UFW celebrates march to Sacramento, 50 yrs later

Posted at 11:40 PM, Mar 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 02:40:11-04

Thursday marks a milestone for the farmworker community.  They will celebrate a historic march that took place back in 1966 meant to draw attention to the plight of farmworkers.

Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and other activists led the march that lasted 25 days and covered 340 miles between Delano and Sacramento. 

Fifty years later, Josephina Flores still remembers the day like it was yesterday. On March 17, 1966 she joined 75 Latino and Filipino grape workers took off for the state capital to fight for the right to unionize and negotiate contracts and benefits.

The farmworkers were six months into their five year grape strike but just two blocks after leaving Delano, police tried to stop them, blocking the street in riot gear.

Cesar Chavez and the marchers were persistent. They were allowed to keep moving as long as they stayed on the sidewalk. When the marchers would stop to rest they say they were often beaten and put in jail. When they showed up to the capital, there were 10,000 farmworkers that had joined in on the march on the way to the capital.

Tomorrow, the UFW will celebrate the efforts made 50 years ago. The original marchers will get together for a mass at 10 a.m. at the historic “Forty Acres” property, followed by a ceremony at 11 a.m.