March honoring Chavez launches from campus

Cecilia Areta

In a reincarnation of Cesar Chavez’s words, “Si se puede (yes we can),” Associated Student member Jose Rodriguez took it a step further and declared, “Si se pudo (yes we did).”

Rodriguez spoke these words March 31 to a crowd of protesters organized in front of City College on the fourth annual Cesar Chavez Day march.

“It’s our first year starting the march at City College,” said Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary Treasurer and CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council.

“It just seemed like the perfect spot because we want to highlight how budget cuts are being made in places that need funding the most,” Gonzalez continued. “Our public education is being gravely affected by the budget cuts, which the people didn’t have the chance to vote against.”

Hundreds of union workers, students and supporters marched to preserve Cesar Chavez’s legacy of coming together as one to keep the brotherhood and sisterhood between workers alive.

Chanting “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!” the marchers progressed all over downtown. They stopped at 10 major spots where they said anti-union companies were located.

Protesters left Post-it notes on the buildings of Bank of America and Wells Fargo to remind them of the billions of dollars they owe for the Wall-Street-fueled foreclosure crisis.

At the Civic Center, an enormous sheet of blank paper was set to sign a petition for the San Diego City Council to pass a resolution for the right of workers to organize.

In front of the County Administration Center, signatures on a banner were posted by protesters in support of union members who are employed with San Diego County and are negotiating a new contract.

Protesters paraded through the Harbor House restaurant to show their anger toward businesses who support companies who took away workers’ rights to collectively bargain.

The march concluded with perhaps the most dramatic demonstration, a “funeral” procession for the middle class, symbolizing its death. Protesters maintain that future attacks on union workers will eliminate the middle class.

“History is on our side and social change is here and will not be reversed,” Rodriguez said. “We march for a more just California budget system.”