[Marxism] UFW Camp Justice appeal

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at mac.com
Thu Aug 2 16:37:29 MDT 2007

"Every morning at 5:30, we race the dawn to meet workers in the dusty  
fields as they tie their scarves around their mouths, don their fruit- 
stained gloves, and prepare for another searing day of picking."

Kelly Hayes-Raitt
2006 Camp Justice volunteer

Dear Marxmailer,

I want to tell you about Camp Justice, the exciting summer project we  
began last year.

 From August 19 thru September 8, the second Camp Justice will again  
bring together hundreds of dedicated farm workers, supporters and  
activists from across the country. They’ll be pitching tents and  
camping out at our historic Forty Acres site in Delano.

During three one-week sessions, participants will learn basic  
organizing skills and will talk to as many farm workers as they can  
in the fields and at their homes. The farm worker leadership we’ve  
brought in to coordinate the volunteers will learn new skills they  
can use back at their own companies. Most importantly, the farm  
workers we reach will have an opportunity to sign union authorization  
cards and take the first step to improving their own lives. The  
reason we need so many volunteers is because we want to reach as many  
of the work crews as we can across the San Joaquin Valley, as so many  
workers need our help.

Farm workers earn poverty wages amid miserable working conditions,  
with little to no benefits. They are abused, made to work off the  
clock, toil near toxic pesticides and labor under the blazing sun  
during the hottest months of the year.

Our volunteers will work side by side with farm workers who organized  
with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. These volunteers will build the  
energy and support needed to spur involvement in the organizing  
campaign to build power at targeted non-union companies.

Volunteers like Elvia Montero, an Atlantic City, shop steward who  
participated in last year’s Camp Justice. She had this to say, "I  
came for once reason--to help people in the fields. I've never seen  
people working with no shade, no insurance, bad salaries. I like the  
animo here...I'm fighting for the rights, I never stop, never get down!"

And Israel Ibarra, a farm worker who works at Jackson & Perkins--a  
company with a UFW contract--looks forward to joining us again. "The  
experience that I had last year I will never forget. I shared with  
the workers the ways they could obtain the benefits that I have."

For the 2007 Camp Justice to make the biggest impact possible, I must  
turn to committed friends like you. Can you please join us as a 2007  
Camp Justice volunteer? You can get more information and sign up at  

If you can’t make it this time, you can still make a difference for  
these farm workers and volunteers by giving your donation today. It  
will cost the UFW nearly $130,000 to feed, shelter, train and  
transport 300 campers and to pay our farm worker coordinators. This  
amount is in addition to what the UFW will be spending in order to  
move forward its other ongoing organizing campaigns on behalf of  
exploited farm workers.

We are offering a special limited edition Camp Justice 2007 lapel pin  
for the first 50 people who make a donation of $40 or more. This is  
the same button we will be giving volunteers at Camp Justice.

Thank you for helping make a Camp Justice a reality once again.

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Arturo S. Rodríguez

Please make your donation today!

To see comments from last year’s Camp Justice volunteers and to get  
updates on what is happening this year visit our Camp Justice page  
at: www.ufw.org/campjustice

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