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Watsonville Brown Berets Represent at 7th Annual Youth and Power
On August 14, local youth from Watsonville, Santa Cruz, and surrounding areas participated in the 7th Annual "Youth and Power" event, presented by the Watsonville Brown Berets. This year's event was extremely successful, with participants, performers, organizations and vendors dedicated to the liberation of oppressed peoples everywhere, with a particular focus on liberation from the violence, discrimination, and racism aimed at immigrant and migrant people in our community.
The particular theme of 2007's Youth and Power was, “Immigration Behind Enemy Lines,” focusing on building strong consciousness and action to counter the extremely oppressive and violent relationship beteween the prison industrial complex and the Migra (AKA, Immigration and Custom Enforcement of the federal government's Homeland Security). Youth and Power's slogan, "EDUCATE!!!ACTIVATE!!! LIBERATE!!" rang true as artists, speakers, and participants educated each other regarding the revolutionary possiblities in the face of the racist, violent and discrminatory practices perpetued by the prison industrial complex and the Migra raids. Additionally, invited organizations, such as the Hip-Hop Chess Federation, and vendors brought cultural and revolutionary information, practices, and goods for particpants.
This year's featured artists included IMMORTAL TECHNIQUE from Harlem, New York, GUERRILLA QUEENZ w/ CIHUATL CE from L.A., REDENCION from Guanajuato, Mexico, and local bands DOBADOZA and PARA LA GENTE. Each of these musicians broke down the current and contemporary struggle of oppressed peoples. Additionally, this year's keynote speaker Karina Garcia, presidenta of the Chicano Caucus of Columbia University, recounted how and why students booed, silenced, and successfully took the stage from Minuteman co-founder, Jim Gilchrist when he brought his racist, hate-filled agenda to Columbia University. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfnn7wTgoE8
“Youth and Power” is an extremely important event in acheiving revolutionary goals and liberation, because it provides an alternative to the commercial media and main-stream venue circuit. This event is a drug-free event, and requires that youth unite solely through their shared vision of a just future, FREE OF HATRED, MIGRA RAIDS AND PRISONS, in which the histories and cultures of people who have been traditionally oppressed (chican@, worker, immigrant, mujeres, etc.) are valued and lived with dignity. If you also support this cause, check out the website of the Watsonville Brown Berets at http://www.brownberets.info, and the local grassroots MigraWatch at http://www.migrawatch.org. Both of these sites provide information on how you can contribute to the contemporary struggle and future world. Mexica Tiahui!
Watsonville Brown Berets (http://www.brownberets.info)
Migrawatch (http://www.migrawatch.org )
Immortal Technique (http://www.myspace.com/immortaltechnique)
Guerrilla Queenz (http://www.myspace.com/guerrillaqueenz)
Cihuatl Ce (http://www.myspace.com/cihuatl1)
Doba Doza (http://www.myspace.com/dobadoza)
Para La Gente (http://www.myspace.com/paralagente)
Hip-Hop Chess Federation (http://hiphopcongress.com/)
The event was held at the Watsonville Vet's hall where there was food and plenty of information tables.
Three of the four members of Dobadoza.
Karina Garcia spoke about the injustices faced by immigrants and the racist background of groups like the Minutemen.
As a group, The Brown Berets took the stage and read some analysis written by fellow beret Tomas Alejo. They also introduced the evening's anticipated final performer, Immortal Technique.
Immortal Technique took the stage wearing a brown beret.
Mexica Tiahui and revolutionary greetings to all. We would like to thank everyone here for supporting our event and organizing efforts. Today we welcome you to the 7th annual youth and power!
In 1994 a cadre of young people, roused by the Chicano movement of the 60s and the urgency to confront the rampant marginalization of Latino youth, decided to reactivate a chapter of the brown berets in Watsonville. Watsonville…a rural working class community deeply entrenched in radical resistance against the economically powerful agricultural land owners, was in critical need of a movement that would raise the consciousness of young people and disable the status quo. Through the years we have united raza from opposing barrios, confronted and dismantled conservative power, engaged our defective public education system, fought police terror and created networks and programs to uplift our community and social condition. In 1996, in order to correct historic organizational errors and promote solidarity, we declared our Brown Beret chapter autonomous. Today with the support and love of the people, we continue our efforts.
In 2000, in the spirit of spreading revolutionary consciousness, the autonomous chapter of the Brown Berets launched the first youth and power event. With a budget of $400 and the relentless energy of our members, the event was a success and helped bring awareness to local and global issues. Utilizing the formats of music and art, youth and power is a call to action and solidarity regardless of revolutionary ideology, skin color, age, sexual orientation and identification. We understood that in order to confront American imperialism and neo-capitalist exploitation. The revolutionary communities must unite!
Today our event is dedicated to bring awareness to recent immigration raids and the mass incarceration of humans who are deemed ‘illegal’. The first truth that must be defended is that no human is illegal! Migration is part of human nature, which recently has been elevated due to failed US foreign policy and neo-liberal markets. ‘Third-world’ people are forsaken and hungry and when they cross us borders to find subsistence, they are further stigmatized, exploited, incarcerated, and spit back to their country of origin. To this we say…no more!!!
We also dedicate this event to all our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, confined in the bowels of the US prison regime. You are not forgotten and we will continue to engage the prison overlords until you are free! We believe and adhere to an idea promoted by Huey P. Newton that revolution will and must rise up from this marginalized class, the lumpen proletariats! Due to globalization, even the workers will soon join the ranks of the unemployables. Leaving a dichotomous battle between the haves and have-nots.
We would like to acknowledge all past and present supporters: Immortal Technique, Mario “Africa” Hardy, Dr. Ekua Omosupe, Jose Olivas and Sage Productions, Betita Martinez, Gabriel Hernandez, El Gavilan and Mr. Chuuch of La Onda Bajita Radio, Davey D, Adisa Banjoko, Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Cihuatl Tonali, Hussein Bey and the Blood Crips Foundation, Manuel Bersamin, Luis Alejo, and Watsonville’s very own…Los Dry Heavers!
In the spirit of love and revolution and in the spirit of defiance and dignity. I say peace and blessings to you all.
Of Brown Beret Insurrectionary Radio
“We have a determined enemy who will accept us only on a master, slave basis. When I revolt, slavery dies with me. I refuse to pass it down again. The terms of my existence are founded on that.”