Thursday, May 15, 2008

Viva la Huelga (walk-out) or Hail Ceasar!

Having just read a favorite blog c jane enjoy it
posted: Pro Test

I was inspired to post this one. (it was a really good blog). Yes I have lots of protest experience and I would like to just remind myself and tell you about my earliest protest.

It was 1970, and I was nine or ten. Times were good at Casa de Martin. We had just moved into a new house in the "burbs", and food was plentiful at our dinner table. But Ceasar Chavez was just jailed for challenging an injunction on a boycott and was on a hunger strike. Mom (always militant) decided it was time for her suburban Chicano children to be indoctrinated into la Raza! (By the way it is Chicano, not Chicago). The migrant farm workers in California were being horribly treated by their employers and the ever nasty Teamsters Union was doing their dirty work, and Mom said, "enough was enough."

Down to the local SafeWay grocery store we went, posters and all and I watched Mom go to work. We were like, the ONLY Mexican/American family in all of GreenwoodMountain, Colorado. And we made our presence known! I never realized so many people ate lettuce! Mom stopped everyone walking into the store and asked them not to buy lettuce.
"Please support the UFA (United Farm Workers of America!)" Some people were rude, but most were just shocked that there were protesters in front of their peaceful store, and agreed to boycott. The story ends well, Ceasar Chavez was released, and the Teamsters backed off. (check out the links in red).

But, what I really remember is seeing a positive roll model in my Mom. She always made sure we understood the plight of the oppressed, and to get off our butts and do something about it. Even on Mother's Day last Sunday, we were reminded of the Native American injustices still going on today, for instance.

I too have tried to instill this attitude in my own children and look what my daughter Malaina created above. Yes she drew that picture of Ceasar Chavez as a 12 grader while at school in Malaysia. It now hangs in my home and I look at it everyday as I walk out the door, and I remember .....


cari said...

Great post Cynthia!

(I didn't know Malaina drew! The girl never ceases to amaze!)

Creole Wisdom said...

I found you through CJane and liked your comment there and post here.

As minorities I feel that we must have no toleration for maltreatment of people. We have been through it, we cannot stand to see it.

Your mom sounds so cool. I'm glad you had that amazing experience!