Dissent: 1968


Fifteen thousand Chicano public school students in East Los Angeles stage school walkouts to call for educational reform, smaller class sizes, improved infrastructure, and curriculum including Mexican American history. Related to the walkouts, a grand jury secretly indicts high school teacher Sal Castro and twelve other Chicano activists, who become known as the “East L.A. Thirteen,” for conspiring to create riots, disrupt the functioning of schools, and disturb the peace.

In Vogel v. County of Los Angeles, the California Supreme Court strikes down the Levering oath, overruling its opinion of 15 years earlier in Pockman v. Leonard.

Dissent: 1970

Chicano MoratoriumChicano Moratorium National Chicano Moratorium sponsors a massive march in East Los Angeles against the Vietnam War. Police and sheriff’s deputies try to break-up the post-march rally and violence ensues. Reporter Rubén Salazar is killed when a tear gas canister hits him in the head. Two others are killed.

An appellate court judge rules that the charges against the “East L.A. Thirteen” cannot be imposed because they were exercising their First Amendment rights.

Dissent: 1972

Black Panthers HeadquartersBlack Panthers HeadquartersLos Angeles Black Panther leader Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt is wrongfully convicted of murdering a young woman in Santa Monica.


See part of a 60 Minutes story on Pratt:


Dissent: 1975

In White v. Davis, the California Supreme Court outlaws political surveillance by police officers at UCLA.

Congress abolishes HUAC.

Dissent: 1976

Black Panther leader Huey Newton (right)Black Panther leader Huey Newton (right)U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities reveals that the FBI actively worked to infiltrate and undermine organizations it believed to be subversive, including the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Black Panthers, and the NAACP.

Dissent: 1979

California Supreme Court rules in Robins v. Pruneyard that shopping centers – even though they are privately owned -- are like “modern day town plazas” and must allow expressive political activity, with certain time, place and manner restrictions. The case arose when students distributing leaflets about Middle East issues were denied access to shoppers at a mall in Campbell, near San Jose. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upholds the ruling.

Dissent: 1997

After repeated efforts to re-open Elmer “Geronimo” Pratt’s case and mounting evidence of a wrongful conviction, an Orange County judge reverses Pratt’s conviction and frees him after nearly 25 years in prison.


Oakland police use sting ball grenades and shot-filled beanbags to shoot at peaceful protestors against the war in Iraq, injuring 58 people. The police department eventually agrees to a $2 million settlement and to prohibit the use of dangerous weapons against protestors.

A Fresno sheriff’s deputy infiltrates the anti-war group Peace Fresno. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer investigates and concludes that Peace Fresno members’ constitutional rights have been violated.

See Peace Fresno in “Fahrenheit 911:

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