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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Chicano activist Chávez celebrated with march

    The Xochipilli Centeotl group leads the annual C
    The Xochipilli Centeotl group leads the annual C

    The seventh Annual Cesar E. Chávez Holiday Coalition March drew more than 100 people Saturday morning to honor the Chicano activist, including a group from the UA Department of Mexican-American Studies.

    Marchers chanted “”Viva Cesar Chávez”” and “”Si Se Puede”” for more than two miles in South Tucson, sporting Chávez shirts and carrying flags and posters in his honor.

    “”It’s up to every single one of us to continue the legacy Cesar Chávez has left for us,”” said master of ceremonies Ray Siqueiros before the walk. “”That is why we are all here today.””

    The march was on Chávez’s birthday, making it a special day for the marchers.

    Participants met at Pueblo High School’s football field, 3500 S. 12th Ave., for a 9 a.m. opening ceremony before the march began.

    Azteca Chichimeca Xochipilli Centeotl, a Danzate group, performed a dance on the field to bless the march, and speakers addressed the crowd.

    Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, a lecturer for Mexican-American studies, said it is important for the community to come together.

    “”You are all brave enough to be here so we can re-commit to the values of Cesar Chávez,”” Rubio-Goldsmith said. “”Our community is ripped with fear, and from fear we cannot turn back. We must seek out why we’re fearful.””

    People need to learn to take care of each other, she added.

    “”Let this be the first day that we have sanctuary in Tucson,”” Rubio-Goldsmith said. “”We are all one with our brothers and sisters and our community.””

    People in the crowd burned sage sticks and waved them across their bodies as a blessing and cleansing before the march.

    “”Let’s be strong, let’s be considerate, and let’s show people the love we all share,”” said Richard Elias, chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors.

    Marchers were walking not only in remembrance of the work Chávez did during his life, but also for the recognition of CǸsar Chávez Day, which currently only South Tucson celebrates in Arizona.

    The Cesar Chávez Holiday Coalition is working on getting the state of Arizona to recognize the day and give students, as well as businesses, the day off.

    Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers and a well-known social activist, was also present at the march and many people wore shirts bearing her face and name.

    “”Hundreds of people need a voice, and we are giving them a voice,”” said Regina Romero, chairwoman of Las Adelitas and the other master of ceremonies.

    Participants marched to the Rudy Garcia Park on East Irvington Road and South Sixth Avenue, where there were more speakers and a closing ceremony.

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