3 june 1968 & protests at the department of [no] justice [here]
#OTD 3 June 1968 Poor People's Campaign (PPC) protests were held at the Department of Justice (950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW). Co-led by Corky Gonzales and Reies Lopez Tijerina, among others, the protests were two-fold: to demand land rights and to demand the release of the LA-13, individuals arrested for participating in Los Angeles school district 'blowouts' in March.
Notice in the photo above the words "No Justice Here" and "Resist [?] on the Department of Justice building.
According to Gordon Mantler, "Tijerina and the Mexican American delegation brought to the PPC a set of unique demands about land going back to 1848. But these demands actually overlapped ones made by a range of people, such as the Nation of Islam and Appalachian activists from West Virginia. They all saw control of land as the key to getting out of poverty." Tijerina also led a delegation to the Mexican Embassy (2829 16th St NW) today to meet with Ambassador Hugo B. Margáin Gleason to convince him to support their land claims.
In this photo, protestors demanding federal immunity for the LA-13 were confronted by police. Notice the jacket that reads, "Love or Kill." Carlos Montes, one of the LA 13, was a PPC participant.
Your comments are welcome below. Did you, a family member or neighbor participate in the protest and meeting? Do you recognize anyone in these photos? Do you remember seeing or reading about the protest? Did you know about the LA 13? Do you remember the Mexican Embassy when it was on 16th St? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy of DC Public Library Special Collections, Poor People's Campaign Photograph Collection, 3 June 1968. Photographers unknown.
Gordon Mantler, Power to the Poor: Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974. UNC Press, 2013. I thank Gordon Mantler for sharing his insight about the PPC.
"March: Justice Dept is Target," Evening Star, 3 June 1968.