Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

October League (M-L)

Chicano Liberation

Resolution of OL’s Third Congress


The October League demands full democratic rights for the Chicano people including:

1. An end to fascist police attacks and repression in the Chicano community. The history of police terror aimed at the Chicano people is the history of the brutality of the Texas Rangers, of mass deportation raids, of special police units saturating the Chicano barrios, and of mass jailings of the Chicano people. In the 1800’s the rights of Mexican land owners were trampled by the private armies of Anglo land grabbers who were, in turn, protected by the U.S. government. More recent history records the thousands of police arrests and Teamster goon attacks on strikers and boycott workers fighting to build the United Farm Workers Union. In 1973, 12,000 were rounded up in mass raids by the Immigration Service, which dragged people from their homes, churches, and union halls.

We support the Chicano people who are rising up in ever greater numbers to protest such police violence in mass demonstrations such as the 1970 Chicano Moratorium in East L.A. against the war in Vietnam, which itself turned into a bloody police attack on the more than 20,000 demonstrators; and such as the demonstration against deportations during the INS sweeps in 1973 and 1974.

2. An end to deportations and the abuse of millions of undocumented workers who are forced by imperialist exploitation of their countries to look for work in the US. Deportation of the Mexican and Chicano people, and of other oppressed national minorities, has been used historically by the imperialists as a weapon to divide the working class struggle, placing the blame for the lack of jobs, low wages, etc. on Mexican workers. It is also used to intimidate undocumented workers and prevent them from seeking medical care, applying for financial assistance, demanding adequate housing maintenance from landlords, and from fighting back against oppression. We recognize the long history of militant struggle among immigrant workers and support their continued attempts to organize against repression and discrimination. Such actions as the recent drives to unionize undocumented workers in garment shops like High Tide Swimwear in L.A. are important and essential to building the unity of the working class against imperialism.

We support the right of those Mexican residents in the U.S. who desire U.S. citizenship to obtain citizenship; at the same time we stand for full democratic rights for all Mexican residents of the U.S. regardless of their citizenship status.

We also oppose the Rodino Bill which would only contribute more to the fascist round-ups. The O.L. condemns the actions of all sections of the labor bureaucracy who go along with these attacks upon the workers of other countries.

3. End forced sterilization of Chicana women. Sterilizations and corrective birth control programs are attempts by the bourgeoisie to place the blame for hunger, unemployment and inequality on “overpopulation.” These programs have been used against all poor people, and especially against Chicanas and other national minorities. In L.A. a committee working to stop forced sterilizations exposed that many of the women sterilized under county auspices were Chicanas and Mexicanas who were unaware what the “consent” forms they had signed meant, since the forms were in English and the women spoke only Spanish. On International Women’s Day, 1975, thousands of people demonstrated against these genocidal attacks on minority people.

4. Free quality health care for the Chicano people. Good health care is denied to the Chicano people because of their poverty and discrimination against them. Infant and maternal mortality among Chicano migrant workers is 125 percent higher than the national level. Chicano life expectancy in 1960 was 55.7 years as compared with 67.5 years for Anglo-Americans. In 1967 life expectancy was 49 years for Chicano migrant workers.

5. Full equality in housing for the Chicano people. Discrimination and poverty have confined the Chicano people to the urban “barrios” and rural “colonias” where dilapidated housing and over-crowded conditions are the norm. In East L.A., for example, 35 percent of the housing is substandard. On top of this, urban renewal is robbing the Chicano people of their long-established communities, replacing the homes of thousands with freeways and office buildings. Threatened destruction of their communities has sparked many movements among Chicano people against urban renewal, such as the armed battles between police and residents of Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles, who were evicted to make way for Dodger Stadium.

6. Full equality in education for the Chicano people. In addition to economic barriers, the Chicano people have faced cultural and language barriers in acquiring a decent education. This is evidenced by the high “push-out” rate from schools in Chicano communities, and sparked the East L.A. “blow-outs” in 1968, when Chicano students walked out of their high schools in protest against the bad conditions. The same conditions gave rise to the Chicano student movement and led to the formation of such organizations as MECHA and the United Mexican-American Students. Padres Unidos (Parents United) is another example of Chicano parents who are organizing to fight for equality in education for their children. The people have organized to demand complete bi-lingual education at all levels for Chicano students so that curriculum will be both understandable and relevant. Chicano students must also have the right to a state-funded college education and open admissions to schools of higher education and vocational training. We oppose the racist, class prejudiced “tracking system.”

7. The use of Spanish as a working language in all areas of social and economic life in the Southwest and other regions where Spanish-speaking concentrations are found. The denial of rights to the Chicano and other Spanish-speaking people historically has often taken the form of using only the English language in publicizing these rights, as well as in carrying on banking, commerce and education, and in mass media.

8. End suppression of the Chicano culture. A movement to reassert pride in their Mexican heritage arose among Chicano people in the 1960’s. Along with the multitude of political organizations – La Raza Unida Party, UMAS, MECHA, MAPA, the Brown Berets, the Crusade for Justice, the Alianza and many others – came a rejection of imperialist culture. Chicanos are fighting to wipe out cultural stereotypes and restore their respected identity as Chicanos.

9. Full union rights for the Chicano people and workers of the Southwest. The use of Chicano and Mexicano workers as a reserve army of labor and the denial of union rights has been a bulwark of imperialist exploitation of the whole working class in the Southwest. The low number of Chicano workers, especially women, who are unionized, and the large number of unorganized sweatshops in the Southwest demonstrate this. The vanguard struggles of the Farah, UFW, and Sloane workers for union rights show clearly the link between the movement for democratic rights of the Chicano people and the general working class movement. They are struggles which push forward the rights and living standards of all workers.

We must expose the labor bureaucrats whose chauvinism and class collaborationist policies have led them to abandon organizing these workers. Full union rights for Chicano and Mexicano workers must include the printing of contracts in Spanish.

10. End run-away shops. The imperialist corporations held down the wages of all workers by crossing the border to exploit the Mexican and other Third World workers and by keeping the colonies and neo-colonies economically underdeveloped and dependent on the imperialist country. In 1956, the average monthly wage in Mexico for all classes of employment was $40, with unemployment an average of 28 percent. Each year, U.S. firms take about a quarter of a billion dollars profits from Mexico.

We support the efforts of the Mexican people to nationalize U.S. holdings and to control the resources and defend the rights of their own people and country.

11. Jobs or income and equality in hiring and promotion for Chicano workers. Job discrimination has kept Chicano workers in the lowest paying, most unskilled jobs in agriculture and small sweat shops and put them among the last hired and first fired. Average wage for Mexican agricultural workers in 1964 was $935 per year.

Among the hardest hit, Chicano workers are enthusiastically taking up the fight for jobs or income in the current economic crisis. Wherever applicable, support must be given to affirmative action hiring programs and to compensative superseniority in order to break down past patterns of discrimination and achieve real equality in the work place. These special demands must be consistently linked to the fight of the whole working class for unity against the imperialists.

12. Jobs and job training programs for Chicano youth. The lack of jobs and job training has led to the extremely high unemployment rate (40-50 percent ) for young Chicanos and to the flourishing of lumpen-type gang organizations. This situation has given rise to organizations like “La Colectiva” a barrio youth organization in Los Angeles aimed at getting the gang members to fight against imperialism instead of each other. Special youth organizations and youth-oriented programs and propaganda must be developed.

13. The removal of (government-backed) drug pushers in the Chicano community. The link between the government and the drug pushers is indisputable. The CIA’s involvement in the drug traffic in Vietnam has been exposed. The bourgeoisie promotes the use of drugs in the Chicano and other minority communities in an attempt to keep the people passive and to undermine their striving for revolution. Chicanos like Los Tres del Barrio have fought to get the drug pushers out of their communities and are now facing repression from the police.

14. Free childcare for Chicana working women. The lack of good child care programs has kept the majority of Chicanas tied to the home where they contribute their unpaid labor to society and where they are kept politically uninvolved. However, despite obstacles, economic necessity and the influence of the national movement has brought Chicanas into the factories and into politics. Such organizations as the Concilio de Mujeres are working to demand childcare and other means to develop the role of women in society.

15. Adequate financial assistance to Chicano and Mexican families. National oppression forced 28.9 percent of Spanish surnamed families below the poverty line in 1972. This is measured against less than 12.5 percent of the total population. In 1969,29,040 Mexican families lived on less than $1,000. On top of this, welfare recipients and especially immigrants are being attacked as the “cause of high taxes.” Chicano Welfare Rights and other organizations have taken up the demand of the Chicano people for the right to decent food, clothing, housing and for the right to respect when receiving aid.

16. The guarantee of the right of the people to organize against exploitation and oppression and freedom for all Chicano political prisoners. Attempts by the state to infiltrate and smash the Chicano movement have been directed at such organizations as the UFW, the Brown Berets, Raza Unida Party, Crusade for Justice and others. Militant fighters and leaders of the Chicano people have been harassed by arrests and jailings. Among them are Ricardo Chavez Ortiz, Los Tres del Barrio, Juan Corona, and Eddie Sanchez and Alberto Miramon of the Leavenworth Brothers. We must free these comrades and jail the real criminals.

Our task is to mobilize the US working people of all nationalities to raise these demands and fight hard for them. Only in this way will we successfully combine the strength of the Chicano national movement with the strength of the US working class movement to defeat their common enemy–the US imperialists.