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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Herald: MEChA is harmless

John Stark did a short, insightful piece in yesterday's Herald on Western's Prof. Larry Estrada--regarding his profile in David Horowitz's new book The Professors. In it, Estrada claims he is not a "founder" (although he was in attendance at the organizing meeting in 1969) of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán), and also that MEChA is not a separatist group. To his credit, Stark has searched through the pertinent documents to see if that claim squares with the rhetoric:
MEChA’s official documents contain statements that could be interpreted as separatist. For example, its “Plan Espiritual de Aztlan”(link mine) states: “Once we are committed to the idea and philosophy of El Plan de Aztlán, we can only conclude that social, economic, cultural, and political independence is the only road to total liberation from oppression, exploitation, and racism.”

But elsewhere in the same document, the plan seems to define political independence as the development of a separate political party, not a separate country.
I personally didn't see just a classical party implication--I think that's tantamount to donning blinders. Political independence is political independence. A typical political party is easy enough to form, but it, alone, certainly would not provide what the authors are seeking:
A nation autonomous and free - culturally, socially, economically, and politically- will make its own decisions on the usage of our lands, the taxation of our goods, the utilization of our bodies for war, the determination of justice (reward and punishment) (emphasis mine), and the profit of our sweat.

El Plan de Aztlán is the plan of liberation!
“MEChA has never stood for secession from the United States,” [Estrada] said. “It stands for involvement and inclusion.”