I was only ten years old, and outraged as only a ten-year-old can be by the injustices of farm worker conditions. Though too young to boycott wine myself, I picketed in front of a grocery store to promote the boycott.
An old, old, ancient old man - must have been at least 40 - asked me why I was picketing. “You’re not a farmworker, are you,” he demanded. “Then what do you care?”
What did I care? Was that how most people thought? I believed that most people would care, if only they knew.
Decades later, people still shrug off the troubles of labourers and others. I remained an activist all my life, hoping that the more people knew, the more would care, and of course some few did: the ones I’d want to march alongside.
Today, most of my activism is for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis awareness, since my teenage daughter and I were struck down by this disabling neuro-immune disease. Most people don’t know, and when most people hear they don’t care, but of course, some few do.
I continue to follow and share stories from the UFW, from my sickbed. El pueblo siempre sera’ unido, farm laborer or not, sick or well.