Cinco De Mayo or May 5, 2011 marked the 20th anniversary of the uprising in Mt Pleasant.The battle began when a cop shot an unarmed Salvadoran man for drinking in public-after first putting him in handcuffs!
I was there, 20 years ago, as police cars retreated in reverse from beneath volleys of descending rocks and we all had to mask up because of the tear gas. This was the last time I can remember gas instead of pepper spray being used in DC.
A "Church's Fried Chicken" joint starred in the riots-it was burned to the ground. In the following weeks, immigration thugs descended on DC's Latino community, but out of the fighting was born a new political consciousness among DC'a Latino community.
Twenty years later, the rememberance of the uprising began at another fast food joint. This time, instead of Church's Fried Chicken, it was Chipotle. The Chipotle outet on 14th st,, as you may recall, fired every single worker for a complete crew replacement and has refused severance pay to everyone they kicked to the curb. They have chosen to act as if they never met the people they fired.
Well, the people Chiople wants to forget haven't forgotten them, and on May 5, the 20th anniversary of the riots, over 100 people entered Chipotle, disrupted their operations, and delivered thousands of signed petitions demanding that they pay the workers they have fired what they are owned. Wage theft is a crime and Chipole is attempting to loot DC's Latino workers.
After delivering the petitions, the groups exited Chipotle and marched to the park at Mt Pleasant and Lamont for the remembrance ceremony.
A number of speakers recounted their experiences before, during, and after the uprising. Some spoke of how far the Latino community has come since the days of Fulwood's unrestricted police brutality. A speaker from the DC government emphasized that the Council does not intend to cooperate with ICE's so-called "secure communities" deportation program.
Others spoke of continuing discrimination, of the fight with Chipole and other employers who steal wages, and the displacement of low-income tenants with the wealthy.
A few speakers went so far as to warn that if the current exploitation of Latino workers and harassment by ICE continue, another uprising could well result.
|Liveleak on Facebook|