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  Executive Secretary of the Sacramento Central Labor Council Bill Camp spoke to the marchers at the State Capitol steps of the need to continue the Chavez legacy--- "Teach the youth what Cesar Chavez was all about!"

 

 
  SEIU Local 1000 (state workers) Ron Landingham warned the crowd that State budget deficits and the Patriot Act could signal "the dawn of a new dark era" for Labor and almost everybody else. "Cesar Chavez was about standing up for your
rights--It's time now for us to stand up for our rights!"

 

 
 

Memorializing Cesar Chavez, Father Kenny stated that the Catholic Church supports the rights of workers and said "We are called upon today to do what Cesar Chavez did." Father Kenny asked "How can we change the world? By bringing justice, peace and equality to all people. May God bless you and help you to keep on in your work for the good of all."

He also spoke of the Pope's stance against the war in Iraq.

 

 
 

SEIU Local 250 VP and Central Labor Council President John Borsos: "It's been ten years since the death of Cesar Chavez.. The need for a strong Labor movement endures!" He cited last year's major effort to enact the Farm Labor Bill which mandates mediation when grower recalcitrance stalls bargaining on farm labor contracts.

Speaking from a Healthcare Union perspective, Borsos reminded the crowd that 41 million people in the U.S. still have no healthcare. Senator John Burton has introduced a bill in the California Senate that would increase access to healthcare.

Speaking as the head of the Living Wage Coalition, Borsos stressed the need to pass the Living Wage ordinance for low-wage workers "as part of the legacy of Cesar Chavez."

And speaking from all these perspectives, Borsos called upon Pres. Bush to "stop talking about the war in Iraq and starting talking about jobs, about education and about healthcare!"

 

 
 

Eric Vega, lecturer in Ethnic Studies at CSUS reminded the crowd that Cesar Chavez had opposed the war in Viet Nam. "Now as we march to honor Cesar Chavez, we need to honor him truly by joining our local democratic community in opposing the war in Iraq. You can love this country and still be against the war."

At the start of this day's march, there was discussion about how best to honor Cesar Chavez. Would we reverently honor a saintly Chavez for his life and accomplishments, or would we honor him better by taking up his nonviolent struggle for social justice? Or as Eric Vega put it "Do we want to honor a Disneyland Cesar Chavez or a real Cesar Chavez?"

 

 
  NAACP President David DeLuz looked at acts of violence in our own city in the light of the war on Iraq. "If you stand up against a war taking place half-way around the world, you should stand up for the war taking place in our streets right here!" he admonished. "These events are a warning shot off the bow of a boat we are all on," he stated, referring to local and world events and the disastrous consequences they may have for us all.
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