August 29, 1970

Police surround crowd at Laguna Park

Police surround crowd at Laguna Park, Los Angeles. August 29, 1970. Photograph by Ralph Arriola.

“August 29, 1970, was one of the most memorable days of my life.  The coming together in solidarity of Chicanos marching was awe-inspiring.  The attack on the Moratorium made me angrier than I can describe, but I made a vow to myself that I would fight for the Chicano causa for the rest of my life.” - Rudy Tovar, Chicano Moratorium Committee Member

News of the Chicano Moratorium was reported nationally as a riot. Its importance was clouded by biased coverage. Ruben Salazar, the best known Mexican American journalist, covered the event and was killed by police. He had warned that national political forces could foment provocations to justify breaking up the Moratorium. 

With all the national media covering the Moratorium, it was Chicano photojournalists’ pictures that showed sheriffs targeting the café where Salazar was killed while seeking safety. 

The Moratorium Committee blamed the police for the violence and called for a full investigation of the attack and the killing of Ruben Salazar. That has not yet happened.

August 29, 1970