Actually, this land is their land
After a two-year period of little activity in Chicano Park, Barrio Logan residents once again banded together to better their community. Their goal was to have the neighborhood rezoned to remove the forty-eight Anglo-owned auto junkyards. At one point, “a stack of crushed cars” had fallen over into the backyard of one of the residents.
Varrio Si, Yonkes No! (Fig. 48) was based upon a flyer for a community meeting to discuss the problem of the junkyards. A community team designed and painted the mural, supervised by Victor Ochoa, “then employed at the Chicano Federation building in the park as a recreation counselor for cultural events.” Varrio is a variation of barrio, neighborhood; and yonkes refers to junkyards. Thus, Neighborhood Yes, Junkyards No! Imagery within the mural depicts the Coronado Bay Bridge and National Steel. In the foreground, residents protest with their placards, Mas Casas, Menos Yonkes, More Houses, Less Junkyards, and La Unidrad Es La Fuerza, Unity is Strength. “Barrio Logan was rezoned. Junkyards began to move away.”
A freeper goes to Chicano Park, which has existed in San Diego since I was in high school, to take pictures and portray the people there as a “San Diego Reconquista Gathering” while failing to note that the people of Barrio Logan have been celebrating Chicano Park Day since 1971.
Anyone who has grown up in San Diego like I have is aware that the people of Barrio Logan meekly watched their community being sliced and diced for years until they finally said “enough”, and then it took four years of fighting broken promises from the city and the state to get a simple 2 acre park for their community in return.
Barrio Logan, in southeast San Diego, is referred to as el ombligo or navel, the center of the world. In the late 1800s the area had been known as East End; the name had been changed to Logan Heights in 1905. Mexican-Americans had settled in the area as early as the 1890s with migrations increasing from 1910 to 1920 as a result of a poor economy in Mexico and the Mexican Revolution. Within the mixed ethnic community, the number of Mexican Americans within Logan Heights reached 15 percent of the city’s Mexican-American population by 1940.
At one point in its history, Logan Heights had contained the “second largest Chicano Barrio community on the west coast, with a population of almost twenty thousand.” The barrio had originally extended to the waterfront, where there had been a local beach and a community pier that had been constructed as a WPN project in the 1930s. When the U.S. Navy and defense industries moved in along the shores of San Diego Bay. Barrio Logan lost access to the waterfront, as well as housing and local businesses. The barrio recovered from these losses as U.S. citizens went to war and Mexicans obtained the jobs that had been created by the navel shipyards and defense industries. The neighborhood began to blossom with a sense of community pride among the residents.
After WWII, the barrio began to change physically. In the 1950s, the zoning laws had been changed by the city of San Diego, from residential to industrial, allowing the influx of Anglo-owned auto junkyards. In 1963, Interstate 5 bisected the Barrio. In ‘1969 the Coronado Bay Bridge opened with its on-ramps and support pylons piercing the heart of the barrio. Because of the dislocation of families and business closures during these two major construction programs, by 1979 the population of the barrio had declined to approximately five thousand residents. City, state, and federal governments had dictated the policies of change in Barrio Logan. Residents had not realized they could petition City Council and express their opinions; there had been no local discussions regarding community and neighborhood planning. Many of the residents accepted the negative changes in their community as the way things had to be. In 1967, feelings of resignation and hopelessness began to change to those of empowerment, as community leaders began to demand a neighborhood park under the bridge pylons.
You can read the rest here.
For those of you brave enough to follow the link to Free Republic you will notice that the shutterbug freeper was very selective about which murals were photographed. You can see more and read about them here.
Michelle Malkin, sensing red meat for her racist readers, jumps in and calls it a “Aztlan/Reconquista celebration” in San Diego, Mexico.
As usual Malkin is full of shit, but I think everyone is aware of that by now…