Photo by Shel Hershorn BROWN POWERA young militant from Elsa flashes the brown power salute. The Mexican-American Youth Organization undertook an effective school boycott in the Edcouch-Elsa district earlier this year, in response to alleged grievances suffered by the chicano students. The strike’s outcome greatly emboldened the young brown militants in Texas. Photo by Shel Hershorn AT THE RALLYYoung chicanos, dressed in Mexican clothes, whoop it up at the Del Rio civic center. his ruling.” Calderon and others noted that the county commissioners court is malapportioned, one precinct having 94% of the county’s population and 95.7% of the registered voters. THE FOLLOWING Saturday MAYO organized a demonstration in protest of the commissioners’ and governor’s actions. A hundred or so persons began marching through town behind a hearse bearing a dead rabbit dubbed “Justice.” “We were going to use a cat but didn’t have the guts to kill one. We’re real militants,” VISTA worker Kashanski said, smiling, afterwards. “Fortunately somebody found a dead rabbit on a road somewhere.” Thirty-one of the marchers were arrested for violating a city ordinance passed in February that requires a permit to parade. There was no violence. Of those arrested were a Laredo MM worker, and a San Antonio VISTA. Those arrested ranged in age from 14 to 32, most of them in their mid and late teens; all were men except for a 14-year-old girl. sioner Albert Pena charged that cars going into Del Rio the day of the march were being stopped by law officers just outside town. Pena said officers weren’t questioning travellers about drivers’ licenses but were asking for identification. He said Mexican-Americans were the ones being stopped. He said a “cactus curtain” had been raised around the city. March 20 the marchers’ cases were before corporation court. On hand for the defense were five attorneys, Warren Burnett of Odessa, Mike Gonsalez of Del Rio, J. B. Ochoa of El Paso, Gerald Lopez, and Gregory Luna, both of San Antonio. Bur of this [Del Rio] ordinance is that it .. . places no limit on the police chief’s discretion” in issuing parade permits, Burnett argued. Burnett .questioned the police chief, James R. Koog, to determine the bases on which the chief would issue parade permits and his understanding of the terms of the ordinance: “When there’s going to be a parade I don’t want to stop it,” the chief testified. “But I want to know about it. We’ve had a lot of parades lately. . . . There could be trouble.” Koog said that though there had been about 100 persons in the parade the previous Saturday only 31 had been arrested. Burnett contended that this. was on its face evidence of selective enforcement. Judge Watt Murrah overruled Burnett’s motion. Burnett then advanced a second motion, that the new ordinance had been improperly advertised in the official newspaper, in that the penalty for violation was not set out. City Attorney James Simmonds and County Attorney Pettit agreed that the penalty had not been advertised in accor dance with state law and the Del Rio charter. Judge Murrah then dismissed the charge against Kashanski and the 30 other defendants because of the technicality. This was greeted with jubilation by most of the spectators, who embraced each other and shouted “Viva la raza!” As Burnett left the courtroom he was applauded by the young MAYO members. In the meantime Governor Smith was being visited almost daily by persons from Del Rio, or by one or another of Texas’ chicano leaders, asking that he not have the VISTA and MM programs halted in Val Verde County. Last Sunday in Del Rio upwards of 3,000 persons demonstrated their support of retaining the VISTA-MM progranis there and rallied for the chicano cause. G.O. April 11, 1969 5 nett led the defense, winning approval of trying the defendants individually rather than all together. Kashanski was the first to be tried. The court was filled beyond its seating capacity with perhaps 150 attending, most of them teenaged MexicanAmerican youngsters. Burnett first attempted to win dismissal of the charge on the grounds that the parade ordinance is very much like a Birmingham, Ala., law that was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court early last month because of vagueness of wording that permits selective enforcement. “The constitutional infirmity
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