Monday, September 28, 2015


It was a busy weekend. On Saturday we joined in the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Farm Workers grape boycott, which started in Delano, California in 1965. Immediately below is the sign at the entrance of the UFW's Forty Acres site - where the event was held - and a picture of UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta and then Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

For those of you unfamiliar with the region, know that Delano lies at the most northern end of Kern County. The county - which is about the size of the state of New Jersey - lies in the heart of central California and is just north of Los Angeles county.

There were numerous speakers at the event, including UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta. Note Dolores' "Huelga" photo in the background, an iconic pose that Sally Field helped make famous with her Oscar winning role in Norma Rae.

Among those in attendance were Kris Kristofferson and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who gave an excellent historical speech on how wealth has often worked to undermine the democratic spirit in the United States.

In the end, the speeches and the event were a positive reminder of what happens when social justice is your cause, and what can happen when you work to make it the center of your life's work.

To help illustrate the importance of the UFW and Kern County to the larger civil rights movement in America, below we see then Senator Robert R. Kennedy squaring off in 1966 with Kern County Sheriff Roy F. Galyen. The exchange was over the county's policy of arresting lawful protesters who had not violated the law. It has become one of the iconic moments in America's civil rights history.

- Mark

Addendum: Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, has a short but broad review of the UFW's history and current developments in the Sacramento Bee, which you can access here.

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