The Continuing Struggle in Watsonville for Immigrant Rights

marchers in Watsonville with St. Patrick's church in backgroundI was honored to be able to participate in the May Day March in Watsonville yesterday. The route that the march took covered some of the same areas that the cannery workers took during their marches and it was amazing to walk amongst people who are still fighting for similar rights 20 years later.

As a part of the events, I exhibited photographs that I took during the Watsonville May Day march in 2006, along with other photographers who had covered other marches from the last few years. It was amazing to see people look at the photographs and excitedly identify themselves or their friends and family members who were participating in the events. It's exactly the reaction I hope to elicit with my upcoming exhibit.

Naturally, this also led to conversations about Remembering the Struggle and it was incredibly rewarding to hear how excited people are about the exhibit and rememberance process. In fact, I was able to talk to someone who reported on the strike's conclusion in 1987. I am truly honored to be helping in bringing people and their stories together.

The other thing that came out of these conversations were offers of help and donations of artwork and archived media. People are bringing forward some really great materials for the exhibit and the website, but we are always in need of more so we can ensure that as many voices as possible are able to participate. If you have artwork or photographs you would like to share, please get in touch. We would also love for some volunteers to sit down and tell us their stories, especially strike participants. Finally, we're looking for some translators to help get materials for the website written in Spanish. Our goal is for this to be a truly bilingual space, but we need some help getting it there!

Thanks so much for all of the conversations yesterday, and thanks especially to the May Day participants who are keeping the struggle alive. We'll have some major additions to the website soon, including lots of historical photos, so check back often!


Photograph taken by Bradley, courtesy of Santa Cruz Indymedia