Participants rallied and marched through Corvallis calling for justice for farmworkers and immigration reform. They demanded the passage of the DREAM Act, which would legalize undocumented high school graduates and allow them to attend college, and stood in solidarity with the struggles of farmworkers not only in Oregon but also throughout the country. PCUN representatives were joined by Erik Nicholson, of the United Farmworkers of America's (UFW) Washington office, and by Francisca and Brian Payne, of the Florida-based Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). |
In honor of the CIW's long-standing boycott of Taco Bell, the main purchaser of Florida tomatoes, marchers paused briefly in front of a Taco Bell restaurant chanting "Boycott Taco Bell." The CIW is calling on Taco Bell to pay one penny more per pound of tomatoes purchased in order to raise workers ' wages, and to pressure tomato growers to improve the working conditions in the fields.
Marchers, most of whom were MEChA members, as well as PCUN members and supporters, stayed in good spirits for the two-mile long march, cheering and chanting and passing cars honked their support. Other organizations represented included Jobs with Justice, Oregon Farmworker Ministry, Latinos Unidos Siempre, and the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation.
This march represents the first time PCUN and MEChA have collaborated on such an event, and the first time PCUN has held a march in Corvallis. After working hard to bring the MEChA National Conference to the Northwest, students decided to reach out to PCUN to bring the struggle for farmworkers' rights to the forefront at the conference.
MEChA, which promotes higher education and community involvement for Mexican-American youth, has a long history of supporting the struggle for farmworkers' and immigrants' rights.