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September 24, 1986 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1986-09-24

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4

OPINION

Page 4

Wednesday, September 24, 1986

The Michigan Daily

w

Pest
By Roberto Javier Frisat
The United Farm Wor
(UFW) union has released aI
hitting 14-minute film, called
Wrath of Grapes," on thel
pesticide menace narrated by
Mike Farrell. Cesar Ch
President and founder of theI
says it shows the threats pos
vineyard workers and consume
the "reckless use of deadly poiso
agriculture."
"'The Wrath of Gr
symbolizes the deaths and maim
thousands of farm workers and
children by deadly poisons. It
represents the threats pose
consumers by pesticide residu
fresh grapes and other prod
Chavez says. "The same pest
which cause these horrible death:
deformities are used on grap
make the 'natural snack artifi
plump, unblemished and appeal:
consumers' eyes."
Chavez has often repea
challenge, first issued in July
for grape growers to join the UI
sponsoring thorough testing of g
for pesticides by an indepen
laboratory. "Then let's releas
findings to the consuming pu
Chavez has proposed. The
growers have consistently refuse
challenge.
He tells the story of
workers like Juan Chabolla, 32
died on August 5, 1985, after ente
rural San Diego County field sp
only an hour before with the h
toxic pesticide Monitor. On Octo
less than two months after Chab
death, agribusiness convi
Roberto Javier Frisancho is Pres
of United Farm Workers Suppor

icides
ncho California's Governor
rkers Deukmejian, to veto a mo
hard- requiring growers to post
"The signs in fields recently spra
farm dangerous pesticides. No s
Actor were posted where Chab
avez, stricken. In vetoing t
UFW Deukmejian said paying fo
ed to of the signs was mo
rs by agribusiness (a $14 billio
ns in industry) can aff6rd.
The New York Time
apes March 6, 1986 issue, quote
ing of Environmental Protection
their officials who now rank
t also pollution as the nation's most
d to problem. "The risks of pest
ue on so much greater because
luce," exposures involved," an EP
icides said. "Toxic waste dumps m
is and a few thousand people who liv
es to them. But virtually eve
cially exposed to pesticides."
ing to Thus, the UFW's new
makes three key demand
ted a grape growers: a ban on fi
1985, most dangerous pesticides
FW in grapes (Parathion, Phosdrin.
,rapes Dinoseb, and Methyl Bromi
ndent UFW-grower testing for p
e the residues on grapes sold in st
blic," results of the tests made put
grape free and fair electionss
ed the workers can decide wh
organize and bargain forc
farm limiting use of dangerous p
, who in the fields.
ring a Official support for t
rayed boycott is growing rapidly.
iighly North America, governors, s
ber 2, federal lawmakers, big city
bolla's and city councils, labor and
nced organizations, minorities,s
consumers and. enterta
sident figures are taking the grape
t Group. pledge and spreading the w

0

-0

poison I
George recent California Poll showed 42% of
)dest bill the public supports the grape boycott.
warning Since the 1960s, the UFW has
ayed with helped thousands of farm workers win
uch signs protection from toxic pesticides and
olla was many other benefits. "The first grape
the bill, boycott worked," Chavez says. "Our
r the cost first contracts banned DDT, DDE, and
re than dieldrin even before the U.S.
in-a-year Government acted. We acted because
farm workers are closest to food
es , in its production. We were the first to
d top U.S. recognize the serious health hazards
Agency agricultural pesticides pose to workers
pesticide and consumers."
t pressing Chavez was born on March 31,
icides are 1927, on his grandfather's small farm
of the near Yuma, Arizona. At age 10, he
A official began life as a migrant farm worker
nay affect when his father lost his land during
ve around the Depression. These were bitterly
ryone is poor years for Chavez and his family.
Together with thousands of other
w boycott displaced families, the Chavezes
s on the migrated throughout the Southwest,
ve of the laboring in row crops, grapes and tree
used in fruit. Chavez left school after the
Captan, eighth grade to help support his family.
de); joint He later joined the U.S. Navy
oisonous in 1945, and served in the Western
ores with Pacific. In 1948, he married Helen
blic; plus Fabela, who he met while working in
so farm the Delano, California, vineyards.
ether to The Chavez family settled in the San
contracts Jose barrio of "Sal Si Puedes" (Get out
pesticides if you can).
In 1952, Chavez was working
he grape in apricot orchards outside San Jose
Across when he met Fred Ross, an organizer
state and for the Community Service
y mayors Organization (CSO), a barrio-based
religious self-help group formed among
students, California Mexican Americans.
ainment Within several months, Chavez was a
e boycott full time organizer with CSO,
word. A coordinating voter registration,

arm

laborers

battling racial discrimination
against Chicano residents and
forming new CSO chapters across
California and Arizona.
Chavez served as CSO
national director in the late '50s and
early'60s. But his dream was to create
an organization to help the farm
workers whose suffering he had
shared. In 1962, after failing to
convince CSO to commit itself to farm
worker organizing, he quit his paid
CSO job, moved his wife and eight
small children to Delano and founded
the National Farm Workers
Association (NFWA).
In September 1965, Chavez's
NFWA, with 1,200 member families,
joined the AFL-CIO's Agricultural
Workers Organizing Committee
(AWOC) in a strike against Delano
area table and wine grape growers.
Against great odds, Chavez led a
successful five year strike-boycott that
rallied millions of supporters to the
United Farm Workers and forged a
national coalition of unions, church
groups, students, minorities and
consumers. (The NFWA and AWOC
merged in 1966 to form the UFW and
the union affiliated with the AFL-
CIO.)
From the beginning, the UFW
adhered to the principles of non-
violence practiced by Gandhi and Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. Chavez
conducted a 25-day fast in 1968 to
reaffirm the UFW's non-violent
commitment. The late Sen. Robert
Kennedy called Chavez "one of the
heroic figures of our time," and flew to
Delano to be with him when he ended
the fast.
Chavez called for a worldwide
boycott of grapes, head lettuce and
Gallo wines. By 1975, a nationwide

Louis Harris poll showed 17 million
American adults were honoring the
grape boycott. The boycott force4
growers to support Gov. Jerry Brown'4
historic 1975 collective bargaining law
for farm workers. Since 1976, the
UFW has won over 73% of its secret
ballot elections conducted by the state
The union has also signed more than
160 contracts with growers.
Many farm workers in the
1980s earn decent pay, have medical
and pension plans, and protection
from dangerous pesticides. They
earn enough so they don't have toE
migrate anymore with their children;
their kids go to school and they can
afford to live in decent homes instead
of rancid farm labor camps. Yet, only
about 20% of California farm workers
enjoy these benefits. For the rest,
poverty and abuse are still daily facts
of life.
Cesar Chavez lives with his
family at La Paz, the union's Keene,
California headquarters in Kern
County's Tehachapi Mountains. Like
other UFW officers and staff, he
receives a $10 weekly stipend plus
modest food and living benefits.
"Governor Deukmejian and
his agribusiness allies cannot
withstand the judgement of outraged
consumers who refuse to buy their
tainted grapes," Chavez has
concluded. "That's why we're taking
our 'Wrath of Grapes' appeal before the
greatest court in the land, the court of
last resort--the American people!"
Cesar Chavez will be here to
deliver a lecture on Thursday, Sept.25,
from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the 4th floor
Amphitheater in Rackham, and the
film "The Wrath of Grapes" will aLy
be shown.

Mm

Htr t thgan :43atilt
Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan
Vol. XCVII, No. 15 420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.

Wasserman

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Br

Pat'

S

The forces of right wing TV
evangelist Pat Robertson have
been steadily accumulating
influence in the state Re-
publican party. This year a
Robertson endorsed candidate,
Wayne County Executive
William Lucas, won the Re-
publican nomination for
governor. Several of Robertson's
extremist supporters have been
nominated to important but low-
profile state education boards.
These nominees have narrow
views which bode ill for the
state's education system.
Robertson's power within
the state Republican party
results from his success in
mobilizing 'his forces for
Michigan's presidential
primary. Though Robertson's
candidacy remains undeclared,
he has resigned as host of the
religious talk show "The 700
Club" and has said that he will
run for president if his
supporters can collect three
million signatures ( perhaps the
Michigan Supreme Court will
require him to abide by the
recently revived 180 days min-
imum for signature collecting
through petitions).

)artisans
secular humanist judges who
oppose him. Cropsey's fun-
damentalist extremist position
and his minimal legal ex-
perience would be an em-
barassment to the Republican
ticket.
To avoid protests at the
convention by members of
Robertson's Freedom Council,
Lucas chose a more deceptive
course. Whereas Cropsey, by
running for a high profile office
would have had his views
subject to public scrutiny,
nominees for education board
tend to be less prominent. These
elections are often decided by
voters who' select a straight
party ticket.
Voters should be aware that
Patricia Hartnagle, Cyril
Gregoricka and Mary Dahn,
candidates running for
Michigan State Board of
Education, Michigan State
University board, and Wayne
State. University board
respectively, belong to
Robertson's group. The
Freedom Council supports the
fundamentalist political agenda,
including the teaching of
creationism in science classes

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LETTERS:
Contras are t701 mostly Son

0

To the Daily:
Timothy Huet 's "Direct
info shows Contra terror" (
Daily, 9/16/86), in response to
my heavily edited letter
"ANC vs. Contras," states
that Christopher Dickey in
With the Contras documents
that the Contras are mainly
remnants of Somoza's
National Guard. Dickey,
however, does not state this.
(It would be hard for
Somocistas to make up the
majority of a force twice the
size of Somoza's National

can't think of any other
former Saninista to have
been in the Contra leadership
other than Eden Pastora. If
he can't think of any oithers,

he certainly is not very
educated on the subject. The
two most important members
of the Contra leadership
today, Arturo Cruz and

Rep. Pursell isfarfrom

iocistas
Alfonso Robelo, both served
as the Sandidista am'
bassador to the United States.
-Brandon Crocker'
September16
noderate'
which has become a mass
movement involving hung
dreds of volunteers, has sent
Pursell scurrying to hide his
extremist politics. But ve4$
few people are fooled by his
pre-election ruse.

To the Daily:
Your article on Dean
Baker's campaign for the
United States House of
Representatives (Daily,
9/16/86) was rather
misleading in its description

he has voted to cut student
loans, social security and
Medicare. This record is not
"moderate," but really quite
extreme. And with 90% of the
increase in the deficit over
the last six years attributable

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