PODER organized a march to commemorate the life and work of César Chavez, and a few of us were able to make it. It was a really beautiful day, and we saw some friends and made a few new ones. I was really thrilled that some of our families, including kiddos, were able to make it out.
We marched from the Terrazas Library on César Chavez and walked west to City Hall, where there were speakers, some music from school kids, and some other youth dancing. Amongst the speakers was Paul Chavez, son of César, Austin City Councilperson Gregorio Casar, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler.
Here's a short video recap:
At one point, Claudia asked what exactly everybody at the march wanted, which I thought was a poignant question. The chants of "El pueblo, unido, jamás será vencido," and "Sí se puede," don't exactly identify a specific cause, so I'm glad Claudia asked the question.
I entered the day wanting to listen rather than speak. I wanted to hear what people wanted and where there frustrations lie. Gentrification, low-income housing, City of Austin parkland, community safety, food justice, and racism were among the topics expressed verbally, with signage, and emblazoned on t-shirts.
What I take from this is not that the event was fragmented or divided, although that might initially be one's feeling. Rather, it is a reminder that these things do not happen in isolation. There are connections between these issues, and I would argue that racism (fueled by white supremacy) is at the root of most - if not all - of them.