Cesar Chavez (2014) Script

I was born in Yuma, Arizona in a ranch owned by my family but we lost it in the depression.

Like many other families, we moved to California to work in the fields.

But when we arrived, we found out that there was more people than jobs.

We went from being farm owners to farm workers in one day.

And at the age of 11, I started working in the fields.

That's where I witnessed, for the first time, the injustice and the indignities suffered by the farm workers.

You see the problem is that in 1936 the country changed, because the National Labor Relations Act went into effect.

And it gave most workers the right to join the union and bargain collectively.

Except the farm workers, they were excluded from this protection and I was one of them.

I wanted to do something, so I joined the CSO, Community Services Organization.

And that is where I learned how to organize people.

We were working in the cities and I realized that, to make a difference, I had to get out and start organizing the workers.

So, in 1962, I went back to the fields to do just that.

Juan de la Cruz!

I'm a friend of your cousin, Felipe.

Are you Juan?

Can we talk?

Sure. But not here.

I'm done in about four hours.

You need to leave now. They're coming.

Can I help you, sir? Were you talking to those workers?

Is there something I can do for you?

I'm talking to you.

Do you own anything?


Can you read or write?

Well... No.

Of course not.

Who in your family works?

Me and my wife.

And my kids. The older ones anyways.

The other ones are still too young.

Do you want more for your kids?

Of course.


Most of the people are afraid.

They have to feed their kids.

It's not easy doing it alone.

I'll return in one month to help you start organizing.

But I need you to gather everyone you can here.

OK, that's fine.

And you won't be alone anymore.

If we want to organize farm workers, if we're really serious, it's not gonna happen here, not with them.

It's just one setback, Cesar, it takes a while to build trust, you have to be patient.

You know, they really don't care about the farm worker, Fred.

Gilbert, that's not true.

See that's what I'm talking about, Fred, see I have to be where it's happening.

I have to get out of Los Angeles and go back to the fields where I started.

You know, we are doing this together, okay?

You knew this could happen, that is why we have a plan.

But not in an office.

It's not the time to walk out now.

You know what it takes, that is why I brought you in.

The CSO will be behind you, no matter what, but please at least sleep on it.

I am not tired, Fred.

I want to get my hands dirty.

Cesar... I'm with him. He's right.

You will go to new schools and make new friends.

You're going to be fine.

Your father and I grew up on the fields.

Which team plays for Delano?

Your tio Ruc and tia Petra live in Delano, so do our cousins. It's gonna be good.

Okay, let's take a vote.

Who wants to go to Delano?

...a wonderful day in Southern California.

- Sandy Koufax on the mound. No!

Sandy coming off that beautiful no-hitter last week.

Caullison just waving that bat back and forth.

- Pare, I am trying to listen to the game. Koufax trying to keep his winning streak going.

Could you stop? Stop!

Top of the fourth, Dodgers leading two to nothing.

Koufax delivers and it's a line drive down the left field line...

Fair ball!

I can't hear. Can you turn it up?

I think we, uh, lost the signal.

You promised me a three-bedroom house.

I said I would try, Mansi. It was short notice.

But I gave you two months.

That's short notice!

Uncle Cesar.

That goes in the bedroom, Chato. It doesn't fit.

It doesn't fit.

Hey, Cesar, we've lived in a lot worse.

We'll be fine.

Can you get the heavy stuff in the truck please?

If you put eight kids in that one car, you can put them in that house!

We can find a bigger one in a couple of months.

And then we gotta move all over again?

Forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty, fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three!

That's all for today!

I hear they are looking for bodies at the onion fields.

I found the same thing in Hanford.

The workers are scared.

Then we need to hold twice as many house meetings than we did in Selma.

What's the matter? It's my back.

You can't take real work anymore.

It hurts even when I don't work.

You should take it easy.

What, and live on just what Helen makes? No.

We are going to make the kids work on the weekends now.

but she went and told everybody at the church, and now everybody has...

Look who is here.

And very dirty.

Did you walk here from Oxnard?


I thought maybe you weren't coming back.

It's only been two weeks. It's been 18 days.

Eighteen days...



Look at you. You definitely got your hands dirty.

This is Angela. Say, "Hi, Cesar."

Hey, mamita.

I'm gonna put her to bed.

How long are you guys visiting us?

Oh, well, word is you can't do this without me, so...

You are staying?

Well, of course. You think I'm going to let you mess up what you've started here?

But before you do anything, you need to go talk to Fernando.

I need to go talk to Fernando?


Hi, Poli.

What happened to your eye?


You wanna talk about this nothing?


The kids here are idiots.

They hate us, you know?

They came up on me and Chats, a bunch of them.

They wouldn't stop calling us "beaners."

Beaners? Is that the best they got?

I've been called much worse.

“Greaser, "wetback, "spic."

That one doesn't even make sense.

"Brown nigger."

I never heard that one.


I learned a lot in the Navy.

Here, put this on your eye.

Who started it?

I told you, they started calling us names.

No, who started the fight?

We didn't have a choice.

You always have a choice.

I knew you wouldn't get it.

although the official military word is that these are only mopping up operations, in five separate actions...

We need to bring the people together, like a convention.

We need to get everybody together in one place so they can see how strong we are.

We should start a credit union.

To loan people money?

It'll give us credibility and it will help people during the winter.

Hey, remember me? Eli Ordonez.

I saw you in Salinas at that other meeting you were doing.

If you want, I can help pass those around.

I have a cousin who has no papers.

You tell your cousin, if he works in the fields, he has the right to representation.

What is happening here in Delano is the same thing that is happening in Salinas or in Stockton.

If we don't get organized, the bosses are going to treat us like...

Excuse me.

Who are you?

Cesar Chavez.

How much are you asking for, Chucho?

Twenty-five dollars.

How about 10, Chucho?

Look at all these other people who also want money.

My daughter has some questionnaires.

We want to know what concerns you.

Come on, just do that for us.

Here, people can put messages to their family, or anyone, it's free.

Want to see the union paper?

Sheriff, every night this goes on.

And I have to tell my husband to rush home because I'm frightened about what is going on over there.

We are decent folk and don't want any trouble.

I'm terrified for my children and who knows where...

Okay... Okay... Ladies... Ladies... Let me make sure I understand this.

You say they get together every night? Every night.

And there is 50 of them?

Fifty-seven. I count 57.


Mr. Chavez?


How are you doin' today?

Fine. How can I help you?

I just wanted to introduce myself.

I'm Sheriff... I know who you are.

You seem to be gathering quite a crowd.

Is there a law against that?

No, not really.

But I would like to ask you some questions about some of the people around you and their affiliations.

Affiliations to what?

Let's say the communist party.

Communists? Yes.

Do you mind tellin' me what's so funny?

It's that we are Catholic.

How can Catholics be communists?

I've seen stranger things.

Mr. Chavez, do you mind if we take a look around?

Do you have a warrant?

Not on me.

So you're asking me for a favor?

I think you'd be doing yourself a favor.

Come on. There's nothing to see here.

Come in.

We have nothing to hide.

So what they doin' here?

You givin' away free pinatas or something?

It's a credit union.

No shit.

Where's the money coming from?


Here's a box if you're interested.

I don't know exactly what you're up to here but the citizens of Delano, they don't care much for subversives.

They respect the law.

So do we.

Especially the Bill of Rights.

Ever read the Bill of Rights?

Let's go.

Listen up, all of you in there.

You have 10 minutes to vacate the premises.

You are now trespassing and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

We are not moving!

Is that you, Larry?

Yeah. Yeah, it's me.

Larry, you get your people out of there now and get back to work.

I'll forget everything. No blacklisting, no nothing.

Sorry, that's not good enough.

You cut our wages too goddamn much.

We starve on what you pay us anyhow.


Nobody leave!

Stay together, stay strong!

The growers cut their pay in half.

Now they have barricaded themselves in the camps.

This thing is blowing up.

The Filipinos? Yeah.

And now the growers are recruiting our people to break the strikes.

That's why Larry specifically asked for you, Cesar.

He knows he can't win without us.

Oh, and by the way, who gives a shit about the Filipinos?

No mames. They undercut us left and right.

Do you think they would strike for us?

They play the races against each other, that is their tactic.

Are we a union or not?

Our brother Cesar Chavez will speak to us now.

Brothers and sisters.

Today our fellow Filipino workers have taken a vital step towards the fight for freedom and dignity that poverty has denied us.

And they have come to us and asked a very important question.

Whether we're prepared to set our differences apart and join their strike.

But the most important thing to consider is if news of this strike remains only in Delano, then we will have been defeated.

Because they not only own the land, but also the police and judges.

If we show the world their abuse, greed, and brutality then our voice will be heard and responded to.

And when they see that our actions are just they will understand that our cause is just.

Then we will prevail. Yes we can!

Strike! I

The growers are going to be...

Larry, now that we are together, the growers are gonna have to...

I'm not worried about them.

My people are angry.

This thing has been building for too long, it's ready to explode.

Everyone is angry, we just have to manage our own people.

I have people from Stockton to Coachella!

I didn't say it was going to be easy, but if you take care of your side, I take care of mine, we'll be fine.

There are things we can't control. No, there are things we have to control.

So who the hell is this Cesar Chavez?

Nobody knows.

Somebody said he was from Arizona.

Word is he used to hang around Alinsky and the other commies from the CSO.

He's been up and down the valley, stirring up trouble.

I heard he's Mexican.

Seems a safe bet.

They've come out with this newspaper.

Got this beaner character in there named Don Sotaco.

There he is.

He's kinda funny.

Well, it's a cartoon, but I'm not sure it's funny.

Who cares, most of our workers are illiterate.

Yeah, but you can understand a cartoon without being able to read.

So, this Don Sotaco, he, uh, informs the workers about their rights.

And this is what, a weekly? Mmm-hmm.

Thank God it isn't a daily.

Although, 52 weeks a year, that is a lot of rights, Sheriff.

Long live the strike!

Long live the farmworker!

Long live our cause!

Long live our farmworker movement!

Did they confirm?

Of course. Anyone...

Mostly local, but some are actually coming down from San Francisco, Arizona...

Where are they? I don't know. They should be here by now.

Get the hell off our property!

Go back to Mexico!

Stay calm, don't react.

We don't need you. Wetbacks.

Get out of here! Don't react, just keep moving.

We don't need you. We want you out of our country.

We want you back to Mexico. Get the hell out of our country!

What do you think you are looking at, huh?

Damn spics! We don't need you! Get out!

Keep marching. Keep marching, please.

Get these sons of bitches off my land. Yes, sir.

We aren't going anywhere, we have the right to be here.

Suit yourself.

Deputies, now, you're witnesses. This horde invaded my property and we are just defending ourselves.

A man has a duty to defend his property.

You are damn right he does.

Cesar, they will shoot.

You get rid of them!

Everybody move! Move back!

Back to the main road, everybody move back now!

Move back! Move back! No, no, no!

Are you going to do something?

You hard of hearing? The boss told you to clear out.

He's not my boss.

And our tax dollars pay for this public road.

Tax dollars?

There's your tax dollars.

Hey, Gilbert!

Hey, that's enough now. Come on, that's all. Let's go. Get on over here.

Hello, you are late.

Farm workers in Delano, California have begun an unprecedented strike in the central valley.

Filipino and Mexican workers have joined forces to demand fair wages and better working conditions for their members.

Would you say that most of your workers are making a decent living?

All I can say is that the men have to be their judges of their own, what they want, because they have chosen this way of life and, if they were not happy, they wouldn't be here.

How much have you been getting for a day's work?

Only two dollars.

- Two dollars a day? Yes.

Are you sure it's not broken? I'm sure.


It's okay, Fernando. Go back to sleep, please.

I said go back to sleep, Fernando, you have school tomorrow.

Here. Put it on.

Does this help?

I told you five minutes ago to sit down at the table.


To all the growers, their lawyers and this garbage injunction.

At least they finally got Fred to come down here.

This court ruling bans all mass picketing.

Mmm. And the best part, they got a ban on saying the word "Huelga" anywhere near the fields.

"Huelga f?" - "Huelga-"

Can you say "Strike"?

As long as you don't translate it.

You would think a bunch of lawyers would have heard of the First Amendment.

It's a joke. They'll get it thrown out on appeal.

Yeah, by the time the state court hears the appeals, the grapes will be picked, the growers know that.

There's only one thing we can do.

We have to get people to violate the injunction, and make the Sheriff enforce it.

You mean get arrested.

Make them arrest us and fill up the jails?

And give the white press exactly what they want? Hmm?

Rowdy Mexicans in jail.

Have you had your head in the dirt this whole time?

Things are changing.

Okay, but who is gonna go?

I'll do it.

Once they get you in their jails, they can figure out ways of keeping you there a long time, Cesar.

So I'll do it.

Do what?

I'll get arrested.

You can't get arrested.

What? Why not?

Well, who is going to take care of the kids?

The kids are fine.

They are big, they take care of themselves. No.

Cesar, you are the one who says we can't ask our members to do things we are not willing to do ourselves.

I said no.

Dolores, what do you think?

I think it's a good idea.

I think it's a good idea, too.

Come, let's eat.

You know how it works, they don't understand.



Mrs. Chavez, we have a court order that forbids you from saying the word "Huelga. "


This is your first warning, Mrs. Chavez.

This is your second!

Good morning to you. Good morning, sir.

Good morning, Grace. Good morning.

Call my wife and tell her I'm not going to be able to make lunch.

Come on, let's go.

I need you to take the trucks across the border into Mexico, and I want y'all to bring me back some illegals who are willing to work for an honest day's pay.

And I want you to bring them back here by the truckload, you hear me.

'Cause we are gonna break this goddamn strike.

You'll see what these sons of bitches do when they see their cousins out there working on 'em fields.

Everyone gather up.

Who's thirsty?

Here, have some cold water.

It's free...

I've been told that some union members affiliated with the communist party have been talking with you.

Making promises. These promises are nothing but lies.

You could even end up in jail.

And for what?

What's wrong, Cruz?

Aren't you thirsty?

If any of you has a problem, tell me about it.

We don't want any problems here.

Jail was amazing? Yeah, it was.

I got to meet so many amazing people.

There was this woman, Irene, she was so smart, and I'm gonna put her on the Credit Union.

And also there was this man who was laying next to me.

Laying next to you?

Yeah, I saw when he got arrested.

The cops were beating him, and they were calling him names, and they were trying to get him to fight back and he wouldn't.

Do you plan on seeing him again?

Cesar, I don't know what you are talking about.

Well, you know what? Maybe we can make him part of the team, you know?

We are always looking for good men. I mean amazing.

'Cause it was amazing, right?

Cesar, don't be jealous. No.

I'm not jealous.

I'm just glad that you had such a good time in jail.


Cesar! Hey, Cesar! It's Jerry Cohen, remember me?

Who's that? He's a lawyer.

You know that man?

How much do you know about what we are doing?

I've been analyzing your strategy, and one thing is clear, you have to stop these injunctions.

I mean they are a catch-22, the bail alone is going to bankrupt you.

With all due respect, I know you went to a fancy school, that doesn't make you an expert.

Well, I also worked the California Rural Legal Assistance.

For how long? Two years.

Two years, huh? Why did you leave?


It's complicated.

That's what I heard.

You are hired.


I want you full time, starting now.

I thought maybe I'd do some consulting?

No, as of now you are in charge of the United Farm Workers' legal team.

Who else is on the team? Just you.

Doesn't it take more than one person to make a team?

Oh, you'll be doing more work than one person.

Against one of the biggest law firms in California.

And you'll be getting paid five dollars a week.

Five dollars a week?

You'll be happy to know that makes you the highest paid employee.

Also our lowest paid employee.

Everybody makes five dollars a week?

Hey! If you wanna make money, go work for the growers.

We're here to help.

Don't be afraid.

United we will stand.

They will not defeat us.

United we will stand.

They will not defeat us.

This movement is for you, the people.

They will not defeat us.

Long live the strike!

Long live Cesar Chavez!

Son! Son!

They're not paying you enough! Come join us!

Join the cause!

Son, they're not paying you enough.

Don't betray your people.

Hey, come join us!


Don't be afraid!

Come on, come on, come on!


Get closer!

Closer together! Run, get together!

Move back! Move back!

We are not leaving!

Don't move! Stay together.

Pesticide! Helen!


it burns. I know.

I almost got it.

That was really scary, Cesar.

What if something happened to us?

What would happen to the kids?

People are starting to lose hope, and I don't blame them.

They know the growers have broken the strike with the illegal workers.

And the sweetheart deal with the teamsters.

We can't ask them to keep going when they see people working in the fields.

We have to take the next step.

We are too weak.

We have no laws to protect us here.

With the boycott, there are no laws to stop us.

This is the moment, Cesar.

This is what we came here to do.

We just can't boycott all the growers.

We need to start small, we need a face, a brand, that's what we need to focus on.

And that face is Victorre Wines.

CESAR". Dolores Huerta will be recruiting in the west counties, and Gilbert Padilla will be recruiting in the southern cities.

And the rest of the state we will divide amongst each other.

Anybody that can travel, talk to Richard.

My brother knows how to travel.

To be successful, we have to have an army of boycotters, willing to do the hard work.

The bigger the army, the bigger the success.

You start small, you get wins.

The army will get bigger.

The people to best recruit are the students.

Civil rights groups, some church groups, those are the best recruits.

Well, any kind of recruit is the best kind of recruit for us.

So, we need to hit the streets with aggressive leafleting.

And make so much noise that they won't be able to ignore us.

Picket lines, in churches, entertainment venues, colleges, factories.

Anywhere there's a large number of people.

That's where you need to go.

Once we got their attention, we need to get on every radio show, and every television show.

There's no bathrooms in the fields. There's no minimum wage.

The best thing that you can do, the way we can put pressure, is to boycott.

You can help by boycotting Victorre Grapes.

Okay, thank you.

CESAR". And tell them personal stories.

Firsthand, from the people that have suffered in the fields.

Because we are fighting for basic human rights.

The attention of national legislators was focused on Delano when the Senate Subcommittee on migrant labor conducted hearings in the Delano high school.

Headed by New Jersey's Harrison Williams.

It also included California's George Murphy, and New York's Robert Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy can be very supportive if he thinks the cause can make a difference.

So, when he comes, make sure you walk with him so they can take pictures.

How are you, sir?

How are you? Thank you.

Hi, how are you?

Senator Kennedy, great to see you again. I'd like to introduce Cesar Chavez.

It's a pleasure... It's likewise.

Go, go, go.

You were supposed to walk with him.

Hi, John, how are you? Good to see you.

Don't believe everything you hear today.

Yeah, it looks like he is not even talking to them either so...

Do you write down the license plate numbers of everyone in the city?

I'm glad he came, but I think it's just for show.

I think you're wrong, Fred.

I hope so.

I also see complaints here from Mr. Chavez that, uh, pesticides have been sprayed on some of his picketers.

I'm aware of no such incidents.

What about shots being fired in their general direction?

We've looked into every one of Mr. Chavez's complaints and haven't found an ounce of truth to any of it.


Is it true that you detained some picketers as a preventive measure?

Your arrest record seems to confirm it.

If I have reason to believe that there's going to be a riot started, and someone tells me there's going to be trouble unless I stop them, it's my duty to stop them.

You just go out there and arrest them?


Who told you they were going to riot?

The foremen.

Right out there in the fields.

The ones we were talking to, said that if we didn't stop them, they were going to cut their hearts out.

So, rather than let things get out of hand, we just removed the cause.

This is the most interesting concept, I think, that you suddenly hear talk of somebody who's gonna get out of order, perhaps violate the law, and so you go in and arrest the intended victim of the crime, and they haven't done anything wrong.

I want to thank Sheriff Smith for his services to the citizens of Delano.

We'll now take an hour recess for lunch.

Excuse me, can I suggest...

I would just like to suggest that, in the interim period of time, in the luncheon period of time, that the Sheriff and the Kern County District Attorney, read the Constitution of the United States of America.

I guess I was wrong.

Hey! Fuck you!

We are going to get you, little beaner.


We are going to kick your ass.

You should talk to Fernando before you go.


He's having trouble with those kids again.

Where is he?

He's at Richard's.

He's been spending a lot of time there lately.

Maybe that's not such a good idea.

Maybe you should talk to him.

I'll talk to him when I get back.

Cesar, you know that boy is as stubborn as you are.

Your clean socks are on the top shelf.

Take all of them.

It's a lot of socks.

It's a long walk.


You got a permit for this march?

It's not a march, Sheriff. It's a pilgrimage all the way to Sacramento.

And our families are here just to say goodbye.

Do you hear that?

They don't like working for a day's wage, but they'll walk over 300 miles for free.

Even pilgrims ain't allowed in the street without a permit.

Fine, we'll use the sidewalk. It's open to the public.

If we leave at 10 p.m., we can catch them in Modesto.

Yeah, I know Dad.

Fernando, what are you doing?

I'm not going with you guys.

We're going to see your dad and from there we can go home.

I don't want to see my Dad.

He'll be happy to see you!

He won't even know I'm there.

He only cares about the Union.

Check this out.

Big article about the auto workers standing down to show solidarity.


Front page?

Page six, but we are moving up.

And those longshore workers are standing down too.



I saw everybody on the news.

I got tired of just sitting around, watching a lot of TV, you know.

I got some donations from a department store.

I am glad you came.

I am glad you came.



They're brand new.

Yeah, about 150 miles too late.

Boycott Victorre!

I am Chief Executive Officer of the United Church of Christ.

My name is Rabbi Tannenbaum. I came here from New York City.

We believe the United Farm Workers and their leader, Cesar Chavez, represent the hope and aspirations of a vast majority of farm workers.

I think every American has a stake to bring about social change within the system, because if nonviolent means fail, this becomes a setback for the entire democratic process.

In colors, in colors, are the little birds that come from outside.

In colors, in colors, is the rainbow that we see shining.

And that is why I love The great loves of many colors

My union, the U.A.W. and the Industrial Union Department will pledge $5,000 a month to these workers for as long as it takes to win their strike.

The average farm worker only lives to 49.

They say they won't give you bathrooms in the fields because Mexicans don't know how to use them.

I'm Jackie Stringer. We just drove down from Portland.

CESAR". That's a long drive.

I've been watching the news.

I saw pictures of the children working in the fields...

We'd like to help in some way.

Well you can do this, don't buy any more Victorre products.

No more Victorre wine at dinner.

And then have your friends do the same. I will.

Excuse me, sir, can I help you?

You have to sit on your damn booze, you hear me?

I don't care if you have to sit on it for a year.

We need you to stay strong. We need you to hold the line.

We're all counting on you. All of us.

Excuse us.

Strong? Stay strong? This boycott is killing us!

Have you seen the headlines they're getting?

Not just in San Francisco, but in L.A. and San Diego and Fresno and Sacramento.

They're pulling our products all over the damn state!

That's costing us money, real money, Mr. Bogdanovich.

You wanna come in here and explain that to our shareholders?

You wanna reimburse us those losses so our stock price doesn't dip?

Can we sit?

A 340 mile pilgrimage started in Delano by 67 strikers, concluded today on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, where more than 10,000 supporters welcomed Cesar Chavez and his procession.

The march has strengthened the boycott and efforts by the strikers to put pressure on the label Victorre Wines.

Huelga! Huelga!



There's a guy on the phone, he says he's from Victorre.

And he wants to negotiate.

He's called three times.

Get Jerry up here!


Fine, you've got your deal, but if we're gonna pay top dollar, we expect top dollar work.

That means no one, and I mean no one, is gonna cut unripe grapes to pad their lugs.

Or stick them full of god damn dirt clods.


Objection? What do you mean?

Well, it's a personal objection.

You may not be aware but these people have been doing this for a very long time.

They don't need you to tell them how to pick a grape.

Well, you tell them that when they're packing my grapes...

Well that was the most eloquent piss I've ever heard. in California, actor Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan arrive to cast their votes in the state's primary election.

He's the Republican nominee for governor.


Leave him alone!

Hey, you wetback. Beaner, beaner, boy.

Get out of here!

Get the hell out of here!

What are you doing?

I'm standing up for my son.

Because somebody has to.

So what's your plan?

You can't stay at your grandparents' house forever.

Don't act like all of a sudden you are interested in what I'm doing.

Of course I'm interested.

You're my son.

Don't worry. I'll be fine.

Can you rethink this?

Fernando is going to be fine with your parents.

And I'm sure he'll be back soon.

It's going to be fine.

Aren't you going to eat something?

You want some carrots or broccoli that your grandpa grows?

You still hungry? Carrot?

I just got word.

Chavez is going to target us next.


Dad? What should we do?

I don't know, John.

I'm not the one who went to college. I'm not the one with the Master's Degree.

I'm only the one who invested a lot of money in his only son, hoping that one day, he would be able to answer one simple question.

How do I not drive my father's business into the fucking ground?

I'll, um, talk to the Sheriff.

You're a big man.



It's time for his nap, Sir.

No, no. You can leave him. He is fine.

Yes, sir.

Maria, you know about this Chavez, no? Do you really think he's one of you?

Yes, sir.


Well, I'm one of you too.

I came from Croatia with nothing.

Everything I got, I built with my own hands, my own labor, and my own sweat.

I don't see why anyone should be able to take that away from me.

So now you want me to help you?

No, no. It's very simple.

I want you to do your job.


Is that what you told Victorre?

Because this time we actually need you to do something.

You see, after the senate hearings, I can't do nothing about nothing.

Unless they break the law.

Did you hear what I just said?

They are targeting my family now. Do you understand?

Or do you need my father to repeat it to you, hmm?

I got too much heat on me.

I can turn a blind eye, but that's as far as I can go on this.

You do that.

Sit on your ass.

Hey! You okay?

Yes, I'm okay.

Okay, don't move.

Stop it! That's enough!

I said stop! Leave him alone!

You don't want to do this! You don't wanna hurt this man!

What are you doing, Cesar?

Leave him alone.

This son of a bitch needs to pay right here, right now.

No, no, no.

The next person who lays a hand on him is out of the Union!

He's gone!

You don't want to do this!

Not like this! This is not the way to do things.

Get that piece of shit out of here.

What did you say?

Eli! Come on!

What? Stop it!

I said get that piece of shit out of here and throw him in the trash.

Do you need someone to translate that for you?

Stop! You're out of the Union! You're out of the Union! You hear me?

You are out! Go! Get out!

CESAR". We have completely lost our way.

How can we condemn police brutalities in the inner cities, yet advocate violence out here in the fields?

How can we criticize the carnage in Vietnam, yet cry for blood here at home?

This isn't about Vietnam, this is about Delano, this is about being a man, this is about enough is enough!

No, no, no.

Those of you running around, destroying things, giving into your hatred and your chicken shit macho ideals are seriously sabotaging the efforts of La Causa, and I will not stand for it!

I failed you.

I failed you as a leader.

And I have something to tell you.

Three days ago I stopped eating.

I will continue to fast until everyone, and I mean everyone, in our beautiful movement makes a pledge recommitting themselves to nonviolence.

'Cause we move forward together, or not at all.

So that's your big solution? Starvin' yourself?

That helps them more than us!

Settle down.

Yes or no? Yes or no?

Yes! No!

Settle down. Come on. Please sit down. The meeting is not over.

You okay?

I had a bad dream.

Dreamin' about food again?


No. The ranch...

The horses were screaming.

Like, when the bulldozer came.

I couldn't move my legs and everyone left me behind.

I haven't thought about that bulldozer in years.

What I remember most was that feeling, that feeling of impotence.

When that bulldozer knocked over the farm.

Dad couldn't look me in the eye.

That look on his face...

The shame behind his eyes...

It never left him.

It's the first time I saw the old man cry.

That's what I'm scared of, Rookie.

To go back and face my family,

after everything that I've put them through, and tell them that it was all for nothing...

So this is how you face them?

Mansi, listen, you know I've been with you. Through thick and through thin.

But we need a leader not a martyr.

I need to understand what you're doing.

I've lost my way...

We all lost our way.

The violence, the anger...

I'm angry too!

I'm angry that I live in a world where a man who picks your food can't feed his family.

I used to think the fight was with the growers.

It's with ourselves.

We need to stop acting like victims.

I'm not going to stop,

I'm going to see it all the way through.

Because if we lose...

I won't be able to look at my family in the eye.

What if you die, Mansi?

Who are we going to look to then?

Get up there, it's a great shot.

If you are just arriving, please, head to the registration table to check in and sign our pledge of non-violence.

Dear brothers and sisters.

As we prepare to celebrate the mystery of Christ's love, let us acknowledge our sins.

I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and have failed to do.

Through my fault, through my fault through my most grievous fault.

It's okay. It's okay, Cesar.

There is no strike in the vineyards.

Our workers have sought to stay with us, and continue work without any interest in this outside organization.

They don't belong here and I wish they would all go back to where they came from.

The Chavez group are seeking to force the growers to recognize their group as the bargaining agent.

WOMAN". And they've interfered with our daily workers.

And the only contracts that were signed between Mr. Chavez's union and a few wineries that signed up under the coercion of his threats...

HELEN". What if something happens to us?

I'm standing up for my son!

What would happen to the kids?

Mr. Chavez!

They've been coming in bigger numbers ever since Chavez quit eating.

How long can a man go without food?

It depends on the man, John.

Everything depends on the man.

Maybe we let, uh, Chavez starve himself to death, then we won't have to do anything.

Unfortunately, I don't think he is the suicidal type.

Ma! I'm gonna leave some more stuff here.

Mostly clothes I don't wear anymore.

Mom, what's wrong?

Does he know what he's doing to you?

No. He doesn't.

Please go see your father before you leave.

How is he?

He's not good.

Thank you. My brother appreciates it.

Hi. Hi Cruz, how're you doing?

I brought my cousins to sign the pledge, they just crossed the border.

Well done, have them sign.


I brought Cesar some food.

Please tell him to eat something and stop being stubborn.

You wanna lie down? No.

Come on. I'll fix your pillow for you.

No, no. I'm okay.

I'm going to go home now.

Do you need anything?

Did Fernando come?


And he took bread in his hands blessed it and gave it to his disciples and said

"Take this all of you, and eat it"

"this is my body which will be given up for you."

The body of Christ. Amen.


I come as an American citizen to honor him for what he has done.

Not just for you, not just for the state.

But for all of the United States of America.

I come here out of respect for one of the heroic figures of our time, Cesar Chavez!

The consumer has a tremendous interest and, I think, should support the farm worker and support the farmer.

And the farm workers are in that field, in that ranch, they're working, they're not on strike.

Meanwhile, Cesar Chavez has organized his efforts to employ a new tactic, one that would have a national effect.

One of the biggest facts is that the American public won't stand for injustice as long as they know.

And we are fighting for legitimate wages in a legitimate way.

One of the biggest weapons we have is the boycott.

Not only is it an economic weapon but it's also a non-violent weapon.

Picket lines have been put around...


Supermarkets in 23 major cities.

Most supermarkets in the country still stock grapes.

But a significant number of shoppers, mostly housewives, are not buying the grapes.

They are observing the boycott.

That's a report from Delano, California. This is Charles Walker...

We know that your organization supported us in the picket lines in Pittsburgh, and we were wondering if you could organize another team of people again this coming week.

What city are you in?


Wisconsin is next, okay?

Okay, I'll tell everyone.

Thank you, bye.

Last report estimates that we've cost them

$17 million to date!

I wish they'd paid that in fair wages.

What is your view of the strike of the grape industry?

The grape boycott...

Well, I've classified that in the past in a number of public occasions as immoral. I think it is.

Get me John on the phone!

Yes, sir.

Did you see it?

Man of the year!

I thought they were going to make him Pope.

I know... It's all right.

Well, let's get together on Sunday.

I saw her last week. She told me and I forgot.

But she looks great. She looks great.

Yes, she does.


Look, I say it's time for the families to put their differences aside and speak together with one voice.

I agree.

Let's sit down with these bastards and settle this thing once and for all.

Jack, are you serious?

You want to sit down with these characters?

We can't hang on much longer.

This boycott is bleeding us to death.

If we sit down with them it won't be a boycott, it will be an insurrection.

We still gotta negotiate.

We don't have to negotiate, we have to dictate terms.

Look, I hate dealing with these dirty foreigners, but we can't keep putting on fake labels forever.

I'm a dirty foreigner, Jack.

You know what I mean.

I'm not the only one who feels like this.

You're not? Well, who else feels that way?

Jack's got a point.

It's time for us to cut our losses and negotiate.

You don't negotiate with children.

You don't give children every piece of candy in the store.

With children, you set the rules and you make sure they obey them.

How you been?

I'm good. I broke 70.

You know, when the Chinese came to America to build the rail roads, you know what they demanded of their overseers?


Food. Good food.

And enough time to enjoy it.

And if the owners skimped on that, they wouldn't lift a finger.

Give the Chinese a good meal every day and they could build the infrastructure of a continent.

Their meal is what gave their lives dignity.

And to them, dignity was more important than money.

That's nice, huh?

You have this annoying habit of turning everything into a lesson.

I just like Chinese food.

How you doing?

I told you. I'm good.

With golf?

What's wrong with golf?

You are becoming a real American.

Golf is from Scotland.

We interrupt to bring you this bulletin from Los Angeles.

New York Senator Robert Kennedy has been shot in the head, minutes ago as he left the platform from which he made his victory statement in Los Angeles.

The detailed report which we did receive initially pictured Kennedy on the floor of the hotel kitchen.

Blood streaming from his face, his eyes open but unseeing.

He is on his way, or perhaps has already arrived at an unnamed hospital in Los Angeles.

The moment further word is received we will pass it along to you immediately.

The final act in the stunning tragedy of Robert Francis Kennedy began this morning with a touching ceremony in St. Patrick's Cathedral here in New York City.

The late senator was then transported to his final resting place, near his brother the late President at Arlington National Cemetery.

I, Richard Milhous Nixon, do solemnly swear...

Everyone, stop working for a minute.

Come, join the strike. Cesar Chavez wants to defend you!

That I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States...

And will to the best of my ability...

Preserve, protect and defend...

The Constitution of the United States...

So help me God.

Slow down!

Slow down! Slow down!

Call an ambulance! Juan! Juan!

Help! Help!

We thank you for all that you are doing for us.

We very much appreciate it.

Yes, sir.

Well, you're someone who understands business and you're a Californian, we're all Californians here...

Yes, sir.

I'll do my best.

And thank you, thank you so much.

Take care, bye.

Nixon has promised to sell our grapes in Europe.

And whatever's leftover he'll have the Department of Defense buy and feed to our soldiers.

They're getting you out in five days, but I'm not sure about the others.

It's all lies.

They're saying we provoked them.

That the strike is not legal, they are painting us to look like criminals.

And ever since they dumped the grapes in Europe, their sales have gone up there.

By 140%.

We're not gonna survive Nixon.

Then we have to go over there.

To Europe?

If they're running, we have to catch them.

We can barely keep things together here, Mansi.

I know.

I never thought I'd be saying this in my life.

To Richard Milhous Nixon!

To Nixon!

Focus on human law, since it actually exists over in Europe.

The growers have completely subverted the system here, but Europe still defends workers' rights.

- I hear they get one month vacations there.

You might want to mention that Vietnam is basically awash in Bogdanovich's grapes and napalm.

I heard the food is terrible over there.

I don't care how bad the food is, you're not starting a fast, Cesar.

Where is my coat?

CESAR". Hey, Helen.

You should see this place.

How are the kids?

And Fernando?


I'll see you in a couple of days.

Fares please.

Yes, sir.

Albert. 2p please.

Mr. Chavez? Yes.

Lovely to meet you.

Nice to meet you. Welcome.

We're here with Cesar Chavez, the civil rights activist, who has caused quite a stir in America from his ongoing boycott that has meant millions of Americans have stopped eating table grapes.

Does that work for you, Mr. Chavez?

Thank you.

We are making a plea of common sense, to an industry that refuses to recognize the basic human rights of its workers.

Besides this boycott, your movement has marched and striked and you yourself have done a 25 day fast.

Why has it gone this far?

Well, despite the success we had against the growers in California, they still refuse to sit down and negotiate with us.

And it's not a question of economics anymore.

It's more a stubbornness.

They want to show that they're strong and not weak.

So they would rather export the grapes than sit down and negotiate with you?

They'd rather sell their grapes to London, or Stockholm and think that that will erase all the indignities that people have suffered.

And what kind of support have you received here in Great Britain?

Here in Britain, we have the Transport and General Workers Union support, and they have endorsed our boycott.

The dock loaders refuse to unload grapes.

What are you saying to me now?

Wait a minute! We had a deal!

Which is a great endorsement of our boycott.

We're optimistic to have similar support from other countries.

Diverse religious groups throughout the continent have shown their support.

Even the Pope has agreed to meet us.

I've got them grapes halfway through the Atlantic.


So, what are you hoping to achieve?

Well, it's never been about the grapes.

It's always been about the people.

The poorest of the poor, the marginalized.

The ones who have been ignored.

There would be no food on the table without these people.

And these people have names, faces, families.

And I guess what we want to accomplish is to give these people a voice.

But will this be enough, considering the amount of resistance?

Once social change begins, it can't be reversed.

You can't uneducate someone who has learned how to read.

You can't humiliate someone who has pride.

You can't oppress someone who is not afraid anymore.

We have seen the future and the future is ours.


Don't answer it!

I'm right here.

Don't take three hours. I have to drop this off.

What's wrong?

They want to sign.


All of them. All the growers want to sign.

It's an interesting day you choose to be late.

Come on, they are waiting inside.

You have to admit, this old Croat put up a hell of a fight.

Yeah, I can do that, as long as you can admit this little Mexican kicked your ass.

Brothers and sisters of the fields,

all around us were those who said it could never be done.

People said that the growers were too powerful,

the police would be against us...

And the courts would beat us down, and that sooner or later we would fall back into the poverty and despair of our forefathers.

But we didn't!

We didn't because our common suffering and love for each other kept us together.

Five years we were on strike!

It kept us sacrificing and fighting for a better tomorrow, a better tomorrow that we all dream about as we work among these beautiful vines.

And when millions and millions of Americans stopped doing one thing, eating grapes, we won the strike!

We won!

Yes, we can!

I know there is no way to justify the things that I've done...

Or that I've not done for you.

It saddens me to think that we never got a chance to go fishing together or catch a baseball game or even go watch a movie.

There's no way to turn back the clock and to make up for lost time.

But I want you to know that your mother and I miss you very much, Fernando.

It seems so ironic to think that, because I've tried to do things that my father could never do for us, I'm now so distant from you.

Please know that the day you came into this world was also the day that I received the clarity that I so desperately needed.

You and your brothers and sisters are the purpose for my struggle.

Everything I do is for you.

And I hope you remember that.

I also hope that one day you can be as proud of me as I am of you.

But I want more than anything else, I would like to see the poor

take a very direct part in shaping society.

And let them make the decisions.

And in our case, if the poor are not involved, then change will never come.