Viva La Causa (39 minutes)
A documentary about the grape strike and boycott led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s.
This event is part of El Grito, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Sponsored by CIES.
On a warm evening in 1965, hundreds of Mexican farmworkers packed into a church hall in the small farming town of Delano, California. A momentous decision lay before them— should they join a strike against California grape growers started 11 days prior by their Filipino counterparts? Would this improve their appalling working conditions in the fields and help them earn enough to feed their families?
The struggle of the farmworkers was about more than wages. It was about respect, justice and equality; it was about pitting the powerless against the powerful. Two thousand workers walked out of the fields. Eventually, tens of thousands more joined the fight. Together they would unite around la causa and demand that their voices be heard.
The strike would unfold over five years, testing not just the will of the farmworkers or their bosses in agriculture, but the very morality of the American people and their collective willingness to heed core values of fairness and equality.
Viva La Causa tells the story of how the powerless stood up to the powerful and gained their victory, not by violence and weapons, but by their strong will. A dedicated coalition of people from diverse classes, races and religions stood together for justice, proving that the mightiest walls of oppression can be toppled when people are united and their cause is just.
The film also serves as a call-to-action, alerting a new generation to issues of worker exploitation that continue to unfold throughout the United States and the world today.