Tue. Apr 23rd, 2024

César Chávez’s family demands RFK Jr. stop using images of the iconic labor leader in his campaign

By 37ci3 Mar29,2024


LOS ANGELES – Cesar Chavez’s family wants to run for president as an independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to stop referring to the late labor and civil rights leader campaign trail.

“We respectfully urge you and your campaign to stop using images of our father to associate him and to suggest that your campaign is consistent with its goals,” the letter, signed by Chavez’s eldest son, Fernando Chavez, said.

“It is our sincere belief that this association is untrue and misleading,” he said.

The letter said the family would “take all available legal action” if the Kennedy campaign failed to stop the use of the United Farm Workers co-founder’s name and images.

Cesar Chavez speaks at the rally
American labor leader and co-founder of the United Farm Workers (formerly known as the National Farm Workers Association) Cesar Chavez speaks at a 1977 rally in Coachella, California.Cathy Murphy/Getty Images file

When reached for comment, Kennedy campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Spear said: “RFK Jr.’s father, Robert F. Kennedy, was a good friend of Cesar Chavez and a lifelong supporter of farmworkers. RFK Jr. continued this legacy and spent more than 40 years fighting worker and consumer poisoning.

On Friday, the eve of Cesar Chavez Day, the Chavez family officially endorsed President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. Julie Rodriguez Chavez, one of Cesar Chavez’s granddaughters, is serving as Biden’s 2024 campaign manager.

Dolores Huerta, Chavez’s co-founder of the UFW, also remains an ally of Biden.

In 1968, Kennedy’s father, former attorney general Robert Kennedy, flew to California to join Chávez after fasting for 25 days on nothing but water. While running for the Democratic presidential nomination, Kennedy Sr. provided significant political support to the nonviolent efforts of the farm labor movement, which included a multi-year strike by the California grape industry. His relationship with Chávez was a key indicator of the Democratic Party’s appropriation of the farm workers’ rights movement. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Kennedy Jr. spends event This weekend in Los Angeles, his campaign said it will “celebrate the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez, a good friend of RFK and RFK Jr.” The invitation to the event featured a photo of Kennedy Sr. and Chavez.

In July 2023, at a conference for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the Kennedy family commented on Chavez’s relationship.

“My father’s closest and probably most important political ally was Cesar Chavez, who helped him win the California primary on the last day of his life and who remained a very, very close friend of mine for most of my adult life,” Kennedy said.





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