Art and life seamlessly merged a few weeks ago at Border X Brewery in Barrio Logan. It was the site of a launch party for Emmy award winning filmmaker Paul Espinosa’s latest project, a full length documentary about San Diego activist and musician Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. It was a career milestone for both Espinosa, who is probably best known in San Diego for his critically acclaimed production of The Lemon Grove Incident and Chunky whose music has been a voice for social justice for over thirty years. [Read more…]
“Our backyard has historically been neglected. People can call BASTA! NIMBY as much as they want but our backyard is full. Start storing stuff in yours.”
Interview by Jeffrey Siniard / Bolts From The Blue
Bolts From The Blue blogger Jeffrey Siniard reached out to interview SDFP columnist/editor Brent Beltrán to discuss why Barrios Against Stadiums, which he is a part of, opposes a stadium in the East Village. We reprint the interview here in it’s entirety with photos added from a protest against the Chargers stadium held on July 15 in Barrio Logan. [Read more…]
Community Fundraiser Set for August 13 at Bread & Salt
The Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center is coming to Barrio Logan next door to Chicano Park. The City and museum have yet to sign a lease over the property that for years held the Cesar Chavez Continuing Education Center. But it will happen.
Activists involved with the Chicano Park Steering Committee created the nonprofit Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center. Board members include…
Chicano Park co-founder and lifelong CPSC member Josie Talamantez, who wrote the proposal to place Chicano Park’s Monumental Murals on the National Registry of Historic Sites and recently presented in Washington, DC before the National Landmark review committee (her proposal passed unanimously), is leading the charge to make the museum happen. [Read more…]
By David Harris / San Diego 350
What do you get when you bring together 120 environmental activists and residents from environmental justice communities in a room with a dozen state regulators? If you’re lucky, dozens of ideas for incentivizing renewable energy, improving public transit, and protecting neighborhoods from toxic industrial fumes.
This is exactly what happened on July 14th when the California Air Resources Board (CARB) sponsored a workshop on climate change at the beautiful new Cesar Chavez campus in Barrio Logan. Local residents, whose voices are rarely heard by policy makers in Sacramento, came out in force to speak out about air pollution from local industry, the need for better transit options, and the impacts of climate change on communities already impacted by poor air quality.
The Mexican Repatriation and hard times
“Build a wall” and “Send them all back” have become the mantra of the Trump campaign and Republican party. This is not the first time in our history that racism and xenophobia have threatened our democracy and the lives of our citizenry.
Between 1929 and 1944, over two million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of these individuals, 1.1 million, were American citizens. This encore presentation of Maria Garcia’s article provides insight into how this policy affected the lives of people living in San Diego at the time.
As William Faulkner observed “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” [Read more…]
On July 5th activists and community leaders will begin a hunger strike to protest the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)
By Mark Bartlett
Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike on July 5th at 6pm next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.
Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County. Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools and businesses. CCA is looking to capitalize through alternative services in order to boost their revenue by purchasing reentry/detention centers across the country. [Read more…]
Community is urged to report incidents of police abuse, mistreatment, and arrests during Trump protests
By Alliance San Diego
For many years, San Diego community leaders have engaged with city leaders and law-enforcement officials to dialogue about public actions involving protected First Amendment speech. This had been done in order to ensure that the right to peacefully assemble occurs without the encumbrance of disproportionate and unnecessary force. But on Friday May 27, that right was undermined by law enforcement and city leaders, which turned Barrio Logan into a militarized zone, threatening residents and scaring families.
Press conference scheduled today, May 31 at 11:00 am in Barrio Logan. Details inside. [Read more…]
By Unión del Barrio
San Diego’s Chicano Park was the gathering point for at least 800 people who participated in a politically militant and well organized action to unwelcome the anti-Arab, anti-Black, anti-Mexican, anti-Woman, power-hungry, neo-fascist oligarch Donald Trump. The event took place on Friday May 27, 2016, and represented dozens of organizations, cultural groups, MEChAs, local businesses, artists, barrio youth, families, elderly people, activists, and allies from diverse communities.
Participants repeated slogans like ¡Trump Fascista – Tu Eres Terrorista! and ¡Luchar, Luchar – Luchar Contra Trump! throughout the event, which began with a short rally in the park and moved on to become a march down Cesar Chavez Parkway and Harbor Drive, right up to the main entrance of the San Diego Convention Center. Unión del Barrio member Maria Rodriguez remarked “The best moment of the day was when the Chicano Park marchers appeared on the bridge to join forces with the hundreds of other anti-Trump protesters already at the Convention Center!” [Read more…]
By Brett Warnke
With their motorcycles stacked like dominoes beneath the shade of the bright art in Chicano Park, SDPD grimly lined the streets in absurd riot gear in an enormous overreaction to a brief, spirited and peaceful march held on Friday May 26.
Unión del Barrio planned the protest—“Donald Trump: Fuera de San Diego”—which drew over a 1,000 marchers who rallied in the park and walked to the city’s Convention Center. Five or six other groups planned similar rallies. In the merry crush, there were loud and sometimes obscene chants in Spanish and English as bullhorns, posters, and groups vied for a break in the din. [Read more…]
Recognized for writing the people’s history
Five San Diego County women were inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame on Sunday March 6 at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center. Maria Garcia, Evonne Seron Schulze, Sally Wong Avery, Elizabeth Lou and Christine Kehoe were recognized for their lifetime work and achievements and hailed as role models.
Each of these dynamic women has left an indelible mark on our civic life, making it more inclusive and vibrant. Each of these dynamic women also exemplifies a unique voice and story. For Maria Garcia, her story is history—she was inducted into the Hall of Fame as Historian. [Read more…]
On February 19, 2016, I drove to San Bernardino to attend what turned out to be a very special project and event. This past summer I attended an advisory board meeting of the Mexican-American Baseball Project, Cal State San Bernardino. As I arrived at the John M. Pfau Library, I took a few minutes to rehash my last visit to the building.
At that time, we were talking about the possibility of San Diego having a baseball book like many other cities. I returned this time as a member of that advisory board.
I had recently completed a chapter for San Diego in a book that will be published later this year. [Read more…]
Norma and Roger Cazares together and individually have helped change San Diego. They usually share the same political views although there have been a few exceptions. Norma supported Hillary, Roger supported Obama. Once again they are split with Norma once again supporting Hillary and Roger supporting Bernie.
Roger says that he is totally amused with the Republican party. They’re destroying the Republican party similarly to what Pete Wilson did in California. He is concerned that we will not have a two party system. Roger believes this is dangerous. Both agree there needs to be a two party system in order to hold each other accountable. Roger says both Trump and Cruz have helped bring the closet racist out of the closet. [Read more…]
The struggle for Spanish speaking social workers, bilingual pay and mental health services
In the late 1960s a small but active group of people formed an organization known as Trabajadores de la Raza (TR). It started with social workers but soon included probation officers and community members. Various members of Trabajadores took the lead on issues and worked together to accomplish their goals. Trabajadores were on the front line whenever there was an important issue for the Spanish speaking community in the areas of mental health or social welfare.
The organization’s most important accomplishments in my opinion were revealing the lack of Spanish speaking social workers serving the Spanish speaking community and securing compensation for Spanish speaking social workers using their bilingual skills. [Read more…]
As we sat down to do our interview, Jesse Ramirez opened the conversation saying “I am a product of the Great Depression. We had to put food on the table so we did everything we could to make money”. He had many stories and memories of various events in the period between the 1930s and 1940s.
Jesse was born on April 22, 1926, in Houston, Texas and raised there. During the Depression he and his brother did various things to “put food on the table”. They sold newspapers and shined shoes to earn a few pennies. He sold the Houston Chronicle for three cents. He says the big thrill would be if someone gave you a nickel for the three cent newspaper and told you to keep the change. On Saturday nights they would stay up late preparing the Sunday paper for delivery. [Read more…]
I guess I have to start out by saying Senator Bernie Sanders is the democratic candidate whose positions align most closely with my own. I will, given the opportunity, cast my vote for him in the California primary.
Having put that disclaimer up first, I’ll go on to say that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won (by not losing) in Saturday’s Democratic Debate. Yes, I know that Sanders won every straw poll out there. I also know that Ron Paul won a lot of straw polls in 2012.
Straw polls don’t replace actual canvassing, social media interest is an unreliable predictor for election results, and the photos of overwhelmingly white male attendees at Sanders watch parties are a big warning flag about vital segments of the electorate that are not engaged with the campaign. [Read more…]
Ribbon cutting ceremony to be held November 5
By Brent E. Beltrán
It took almost three years to complete but Chicano Park finally received the recreational improvements that I wrote were coming back in January of 2014. New improvements to this local treasure and nationally registered historic site include a skate lane, exercise stations, an added handball court, new children’s playgrounds, a drought friendly water fountain, and other editions.
On Thursday, November 5 at 3pm there will be a ribbon cutting ceremony featuring local dignitaries such as Councilman David Alvarez, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Urban Corps of San Diego CEO Robert Chavez, Tommie Camarillo from the Chicano Park Steering Committee as well as many others who were instrumental in making Chicano Park what it is and the improvements possible. [Read more…]
By Brent E. Beltrán
Candles. Photos. Marigolds and other flowers. Some favorite foods. Maybe a beer or shot of tequila. We all remember differently our loved ones who have passed.
Some remember with regret, others with joy, sadness, longing. But we remember.
Death is but a natural part of life. We carry our dead with us in our hearts and some are hoisted upon the bony blades of their forbearers. But we remember. [Read more…]
By Will Falk
I was recently invited to an event at Chicano Park billed as “Live Art For a Sustainable Future.” The promotional poster featured a beautiful image of an indigenous woman with the phrase, “All my relations against climate colonialism.” The event will feature San Diego’s best artists gathering in one of San Diego’s most beautiful spaces to encourage action against climate change on Friday, October 9 from 4-7pm in Chicano Park.
I have seen the term “climate colonialism” being used more and more often and I think it reflects the proper analysis. As one of the San Diego Free Press’ resident radicals and after spending two years on the road fighting the forces producing climate change, I want to express my thanks to the poster designer who used the term “climate colonialism.”
It’s good to see the term being used because it stems from a radical understanding of the connectedness of environmental and political issues. [Read more…]
By Anna Daniels
San Diego Free Press writer Maria Garcia hosted a very special thank you luncheon for the men and women whom she has interviewed for her award winning series “The History of Neighborhood House in Logan Heights.” The event, attended by over sixty people, was held on August 9 in the community room of the Logan Heights Library.
These men and women, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s, shared personal details of their lives and old photographs during their interviews that enabled Maria to weave together a unique social history of Logan Heights with Neighborhood House as the focus. That history spans from World War I to the early 1970s, with the take over of Chicano Park and the occupation of Neighborhood House.
By Anna Daniels
The San Diego Free Press celebrated its third birthday on August 8 with a Galastravaganzaversary party at Border X Brewing. Wow–three years! It has been an astoundingly active year for this unique all volunteer operated San Diego media presence. Contributors and editors have provided another year of progressive views with a distinctly grassroots perspective on the topics of labor, the environment, immigration, criminal justice, politics and government.
Our approach–multi-media and multi-genre– reflects the talents and interests of our contributors. Video essays, personal narratives, cartoons and poetry are essential to the way that we present the people’s history. We take risks in terms of both the content provided and the format. The creative juices continue to flow; the vision of where we are headed is becoming more clearly delineated. Time for craft beer and a slice of galastravaganza cake! [Read more…]
Editor’s note: Welcome to our newest column, Progressive San Diego! We received an email from Dave, a reader in Liverpool, UK, who’s visiting San Diego later this year. He had one simple question: What are some progressive places to visit?
That got us thinking. There’s nothing really available online that’s broad and comprehensive with regard to San Diego’s progressive history and locales — a directory of sorts. We want to change that.
And so twice a month we will feature a person, place or thing that has done something to contribute to our important cause and culture. Given our time and resource restraints, each feature will be short and sweet, or pulled from other sites with permission. Please feel free to add information in the comments. We would love this to be organic and ever evolving.
This installment: Chicano Park in Barrio Logan [Read more…]
Artesano: The Political Cartoons of Junco Canché to be held Saturday in Barrio Logan
By Brent E. Beltrán
San Diego Free Press is always looking for contributors. Especially voices from outside the mainstream dominant culture. Some contribute one or two pieces. While others stick around for longer.
One such contributor brought fully into the Freep fold is Joaquin Junco, Jr. aka Junco Canché. Since May 19, 2014 he has contributed sixty editorial cartoons under the Junco’s Jabs moniker. His toons have taken jabs at a variety of local, national and international politicians, celebrities and evil-doers.
For the first time in his young life Junco will have a solo exhibition of his work. The exhibition takes place this Saturday, July 25 at Border X Brewing in Barrio Logan. [Read more…]
An interview with panel moderator and comic book writer/publisher Regine Sawyer
By Brent E. Beltrán
Comic-Con is here and, as usual, Barrio Logan has been left out of the official fun stuff. But we don’t fret around here. We do things for ourselves, like Chicano-Con and MARVEL vs DC.
But there is also something else taking place in San Diego’s favorite barrio. On Sunday, July 12 from 12:30pm to 1:45pm there will be a panel discussion at the Logan Heights Library called Women of Color in Comics: Race, Gender & The Comic Book Medium.
The panel is free to all and will be moderated by Lockett Down Productions Publications owner Regine Sawyer. There will also be some free giveaways to audience members from the panelists as well as free superhero comics for kids and parents donated by an anonymous friend of mine. [Read more…]
…and the birth of the Chicano Free Clinic
The occupation of Neighborhood House that began when barrio activist Laura Rodriguez chained herself to the doors on October 4, 1970 occurred a mere six months after the takeover of Chicano Park in April 1970. Both actions involved many of the same people and both actions demanded community control over decisions that affected the lives of residents.
With the takeover of Chicano Park in April 1970, the barrio had said “¡Basta!” to land use decisions that displaced thousands of residents as a result of military use of the bay during World War II followed by the growth of the shipbuilding industry; then by the construction of freeways and the Coronado Bridge; and zoning changes that permitted yonkes (junkyards) to exist side by side with long time residences.
The occupation of Neighborhood House was a demand for community control over this beloved institution that had been in existence for 58 years at that time. Its progressive era service philosophy had been displaced by Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. [Read more…]