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Wed Apr 13 2016 (Updated 04/20/16)UFW Tries to Silence Boycott Driscoll’s Activists at Cesar Chavez March
Wed Apr 13 2016 (Updated 04/20/16)Activists Ask United Farm Workers: Which Side Are You On?
On Sunday, April 3, Michael Garcia and fellow Watsonville Brown Berets traveled a short distance to Salinas to attend the annual Cesar Chavez March and Rally presented by United Farm Workers (UFW). The Watsonville Brown Berets (WBB) were joined by members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ), an independent farmworker union in Burlington, Washington fighting for a union contract, and initiators of the boycott against Driscoll's.
WBB and FUJ activists spoke with people assembled at Cesar Chavez Community Park and handed out flyers about the growing movement to boycott Driscoll's, the world's largest berry distributor. FUJ, along with tens of thousands of farmworkers in San Quintín, Mexico, are fighting to end wage theft and poverty wages, inhumane production standards, and retaliation from protected union activity.
Although advocating for farmworkers' rights seems like it would be warmly welcomed by UFW, that was not the experience for WBB and FUJ members. Despite UFW’s wishes, the event's stage manager granted advocates of the Driscoll’s boycott a few minutes to address the crowd. In an act highlighting UFW's partnership with Driscoll's, UFW Regional Director Lauro Barajas removed a UFW flag from the front of the stage moments before FUJ member Lázaro Matamoros, a Mixtec migrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, described 5am-4:30pm days with no breaks or lunch while harvesting berries for Driscoll's at Sakuma Brothers Farms in Washington state.
Read More with Photos and Video | Letter from Al Rojas to Arturo Rodriguez on UFW and the Delano 1965 Grape Strike
Previous Coverage: Washington State Farmworkers Launch West Coast Tour in Solidarity with San Quintín
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