’s death, dosed it with gasoline, and stayed inside the van while he set it on fire. He suffered burns over 50% of his body.
“I did not want my son to join the military to begin with,” Mr. Arredondo stated, “But the truth is that we should have never gone to Iraq and now my son is dead because of it.”
Events like these are all part of the continuing efforts of the Coordinadora Estudiantil of La Raza’s (CER) No Somos El Army Campaign. This campaign has been gaining momentum as more and more Raza students are thinking twice about joining the army.
As Vicente Jimenez, of the CER and student group Somos Raza LA stated, “This war is different from a Raza perspective. We are the ones being targeted by Anti-Raza policies and laws, but yet the U.S. wants us to fight in this war and on the (U.S. – Mexico) Border. It’s not right and we should fight for Gringo power when that same power is used against us.”
The CER was formed by student leaders of the 2006 high school walkouts and has participated and/or led in the Raza Student March, the May 1st Boycott, the quitting of JROTC programs, and various other protest against the militarization of the border and the War in Iraq.
After the event, the students understood, the military is no place for Raza. The CER will continue its No Somos el U.S. Army Campaign and continue to expose the contradiction of Raza being sent to Iraq and the border, while being attacked here at home.
For more information on Carlos Arredondo, the CER or the No Somos El Army Campaign, please visit www.delaraza.org