Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

150 protesters march in Santa Ana as “a celebration of independence from colonialism”

 

Written by Christian Rangel

Photos by Logan Martinez

SANTA ANA— Around 150 people gathered in a parking lot near the corner of Bristol Street and McFadden Avenue early on Saturday afternoon, September 12, for a rally and unity march organized by community activist Ivette Boyzo. This event brought together more than multiple organizations, including Black OC, the Brown Berets, Hijxs de Tonatiuh*, and the Revolution Club.

Present at the demonstration were dozens of Chinelos, traditional indigenous dancers with elaborate, colorful costumes which originate in the Mexican state of Morelos. The Chinelos, as well as Aztec dancers at the head of the procession, danced the length of the more than two-mile march from the parking lot of the Bristol Swap Mall to Centennial Regional Park.

“We are here to demand the respect of human life.”, Boyzo addressed the crowd. “We are here to reclaim our history and celebrate our existence.”

Part cultural celebration and part Black Lives Matter protest in the vein of the hundreds of similar actions which have taken place in the course of this summer, the national flags of Mexico, Guatemala, and Palestine rose over the heads of demonstrators as they took to the streets, while chants rang out of “Black lives matter, brown lives matter”. Chants also honored those killed by law enforcement and vigilantes, like George Floyd, whose death in May sparked months of nationwide protest and civil unrest, and Dijon Kizzee, who was killed by Los Angeles County Sheriffs on August 31.

Michelle Usher, an organizer with Black OC, characterized the event as “a celebration of independence from colonialism.”, Usher added, “I happen to be from Central America. So I’m out here representing my roots, my ancestors, and the place I was born.”

“Hopefully it’ll end up bringing everybody closer…” , protester Abigail Gonzalez expressed hope that the unity march would raise political consciousness. “We have to realize that we really only have one enemy…the way that this government has treated the world.”

Michelle Xai, an organizer with the Revolution Club Los Angeles addressed demonstrators at the closing rally at Centennial Park, directing anger against President Trump and his administration. “We recognize that this pig that’s in the White House right now is a genocidal racist.” She said, “We’re out here today, together with different people from different perspectives coming together because we recognize the importance of being in the streets and uniting with people, and we got to take it all the way to get Trump and Pence out of office before the election.”

Keegan Cooper, a High School student at San Juan Hills, came to the protest in part to help raise money for migrant farmworkers. “I wanted to come out here to support all the community as someone who is white…”, she said, “because I don’t know what they’re going through their whole lives, and I want to understand as best that I can.”

 

*This story has been corrected to reflect which groups were present at the march

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