The first time I stood on a UFW picket line was in front of a West Philadelphia A and P, must have been in Feb of 1972, absolutely freezing. A kind neighbor of the store let us take turns going across the street to warm up a bit. All that night I must have been asking folks not to buy lettuce in my dreams. Many picket lines later, it amazes me the reactions of people—customers and store managers, especially in stores that claimed to have organic produce.
I think Cesar taught me to always carry information about a cause you care about.. In random conversation you may be able to pass it along to someone who might join the struggle. Friends tease me when they see my purse, especially if a flyer is being handed out to a new acquaintance.
In the late 80s, a group of us (Boston Boycott family and friends) decided to submit a float to our town’s annual 4th of July parade. My husband and another woman made a large mural of the grape fields, with crop dusters near the schools. Our kids made “boycott” signs demanding healthy foods and no more pesticides on the grapes. It was the “year of the constitution” so our main banner stated that it was our right to safe food and justice in the fields. We were applauded as we marched through the town and to our surprise we won First Prize for THEME. $500 for the boycott was sent to Cesar.
The family continues to support the UFW in small ways when we can with meetings, letters, informal discussions, and signing petitions. Viva La Causa, Viva Cesar Chavez, and Viva Nan Freeman and the others who fight for justice in the fields.