Denver honors Cesar Chavez

People gathered in Denver to remember the late civil rights leader

Posted 4/2/19

Snowy conditions halted Denver’s 18th annual Cesar Chavez Day March, but not the celebration. Politicians, leaders and residents packed into Su Teatro on March 30 in Denver to honor Chavez, a civil …

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Denver honors Cesar Chavez

People gathered in Denver to remember the late civil rights leader

Posted

Snowy conditions halted Denver’s 18th annual Cesar Chavez Day March, but not the celebration.

Politicians, leaders and residents packed into Su Teatro on March 30 in Denver to honor Chavez, a civil rights leader who worked to improve working conditions and wages for workers. On March 25, Denver recognized Cesar Chavez Day — a day that is observed on the last Monday of March every year. Denver City Council approved the holiday in 2001.

“We have to recognize him every day, not just once a year. He really led a movement that brought dignity to workers,” said Lorena Garcia. Garcia is the executive director for Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, an organization that provides advocacy and training for parents, and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. “That’s why workers have things to fight for and something to fight with that way people aren’t taking advantage of them.”

In the early 1960s, Chavez created the National Farm Workers Association which would become the United Farm Workers. He called for fasts, strikes and boycotts to shine light on farm labor rights, particularly by gaining the support of millions to boycott lettuce and grapes.

“It goes beyond honoring him today. It’s a shame that in 2019, we’re still fighting for the exact same things,” said Candi CdeBaca, a Denver City Council candidate. “Showing up today is honoring, but it’s also about action and that forward movement that still needs to continue.”

The celebration was organized by the Cesar E. Chavez Peace and Justice Committee of Denver.

“He left us a legacy of struggle, a legacy of non-violence, a legacy that we need to continue to fight for the rights of working-class people, because that is what he was fighting for. I met him in 73 through some other people, and decided I would make it my life passion to make sure workers have their rights,” said Ramon Del Castillo, chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

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