La Verdad Publications Moves Forward… – Towards the Building of a National Raza Liberation Newspaper!
LA VERDAD MUST REPRESENT THE VOICE OF LA RAZA WHEN WE STUGGLE IN OUR OWN INTERESTS!
Our hard earned experience and knowledge has clearly demonstrated for us the necessity for more Raza Liberation literature to hit the calles, barrios, prisons, schools, and work place. O extreme importance – is that this literature be about the bread and butter issues and realities of the particular sector we are trying to reach. this is the reason we ahve established “La Verdad Publications.” La Verdad Publications has its immediate objectives in the continueing of publishing of La Verdad and Somos Raza.
In the June of 1989 issue of La Verdad we summed up our objectives as a) to serve as a tool for the political education of Unión del Barrio members and supporters – La Verdad will be used as a guide and source for institutionalizing a “political school” within the organization; b) utilize La Verdad as a tool for winning people over to the revolutionary anti-colonial struggle; c) promote the necessity for buiding a truly national Chicano mexicano Liberation organization; and d) to inform those presently involved in what is known as the “Chicano Movement” about the work that Unión del Barrio and other revolutionary nationalist formations are doing.
What makes La Verdad different from exising publications found within our movement is that it is a community based, non-governemnt funded, multi-issue (issues about Raza workers, barrios youth, women, students, and police/migra terror are constintely addressed ion La Verdad.), newspaper that id direb\cted at all sectors of our communtiy. It is a publication openly dedicated to bringing about the necessary conditions which will bring self-dtermination and freedom to the Mexicano people and theref La Verdad represents the voice of La Raza when we stuggle in our own intertests!
WE ARE AN ACTION ORIENTED PUBLICATION!
During its five year of existence, those working on La Verdad have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience. Much of this knowledge and experience we owe to our relationship with the African peoples Socialist Party, and other political organization within our movement – but most imporantly is the fact that La Verdad is an action oriented publication that not only writes about events and ideas but is down in the trenches of struggle, actually taking part in the fight of Chicano Mexicano Power!
The press, the Chicano press, has always been an activists press. Raza didn’t just write and not participate in other things. During the first period of struggle, which was the armed struggle, we see El Clamor in California and El Poblador in Tejas … supporting this type of armed resistance that was going down in our occupied territory Aztlan. We see that these people were constantly raising the issue of justice and self determination for Mexicanos.
During the second period between 1900-1930’s we see publications printed by the labor unions. There were dozens of labor unions that the majority, if not everyone,were Mexicanos. And these people put out countless and countless newspapers and newsletters etc. These people were constantly printing and covering the labor strikes that were going down. The Unions all had their newsletters even though it may have been one page typed or hand written. They had these little flyers that talked about these issues, and kept minutes of their organizations. A particular important newspaper at the time, in the early 1900’s was Regeneracion which published by a revolutionary organization call Partido Liberal Mexicano… Under the leadership of a hero, not only to the Mexicano people, but to working people through out the world, he was RicardoFlores Magon. A paper that not only was a source for raising the consciousness of the people, but the people that actually published and wrote -picked up arms and fought against injustice. So it was a very important newspaper, nationally and internationally.
During the third period of struggle where we were just barely surviving because of the cultural and fascist terror that was coming down on our people. We see that there was also publications coming out and struggling…. There were some that were saying “hey man were Mexicanos and proud of it”. At that time that was a revolutionary and progressive act to do. It was a social crime, like I said to say you were a Mexicano, so these publications would come out and say Mexicans [were] something beautiful… A publication that [came] out that was very important, was the information coming out of the newsletters of the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee. Those of you that are familiar with the Sleepy Lagoon case (in which over a dozen young Mexicanos were arrested for the death of a young man)- know that a movie called Zoot Suit was made about it, a movie which doesn’t give justice to the real issue. There was a committee that was formed around the case, it included Mexicanos and Anglos … one of the leading members of the committee was compañero Bert Corona, who is still alive today; whose involvement the movie unfortunately doesn’t show. A lot of newsletters came out of this committee, so during that time there was publicity, there were publications going out about the struggle against against racism and police terror, and so forth.
Then we come to the last period of struggle, which again I think Raul did justice to it [in] describing what was coming, which was the 1960’s to early 1970’s. A period where I got involved… It was impossible in the1960’s, and I was a witness to this, It was impossible to go … in the area that we lived in and not see a publication out. Or somebody trying to sell or give you a newspaper or newsletter. It was impossible to come out of a high school and [not] see the brown berets out there passing out literature. It was impossible to go to college with out somebody giving you a leaflet or newspaper. It was impossible to walk around any where in the barrio without somebody giving you a newspaper or a leaflet. It was almost impossible go to a party without some Mechista or brown beret or somebody from the Raza Unida Party giving you information. So there was a lot of information [and] people with a high level of consciousness and understanding of what the hell was happening-which is NOT going on today and that is why we don’t have this room filled. Newspapers, like companero Raul said, La Raza, El Gallo, El Grito de Norte, La Causa from the brown berets, La Raza, La Verdad here in San Diego, El Barrio from here in San Diego, Revolucion … we can continue going on and on, were some of the many newspapers published during this time.
These publications informed the people on the issues; informed them on what kind of activities [that] were taking place; and informed them on what was going down all around them, information on marches, pickets, meetings, conferences, -people were informed as to what was happening.
THE CHICANO PRESS MUST BE REVOLUTIONARY!
Than we have what we call the Chicano press, and the Chicano press is progressive, they want to get the hell out of where we’re at today. And the Chicano press can also be and should be revolutionary! Which means we’re not going to get in bed with this society, we need a complete change! A lot of people are scared of the word “revolution” just like they’re scared of the word “propaganda,” just like they’re scared of the word “communism,” “socialism,” etc.; and the reason we’re scared of these words is because the press and the various forms of news medias have made us scared of these words. You can’t go out to a home boy and tell him that the way to make it is to get a job at McDonalds, you can’t; Raza youth won’t except that. The way to tell him or her to make it -is for them to get involved in a struggle that’s going to create real concrete changes, which can only be revolution. And I think once we take this fear away from the word revolution, once we in this room begin to say that is what we want, than this room is going to fill with more activists. And while we still find ourselves between reformism and concrete change; we’re going to have a lot of problems. I think us getting here today discussing these type of things, is the one thing that is going to move us towards revolution and create a unity that’s going to allow us to effectively struggle. I’ll just stop with those comments, thank you, VIVA LA RAZA!
In contrast to revolutionary press, there exists the hispanic press where aims are to convince Chicano Mexicanos that assimilation into this Amerikkkan society is the only way to improve the oppressive conditions Chicano Mexicanos face daily. Examples of sell-out newspapers are La Prensa, El Latino, El Sol de San Diego, La Opinion and others. To be convinced, one only needs to thumb through the pages of these hispanic rags to see the Coors and Marlboro advertisements, sexist articles and support for neo-colonial and colonial political representatives. The most recent example of sell-out neocolonial tactics that tricked Chicano Mexicanos was the ‘hispanic press’ endorsement of Feinstein, Boxer and Clinton.The hispanic press must be exposed as an appendage of the colonial system and as lackeys of the bourgeous media. The end effect of hispanic newspapers is to maintain Chicano Mexicanos in a state of a colonialism by providing materials and addictive products, sexism and lies. If the Chicano Mexicano press does not advocate for the liberation of its people, then its purporse is to uphold the system.
Using the current attacks on the Chicano Mexicano people as an example of colonial tactics, the white rulers would have never been able to create racist nativist public sentiment without the full cooperation from the colonial bourgeous press and its hispanic lackeys. The bourgeous press is attempting to convince whites and Mexicanos and Afrikans alike, that Chicano Mexicanos and Afrikans are uncontrollable and subhuman so as to facilitate colonization and extreme repressive conditions and to make colonized people hate and fight amongst each other. As a criticism of the Movement, there exist no strong national organization with the necessary revolutionary press to provide the alternative to these atacks and to proactively combat racist policies.
It must be understood that a lack of resources will make the process difficult, but by no means is this an excuse . The Union del Barrio is taking on a national structure with the objective of becoming the vanguard of the movement, the plans for such a newspaper are being developed. Whether a national newspaper based on revolutionary principle comes from Union del Barrio or some other organization is of no difference. La Union del Barrio realizes objectively that the creation of such a paper that will be national and revolutionary is absolutely neccesary for the advancement of the Movement.
I. Nature of Project
La Verdad Publications (LVP) will be a liberation oriented publishing house. Central to the consolidation of LVP will be the development of a National Raza Liberation Newspaper. Other work will include the development and marketing (to include imports) of Raza educational and cultural materials – to included print, audio, and visual products (books, pamphlets, T-shirts, video tapes, cassettes, cards, educational games and posters, etc.). LVP will have as its goal the capacity to involve itself in all aspects of production. This will include design, creative/artistic development, technical, and marketing of products.
LVP will be based in the San Diego, and will market its products nationally and internationally. San Diego’s geographical location will facilitate “cross-border” sales and import. Unión del Barrio’s power base in San Diego will also be expanded because of the work of LVP.
II. Mission Statement
The goals or primary mission of LVP are four-fold: (1) the consolidation of a National paper. (2) to provide the masses of the Mexican Raza community on both sides of the “border” with educational and cultural products -which will create a sense of unity and cultural pride among both the young and old; (3) products will also serve to raised the social-political consciousness of the Mexican Raza community and thereby, advance its right to self-determination; (4) provide employment of Raza activists and funds for movement organizations.
c/s 1997 La Verdad Publications