In the working class East San Jose neighborhood where Cesar Chavez’s family first landed upon moving to San Jose when he was a child, a small but passionate group gathered. In front of the home of Cesar’s younger brother, Librado Chavez, a carpenter and member of Local 405 for 60 years, they chanted the motto that Cesar transformed from “Sal, si puede” (Get out if you can) to “Si se puede” (Yes you can).
After songs like “Picket Line”, harkening back to the days of demonstrations led by Cesar Chavez, Librado urged Americans to join the critical effort to push the U.S. Congress toward commonsense immigration reform.
Cesar started like we are here, talking about what we needed them to do, encouraging them to bring friends. When you show our [Congressional] representatives what we want, and let them know we’re voters, they’ll listen.
Ben Field, Executive Officer of the South Bay Labor Council:
The Chavez family symbolizes hope for change in our society. The labor movement is proud to stand with the Chavez family to call for fair immigration reform that provides a speedy pathway to citizenship, reasonable law enforcement, and protection for workers.
The event launched the San Jose part of a statewide caravan to Bakersfield to pressure Republican Congressman and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to use his influence to pass commonsense immigration reform. Groups from throughout California will also gather at McCarthy’s home office on September 2nd, Labor Day, for a united demonstration.