Salinas


SALINAS

"Very soon, a process will begin that will change our lives."

Thousands filled the Salinas fairgrounds, enjoying the food, the music, the Teatro, and above all, the speeches. Most of the UFW executive board was on hand, in recognition of the importance of Salinas. Several farmworker leaders spoke, with emotion, about the importance of the day, and about their leaders.

"To have faith, is something almost impossible,” said Jose Morales, president of the ranch committee at Interharvest. “Cesar Chavez has faith in the nobility of our hearts, the spirit, the struggle that he has seen. To have faith is to believe in something that you can’t see but you know exists. Cesar Chavez, your faith is a validation for all of us."

  • The fairgrounds were empty in the early morning, but not for long.

Cesar Chavez en Español

Then Chavez took the stage, and spoke for more than half an hour. He had saved his most moving and emphatic words for the largest crowd:

We come to Salinas very happy. We come to Salinas with a full heart. We come to Salinas with the faith, with the knowledge that, soon. Very soon now. A great faith and hope in all farmworkers, all of you, and all those who couldn’t come here today, that very soon, a process will begin that will change our lives. A process that will mark a new line in our life. 
 
A process that will bring tremendous change that will have a great impact on your lives. That will completely change your lives. That will change the lives of your children. A change that will finally bring recognition and rights to the farmworker, just as all those workers have had who belong to great unions here in this country. 
 
With this recognition come the benefits necessary to live comfortably. The benefits necessary to end the cycle of poverty. So that we are taken into account. The benefits so that our sons and daughters who want to be lawyers or doctors or engineers can achieve that, because here is the way to do it. The benefits necessary so that we have a future where we are not viewed as second class. That we are seen, in reality, as equals. 
 
The new law is the vehicle. The new law is the system, the way we will use to bring about the necessary change. The law is very simple, very effective, and very real. And this law that we now have, comrades, if you don’t guard it, if you don’t protect it, if you don’t make it work for you, then the fault is yours and no one else. Because now we have the law, and here it is.

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