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April 11, 1969 Twenty-Five Cents A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South The Texas Observer Texas’ Sleeping Giant Really Awake This Time? Del Rio To understand what is happening these days in Del Rio, in the controversy about whether the VISTA and Minority Mobilization programs should be retained, one first must understand what many in metropolitan Texas do not yet realize: that there is a wholly new mood spreading today among a significant segment of the Mexican-American population of South Texas, most particularly among the youngthose of high school age and a bit older. The old ways of boss rule, discrimination, disrespect, and apathy are out now for an influential minority among Texas chicanos. There is a war of sorts on now, a war of liberation being fought against whoever stands in the way, be they school board member, city councilman, county commissioner, school principal, or employer. Those enlisted in the fight are determined and not easily discouraged; they are ready for protracted struggle. The landmark battles of this war have been, in Texas, Crystal City, Rio Grande City ; and now Del Rio. If the VISTA and MM programs are discontinued here, as it appears they will be, it will not materially affect the basic local situation. Brown militancy is far too extensive among a segment of the Chicano population now here as in other parts of: South Texas, though the evidence of this growing revolt is but dimly perceived by most Texans. The reason for this is the only episodic reporting of the situation that has largely prevailed in the pressa brief account of a student strike here, of a demonstration there, of a law suit filed somewhere else. All these flare-ups have the same root the determination of an increasing number of Mexican-Americans at last to throw off the torpor and shame of decades of life in Texas. It often has been said through the