25 years since the Los Angeles Rebellion

Posted June 5, 2017

Los Angeles—On April 29, the 25th Anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion, over 500 Latino, Asian, and Black and white mostly youth marched through the streets starting from Florence and Normandie, where the Rebellion began. CADRE (Community Asset Development Redefining Education), SAJE (Strategic Action for a Just Economy), LACAN (Los Angeles Community Action Network) brought many of the marchers. The Rebellion started after a jury acquitted the four LAPD cops whose videotaped beating of Rodney King enraged a nation.

Film shots of the beating of Rodney King wikimedia.org/wikipedia

Then too, the community was divided over the murder of Latasha Harlins, a 15-year-old Black girl who was shot in the back of the head by a Korean store owner who attacked Harlins because she mistakenly thought Harlins was stealing a bottle of orange juice. Leaders of the Asian community worked to bring Blacks, Asians, and Latinx together to commemorate the Rebellion.

The Rebellion engulfed the city and was an expression of the frustrations of the poor who lacked housing, healthcare and economic opportunity. After 25 years there is still fear in the streets of police brutality and the shooting of unarmed people—especially Black men, here and throughout the country.

A speaker from CADRE said, “We want the schools to teach Black history and Latinx history as it was, not just from their side. Schools are calling the cops on kids before they call the parents, even when a student is just tardy.” A mother there with her daughter said, “We are empowering the parents to ask questions of the principals. We teach them that they have rights to ask for an investigation of matters regarding their children.” They demanded teachers from the community rather than from the outside, and that school administrators treat them with respect. One mother brought up another issue: “We need healthy restaurants and markets for our children, not just liquor stores and fast food places.” Many Blacks think diabetes is a Black disease, particular to them.

The march showed that together we can replace a social structure that no longer respects us. We are in this together.

–Mannel

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