On April 22, 1970 a rag tag group of artists, activists, and community members joined forces and took over the land underneath the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in Barrio Logan. At the time, construction was about to begin on the building of a California Highway Patrol substation. For many years, residents of Barrio Logan had been promised a park. Seeing the pending creation of a CHP substation was the straw that broke this barrio’s back.
City College student Mario Solis, the Paul Revere of Chicano Park, discovered bulldozers on the site and immediately began to spread the word. He burst into the Chicano Studies class of professor Gil Robledo and let all present know what was going down under the bridge. At noon, Chicano high school students from San Diego High and other area schools walked out and marched to the construction site.
Protesters formed human chains around the bulldozers. Many demonstrators planted trees, flowers and cactus. The community wanted their park. As the crowd swelled to over 250 people, construction on the site was called off. The community took action and occupied Chicano Park for a total of twelve days. With many protesters coming from outside of San Diego after hearing the news of the occupation. [Read more…]