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Monday, April 04, 2011

Photos and Videos: César Chávez March and Festival in Albuquerque with Dolores Huerta

Click for larger version or photo album

This past Saturday, the 18th Annual César Chávez Day March and Festival was held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. There was a large turnout of people from all walks of life and a diversity of ethnic backgrounds who are all bound by at least one thing -- a dedication to honoring the heroic labor and civil rights organizer and leader, and keeping his nonviolent activist mission alive in a new era of attacks on working people, minorities and collective bargaining itself.

César Chávez, who passed away on April 23, 1993 at age 66, founded the National Farm Workers Association in 1962, later to become the United Farm Workers - the UFW. Chávez worked in tandem with fellow activist Dolores Huerta, a co-founder of the union, who was this year's honored guest at the Albuquerque events.

Dolores -- now an energetic, passionate and active 81 years young -- has carried forward the work she started with Cesar, and expanded her activism to include advocacy on a variety of civil rights, economic and social justice issues over the years. She now heads the Dolores Huerta Foundation, which is dedicated to inspiring and motivating people to organize sustainable communities to attain social justice.

The march and festival were organized by the Recuerda a César Chávez Committee, whose mission is to educate our youth and communities about the legacy, life and work of the great American civil rights leader, César Chávez. You can follow the group's activities on Facebook.

After the march, participants gathered to celebrate the historic legacy of César Chávez with food, dancing, entertainment and more at the NHCC's Plaza de Major, including activities for kids and booths with local merchants and more information about a number of causes. Also addressing the crowed were a variety of speakers including Dolores Huerta, Rep. Martin Heinrich, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan and City Councilor Rey Garduno. (See videos below.)

Rep. Heinrich introduces Dolores Huerta

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan talks to crowd

In her remarks (see video below), Dolores Huerta thanked all involved in organizing the events, as well as the New Mexico Legislature -- especially the Senate -- for defeating anti-immigrant legislation and stopping New Mexico from becoming another Arizona. She said, "New Mexico has always been a very, very different place. New Mexico has always had a very different kind of politica. The politics here have always been different. New Mexico has always been ... a place of humanity, of caring, a very spiritual place where people really care about each other, regardless of your immigration status," she said.

Dolores Huerta addresses the crowd

"New Mexico is a state that unifies Mexico and the United States. Here is where it combines," she continued. "We are all proud to be New Mexicans ... I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born in New Mexico. So we are very proud of this state ... I hope that you keep marching and organizing. We have to go from the march in the street to the march in our neighborhoods. We've got to go out and organize our neighborhoods so we can be even stronger than what we are right now so when we come to the elections in 2012 it's going to be a different picture."

"We cannot have politicians that are elected that are against teachers, Dolores said. "How can anybody even run for office and be against our teachers? That is absurd -- it's obscene. When they are against our teachers, they are against our students, and we know that if we do not have an education ... the greedy and the powerful are the ones that rule." 

"We're going to fight for our labor unions also," she said, "because we know if we do not have organized labor, then we don't have a democracy. The unions are the only ones that can get the money from the very wealthy to the working people ... Si, se puede, we can do it!"

"It's not enough to vote anymore," Huerta cautioned. "Every one of us that is here ... we can change an election. We can get on the telephone. We can walk. We can knock on doors ... This is the way we keep César's legacy alive ... todos juntos! ... Join our movement. We are a movement and we're gonna continue this fight for justice, for equality for everybody." She encouraged people to visit her foundation's website and Facebook page, and stay involved.

Click to see all the videos from Saturday's events.

All videos and photos by M.E. Broderick.

April 4, 2011 at 11:48 AM in Civil Liberties, Economy, Populism, Education, Events, Hispanic Issues, History, Immigration, Jobs, Minority Issues | Permalink


Thanks for the coverage! Loved seeing the pictures and videos.

Posted by: M. Apodaca | Apr 4, 2011 5:40:43 PM