Farmworkers Dignity March, 5/5/13   Leave a comment

I met fellow-traveler, Mike Dumovich at the Arlington Denny’s for our third trip up north in the month.  The two previous trips were for out joint appearance on KSVR-FM’s labor show, “We Do the Work!”  This time we were bound for Bellingham and the Farmworkers Dignity March.  I had been asked to perform by Rosalinda Guillen, Executive Director of  Community to Community.

The 8-mile ma20130505_151410rch began 1:30 pm from an outlying community…and ended at Maritime Heritage Park in Bellingham’s downtown district.  After twice getting lost, thanks in no part to my new phone’s GPS, and its inept operator, we made it in time to see the marchers arrive.  They were all ages, shapes, and sizes.  One old man was pushed  in a wheelchair the entire route.  I later learned he had lost his feet in the fields to frostbite.  An array of speakers spoke to the group as an endless Mexican buffet awaited marchers and spectators alike.

One child of about 12 cried as he described how much he missed his dad who was kept out of the country due to his immigrant status.  When the parent was erroneously identified as Mexican, the boy came back and stated he was, in fact, Canadian.  It was a poignant moment made more poignant by the realization by many that immigration was not just a south of the border issue.

Other speakers shared stories of being courted by politicians prior to the Nov. election only to be inevitable disappointed one more time after the returns were in.  Yet this time, they vowed, they weren’t going to just disappear.  There was a thread of purpose…and anger…as each speaker vowed ongoing and escalated pressure…between elections.  20130505_151429

On the performance side, there was a Mexican-American entertainer named Tomas who led the crowd in traditional Spanish songs accompanying himself on a small guitar.  Some high school kids in what I believe was authentic Indian  attire, performe05-05-2013_164509_cr2d  dance and chanting.

My set was the only one in English.  I felt part of something important.  Something growing.  This was a fight for not only dignity but life itself!  The lives of families and individuals who only want what we all want.  Opportunity…justice…love…

Gracias a todos!




Posted May 9, 2013 by garykanter in Uncategorized

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