When my wife and I decided we’d visit San Diego for our honeymoon, I knew that one of my “must sees” was Chicano Park in Logan Heights , also known as Barrio Logan. I first learned about the park when my 12th grade government teacher, Mrs. Gonzalez (the same woman who taught us about La Raza Unida Party in Texas) showed us a documentary about the park.
Initially interested in visiting the park because of its rich history and its beautiful Chicano-themed murals, it wasn’t the former or the latter that made the most impact on me. It was after visiting the park that I couldn’t help but think just how Barrio Logan was looking more like downtown San Diego, and less like the one I saw in the 1989 documentary. As I did a little more research, I found out that gentrification and displacement is nothing new to Barrio Logan:
- Prior to WWII the Navy  built a base on the waterfront, cutting off the barrio’s access to the bay.
- In the 1950s, the city changed zoning laws, allowing for many Anglo-owned junkyards to call the barrio their home.
- With the addition of Interstate 5 and the Coronado Bay Bridge, the barrio was essentially bisected, taking away a lot of the barrio’s land. According to Victor Ochoa, Chicano Park mural director from 1974 to 1979, the building of I-5 displaced some 5,000 people. 
For decades the residents of Barrio Logan had lobbied the city of San Diego to have a community park built. The city finally agreed to grant the residents their park, right under the Coronado Bay Bridge.
So imagine the residents’ surprise on April 22, 1970 when they saw bulldozers lined up, ready to build a parking lot for the Highway Patrol Station. It was then that the residents of Barrio Logan decided that they were done with their neighborhood being torn apart. Hundreds of people descended upon the park, many of them forming a human chain to block the bulldozers from entering the park. After a 12-day occupation, the city finally caved and gave the people their park.
We could argue the goal or impact of gentrification on a particular community all day; Chicano Park represents a time where a community was tired of being pushed around (literally) and took a stand. Although the 2012 version of Barrio Logan is vastly different from what it was in decades past, Chicano Park will always be a part of Logan Heights. And that will be true no matter how many more changes may be in store to the barrio in southeast San Diego.
 If you’ve ever seen the terrible series Gangland, you might have seen the episode on San Diego’s gangs. The episode talks about how Chicano Park is essentially a “war-zone.” don’t believe this BS, I visited the park on a Sunday with no issues whatsoever.
 Anyone familiar with San Diego knows that a large chunk of our military is based there.
 This is like a smaller version of what happened when Interstate 20 was built through Atlanta, decimating many African-American neighborhoods.