Safeway, West Oakland

In 1965, the Grape strike and boycott brought many Chicanos as well as members of the Black Panther Party to hold protests in Oakland’s grocery chain, Safeway in both their East and West Oakland locations. This image in particular, both parties are boycotting the selling of lettuce in Safeway stores. The photograph above captures two parties, two movements who supported each other’s plight from better working conditions to equal human and civil rights under law. Cesar began organizing in African American and Latino communities, beginning with the Fruitvale district, working side by side with political figures such as Ron Dellums and Lionel Wilson, meanwhile endorsing them for political representation. Cesar Chavez emerged out of Oakland with political and organizing skills reflected in the Black Power movement. This image shows that these two movements were not two isolated events in the Bay Area, but co existed and cooperated with one another.
Today, the fight for living wages still continues in Baja California for farm laborers who work for Driscoll berries as the multi-billion dollar company is being charged for unfair labor practices. Workers demand to this day better wages, working conditions and social security.

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Kelly Ortiz, “Safeway, West Oakland,” Street Stories: Oakland, accessed June 21, 2018, http://streetstoriesoakland.com/items/show/58.

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