Led by Cesar Chavez, the UFW would eventually succeed to negotiate union contracts with the grape and other agriculture growers. It was a long fight and there were many set backs. Activists were hurt and some even killed just for supporting the right of farmworkers to organize a union. The UFW responded with non-violent tactics such as protests, petitions, and eventually a worldwide boycott that would lead to better pay and safer working conditions for their members. However, it couldn’t have worked without Cesar’s leadership, the support of empathizers, volunteers, and a relentless will to share their stories in an effort to see the cause prevail.
For me, if there is a takeaway to the Fight Mural, it is one of empowering ourselves as consumers. With so many choices in a free market, I find Cesar’s story to still be very relevant today. I believe that we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on the things we buy, where our dollars go and how that affects the lives of ourselves and others now and in the future.
“The fight was never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.”