By Victoria Silva
From making and handing free zines, to organizing a student walk out, C.R.A.S.S. (Creative Revolutionary Association of Students in Solidarity), East Los Angeles College’s newest student collective is making waves.
C.R.A.S.S. was founded by a group of students at ELAC about a year ago. Their first meeting was at a local pizza joint, Purgatory Pizza, in Boyle Heights. At the beginning they envisioned what they wanted to bring to their campus.
C.R.A.S.S. was not intentional at first, but it came about because of their distress over student apathy. Alan Bacanal, a co-founder of, C.R.A.S.S., said, “We tried being in a lot of different clubs, but it never worked out because we didn’t really dig the environment of a lot of clubs. They weren’t doing much. We never went beyond the classroom. There was no practice, no action.”
In their beginning stages C.R.A.S.S. found an opportunity to take action and show what their intentions were about. Their first project was trying to keep a local elderly woman from getting evicted from her long time home. The elderly woman’s home was between Mednik and Hammel, which is down the street from ELAC. Though they did not succeed in saving her home, it was their first lesson in student unity and activism.
C.R.A.S.S. was host to two more events on the campus of ELAC. Their first was hosting an informative open discussion with Chilean anarchists. Their second was putting on a punk rock showcase and book signing, featuring feminist punk icon Alice Bag, at the Foyer Theatre. Turnouts for both events were a success.
One member, Cuauhtémoc Negrete, had the idea to make a zine. “Many of us are artists, poets, and or musicians,” said co-founder Luz Juan. Being that C.R.A.S.S. is a collective filled with people with artistic inclinations and strong opinions, making a zine seemed like the perfect thing to do. The zine is known as: “DA DA ZINE”, and has even reached the campus of Humboldt State. This came as a surprise to the members, and empowered them to not only continue their vision, but to strive for even greater goals.
Recently C.R.A.S.S. organized a student walkout on May Day. They planned a bus ride to downtown Los Angeles to join a larger rally from MacArthur Park to Olympic and Broadway. They even got Ovarian Cyclists- a local feminist collective, to come down from the Pasadena area and join them in the protest.
Things are just beginning for C.R.A.S.S. “We’re still developing.” said Bacanal.
“Overall, our goals are to push for student solidarity all over the LA County, and hope that it spreads across the United States. ” Said Bacanal.