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50 Years Later: The Political And Social Impacts Of the 1970 Chicano Moratorium Protests

Chicano Moratorium Committee anti-war demonstrators gather in East L.A.
Chicano Moratorium Committee anti-war demonstrators gather in East L.A.
L.A. Times/UCLA Library Digital Collections/Creative Commons License

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Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of large anti-war demonstrations in East Los Angeles that were organized by the Chicano Moratorium Committee. The events led to violence between protesters and law enforcement and the death of a local journalist.

Mexican Americans expressed frustration over the toll of the Vietnam War on working class Latinos, disparities in education and police brutality. According to KCET, nationwide protests against the war spanned across about a dozen cities. Around 30,000 demonstrators turned out in Los Angeles for the march on Whittier Boulevard, which turned into riots, hundreds injured and several stores set ablaze. Today on AirTalk, we discuss the historical event and it’s long lasting political and social impacts. We also want to hear from listeners who either were there or have family members who participated. Join the conversation and share your memories and experiences by calling 866-893-5722.


Rosalio Munoz, Chicano activist and chair emeritus of the 50th Chicano Moratorium Organizing Committee; he was one of the lead organizers of the August 29, 1970 march in East Los Angeles where more than 30,000 Mexican-Americans protested the war in Vietnam

Lorena Oropeza, professor of history at the University of California, Davis where her research focuses on Mexican-American and Chicanx history and 1960 social protest; she is the author of several books, including “¡Raza Sí! ¡Guerra No!: Chicano Protest and Patriotism During the Vietnam War Era” (University of California Press, 2005)

Fernando Guerra, professor of political science and Chicano/Latino studies and director of the Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University; he is also an emeritus member of the KPCC Board of Trustees