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Tracking COVID-19 at UCLA2020 Racial Justice Movement

Bruin Republicans’ request for MEChA debate unanswered

By Jennifer Case

March 8, 2004 9:00 p.m.

Bruin Republicans has challenged the Chicana/o student group
MEChA to a public debate on Friday to address the merit of
MEChA’s founding documents.

Radio talk show host Al Rantel will air the debate on his radio
show if members of MEChA attend, aiming to broadcast the debate to
L.A. County.

Bruin Republicans’ campaign against MEChA revolves around
one of MEChA’s founding documents written in the 1960s,
“El Plán de Aztlán.” Part of the text calls
for promoting the rights of Chicana/o people over those of other
races, a point which MEChA has repeatedly said it does not adhere
to. The UCLA chapter actually abides by a different charter. Bruin
Republicans said the text is discriminatory and has called for the
group to denounce the documents.

“I think it is extremely important that both sides of the
argument have an opportunity to express their point of view to the
campus, and this is what we hope the debate will do,” said
Matthew Knee, a member of Bruin Republicans.

Members of MEChA would not say whether the group will attend the
debate, which would take place in Moore Hall at 7 p.m.

“We have previously made many attempts to talk with
members of Bruin Republicans. If they were interested in a dialogue
or debate, they would have taken advantage of the opportunity
beforehand,” said Elizabeth Alamillo, chairwoman of
MEChA.

Bruin Republicans members hope their advertisement in the Daily
Bruin will strengthen their campaign. The advertisement formally
challenges MEChA to the debate.

“We want them to denounce their document, “˜El
Plán de Aztlán,’ and continue to do positive work
on campus. The document contains serious issues that they need to
address,” said Jonathan Cayton, chairman of Bruin
Republicans.

After appearing on Rantel’s show in February, the group
has received over $28,000 in donations from listeners, some of whom
support their campaign against MEChA.

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