Labor Leader Chavez Addresses Angry Protesters 40 Years Ago

Labor leader Cesar Chavez, whose life is the subject of a recently released film, is seen here walking the picket lines while being subject to verbal abuse during a labor action more than 40 years ago.

In the 1960s, thousands of migrant farmworkers in California's fertile valleys helped harvest the fruits and vegetables destined for millions of American homes. But few paid any attention to the plight of the laborers who slaved away in the fields under brutal conditions and inadequate pay -- until Cesar Chavez came along. The famed labor leader, whose life story is the subject of a major motion picture now in theaters, speaks in this clip around the 2:40 mark. The hard-hitting footage, filmed in 1973 during a labor action in California's Salinas Valley, shows workers and union leaders being called "commies" -- and worse -- by counter-protesters. A poised Chavez, however, calmly makes his case and manages to quell the situation.


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