First Published: The Call, Vol. 3, No. 8, May 1975.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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East Los Angeles – The second fascist bombing in less than ten weeks rocked the Unidos Bookstore on April 13, with credit claimed by a group calling itself the “Anti-Castro Committee.” Estimated damages to the store have run as high as $2,000, and money is urgently needed for the repairs.
Located in the heart of the Los Angeles Chicano community, Unidos was started by the October League over a year ago. Since that time, it has been an organizing center for community activities, including support for the United Farm Workers, Puerto Rican Independence, and International Women’s Day. The store is the only bilingual store in Los Angeles selling books on Chicano and Latino history, as well as newspapers, pamphlets and books from the revolutionary movement in the U.S. and China, Albania, and other socialist countries.
Protesting the bombing, 75 supporters of the store rallied at the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s station on April 18, to demand that the bombers be arrested. The demonstrators exposed the ties between the fascist cowards who throw bombs in the dead of night and the “law enforcement” agents who provide these right-wing terrorists with a call to arms.
A number of facts were brought to light by speakers at the rally which indicated direct complicity between the police agencies and the bombers. For example, although the bombing on the night of April 13 was heard in a two-block radius of the store, and the Associated Press received a message claiming credit for it, the Sheriffs Dept. reported that it “couldn’t find anything,” and decided that it was a false alarm. On top of this, the police officials claim to have “lost” the report of the first bombing, “lost” the reports on the death threats that were phoned in, and are “unable to proceed” in locating the man who was described in full detail on the occasion of the first bombing.
Speaking for Unidos, store manager Yolanda Shirazi told the support demonstration, “We are not fooled by who we are dealing with. We know that these fascists – whether they be gusanos or nazis – are being covered for, possibly paid and directed by the Sheriff, the L.A. Police Department, the FBI, and the CIA. This is all the more reason for our determination to rebuild the store, and develop broader support for it in the community than ever before. We must show that our community cannot be intimidated!”
Speaking in behalf of the October League, Barbara Ortiz added that L.A, Police Chief Davis’ talk of “food riots” in Black and Chicano communities is nothing but a call to every right-winger to take up arms against the people, their organizations, and the bookstores. She added that all the talk of a “communist bloodbath” in Indochina by Ford and Kissinger is designed to create an anti-communist hysteria here in the U.S. just at the time when communists are beginning to take active leadership of the fight-back against the economic crisis.
Other speakers at the rally included representatives of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, the National Lawyers’ Guild, Los Angeles Labor Unity Organization, and the August 29th Movement, from whom a written message of solidarity was read. All the speakers pointed out the fact that the fascist violence against Unidos was part of a larger fascist threat, and must be opposed by militant mass action every time such incidents occur.
A petition drive demanding that the bombers be brought to justice has received the backing of over 90% of the people in the blocks near the store.
Contributions are urgently needed! Please send them to Unidos, 918 S. McBride Ave., East Los Angeles, California, 90022.