ยกViva la Huelga! Graphic Heritage and Legacies of the United Farm Workers
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Table of Contents Part I: Roots of the Struggle Part II: ยกViva la Causa! - 1960s-1970s Part III: Commemoration and Renewal 1980s-1990s Part IV: ยกLa Lucha Continua! - Ongoing Efforts for Equality and Social Justice
Art is central to every successful movement for social change, and the United Farm Workers exemplifies this. Since its founding in the 1960s, the UFW expressed every aspect of their movement in music, theater, poetry, and art. A constantly changing and innovative array of posters, banners and buttons accompanied every march and rally. Posters depicting the reasons for and targets of the grape and lettuce boycotts were plastered on walls and carried as placards. The United Farm Workers drew upon the rich tradition of the U.S. and Mexican labor movements for both their tactics and their art. And in both areas they made their own indelible additions. The UFW was especially effective in using posters to inspire a new generation of activists and artists. The spontaneity and passion of the artists and the movement resulted in the exciting variety of styles and techniques displayed here. The UFW produced most of these posters, many at its offset printshop in La Paz, California. Yet there appears to be no centralized control over the poster production. Many pieces are from art collectives, such as La Raza Silkscreen Center, San Francisco and the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF), Sacramento. These groups are committed to linking their art with the social and political issues confronting their community. Whether the pieces are signed or anonymous, by individuals or groups, all identified with and supported the farm workers cause.
As the UFW built upon the past and created legacies for the future, the exhibition begins with posters of political leaders and labor movements from Mexico and the United States whose struggle for justice provided the historical foundation for the UFW. In addition to promoting the strike and the boycotts, UFW posters cover a broad range of topics, including racism, child labor, immigrant rights and pollution. These problems still exist, and poster art continues to play an important and unique role in confronting them. ยกViva la Huelga! documents the importance of the poster tradition in both the farm workers movement, and in the ongoing struggle for social and economic justice. Politics are inseparable from this art, and this art is inseparable from the politics.
Carol Wells Executive Director Center for the Study of Political Graphics
1. ยกViva La Huelga! (The Strike Lives!) Carlos Cortez Linocut, 1993 02272
Part I: Roots of the Struggle
2. The Mexican Revolution - 1910 Rayvan Gonzalez (La Raza Silkscreen Center) Silkscreen, 1978 02230
La Raza Graphic Center, (Former La Raza Silkscreen Center), San Francisco Founded in 1971 by Chicano and Latino organizers to serve the community by using art as a means of communication and as a center of art and culture. The United Farm Workers Movement and the Viet Nam War were two of the many social, economic and political issues affecting the community and reflected in the posters they produced.
3. Míguel Hídalgo y Costílla Louie "the Foot" Gonzalez (Royal Chicano Air Force) Silkscreen, ca 1970s 02490 MIGUEL HIDALGO (1753-1811) An ordained Catholic priest, Míguel Hídalgo is known in Mexico as the “Father of Mexican Independence.” He was born in Guanajuato on May 8, 1753. On September 16, 1810 he rang the bells of the church and gave the famous Grito de Dolores, claiming the country’s independence and marking the beginning of the Mexican Revolution. Hídalgo led a small army of peasants in their struggle for freedom before being captured in 1811. On July 30 of the same year, his execution day, Hídalgo is said to have passed out candies to the firing squad ordered to execute him. He refused to be blindfolded and looked on serenely. The initial shots did not kill him, and two soldiers took pity on his suffering and shot him in the head. Hídalgo’s head was displayed for ten years in a public grain market until the government decided to bury the head in Mexico’s cathedral.
4. Viva La Revolución - Francisco “Pancho” Villa El Taller Grafico Offset, no date 02234 FRANCISCO (PANCHO) VILLA (1878-1923) Mexican revolutionary leader Francisco (Pancho) Villa was born in Durango, Mexico as Doroteo Arango. His formative years were filled with hard work on the ranch his family was “tied” to. Tradition has it that he was forced to flee and change his name to Francisco Villa because he wounded a landowner while defending his sister. In 1910, he joined in the revolt against the government. In 1915, his role in the revolution diminished as the result of two important defeats and his breaking of ties with Venustiano Carranza, an early leader of the revolt. During this time he antagonized the U.S. government by several attacks ending with a 1916 raid on Columbus, New Mexico. Pancho Villa was assassinated in 1923 near Parral, Chihuahua by gunmen amidst rumors that people in the Mexican government were involved.
5. Zapata Herbert Siguenza (La Raza Graphic Center) Silkscreen, 1979 02231 EMILIANO ZAPATA (1879-1919) Mexican revolutionary leader, Emiliano Zapata was born in Morelos. His early years were marked with poverty, hard work, and a meager education. In 1910, when the Mexican Revolution broke out, he became an important leader in the region. Zapata became a beloved and admired general to the peasants, and a feared and hated man to all who stood in his way. In 1911, he developed the Plan de Ayala, which proposed many agrarian reforms, including returning lost lands to the peasants. His plan was incorporated into the revolutionary goals in 1914. Zapata formed an uneasy alliance with Pancho Villa from the North against Venustiano Carranza. Villa’s defeat in 1915 caused Zapata to withdraw from the mountains in Morelos. Zapata was murdered in 1919 by federal troops who pretended to defect from the government’s ranks. He and Villa remain symbols of the poor peasants’ revolt against the rich and powerful. They were important for the Chicano Movement of the 1960's. The contemporary revolutionary peasant movement in Chiapas also refers back to his demands for agrarian reform, by calling themselves “Zapatistas.”
6. Lucia Gonzalez de Parsons (Lucy Parsons “Don’t Strike. Remain on your jobs and take control of the means of production. If anyone suffers from hunger, it should be the bosses.”) Carlos Cortez Reproduction of linocut, 1986 23699 LUCY PARSONS (1853-1942) Lucy Parsons was a black working class woman who was a recognized leader of the predominantly white male labor movement in Chicago. She spent her life struggling for the rights of the poor, unemployed, homeless, women, children, and minority groups. Interested in the emancipation of workers from wage slavery, Parsons joined the anarchistic International Working People’s Association in 1883. This was the time when the U.S. government was working to eliminate the growing labor movement. On May 1, 1886, Lucy Parsons and her husband Albert led 80,000 workers and their supporters on a march to mobilize for a general strike for the eight-hour day. When a fatal bombing occurred three days later at a labor rally at the Haymarket, police blamed radical activists. When eight defendants including Albert were found guilty, Lucy began organizing the Haymarket Defense. After Albert’s execution in 1887, she was active in the radical labor movement for another 55 years. She published newspapers, pamphlets and books, and led many demonstrations. She was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World. Her struggle with the Chicago police for free speech lasted for decades. Police frequently broke up meetings simply because the speaker was Lucy Parsons
7. Chicago Women's Labor History Red Pepper Posters (image from 1915 of 15,000 striking Chicago Clothing Workers) Silkscreen, 1976 02276
8. Emma Tenayucca Rupert Garcia Offset, 1977 02233
EMMA TENAYUCCA and the TEXAS PECAN STRIKE Emma Tenayucca was born in 1916, in San Antonio, Texas. At sixteen she took part in the Fink Cigar Strike, and in her early twenties she was a key force in the Pecan Shellers’ strike, both in Texas. In 1936, pecan shellers worked in sweatshops, earning from 5¢ to 6¢ a pound. Conditions forced workers to organize. When management cut rates by 1¢ a pound, thousands of shellers walked off their jobs on February 1, 1938, at the peak of the pecan shelling season. Over 1000 pickets were arrested, and tear gas was repeatedly used to disperse the crowds. Emma Tenayucca worked for the Workers Alliance, organizing the unemployed. A member of the Communist Party, she led demonstrations attracting 10,000 participants. Tenayucca was called “La Pasionaria” by her supporters (after Dolores Ibarrui, communist leader of the Spanish Civil War). A power struggle over control of the strike developed between Tenayucca and the CIO’s United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, and Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA). To remove charges of communist influence, she was forced to resign her leadership role on the second day of the strike, although the workers subsequently voted her honorary strike leader. The Catholic Church, the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, and the League of United Latin American Citizens refused to support the pecan strike. Strikers were beaten and Mexicans were forced to become scabs under the threat of deportation. A soup kitchen providing free food to strikers was closed due to alleged health violations. After 37 days, the parties submitted to arbitration, and as a result the owners were required to pay the minimum wage of 25¢ an hour. The victory was short lived, however, as owners soon replaced workers with machinery. The U.S. government black-listed Tenayucca for her membership in the Communist Party, making it impossible for her to find work. Ironically, she supported herself by sewing military uniforms for soldiers during World War II. She staged demonstrations to demand jobs for Spanish-speaking people during F.D. Roosevelt’s administration. Tenayucca received a master’s degree, and became an elementary school teacher in San Antonio where she still lives.
9. 1 de Mayo de 1947 Pablo O'Higgins (El Taller de Grรกfica Popular, Mexico) Reproduction of offset, 1947 02273
Part II: ยกViva la Causa! - 1960s1970s
10. UFWOC. Justice, Dignity, Brotherhood Andrew (Andy) ZermeĂąo Offset, ca 1969/70 2013
This painting of a farm worker holding the UFW banner is one of a series of 12 ZermeĂąo paintings made into stamps and sold to raise money for the UFW.
11. NOW Photo: Danny Lyon Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Offset, ca mid 1960s 2622
SNCC - STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE SNCC was formed in 1960 by mostly black college students who were involved in the lunch counter sit-ins then sweeping the South. Advocating nonviolent direct action, SNCC quickly became the militant thrusting point of the civil rights movement. They organized voter registration and demonstrations against segregation all over the South. Volunteers from SNCC and from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) were instrumental in the early days of the Delano Grape Strike. They taught classes in nonviolent protest tactics that they had learned in the Civil Rights Movement, and served as strike leaders and pickets. They also helped the farm workers establish their boycotts and track grapes to shipping points and markets.
12. One Union for Farm Workers Anonymous (United Farmworkers of America) Offset, 1971 02022 This poster was probably part of the campaign to organize African-American orange pickers in Florida. In the early 1970s, the UFW won a contract with the Minute Maid to represent those workers, who are still represented by the UFW today.
13. Welcome to America Anonymous Offset from 1930 Photo, ca 1970 2310
14. Isuda Ti Immuna (They Who Were First) - Filipino Farm Workers in America Faustino Cargoy and Dean S. Toui Offset, ca 1970s 15766
FILIPINO FARM WORKERS On September 8, 1965, 500 Filipino grape pickers in Delano began the strike which changed the face of agriculture in the United States. Members of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), the Filipino farm workers had been encouraged by a victory in the spring of 1965 in the Coachella Valley, where the U.S. Labor Department announced that braceros (literally “helping arms,” or immigrant laborers) would be paid $1.40 an hour. The domestic pickers received 20¢ to 30¢ an hour less. Joined by Mexicans, the Filipinos walked out, and ten days later they received a guarantee of equivalent pay with braceros. When the Filipinos requested the same guarantee in the San Joaquin Valley, growers refused, and led by Larry Itliong, they voted to strike. They made the decision on their own, without the explicit support of the AWOC director and the AFL-CIO leadership. The strike demands were simple: $1.40 an hour or 25¢ a box. The DiGiorgio Corporation became the major target. Although organizationally and financially unprepared for a strike, the rank and file of Chávez’s National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) voted on September 16 to join the Filipinos. In 1966, the NFWA and AWOC merged into the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC). It was a difficult decision for the Filipinos as they feared they would be completely outnumbered by the Mexicans if they merged. The Teamsters also worked hard to recruit AWOC. But after seeing the benefits - the chance for the first time of building one strong farm workers union - the merger was supported. Most of the officers of the NFWA were kept intact and became officers of the new UFW. The Filipino leaders of AWOC who became part of the UFWOC leadership were Larry Itliong, Andy Imutan and Philip Vera Cruz. A compromise was worked out between the Mexicans and the Filipinos so that Chávez became director and Larry Itliong was assistant director. In the early days, the Filipinos were a large group within the union. The Mexican membership quickly grew because of Chávez’s leadership and the large numbers of Mexican workers in California. As the union became more Mexican dominated, friction between the two groups increased. Disagreements arose over allocation of money to striking workers and the dispatching of jobs. Union meetings were conducted in Spanish, and even when English translation was provided, it was not the Filipino native language. As a result, many Filipinos did not understand what was going on at union meetings, and few participated. The issue of democracy within the union was one the primary problems. Many Filipinos quit the union because they didn’t feel they had an equal voice. By the time the UFW finally had its first election of officers in 1971, most of the Filipinos in leadership roles had already resigned. Whatever problems may have existed between the Mexicans and the Filipinos in the UFW, the Teamsters and the growers were always there to fan the flames.
15. El Teatro Campesino Farm Workers Theater Anonymous Graphic: JosĂŠ Guadalupe Posada (1851-1913) Offset, ca late 1960s 02624
The Posada image is titled “Calavera Maderista” - a mocking skeleton of Francisco Madero, the first president of Mexico after the dictator, Porfirio Diaz. Posada made the skeleton into a portrait by using Madero’s easily recognizable mustache and goatee. He also ascribed peasant clothing and a bottle of aguar diente liquor to the prim teetotaler Francisco Madero. TEATRO CAMPESINO The Teatro Campesino (Farm Workers’ Theater), was founded by Luis Váldez in 1965 in Delano, California, as part of the UFW lettuce boycott campaign. A traveling company, the Teatro used one-act plays to publicize the struggle of farm workers. The productions were primarily aimed at recruiting farm workers in labor camps and in small towns. Plays were also produced for urban supporters of the union. Through the guerrilla street theater of the Teatro, farm workers had a vent for their anger. They could laugh at satirical representations of agribusiness, and begin to see themselves as something more than helpless peons. In the process, they could also absorb some of the revolutionary ideas of the strike.
16. "You stand for justice ...." Hess Offset, no date 02295 CESAR CHAVEZ 1927-1993 When the National Farm Workers Association was founded by César Chávez and others, they accomplished what was thought to be impossible, the organizing of poor and uneducated farm laborers. Born on March 31, 1927, near Yuma, Arizona, Chávez was no stranger to the struggle of farm labor. His family lost their small farm during the depression and moved to San Jose, California, where they worked as migrant farmers. As a child, Chávez also worked in the fields to help out the family. His father had belonged to farm labor unions, and Chávez himself had belonged to the National Farm Labor Union. In the 1950s, Chávez became an organizer for the Community Service Organization (CSO), and learned grass root strategies. In 1958, he became CSO director for California and Arizona. Chávez became interested in organizing a labor union for farm workers, and tried to convince CSO to develop a farm labor union. When his ideas were rejected, Chávez resigned from the organization in 1962. He moved to Delano, where he and other activists including Dolores Huerta, founded the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), which later became the UFW.
Until his death in 1993, Chávez remained the head of the UFW. He continued to live as he did in the 1960s, sleeping four hours, meditating and attending daily mass. He continued to use fasts as a way of calling attention to the farm workers’ demands. He was both a charismatic and controversial leader. His anti-communism and inability to delegate authority weakened the union at the same time that his dedication and vision strengthened it. Chávez gave people La Causa (The Cause) to fight for the rights and dignity of everyone. THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE The concept of religion, spirituality, and in particular the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, has been closely linked to the UFWA due mainly to its founder, César. Chávez, a deeply religious person, incorporated these into his organization. A banner with the representation of the Virgin of Guadalupe was always carried alongside the UFWA’s flag. In the beginning, the Catholic Church was very supportive of the farm worker’s union and their efforts. Later, however, the church stopped supporting the union mainly because the growers, who contributed heavily to the church, threatened to withhold their financial support. The strong religious base helped unite Mexican-Americans, and seemed to emphasize the concept of non-violence. However, it also alienated many members. The UFWA had many Filipino members and others who resented the imposition of these beliefs. Many people left the organization as a result of Chávez’s unwillingness to concede on this issue. THE FASTS On February 15, 1968, César Chavez began what turned out to be a twenty-five day fast. This was the first of many more fasts to come. Chávez always maintained that his fasts were not to bring attention to the cause, but rather an act of penance because the union wanted to move towards violence. But the fasting was also part of a militant attitude on the part of Chávez. According to writer Bonnie Chatfield, “The fast was an important organizing tool...It was like the march...only instead of his going to the people...they came to him.”
18. For All These Rights We've Just Begun to Fight Anonymous (United Farmworkers of America) Offset, mid 1970s 2017
19. Una Sola Uniรณn - Vote UFW (A Single Union) D. Forbes Offset, 1977 1528
20. Una Sola Unión - Vote UFW (A Single Union) Kathy G. (El Taller Grafico) Offset, 1977 02299 Printed in both English and Spanish versions, these two posters were used in the campaign to organize farm workers. “Una sola unión” refers to the fact that the growers would set up rival “unions” to compete against the UFW in workplace representation elections. The D. Forbes represents the Filipino farm workers. The Kathy G. poster represents the Mexican-American farm workers.
21. The Land is Ours Herbert Siguenza (La Raza Silkscreen Center) Silkscreen, 1977 02616
22. Stop Child Labor Photo: Cathy Murphy Offset, 1976 01973 After the appearance of this poster, the grower whose field is photographed sued the UFW, claiming that this was not their field. The UFW won the suit.
A Nationwide Fight
23. On Strike - Mississippi Freedom Labor Union Anonymous Lithograph, 1965-1966 00138 This poster was one of a pair by the same artist. The companion piece featured a woman. MISSISSIPPI FREEDOM LABOR UNION The Mississippi Freedom Labor Union attempted to organize African American sharecroppers in Mississippi. The MFLU was organized by the Delta Ministry of the National Council of Churches, the Freedom Democratic Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and many others from the civil rights movement. During 1965-1966, sharecroppers organized a strike on some plantations. As a result of the strike they were evicted, losing both their homes and their jobs, and were forced to set up a tent city. It was a valiant effort to organize sharecroppers, but the union did not survive the evictions and a growing trend towards mechanization in agriculture.
24. United Farm Workers Atlanta Anonymous Offset, pre-1975 02005
25. Victoria en 1975 Anonymous Offset, 1975 02016
26. 6th of July celebration Anonymous (United Farmworkers of America) Offset, ca 1974 02023 The celebration promoted in this poster was intended to raise UFW consciousness among the mostly African American orange pickers and grove workers in central Florida, many of whom didnâ€™t feel particular solidarity with the mostly Latino, California-based union. That was because the Minute Maid company had signed a UFW contract without a major struggle because its parent company, Coca Cola, wanted to avoid an international boycott. Note that one of the events at this picnic is a showing of Fighting for Our Lives, the 1974 documentary about the bloody 1973 grape strike in California
27. First East Coast Mobilization for Farm Workers Photo: George Ballis Offset, 1975 01990 This poster promotes a highly successful national conference designed to recruit full-time volunteers for the grape, lettuce and Gallo wine boycotts in major American cities. The conference brought college students from all over the East and Midwest in a weekend of solidarity with farm workers.
28. Justicia Para Los Campesinos (Justice for Farm Workers! We March for Equality!) Carlos Cortez Texas Farm Workers Union (TFWU) Linocut, 1979 02270
29. Farmworkers Strike to Save Their Union Andrew (Andy) ZermeĂąo Offset, 1971 02291 The featured portraits were of two striking farm workers from Delano, California. The manâ€™s name is Mr. Zapata.
30. Vineyard March Richard Correll Offset from 1970 Woodcut, ca 1970s 8247
LA MARCHA - THE PILGRIMAGE Led by marchers carrying the Virgin of Guadalupe, the U.S. and Mexican flags, and the UFW banner, over 10,000 people entered Sacramento on Easter Sunday, 1966, concluding a 320 mile Pilgrimage March by striking farm workers and their supporters. The month long march began in Delano with a group of sixty marchers and increased daily until their triumphal entrance into the state capital. Newsweek magazine said, “Last week, the parade to the Capitol turned into a triumphal march - the first real breakthrough by farm workers in the long history of U.S. organized labor...The steps of Chavez’ strikers will set up echoes for the future.”
31. Don't Eat Grapes Milton Glaser lithograph, 1969 02238
32. Si Se Puede - It Can Be Done Chicago Women's Graphics Collective Silkscreen, early 1970s 30595
33. Leave Gallo for the Rats Anonymous Silkscreen, 1970s 8242 From 1973-1979, the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, called for a boycott of E. & J. Gallo Winery, claiming the winery exploited its vineyard workers in Sonoma County, provided low wages, and no benefits. The boycott against Gallo was part of a campaign that included lettuce and field grapes. That boycott ended in 1978, after the UFW won a string of union elections held under California's then-new Agricultural Labor Relations Act. In 2005, the boycott was resumed when Gallo refused to provide health coverage for its workers.
34. Si la Raza No Para a Nixon... Andrew (Andy) ZermeĂąo Offset, 1968 02623 This poster was designed to oppose Nixon during his campaign for the presidency in 1968. It appeared as the cover illustration for the October 15,1968 issue of El Malcriado: The Voice of the Farm Worker newspaper. EL MALCRIADO
El Malcriado: The Voice of the Farm Worker, was published twice monthly by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO. Although it was the union newspaper, the union did not financially support the paper to protect the union from potential lawsuits. The paper was supported primarily by advertisements and subscriptions from all over the United States. UFWOC , however, did control the content to a great degree, and opposed discussion of three primary areas: the Viet Nam War, La Raza, and Communism. Although Chavez refused to allow the union to take a position o n the war in Viet Nam, the editors of El Malcriado got around this by publishing letters to the editor which strongly opposed the war. Chavez also opposed the promotion of La Raza, as divisive in a union which from its inception was multracial in its membership and in its supporters. Chavez was known for holding strong anti-Communist positions, which were published in El Malcriado.
35. [Nixon with grapes] Anonymous Photograph, ca 1969 02306 “RICHARD NIXON EATS GRAPES” Richard M. Nixon’s support of agribusiness has a long history. In 1948, as Congressman from California, he signed a report which purposely misrepresented the conditions among farm workers and which was then used to oppose the strike led by the National Farm Labor Union (NFLU) against the DiGiorgio Corporation. This report was instrumental in breaking the strike. Nixon was heavily indebted to the large growers for his 1968 presidential victory, and repaid them in many ways. He sponsored legislation which would outlaw secondary boycotts by farm workers (see Proposition 22). He got the NLRB to bring action against the UFW in their boycott against the Schenley Corporation. The Nixon administration persuaded the Teamsters and the growers to cooperate in the war against the UFW.
36. Boycott Lettuce Cover of The Black Panther newspaper (photocopy) September 23, 1972 03222 BLACK PANTHER PARTY The Black Panther Party (BPP) was very supportive of César Chávez and the United Farm Workers’ movement. The UFW boycott of grapes, lettuce, Gallo wine, Safeway markets, etc. was extensively promoted in The Black Panther, the BPP newspaper. The Panthers actively opposed Proposition 22 and helped publicize agricultural pesticide dangers for farm workers and consumers. In July 1973, the BPP launched a major boycott against six Oakland Safeway supermarkets. In addition to publishing many articles on the UFW and the boycott, The Black Panther frequently carried a UFW fundraising coupon to send support directly to the UFW. The BPP supported the Chicano movement in many ways, such as in funding the publication of the Chicano newspaper, Basta Ya!, and in defending Chicano political prisoners, as Los Tres and Los Siete.
37. Boycott Safeway Cover of The Black Panther newspaper (photocopy) July 28, 1973 02293 SAFEWAY BOYCOTT Several hundred Safeway stores throughout California became the most important target in the boycott of S&W products. S&W was the major product of the DiGiorgio Corporation, which claimed to be the “world’s largest grower and distributor of grapes and tree fruits.” They owned tens of thousands of acres of top agricultural land, throughout California and Florida, as well as many other interests, from lumber mills in Oregon to supermarkets in New York. They controlled insurance companies, utility companies and banks. Robert DiGiorgio and other officials in the DiGiorgio Corporation were directors and officers of the Bank of America - the richest bank in the world at that time. The object of the boycott was to get Safeway to remove S&W products from their shelves. Stores that continued to carry S&W were told they would be picketed.
38. Support the U.F.W.A. International Boycott Ricardo Favela (Royal Chicano Air Force) Silkscreen, 1976 2497
Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF) Founded in 1970 in Sacramento, as the Rebel Chicano Art Front, the name was soon changed as the irony of having the same initials as the Canadian Air Force became apparent. Co-founded by poet and artist José Montoya and artist Esteban Villa, the RCAF focused on murals and silkscreen posters. José Montoya was also an organizer for the UFW, and many RCAF posters supported the Farm Worker Movement. In addition to Montoya and Villa, the most active members in the RCAF have been Ricardo Favela, Max Garcia, Armando Cid, Juanishi Orosco, Rudy Cuellar Jr. and Louie “The Foot” Gonzalez.
39. ¡Orale Cabrones! No Tomen Gallo (Listen, you S.O.B.'s! Don't Drink Gallo) Andrew (Andy) Zermeño Offset, mid 1970s 2248
40. Boycott: Gallo Wine Anonymous (N.Y.U. Law Students for Farm Workers) Offset, ca 1974 02000
41. Boycott Coors Beer Anonymous Offset, no date 2255
COORS BEER BOYCOTT The official boycott of Coors products begins in 1968, based on the company’s discriminatory hiring practices. In 1966, of 1330 employees, 27 were Chicano, and Chicana/os called for a boycott because of Coors’ racist hiring practices. Moreover, the Coors family was contributed to reactionary groups such as the John Birch Society, and donated helicopters to the Denver police, who confronted Chicano activism. In 1969, Coors was charged with racial discrimination. Coors was found guilty in 1970. In the 1970s the AFL-CIO also called a strike against Coors. Not until 1977 was Coors finally forced to settle out of court, paying thousands of dollars and rehiring several workers . In October 1984, the American G.I. Forum, the Cuban National Planning Committee, the National Council of La Raza, the National Puerto Rican Coalition and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce signed a contract with Coors ending the boycott. The pact pledged that Coors, from 1985 to 1990, would return $350 million to the community in the form of advertisements in Hispanic media, investments in Hispanic business, grants to selected community organizations and some scholarships. How much Coors returned depended on how much beer the “Hispanic” community drank. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) at first refused to ratify the agreement because it linked the amount of money the community received to beer consumption, but soon joined the others in ratifying the pact. Activists and trade union organizations such as the UFW continued the Coors boycott.
42. Boycott Grapes Xavier Viramontes Offset, 1973 11580 U.S. ARMY BUYS GRAPES As the grape boycott spread throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, grape sales decreased significantly. To support the growers, the U.S. government began increasing their grape purchases. These grapes were sent to servicemen all over the world. In 1966 U.S. troops in Viet Nam were shipped 468,000 pounds of grapes; in 1967, 555,000 pounds; in 1968, 2 million pounds; and by 1969 more than 4 million pounds were sent to Viet Nam alone. Between 1966-1968, 23 million pounds of scab grapes were purchased for overseas military personnel. Later the U.S. Defense Department spent taxpayersâ€™ money to buy large quantities of lettuce when the union boycotted this product.
43. Boycott Grapes Anonymous (Toledo, Ohio) Offset, no date 02308
44. Strike Benefit Anonymous (Boston) Offset, 1974 02035
45. Drink Gallo Wine Drink the Blood of the Farmworkers Anonymous Reproduction of offset, no date 8224
46. Huelga No Violencia en Salinas (Strike, No Violence in Salinas) Andrew (Andy) ZermeĂąo Offset, late 1960s-early 1970s 2251 The bloody face shown in the inset is that of Maria Rodriquez, 18 years old, who was beaten in Guimarra vineyards in Edison, California in 1973. This attack occurred during one of many attempts by the police and/or the Teamsters Union to break up the UFW strike.
TEAMSTERS vs. UFW The large California grape producers strongly supported Richard Nixonâ€™s 1968 presidential campaign, and after winning he returned their support by opposing the UFW at every opportunity. The Nixon administration persuaded the Teamsters and the growers to cooperate. The Western Conference of Teamsters formed the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, and in the spring of 1973, the Teamsters declared war on the UFW in the Imperial Valley. Teamsters signed sweetheart contracts with the growers and paid goons to assault UFW picketers. State authorities did little to stop grower violations of human rights. Meanwhile, UFW membership plummeted from 55,000 in 1972 to 6,000 in 1975. Many Californians were disturbed by the increasing violence on the part of the growers. Under Governor Ronald Reagan, agribusinesses declared open season on farm workers. In contrast, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (Jerry Brown), attempted to work out a compromise between growers and farm workers. In May 1975, the California state legislature passed the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, which established the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) to supervise elections and resolve appeals. The ALRB gave the UFW new life. Although the growers blatantly broke the rules and sided with the Teamsters, the farm workers clearly supported the UFW. By 1975, the UFW took 167 elections to the Teamstersâ€™ 95. Facing overwhelming defeats, the growers resorted to illegal activities, like burglarizing union offices, employing labor spies, and pressuring their elected representatives in the California legislature to cripple the ALRB by refusing to allocate funds. (See Proposition 14) PROPOSITION 22 Proposition 22 was initiated by California growers, and placed on the November 1972 ballot. It specified that farm workers could not organize boycotts as a secondary tactic during a strike. Had it passed, it would have been illegal to organize any boycott to support the striking farm workers. A coalition of the UFW, religious organizations and liberal groups defeated the proposition. PROPOSITION 14 In 1976, Proposition 14 was initiated by the UFW to remove funding for the Agricultural Labor Relations Board from the State legislature which was sympathetic with the growers. The growers and their supporters then launched a statewide campaign, at the cost of millions of dollars, alleging that the UFW initiative threatened the integrity of the legislature. Proposition 14 lost.
La Mujer Campesina
48. ¡Sí, Se Puede! - Dolores Huerta Maria Hollenbach TABS-Organization for Equal Education of the Sexes, Inc. Offset, 1987 13289
DOLORES HUERTA born: 1930 “To be non-violent, you have to decide ahead of time. If most of us had not decided to be non-violent, we certainly would have lost the whole strike.” (Malcriado, #34, 4-21-66) Dolores Huerta, 1966 Dolores Huerta is co-founder and first vice-president of the UFW. She is a social activist, labor leader, and mother of 11 children. Huerta was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, New Mexico to second-generation MexicanAmerican parents. Her activism began in the 1950s in Stockton, California when she joined the Community Service Organization (CSO), a self-help association. It was here that she met César Chávez, who was a CSO official at the time. Both eventually left CSO because they felt it was unresponsive to farm workers’ problems. Huerta and Chávez organized and founded the Farm Workers Association, precursor of the UFW, in 1962 in Delano, California. As second in command, Huerta fought both gender and ethnic stereotyping. She directed the table grape boycott in New York City, and coordinated the East Coast boycott in 1968 and 1969. In the late 1970's Huerta took the directorship of the UFW’s Citizenship Participation Day Department, the political arm of the union. Huerta has fought tirelessly, participating in innumerable marches, rallies, and protests. In 1988 she was severely injured by police at a peaceful demonstration in San Francisco against the policies of then presidential candidate George Bush. Dolores Huerta has made giant strides in breaking the traditional mold for women, and for Chicanas in particular. She continues to be a prominent figure in the Mexican-American community.
49. Si, Se Puede! (Dolores Huerta) Jos Sances Silkscreen, 1990 02283 This poster is based on a photograph by Harvey Richards. It was used for the 1966 cover of El Malcriado: The Voice of the Farm Worker newspaper.
50. Viva la Huelga - Don't Buy Farah Pants! Anonymous Offset, ca 1972 02246
51. International Women's Year, Chicana 1975 Hector Gonzรกlez (Royal Chicano Air Force) Silkscreen, 1975 2493
52. We Fought For It Photo: Cathy Murphy Offset, ca 1976 02249 The UFW printed this poster for national distribution to alert consumers to request UFW label produce.
53. Farm Worker Week: 1982 Susan Pearcy (National Farm Worker Ministry) Offset, 1982 02032
54. "Dedicada a La Mujer Campesina" (Dedicated to Women Farmworkers) Dina Redman Offset, 1982 02551
55. Chicano Moratorium Anonymous (La Raza Graphic Center) Silkscreen, 1984 02305 CHICANO MORATORIUM Chicano casualties in the Viet Nam War were high. Although the Chicano population officially numbered 10 to 12 percent of the total population of the Southwest, Chicanos comprised over 19 percent of all casualties from this region. In 1969, the Brown Berets formed the National Chicano Moratorium Committee to mobilize Chicano opposition to the Viet Nam War. Their first demonstration was held on December 20, 1969, with 2,000 in attendance. Two months later, 6,000 marched.
In March 1970, Chicanos from all over the United States flocked to Denver to the Second Annual Chicano Youth Conference. They planned hundreds of local Chicano moratoria, climaxing with a national moratorium in Los Angeles on August 29. Between 20,000 and 30,000 marched peaceably in East Los Angeles, and then settled down to enjoy the program of music and speeches. Police and Sheriffâ€™s deputies used a minor incident as an excuse to break up the demonstration. They rushed into the park in military formation, using clubs and firing tear-gas canisters. Eventually 1200 officers occupied Laguna Park. Mass arrests, beatings, and repeated use of mace followed. Three people died, including RubĂŠn Salazar, after whom Laguna Park was renamed.
56. Bring our Carnales Home Now! Anonymous (Third World Task Force Against the War in Southeast Asia) Offset, ca 1971 02307
57. The Chicano/Mexican Moratorium Anonymous Offset, 1982 02280
58. The Silver Dollar (RubĂŠn Salazar) Rupert Garcia Silkscreen, 1990 02311
RUBEN SALAZAR killed 1970 RubĂŠn Salazar was a well-known writer and journalist for KMEX-TV and the Los Angeles Times. He was sent to cover the national Chicano moratorium in Los Angeles on August 29, 1970. When the march ended, Salazar and two friends stopped for a beer at the Silver Dollar Bar near Laguna Park. L.A. County Sheriffs surrounded the place, allegedly looking for a man with a rifle, who had actually been caught hours before. After others in the bar were ordered out, a ten- inch tear gas projectile was shot into the bar, hitting and killing Salazar. There were many unanswered questions left surrounding his death. Shortly before his death, Salazar had been working on a story that highlighted how local government seemed intent on ignoring all the complaints and violations involving police and sheriff encounters with Mexican-Americans. Although a Coroner's Panel ruled Salazar's killing a homicide, and sheriffs admitted that tear-gas should not have been used in the incident, no one was ever tried for his death.
Part III: Commemoration and Renewal - 1980s-1990s
59. Soul & Inspiration Haines Offset, 1988 01523
60. Sun Mad EstĂŠr Hernandez Silkscreen, 1982 2279
61. The Wrath of Grapes Anonymous Offset, ca. 1990 29592
62. 15th Annual Farm Worker Week Anonymous Offset, 1987 02281
63. Ceasar 7 p.m. Oct. 5 Rudy Cuellar Jr. (Royal Chicano Air Force) Silkscreen, 1976 02492
64. ¡Viva César Chávez! Acción y Compromiso 1927-1993 Anonymous Offset, 1993 02292
65. Con Todo CariĂąo! Anonymous (University of California, Irvine MEChA) Offset, 1993 02298
66. "Across the San Joaquin Valley..." Anonymous Offset, 1971-1972 01996
This and many other UFW posters were collaboratively designed by organizers Daneen Montoya, Ruben Montoya, Ben Maddock, artist Andrew ZermeĂąo, and Pete Velasco, vice president for fundraising and one of the founding Filipino members of the UFW.
67. Cesar was Born... 4th grade class Offset, early 1990s 02259
Part IV: ยกLa Lucha Continua! Ongoing Efforts for Equality and Social Justice,
68. U.C. Raza Day Malaquias Montoya Offset, 1978 02239
69. Somos un Pueblo Anonymous Offset, 1982 02261
70. Join el Movimiento ...Again/Support Chicana/o Studies Department at UCLA Anonymous Offset, 1991 01031 UCLA HUNGER STRIKE In 1993, Chicano students at UCLA went on a hunger strike to force the school to agree to create a Chicana/o Studies Department. After years of hearing school administrators say that there was no budget to create the department, the students decided to bring the issue to the attention of the media and the community at large. The fifteen students who went on the fast received the support of Chicano Studies Departments from all around the state. Weeks after the hunger strike began, UCLA officials agreed to look for funding for the departmentâ€™s creation.
71. Avenida Cesar Chavez Roberto Gutierrez Offset, 1993 01524
72. 460 Years of Chicano History Gonzalo Plascencia Offset, 1990 02547
73. The Last Supper of Chicano Heroes JosĂŠ Antonio Burciaga Offset, 1989 2241
74. La Unidad es la Vida Red Back Graphics (Australia) Silkscreen, ca late 1980s 42971
75. Who's the illegal alien, PILGRIM? Yolanda M. Lopez Offset, 1981 31865
76. Aliens come to the US in search of intelligent life. Still looking. Doug Minkler Silkscreen, 1994 4319
77. What's the Difference Between English Only and Whites Only? Anonymous Offset, ca mid 1980s 1825
ENGLISH ONLY In the 1980s, increased immigration intensified North American nationalism. While much of the antagonism was focused on Spanish speakers, other ethnic groups were also targeted. In Monterey Park, California, the English Only movement was directed at the Chinese community. In 1985, the Fillmore, California City Council passed an ordinance declaring English the official language. In 1986, California voters passed Proposition 63, the â€œEnglish As The Official Languageâ€? law. Many people regard this law as a particular slap in the face of the Spanish-speaking community and an attack on bilingual education. The unfortunate irony is that at the same time the law was passed, the California ESL (English as a Second Language) programs suffered severe cutbacks, and hundreds of people who wished to learn English were turned away. In 1996, several bills were submitted to Congress to mandate that all U.S. government business be conducted solely in English, with very few exceptions. Meanwhile, only 13 % of the demand for courses is English as a second language is being met.
78. ยกAlertan! (Beware, undocumented) Yreina D. Cervรกntez Silkscreen, 1987 2288
79. 9 Out of 10 Racist Politicians Prefer FRAID Anti-Immigrant Spray Lalo Alcaraz Offset, 1994 2556 PROPOSITION 187 In 1993, a Californian political group developed the Save Our State Initiative, later known as Proposition 187. The initiative proposed to cut all state funding and assistance to all undocumented immigrants. It proposed cutting school funding for undocumented children, denying them an education, as well as requiring undocumented college students to pay out-of-state fees. The proposal also denied socalled â€œillegal immigrantsâ€? the right to obtain any medical attention, including prenatal care, unless it were an emergency. Proposition 187 received strong opposition by the Latino community and other minorities, many religious leaders, and community organizations. It provoked student walkouts from high schools throughout the city, and increased racial tensions. The measure was passed in the November 1994 election, but is tied up in the State Supreme Court, on grounds that it violates the constitutional rights of undocumented immigrants.
80. L.A. Should Work...For Everyone SylvaĂn (Justice for Janitors) Offset, 1989 2313
JUSTICE FOR JANITORS Janitors began fighting against sub-poverty wages, exploitation in their workplace and in their communities when the Justice for Janitors campaign, housed in SEIU local 399, was launched in Los Angeles in 1987. Through aggressive organizing with colorful in-the-street demonstrations using familiar slogans such as “Si Se Puede” (we can do it!), the campaign has organized over 6,000 janitors and brought dignity and respect to the 8,500 janitors that are members of the union. These janitors are currently in a fight for their lives as they struggle to equalize the wages and benefits for janitors throughout the county to bring Los Angeles under one union, one contract, and one industry. In 1990, the Los Angeles Police Department went on the attack against a group of janitors and community supporters who were engaged in a peaceful demonstration for fair wages for the janitors who cleaned the luxurious high rises in Century City. Sixty-five people were hospitalized as a result of police brutality, and it became clear that the people with power in Los Angeles would go to any extreme to hold down the struggle of working people for fair wages, dignity and respect. Nationwide union membership has dropped from its 1945 high of 35.5% of the labor force to 15.8% in 1992, but the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU) janitorial membership has soared since the union launched its nationwide Justice for Janitors campaign. Now, about one in five of the nation’s’ 1 million janitors are SEIU union members. Los Angeles is SEIU’s biggest success story, where janitorial union ranks swell from 30% to 90% of those who clean the high-rises from Downtown to Century City.
81. Support the Pittston Strikers! Carlos Cortez Linocut, 1989 02271
PITTSTON STRIKE In 1989, the United Mine Workers (UMW) in Virginia launched a strike against the Pittston Coal Group, Inc. The ten-month long strike, marred by violence, was ended by the UMW when the contract was ratified in February 1990. The struggle continued to be fought in the courts for several years.
82. Chico Mendes 1944-1988 Doug Minkler Silkscreen, 1989 5985
83. An Injury to One is an Injury to All Mike Alewitz Offset, 1993 02301
84. Family Unity for All Americans Malaquias Montoya (Hermandad Mexicana Nacional) Offset from 1990 silkscreen, early 1990s
85. Educaciรณn - Liberaciรณn Malaquias Montoya Silkscreen, 1990 2290
86. The Hottest Places in Hell Doug Minkler Silkscreen, 1988 6624
ยกViva la Huelga! is available as a traveling exhibition.
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