Why Do We Protest?
The harvest of luxury crops such as strawberries that yield high profit for growers should be held to a higher standard. 16 hour workdays at less than 50 American cents per hour is a way of exploiting and dehumanizing the workers and contribute to the ongoing abuse of indigenous workers who are lured into the trap of an american income. The struggle in San Quintin has not been won by the workers yet, it has not created anything other than elevated consciousness and raised awareness of a transnational crisis where corporate interests have shown the extent of their greed by calling on armed forces to subdue the struggle of the workers and break the strikes through organized violence. The meager 200 Mexican pesos per day is not a living wage– rather it is a penance and a contract for slavery which renews the struggle. As the California Strawberry Festival looks to prosper from the broken backs and broken promises, who are on a “per need” basis lured with h2a visas to secure complete control and domination of the field laborer, today we stand in solidarity and continue the struggle on this side of the border in solidarity to all workers and indigenous voices.
Today the struggle of the strawberry farm workers in San Quintin is a sad reflection of our reality in California and across our nation when we speak of immigrant agricultural labor. There are millions of workers in our fields who are also being exploited and treated as expendable, recyclable and invisible. Today we are asking all growers, “contratistas” and law enforcers to be honest, and honor our constitutional, federal, state, and human rights. Today we are asking all American blue collar workers, unions, young people, and middle class consumers to stand up for justice and unite in demanding that all farm workers in our nation, in Mexico, and the rest of the world be treated as humans with respect. Because thanks to these blue collar workers we eat every day. Stand with us, stand with the American farm workers. Please help us by boycotting the strawberries that are grown in the modern-day slave plantations. Please stand for justice demanding workers and consumers’ rights, protection from pesticides and the end sexual assault and exploitation.
May 15, 2015