Day 1: Sunday May 15 Daily Digest
Smithtown to Brentwood (8.4 miles)
The March for Farmworker Justice kicked off at 1:30pm on Sunday May 15 in Smithtown, and didn’t quit until marchers arrived at Christ Church in Brentwood.
Fifty people marched of the 75 that took part in the rally at Sen. Flanagan’s office, and about 120 folks enjoyed the evening activity (farmworker stories, with guest speaker Bishop Provenzano) at St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington.
Although the weather was cool with some rain, the marchers’ attitude was bright and sunny. "We all have something we can bring to the table,” said Day Captain David Lasek, “and everyone just shined today. Our first March day was a blessing.”
David also noted that the escort from the Suffolk County Police (3rd and 4th Precincts) was “phenomenal.”
Thanks to all marchers and allies!
Special thanks to St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington, who sponsored the evening event.
VIDEO NEWS: Watch remarks by Bishop Provenzano and Richard Witt
¡Si Se Puede!
Buffalo Takes Action in Solidarity with the March
In conjunction and solidarity with the first of The 200 mile March in eastern New York, RMM organized a rally in Buffalo at Pilgrim St. Luke's Church. Approximately 50 people attended and heard a number of speakers talk about the importance of passing the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act. The list of speakers included the following:
The Rev. Julie Cicora, President of RMM Board of Directors, Cesar, son of farmworkers, Dolores, farmworker, Bob McLennan, from Senator Kennedy's office, Assemblymember Sean Ryan, Serena Kotch, New York State United Teachers, Kirk Laubenstein, Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice, Emily Terrana. New York Civil Liberties Union, Mike Deely, Labor Federation and West Cosgrove RMM.
Everyone spoke passionately about the injustice of the current situation that excludes farmworkers from having the basic protections that all other groups of workers enjoy. Assemblyman Ryan traced the history of farmworkers from the indentured servants brought from Europe, through the period of slavery, to the African Americans and other of the early 20th Century to our reality today of mostly workers from Latin America. He told us that the industry has come to expect “almost free labor” and therefore the resistance to ending the exclusions against farmworkers.
Dolores and Cesar spoke from their personal perspective of the contributions and difficulties of being a farmworker.
All left with a renewed spirit and commitment to continue the struggle for justice for all!
ROUTE DETAILS from May 15 March for Farmworker Justice
Download May 15 Flyer
MARCH KICKOFF: Rally in front of Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s Office 1:30pm-2:30pm
260 East Main Street Smithtown, NY 11787
Speakers: Long Island Farmworkers; Max Bruny, President UFCW Local 888; Jose Davila, Vice President for Policy and Government Relations, Hispanic Federation; Rev. Richard Witt, Executive Director of RMM; SEPA Mujer; Anita Halasz, Jobs with Justice ; Roger Clayman, Executive Director, Long Island Federation of Labor AFL-CIO
Segment A: 2:30-4:15pm Senator Flanagan Office (260 East Main Street Smithtown) to Long Island Federation of Labor (390 Rabro Dr Hauppauge), 5 miles
Segment B: 4:30-6pm Federation of Labor (390 Rabro Dr Hauppauge) to Christ Episcopal Church (155 3rd Avenue Brentwood), 3.4 miles
EVENING Dinner and Program: Farmworker Stories 7-8:30pm
Guest speakers: Senator Marcellino and The Right Rev. Lawrence C. Provenzano, DD, Bishop of the Diocese of Long Island
St. John's Episcopal Church, 12 Prospect St, Huntington