At Bishop Fenwick High School we had a class called “Witness To Social Justice”. One day Sister Maria Delaney invited an organizer for the United Farmworkers Union to talk to our class about the conditions migrant farmworkers endured. We were shocked to hear of the difficult & dangerous lives Mexicans faced harvesting grapes in southern California.
I left class knowing I wanted to help change this. My best high school friend Paul Moran & I were recruited by local UFW organizer Mark Johnson to picket the Star Market in Lynn during February vacation. We distributed leaflets supporting the table grape & Gallo Wine boycott. The manager of the Star market tried to kick us out, then called the Lynn Police. Mark argued with them like an irate baseball manager, fearless in the face of the cops. I thought we were going to get busted and spend the night in jail.
Ultimately we stood our ground & stayed until all our leaflets were gone and our voices hoarse from chanting. It was my first picketing experience, and I knew it wouldn’t be my last…