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introduced their style of activism to other Chicanos and to the media. THE FIVE also followed Perez’s lead in getting involved in a farm workers’ strike in the Rio Grande Valley where Chavez’s people were trying to organize. They went down to the fields and placed themselves between the Texas Rangers and the farm workers in the picket lines. They also worked with Ernie Cortez, the sixth significant recruit, in organizing food banks in Austin for the farm workers. At the time, the UFW’s campaign to unionize field workers symbolized the momentous struggle. Chicano activists saw themselves waging a war against an unfair system. Despite its pacifist leader, the UFW presented a rather radical image to many. Its motifs were nationalistic and its workingclass roots were devoid of Angloism, making it an attractive symbol of La Causa. Velasquez, more the urban activist, involved the group in calling Raza Unida \(People Texas. These gatherings were to play an important role in the development of the Chicano Movement in Texas. Prominent Mexican American scholars and activists came from around the country to speak to the students and community people and to motivate them to get involved in the social revolution raging in some parts of the Southwest. Being on the same stage with these figures helped legitimize the six in the eyes of Mexican Americans. It also allowed them to make contact with some militant elements of the political middle class. The first Raza Unida Conference took place in El Paso in October 1967 to counter President Johnson’s cabinet hearings on Mexican American affairs. The hearings had been called to placate protesting Mexican American leaders who felt left out of the Democratic administration and who envied what they perceived to be Johnson’s partiality toward blacks. When the list of invitees became public, it revealed that the administration sought to deal only with moderates who had an extensive history of loyalty to the Democratic Party. Though ‘some of the invitees could claim to be legitimate spokesmen for the Mexican American community, a good number of them decided not to attend. One week before the hearings, Tijerina’s Alianza held its annual meeting in Albuquerque. Several Chicano activist organizations met there and discussed the ‘ matter. A week before that conference, the five met and decided to push the idea of calling a counter-meeting in El Paso. Compean later explained their participation: “We talked about what was needed to be done. . .. It took us three sleepless nights to get a commitment from the people there .. to go to El Paso. They had previously wanted to boycott the conference.” At El Paso, Velasquez suggested “La Raza Unida” when the conference participants were looking for a name. Ernesto Galarza, prominent scholar and union organizer, became the conference’s first chairman. A follow-up conference was held in San Antonio in January 1968, and several wellknown Mexican Americans, including Galarza, attended and spoke to the participants about getting active in the movement that was sweeping the barrios. Two months later another conference convened in Laredo. The UFW’s campaign to unionize field workers seemed a momentous struggle. Shortly after coming together, the five concentrated on finding a name and a symbol and developing an organizational structure. They decided on the name Mexican American Youth Organization scoutish.” According to Gutierrez, the other names considered included Liga de EstudiPartido Unificador Mexico Americano for a short time they were known as the Raza Unida, mainly because of their Raza Unida conferences. In the end they decided that a generic name like MAYO would take some of the heat off when they became militant and abrasive. The symbol that became synonymous with MAYO the Aztec warrior inside a circle was copied from Aeronaves de Mexico, the Mexican national airline. On paper, a board of directors, made up of one representative from each chapter, directed the organization’s activities. The board met on the last Saturday of January and the last Saturday of June. The first meeting was devoted to planning strategies and programs and the second to evaluating the programs and electing officers. The elected positions were those of chairman, vice-chairman, secretary, and treasurer. The MAYO founders decided to avoid the personification of the organization by not allowing anyone to serve more than a oneyear term and by not emphasizing authoritative titles. They did not want MAYO to become dependent on one person who could be targeted for pressure by political opponents. Nonetheless, the organization was far from being democratic. Gutierrez later said: [MAYO] was not democratic at all. I remember, for example, that Mario [Compean] pretty much handpicked who were the leaders he was going to work with, because they were already naturally emerging as leaders in gangs or other groups in the West Side [of San Antonio]. I picked Carlos [Guerra], Efrain Fernandez, and [Alberto] Luera because they were people who were working with groups in areas I knew. [Juan] Patlan did the same, Willie [Velasquez] did the same, and Nacho [Perez] did the same. It was more like mentoring . . . as opposed to electing. You were there as the organizer and that was not subject to election, that was a confirmation from me, Mario, Willie, Nacho, or Juan. MAYO was incorporated and bylaws were established. The membership requirements, though, were of a different nature than those of the usual nonprofit entity. They were meant to attract idealistic youth and to alienate moderates. They read like the creed of an ethnic, political movement, which is what MAYO intended to be. Members were expected to “put La Raza first and foremost”; to be alert but with a closed mouth; to have a desire to study, learn, and articulate, yet be ready “to attack”; and to support fellow MAYO members in time of crisis. These rather simplistic requirements had the aim of developing a cadre of fiercely loyal members with a basic knowledge of the Chicano student movement and an obsession with cultural pride. They were to be militant in their fight against the gringo and respectful toward La Raza, thus making them modern-day political Robin Hoods. The preamble of the MAYO constitution read: “The purpose of the Mexican American Youth Organization is to establish a coordinated effort in the organization of groups interested in solving problems of the Chicano community and to develop leaders from within the communities.” To maintain a political movement, the MAYO leaders knew economics would be an important consideration. Velasquez, better versed in fundraising than the rest, became the prime fundraiser, getting money from local chapters of LULAC and the G.I. Forum. He acquired MAYO’s first headquarters rent-free, atop a westside drugstore. In its initial stage MAYO’s aggressive style was admired even by established Mexican American political leaders and some barrio businessmen, who made small contributions and invited the young “militants” to lunch. MAYO’s chance for a larger financial base came through the efforts of two acquaintances of Gutierrez and Compean, Gonzalo Barrientos and Jose Urriegas, who helped them become involved in the founding of the VISTA \(Volunteers in Project in Austin. This self-help organization was funded to recruit and train two hundred young volunteers to work in four depressed areas of South Texas and in El Paso. Through his contacts with Urriegas and Gil Murillo, the project director and a sympathizer, Compean was hired as a 8 SEPTEMBER 1, 1989