Cesar Chavez


It’s Cesar Chavez Day in California. Here’s one article about why Chavez was such an important leader, but you can find many more poking around the internet. I’m sure.

Chavez was traveling around the East Coast when I briefly lived there and I was peripherily involved in the grape boycotts of the ’80s. Because of threats, Chavez required security during his speaking engagements. Due to the small amount of organizers involved in that issue in Ithaca NY at that time, I was drafted as one of the three most intimidating people, so I got stand on one side of him while he spoke and look for trouble in the crowd. No one really expected any, but I had time, while he spoke, to consider whether I would take a bullet for him. I was theoretically on board with the concept, but — luckily — was not tested.

We went out for pizza and beer afterwards.

Rainbow is closed in honor of Cesar Chavez Day. We had some internal debate a few years ago about the merits of closing vs. donating a days profits for the cause but highlighting the attempt to make it a national holiday seemed more important. It’s important to remember, as a “foodie revolution” takes place, who does the majority of the hard work, at least in states like California, to bring food to the table, and the work that unions and community organizations like the UFW have done in trying to prevent the use of some of the worst pesticides and harmful farming practices.

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