Rachel Sanoff
August 04, 2016 4:13 pm
East la Brown Berets/Facebook

A photo taken at a Los Angeles Black Lives Matter protest on July 10 went viral again this week, as it is a powerful demonstration of the incredible solidarity that exists within the movement against police brutality.

This specific BLM action made national news when protesters blocked the 405 freeway, and members of the Brown Berets — a historical organization within the Latino rights movement — stood alongside black protestors.

And it isn’t the only image from that protest to go viral, as can be seen in this Facebook photo depicting the women of the Brown Berets performing security.

So why is this so important?

First, a quick history lesson: The Brown Berets rose out of 1960s Los Angeles to fight for the education, economic access, freedom, and civil rights of young Mexican-Americans, or Chicanos. The group was originally called The Young Citizens for Community Action. Then, inspired by the Black Panthers — a black power political organization — the YCCA expanded their rebellion against mainstream American racism by donning more militant attire.

The viral photograph represents the vast diversity of activists fighting for BLM, proving — again — that police brutality is a human rights issue.

Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Moreover, it represents the solidarity between black and brown communities in the South Los Angeles area, who have previously conflicted over issues stemming from housing, schools, and gangs.

The photographer of the image, John Garcia, told Fusion, “I always hear about black and brown people clashing, but this scene captured the Brown Berets and the Nation of Islam standing side by side…  This picture shows the Brown Berets, the brownest of the brown, standing side by side with black people without an issue.” And as Fusion also reports, a large percentage of LA police brutality victims are also Latinos.

The National Commander of the National Brown Berets, Chimalli Cuetlachtli, shared a supportive statement:

“We are fully supportive of the Black Lives Matter Movement. It is extremely important that the world understands that we are in a fight for human dignity and basic human rights… [Movements] and organizations that are fighting for the rights of people of color are necessary.”

Advertisement