Farm Worker Heat Death: California’s Harvest of Shame

california farm worker

Peter Dreier: Last week the temperature in California’s Central Valley went above 110 degrees. Can you imagine laboring in weather like that with the searing sun beating down on you for 8-10-12 hours a day?

Occupy Must Expand Beyond Activist Hotbeds

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Randy Shaw: Corporations and national politicians serving the interests of the 1% will not feel compelled to change course unless major protests go beyond traditional activist centers to where much of the 99% live.

A People’s History of the Farmworkers Movement

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Steven Mikulan: The UFW cherishes its historical record and now has unveiled a Web site where participants from past struggles are invited to share their experiences.

Jerry Betrays Cesar, UFW, and His Own Legacy

jerry brown and cesar chavez

Randy Shaw: Brown’s alignment with wealthy growers against indigent workers picking crops in the fields surely has Chavez turning over in his grave, and shows that the Governor views the UFW as just another group he is willing to betray.

Immigration Activists Let Obama Fool Them Again

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Randy Shaw: Obama could show political courage by taking executive action to stop his administration from continuing to deport more immigrants than any other President; but taking concrete steps to help undocumented immigrants is something Obama refuses to do.

Arizona Shootings Add to Hopelessness About “Change”

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Randy Shaw: An Obama Administration that routinely caves in to Wall Street, the military industrial complex, and other powerful interest certainly has no appetite for a battle with the NRA.

Lessons of the UNITE HERE-SEIU Deal

Wikileaks

Randy Shaw: The SEIU-UNITE HERE conflict also shows the peril of veteran labor leaders quietly deferring to destructive decisions by top union officials, a lesson that was supposed to have been learned from activists’ experience with Cesar Chavez and the UFW in the 1970’s.

Use Twitter and Facebook — Or Else!

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Randy Shaw: So while I’m not sold on Facebook (a venue where Lady Gaga’s record 10 million “fans“ exceeds that of President Obama), I am seriously considering opening a Twitter account. After all, how can I resist creating another “platform” for marketing?

On Cesar Chavez Day, Rediscover Cesar Chavez

Randy Shaw: Cesar Chavez dared to accomplish what most thought impossible, demonstrating the potential of national grassroots campaigns to win against all odds. Understanding the UFW’s success should cause activists to think bigger about what’s possible.

SEIU Throws Eggs at NUHW Supporters in Los Angeles

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One night after withdrawing its support for the California Democratic Party and picketing progressive politicians and labor leaders in San Francisco, SEIU threw eggs at those attending an event honoring NUHW in Los Angeles.

On Cesar Chavez’s Birthday, New National Farmworker Campaign Launched

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When Barack Obama adopted “Yes We Can” as his campaign theme, he harkened back to the “Si Se Puede” rallying cry popularized by Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America (UFW). As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, the President should consider a more lasting action to honor the UFW leader’s legacy: revising the 1935 [...]

Cesar Chavez Day and the Forgotten Asian Americans

larry

his Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) reminds us how forgotten stories can perpetuate stereotypes. Charlotte, an Asian American student leader at Pomona College, asked me how do we ignite people into political action and sweep away the tired public perception of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as passive and docile. I asked her if [...]

Will Obama’s New “Organizing for America” Succeed?

David Plouffe and Barack Obama

After Barack Obama’s presidential campaign built the organizing skills of thousands of young activists, many hoped that his organization would spawn a new entity to keep many of these folks working full time for change. The Obama campaign was the best incubator for activists since the UFW of the 1960s and 70s, and created a [...]

Largest U.S. Fast Aims to Turn Out Voters

The largest hunger strike in U.S. history will begin Oct. 15, to call attention to voter mobilization, immigrant rights organizers say. One hundred dedicated activists will encamp at the historic heart of Los Angeles — La Placita Olvera — to fast for 21 days before the Nov. 4 elections. They expect to be joined by [...]

What I Learned in Denver

by Randy Shaw – The last day of the Democratic Convention at Mile High Stadium was an extraordinary occasion that transcended politics and became almost spiritual. I have never been part of such a public event—political or not—and doubt whether an equivalent happening has ever occurred in the United States or will soon be repeated.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles Celebrates 30 Years

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Let’s face it, anytime you get 2,000 gay men and lesbians together in one room it’s a political statement. And, Monday evening, August 25, in Disney Hall was no exception when the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) celebrated its 30th Anniversary. It was an inspirational evening under the Artistic Direction of GMCLA’s Bruce [...]

Si Se Puede: Anti-Labor Legislation

Kevin Lynn

Once again the Bush Administration and Congress are shilling for big business at the expense of labor. Labor much like capital is ruled by the law of supply and demand. According to the UFW website , last month more than 5,000 UFW supporters sent e-faxes to the Department of Labor (DOL) telling them instead of [...]

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