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By Javier Rodriguez  from Los Angeles 22 June 2015

FRIENDS FAMILY MEDIA, LA COPA AMERICA ENTERS THE JUEGOS OCTAVOS AND IT IS A DO OR DIE. WHOMEVER WINS HERE PASSES ON TO THE QUARTER FINALS. ON THE MENU ARE BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, CHILE, COLOMBIA, PARAGUAY, BOLIVIA, PERU AND LASTLY URUGUAY. THE BRAZILIAN NEYMAR WAS SUSPENDED AND WILL NOT PLAY, BUT BRAZIL WILL STILL BE A POWERHOUSE. HOWEVER LIONEL MESSI, THE WORLD’S BEST SOCCER PLAYER  AND FOUR OTHER WORLD REKNOWNED ARGENTINIANS ARE IN. THOUGH CHILE, THE HOST TEAM MAY BE IN THE FINALS.

HOWEVER MY SYMPATHIES LIE  WITH BOLIVIA, WHICH FOR THE FIRST TME EVER HAS MADE THE OCTAVOS. WHY? BECAUSE BOLIVIA, A SMALL COUNTRY IN THE REBEL BLOC OF INDEPENDENT LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS AND LED BY EVO MORALES, THE SECOND INDIGENOUS PRESIDENT EVER IN LATIN AMERICA.  THE FIRST WAS THE ZAPOTEC INDIAN BENITO JUAREZ, WHO LED MEXICO AGINST THE IMPERIAL FRENCH OCCUPATION AND KICKED THE EUROPEANS ASS. TO THE CHAGRIN OF AMERICAN  CONSERVATIVES AND LIBERALS,IT IS  THE SAME THING THAT MORALES AND HIS MOVEMENT FOR SOCIALISM -MAS- HAS DONE TO THE US EMPIRE.

IT’S GOING TO BE DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW EVERY GAME, ESPECIALLY WITH ALL THE MOBILIZING AND MEDIA EVENTS FOR THE CALIFORNIA JULY 4TH MARCH TO RESCUE DAPA IN LA COMING UP. IT WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A COLECTIVE YOUTH FAST ON THE 8TH AT LA PLACITA. THEN A CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE IN FRONT OF THE LA FEDERAL COURT TO COINCIDE WITH THE HEARING IN TH 5TH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS IN NEW ORLEANS. MORE, THE SENDING OF AN LA DELEGATION BY HERMANDAD MEXICANA TRANSNACIONAL TO NEW ORLEANS TO INUNDATE THE COURT WITH THE DEMAND ON THE CONSERVATIVE MAJORITY TO RULE AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN ULTRA RIGHT GOVERNORS AND FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OBAMA’S 5 MILLION PEOPLE EXECUTIVE ORDER, KNOWN AS DAPA.

LASTLY A JULY 13 BENEFIT FESTIVAL FOR DAPA AND IMMIGRATION REFORM IS ALSO BEING ORGANIZED WITH LA SONORA SANTANERA NUEVA SANGRE, MARIACH FIESTA MEXICANA, SINGERS SANDY VALDIVIA AND MARGARITA LUNA, AND WITH MEXICAN LATINO DJ RUBEN MIRANDA OF LA RANCHERA RADIO AS “EL PADRINO OFTHE FIESTA SHOW” PLUS HUMBERTO LUNA BACKNG HIM IN THE MICROPHONES AS MCs. IT WILL BE AT LA FIESTA MEXICAN BAR & GRILL.

BACK TO FUTBOL. I HAVE NEVER SHARED THE FOLLOWING STORY WITH ALL MY ONLINE FRIENDS AND HERE IT GOES. TWO YEARS AFTER I IMMIGRATED TO LOS ANGELES, IN THE LAND OF OUR FOREFATHERS, I WAS PART OF THE FIRST TWO YOUTH SOCCER TEAMS IN THE HISTORY OF LOS ANGELES. THEY WERE SPONSORED BY THE PAISANO CLUB GUADALAJARA AND LA CASA DEL MEXICANO. WE FIRST FORMED THE GUADALAJARA JRs AND MOST OF THE TEAM WAS MADE UP OF IMMIGRANT STUDENTS FROM STEVENSON JR HIGH AND ALSO THE SPECIAL Mc DONNELL St. SCHOOL, LOCATED IN EAST LA. BOTH SCHOOLS, PLUS BELMONT HIGH SCHOOL, BECAME THE LABORATORY FOR THE FOUNDING OF THE ESL MASSIVE PROGRAM, INSTITUTED THRUGHOUT THE LA SCHOOL SYSTEM, INCLUDING ADULT EDUCATION.

I MUST TELL YOU, I AND MY BROTHER ANTONIO WERE FAST LEARNERS, BUT ANTONIO WAS FAR AHEAD OF HIS CLASS. BEFORE MIGRATING, HE HAD ALREADY GRADUATED FROM PATTERSON SCHOOL IN EL PASO, TEXAS. SINCE THE 6th GRADE IN LA REVOLUCION ELEMENTARY IN JUAREZ, HE SHOWED SIGNS AND DID BECOME THE ACADEMIC TRAILBLAZER IN THE FAMILY.

AND SO WE WERE THE ONLY MEXICAN TEAM IN THE LA SOCCER YOUTH LEAGUE THAT PLAYED AND REPRESENTED OUR PEOPLE AGAINST EUROPEAN IMMIGRANT TEAMS IN THE LATE 50s AND 60Ss. HOWEVER, MANY MORE IMMIGRANTS JOINED UP AND WE THEN FORMED “EL ATLAS” TEAM. WHAT A DIFFERENCE TIME AND THE IMMIGRANT DIASPORA MAKES. TODAY, LIKE EL 5 DE MAYO, SOCCER IS THE MAJOR FORCE IN THE PARKS, THE ELEMENTARY, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOLS ALL OVER CALIFORNIA. NO WONDER THE GRINGO ULTRA RIGHT IS AFRAID OF US, ZAZ

*Javier Rodriguez is a journalist, a blogger and a media and political strategist. A long time social activist, He was the initiator and directed the making of the 1.7 million historical immigration march in Los Angeles on March 25, 2006, as well as the May 1st 2006 Great American Boycott. Back in 1982-86, he directed the mass street mobilizations in LA that led up to the Amnesty Law IRCA of 1986; recently he co founded the LA Millions of Voices Coalition that on Sept. 22, 2013 organized one of the largest marches nationally for that year for Immigration Reform; this same group is now organizing a California July 4th March to Rescue DAPA and on July 10th a Civil Disobedience protest in front of the LA Federal Court.

A journalist, he traveled for 5 ½ months throughout Mexico in 2012, observing and writing about the country’s political process, the aftermath of a highly questioned presidential election, visited several war zones and his family in Coahuila, a state controlled by a corrupt PRI government and Drug Cartels; he also visited the State of Tabasco at the border with Guatemala, where the Central American migrants catch the train known as the “La Bestia-The Beast.” Between 1987 and 1996, his son Jesus, his nephew Jaramillo and his brother Jesus all fell victim to LA’s neighborhood violence. His blog is Larayueladejavier.wordpress.com;   bajolamiradejavierr@gmail.com