Ranks expand on weekends as hundreds march into Stockton
Manteca, Calif.—As the core group of peregrinos (pilgrims) approaches Stockton and the final leg of their grueling 24-day, 335-mile “March for the Governor’s Signature” on Saturday, their ranks will grow as they are joined by Martin Luther King III, members of Cesar Chavez’s family, California labor movement leader Lorena Gonzalez, unions, activists, and hundreds of community members. King joins the morning blessing at 6:30 a.m. and marches until about 11:30 a.m. Cesar Chavez’s grandsons Alejandro and Andres Chavez will also march.
Gonzalez, new head of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, will join United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero on Saturday along with unions and activists with the Fight for $15 movement plus hundreds of community members.
MLK III’s father, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stood in solidarity with Cesar Chavez during tough times in the 1960s. As Dr. King wrote Chavez in 1966, “Our separate struggles are really one—a struggle for freedom, for dignity, and for humanity.” King is reviving that solidarity Saturday by joining farm workers marching to convince Governor Newsom to sign their voting rights bill, AB 2183.
While Republican red states are making it harder for voters—especially people of color—to cast ballots, AB 2183, the UFW’s Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act, would give farm workers similar choices to vote in union elections free from intimidation and voter suppression that all California political voters have enjoyed for decades. The bill will soon be debated on the state Senate floor.
Community enthusiasm across the state continues building as hundreds are greeting marchers along the route and joining end-of-day rallies in Central Valley farm towns. Committees in each town and area through which the march is moving are providing food, water, cold drinks, shoes and other supplies, plus housing. Nurses are tending to marchers. Supporters from near and far are turning up to hand out water, drinks, and food as the peregrinos pass by.
Who: Martin Luther King III, California AFL-CIO head Lorena Gonzalez, Fight for $15 leaders, UFW President Teresa Romero, Chavez family members, farm worker marchers, hundreds of supporters.
What: Joining in solidarity with the March for the Governor’s Signature.
Where: Day’s trek starts at Woodward Community Park, 710 E. Woodward Ave., Manteca 95337; ends at Constitution Park, 1101 E. Lindsay St., Stockton 95205.
When: Starts at 6:30 a.m., Saturday, August 20, 2022 (Martin Luther King III marches from Turlock until about 11:30 a.m.); the march ends at approximately 3 p.m.