Brown Beret ↑

The first branch of the international Brown Berets was founded in Los Angeles in 1967. The group was created to promote social justice causes and improve the lives of Chicanos. They organized the first demonstrations against police brutality in East Los Angeles, opened the first Chicano Free Health Clinic, rallied against the Vietnam War, and helped stage the mass school walkouts that became known as the Chicano Moratorium. That 1970 march attracted an estimated 30,000 to Laguna (Now Rubén Salazar) Park in East Los Angeles. At the time, the Los Angeles Times described the events as a “week-and-a-half of walkouts, speeches, sporadic law breaking, arrests, demands, picketing, sympathy demonstrations, sit-ins, police tactical alerts, and emergency sessions of the school board.” News reporter Rubén Salazar was killed while covering the march. The park was later named for him. Brown Beret member Gloria Arellanes donated this artifact to the East Los Angeles Archive in 2010.

Photograph courtesy John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, California State University, Los Angeles

Source: Los angeles magazine

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