May Day is here, and as Latinos, we have a special stake in it. This is because unless we’ve become Republican—Cubanos en Miami—we tend to support labor unions and workers’ rights. We support the people who power May Day 2012 and have since the first May Day in the 1800s: workers like us demanding our rightful place in the order of things—realizing that nothing works without the 99% (attribution: yes, we borrowed this phrase from Occupy).
That’s one side of May Day.
The other side of May Day is that it’s some kind of a Pagan spring holiday, been-around-forever like pre-Christian-times, that actually celebrates the coming of spring. We heard all of Europe gets the day off…? WTF! #Wantthedayofftoo. How do these two sides of May Day come together…? Well, I’m just too mentally fatigued today (since I came in to work) to try and tie those two loose ends together for you. Figure it out.
What do we have for you? An awesome recap of Latinos who have fought for workers rights.
César Chávez co-founded the National Farm Workers Association and coined the ambitious slogan, “sí, se puede.” He and others organized strikes and campaigns on the behalf of the workers of the world and specifically, California and the Southwest US.
The Latina leader: Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association with Chávez (above). Huerta has been arrested 22x in her life as a labor leader and civil rights activist–that’s pretty righteous. In particular, she has been quite politically active in California, even lobbying for a bill that would allow folks to take drivers’ examinations in Spanish. Agreed!
Óscar Romero was an archbishop of the Catholic church in El Salvador who took a stand against injustice. He spoke out when Jimmy Carter sent millions of dollars in military aid to El Salvador. He became the voice del pueblo throughout Latin America and the US.
Camila Vallejo–one of the leaders of the student movement de Chile–is the face of a generation who wants public access rights to education, jobs and civil liberties as well as a voice in things: she has over 63,000 followers on Facebook. Her confidence and posturing, surprising for an activist of her age, is making waves internationally and igniting the 99%.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers:
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has made strides in snagging fair wages for farm workers in the state of Florida, as well as in campaigns directed at large corporations who benefit from slave-labor-like conditions across the USA, including Taco Bell, Publix, Chipotle, McDonald’s and Whole Foods. Taco bell, McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and whole Foods have agreed to work with the CIW’s demands. We love these Latinos.