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“I told them,” says Garcia, “that anybody who filed later, after not coming forward then, would split our ranks and we would consider it an act of treason.” The theme of this third meeting was discrimination in the’Crystal City Boy Scouts. The day of the meeting the local paper carried an account of the Lions Club plan to organize an allAnglo troop. Fuentes asked the crowd how long they were going to stand for this sort of-treatment, the opening thrust in what was to become one of the campaign’s most disputed issues. At the fourth meeting the candidates were announced: Cornejo, the local teamster agent; Antonio Cardenas, a truck driver for an oil, company; Manuel Maldonado, clerk in the Economart store downtown ; Mario Hernandez, a Modern Homes salesman ; and Reynaldo Mendoza \(operator of a small photography shop. “It was after this fourth meeting, when we announced candidates, that the obstructionism of the Anglo establishInent really began,” Garcia says. “First the boys went down to file and came back empty-handed. They said the clerk told them they had no application forms. So we just typed up our own. Took us five hours. We had them notarized. Then I got a photographer to go with us, and he took pictures as each man officially filed. They didn’t like thatthey’d never seen Mexicans so ‘arrogant’ before. But . . that weekend the paper acknowledged that the five had been duly filed. “Then,” Garcia continues, “we had the voting booth episode. They cut us from three polling places to one and made no provisions for a secret ballot. They wanted people to vote right under the eyes of the election judges. . . . Carlos Moore [teamster political director for the northern district of Texas] helped out here. He told them we either got a voting booth or we’d file an injunction. The law is clear. Well, finally we worked out an agreement for P.A.S.O. to provide the booths. It cost us $42, which we paid for, thanks to the timely arrival of a $50 contribution from the Austin P.A.S.O. chapter. “Then we got the run-around on poll watchers. Their attitude was, `We’ve never had any, so that’s that.’ ” Moore showed City Mgr. James Dill the law, and they got poll watchers. They were told they 4 The Texas couldn’t use a loud speaker because of an anti-noise ordinance, so they checked and learned there was no such ordinance, and “back to the loudspeaker we went,” Garcia says. Fuentes says they were told there would be no help for mexicanos in filling out absentee ballots until they showed that the law required it. “Each time they said ‘no’ to the law, and we showed them the law,” Fuentes says, “two things happened: the Anglos’ morale went down and the mexicanos’ morale went up.” Nine days before the election there was a big meeting, 700 people standing in the hot sun, with no attractions no beer, no tamales, no music except “los cinco candidatos,” as the five candidates were now constantly called in the mexicano conversations, and State Reps. John Alaniz and Johnson of San Antonio and Fuentes. Johnson says the audience were “solemn, but with a twinkle in their eyes.” He told them that life without freedom is worthless, and brought the house down. He asked them to treat his gringo brothers better than the gringos had treated them. Alaniz says that as they left the rally many of the people in the crowd said to him and to Johnson, “No nos dejan solos”Don’t leave us alone. They meant, after the election. Throughout the two months’ organizing drive by P.A.S.O. and the teamstersfrom the first meeting of 23 people to the semi-final crowd of 700the big fear of the challengers was that the rank and filers would lose their nerve on election day and stay home. P.A.S.O. leaders saw what they regarded as a hopeful sign of solidarity in the success of economic boycotts applied to “los correctos,” the middleclass Mexican merchants. In the last week, some of them came around and put up signs for los cinco candidatos. But the big test of their followers’ final pre-election feelings, toward the ojos azules,” the blue eyeswas certain to come on election eve at the climactic final rally. The Observer’s on-the-scene coverage of Crystal City began at this point, just before the final rally on election eve. “THE MEXICANS are trying to take over our town,” the Anglo filling station attendant is saying. A fading twilight gives a reddish cast to everythingthe baked land, the dusty roads of the Mexican quarter, the pale stucco houses. It is two hours before the mexicanos’ “rally grande.” The dust billows before the rising evening wind. A preliminary cruise, alert for _overt signs of tension. k poster flashes by, then another: “Vote for all 5,” and the names diagonally across the sign : Maldonado, Cornejo, Cardenas, Hernandez, Mendoza. . . Downtown the central plaza is like any other in this part of the country, but for a curious statue of Popeye opposite city hall. The spinach capital. A car drives by Popeye, signs on all four of its doors, “Vote for all 5.” At the drugstore facing the plaza, a bit of history from the chief deputy sheriff. He is a caricature of rural lawmen, potbellied, the pistol slung carelessly, hugely, over the hip. He tells of a shooting here right in this store, “right by that door yonder,” in 1914. Two men were quarreling over grazing rights for cattle. The one shot the other on the square and walked over to the store; a son of the shot man went into the store and drew on his father’s enemy ; they’ both fired at once, and they both hit home. On the way down, one of them shot an enemy foreman. “It was tough times around here then,” says the chief deputy. He says that Captain A. Y. Allee of the Texas Rangers has been in Crystal City for several days now, four other Rangers in tow, keeping the peace. Captain Allee is from nearby Carrizo Springs, where the Mexicans don’t pay poll taxes and the mayor is an Anglo. The plaza is quiet, perhaps from the steady gaze of the Rangers, visible now on the corner under the street lamp. The rally is to be held at a round slab of concrete grandly named Benito Juarez Plaza, nestled deep in the Mexican side of town. A rude, plank building just off the plaza has been emptied of its chairs, which the earlycorners, \(some 200 people, children Observer Anglosor, as they were called, “los