Peace march grows in Valley

first_img “As Latinos, we need to seek out these positive role models because we’re given the worst role models on TV and in this administration,” said Pablo Paredes, a 24-year-old former Navy weapons control technician who was court-martialed last year for refusing to board a ship that was part of the U.S. war effort in Iraq. He too has marched from Tijuana. “It’s been three years of bombs dropping on Iraq and Afghanistan and immigrants going to war,” he said. Students from Alhambra High School were bused in to join the rally. Many said they had a relative in the military. “I feel this war is messed up,” said Salvador Alcala, 16. “People are going to this war and getting killed. It’s like people are just signing up to die.” The peace march will continue today and is expected to end in San Francisco on March 26. Susan Abram, (818) 713-3664 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 “When my son died in (President George W.) Bush’s illegal war, I promised myself that if I can’t defend my son’s life, I would protect my son’s comrades,” Suarez del Solar told the crowd. “That’s why I walk. I want to see you in high school go on to college and become leaders. Bush is not the owner of this country. You are the owners of this country.” While the hundreds of protests held worldwide this week on the third anniversary of the war called for an end to the fighting, Suarez del Solar and others said the small peace march also symbolized the need for the Latino voice to be heard. They say military recruiters are targeting illegal immigrants with promises of citizenship, or luring high school students who can’t pass standardized exams to join. Dolores Huerta, the well-known co-founder of the United Farm Workers, and social activist who once shouted “Uvas no!” or “No grapes!” with Cesar Chavez, lent her voice to the rally by calling on supporters to say no to the war. “We must boycott this war. They want all your young people to go to the military,” she said. “I have 11 children. I cannot imagine losing one of them.” Others said Suarez del Solar’s example will motivate young people in the Latino communities to speak out. SAN FERNANDO – A four-man peace march from Tijuana to San Francisco passed through the San Fernando Valley on Monday, drawing more than 100 supporters opposed to the war in Iraq. Bare-chested dancers and drummers in Aztec attire braved falling temperatures to greet more than 100 protesters who joined the original four marchers at Cesar Chavez Park in the city of San Fernando. Holding signs with photographs of Chavez, Mohandas Gandhi and la Virgen de Guadalupe, marchers from local high schools and California State University, Northridge, shouted anti-war slogans. They came to support Fernando Suarez del Solar, a 50-year-old Escondido man who organized the California March for Peace in memory of his son Jesus Suarez, a Marine who was one of the first Latinos to die in the conflict. Suarez del Solar and three others started the march in Tijuana on March 12. last_img read more