American Labor Leader Cesar Chavez

About the American labor leader Cesar Chavez, history and biography of the nonviolent pacifist.



His Person: American labor leader committed to unionizing field workers and winning contracts through nonviolent means. Fights poverty, child labor, racial prejudice, and pesticides. Became a migrant worker after being forced off his grandfather's homestead in Arizona during the Depression. Joined with community organizers during a voter registration drive in a Mexican-American community. Formed the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee of the AFL-CIO when grape pickers struck in Delano, Calif. Undertook a 25-day fast to avert violence and initiated an international boycott of table grapes to win the five-year strike.

His Belief: "We must respect all human life, in the cities and in the fields and in Vietnam. Nonviolence is the only weapon that is compassionate and recognizes each man's value."

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