1975 Cinco de Mayo celebration at Delancey Street, San Francisco:
“Welcome to our celebration. I’m here today to say that it’s essential to us that the United Farm Workers win their strike in Northern California. All prisoners—black, white, and brown—stand united behind them; so do our friends, the senior citizens. We stand with the Farm Workers because their cause represents the most coherent moral issue to which we can assure the freedom of us all. Do not be misled. The exploiters have not changed. If they’re not shooting at us now, it’s because they’re shooting at the Spanish people. If we abandon the Spanish people, the exploiters will soon get around to us.
It is appropriate that we should welcome the leader of the UFW on the day we celebrate Mexican Independence, because cultural integrity is what much of this struggle is about. The growers are even prepared to offer the Teamsters a little bit extra, if they can buy off the necessity of dealing with a self-conscious cultural, political, and spiritual movement, which is concerned for struggling people everywhere, and whose vision and demands are irreducible to dollars and cents.
In the U.S. today, there is one man and one group which stands above all others in integrity and morality. We all look to this man—the last of a heroic line of highly visible leaders who struggled non-violently for freedom in this country. He has kept the faith all through the dark years of violence when it was no longer chic, and the writers were spilling ink to explain how we could spill our blood, and some of our own brothers confused revolution with being revolting. This man persevered and will ultimately be victorious, and his victory can help Italians, Irishmen, and our black brothers to get back on the track. I give you the inspiration of us all—Cesar Chavez!”
” Thank you, brother Maher, Senator Moscone, Supervisor Gonzales, brothers and sisters. I am glad to be here at your fourth celebration of Mexican Independence Day. We are especially grateful to our Puerto Rican brothers and sisters who prepared this traditional fiesta with all the good food…
I look around here, and I think perhaps this is how it will be, this place is the shape of the future, if there is to be one. We haven’t had much success… living by ourselves… each tiny family the hostage to some business or the state. You don’t have to be long in this house to sense that all the people here are alive, because they know what it’s like to live for each other. In a way I envy you, because we Farm Workers ask for and receive far more help than we can ever return, and sometimes I think how can we ever pay these people back? But, you have worked out a way to give even when you have only little for yourselves and that is what gives you a stature and a pride that poor people can gain only with difficulty.
We Farm Workers have been struggling for our lives these last two years, and every time things got bad, your help was there, totally and unconditionally, and one day I do believe—I’ll be coming to Sacramento to see Governor Maher!” (Cheers)