February 16, 2005
ETHEL KENNEDY VISITS IMMOKALEE, PLEDGES TO SUPPORT BOYCOTT!...
On February 16, Ethel Kennedy -- champion for human
rights, widow of Robert F. Kennedy, and founder of
the RFK Memorial in her slain husband's name -- paid
a visit to Immokalee to see firsthand the dire conditions
faced by Florida's agricultural workers.
Mrs. Kennedy's day-long fact-finding mission began at the CIW office with a briefing on the CIW's current projects, history, and accomplishments, including a hands-on look at the CIW's highly successful consumer cooperative (above). Afterwards, Mrs. Kennedy toured the community, and declared the overcrowded trailers where workers live "inhumane".
Mrs. Kennedy viewed nearby tomato fields (left) and witnessed the reality of the hard labor behind the agricultural products on which our nation depends. She also explored the site of one of the slavery rings exposed by the CIW and prosecuted by the US Department of Justice, where tomato pickers were held against their will and forced to work.
Her day concluded at the CIW's weekly community meeting where she addressed a packed house of CIW members preparing for the 2005 Taco Bell Truth Tour which leaves Immokalee in just 10 days! Excitement was tangible in the air as Mrs. Kennedy joined the farmworker struggle in an historic moment much like when she and her husband joined Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farmworkers, in California many years ago.
To read more about Ms. Kennedy's visit to Immokalee, check out this great article in the Palm Beach Post: "Ethel Kennedy joins fight for farmworkers' rights." Click here...