Wednesday, October 23, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Cesar Chavez (1927 – 1993)


Labor organizer and social activist.
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Cesar Chavez
My friends, the time for action is upon us. The enemies of justice wants you to think of Dr. King as only a civil rights leader, but he had a much broader agenda. He was a tireless crusader for the rights of the poor, for an end to the war in Vietnam long before it was popular to take that stand, and for the rights of workers everywhere.
Many people find it convenient to forget that Martin was murdered while supporting a desperate strike on that tragic day in Memphis, Tennessee. He died while fighting for the rights of sanitation workers.
Dr. King's dedication to the rights of the workers who are so often exploited by the forces of greed has profoundly touched my life and guided my struggle.
Chavez quotes
Just as Dr. King was a disciple of Gandhi and Christ, we must now be Dr. King's disciples.
Dr. King challenged us to work for a greater humanity. I only hope that we are worthy of his challenge.
Chavez
We don't know how God chooses martyrs. We do know that they give us the most precious gift they possess — their very lives.




Chavez Cesar quotes
Dr. King was also radical in his beliefs about violence. He learned how to successfully fight hatred and violence with the unstoppable power of nonviolence.
He once stopped an armed mob, saying: "We are not advocating violence. We want to love our enemies. I want you to love our enemies. Be good to them. This is what we live by. We must meet hate with love."
Chavez Cesar
We shall unite. We have learned the meaning of Unity.
Cesar Chavez quotes
Across the San Joaquin Valley, across California, across the entire Southwest of the United States, wherever there are Mexican people, wherever there are farm workers, our movement is spreading like flames across ad dry plain. Our pilgrimage is the match that will light our cause for all farm workers to see what is happening here, so that they may do as we have done. The time has come for the liberation of the poor farm worker.
History is on our side. May the strike go on! Viva la causa!
Cesar Chavez
You are here to discuss a matter which is of extreme importance to yourselves, your families and your community, so let's get to the subject at hand. A hundred and fifty-five years ago, in the state of Guanajuato in Mexico, a padre proclaimed the struggle for liberty. He was killed, but ten years later Mexico won its independence. We Mexicans here in the United States, as well as all other farm workers, are engaged in another struggle for the freedom and dignity which poverty denies us. But it must not be a violent struggle, even if violence is used against us. Violence can only hurt us and our cause. The law is for us as well as the ranchers. The strike was begun by the Filipinos, but it is not exclusively for them. Tonight we must decide if we are to join our fellow workers.
Chavez Cesar quotes
When we refer to the Church we should define the word a little. We mean the whole Church, the Church as an ecumenical body spread around the world, and not just its particular form in a parish in a local community.
The Church we are talking about is a tremendously powerful institution in our society, and in the world. That Church is one form of the Presence of God on Earth, and so naturally it is powerful. It is powerful by definition. It is a powerful moral and spiritual force which cannot be ignored by any movement.
Chavez
We seek, and have, the support of the Church in what we do. At the head of the pilgrimage we carry La virgen de la Guadalupe because she is ours, all ours, Patroness of the Mexican people. We also carry the Sacred Cross and the Star of David because we are not sectarians, and because we ask the help and prayers of all religions.
Chavez Cesar
When the strike started in 1965, most of our friends forsook us for a while. They ran — or were just too busy to help. But the California Migrant Ministry held a meeting with its staff and decided that the strike was a matter of life or death for farm workers everywhere, and that even if it meant the end of the Migrant Ministry they would turn over their resources to the strikers. The political pressure on the Protestant Churches was tremendous and the Migrant Ministry lost a lot of money. But they stuck it out, and they began to point the way to the rest of the Church. In fact, when 30 of the strikers were arrested for shouting Huelga [Strike], 11 ministers went to jail with them.
Cesar Chavez
?Sí se puede!




Cesar Chavez quotes
History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.
Cesar Chavez
One of the heroic figures of our time.
Chavez quotes
My friends, as we enter a new decade, it should be clear to all of us that there is an unfinished agenda, that we have miles to go before we reach the promised land.
The men who rule this country today never learned the lessons of Dr. King, they never learned that non-violence is the only way to peace and justice.
Our nation continues to wage war upon its neighbors, and upon itself.
Chavez Cesar
We should be prepared to come to the defense of that priest, rabbi, minister, or layman of the Church, who out of commitment to truth and justice gets into a tight place with his pastor or bishop. It behooves us to stand with that man and help him see his trial through. It is our duty to see to it that his rights of conscience are respected and that no bishop, pastor or other higher body takes that God-given, human right away.
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