For both the East and West legs, excitement among tour participants
had been building since the buses rolled out of Immokalee, and now
it was reaching a fever pitch. Everyone knew that by the end of
Day Six both caravans would arrive in Louisivlle, KY and the next
phase of the Truth Tour would begin. (Above, members of the West
leg gather in the morning to reflect on the high-points of the first
portion of the Truth Tour.)
Before the buses could reach Louisville, they both had one last
stop to make. For the East leg, that stop was in Lexington, KY where
members of the CIW met with local peace and justice activists in
a community forum. While the forum covered many topics, the discussion
largely focused farmworker poverty and the role of informed consumers
in challenging the status quo of the agricultural and fast-food
industries, a status quo predicated upon farmworker exploitation.
In Chicago, the West leg of the tour took notions of corporate responsibility
into the streets, joining local members of the union UNITE HERE
who have been protesting outside the Congress Plaza Hotel for 18
months in pursuit of a fair contract. Like the previous day's visist
to the workers center, the demonstration created a space for the
workers to learn from and about each other as equals in a larger
movement for social and economic justice.
protest was also a great opportunity to explore the rhythmic potential
of tomato buckets in picket lines. Judging by the looks of this
happy drummer, the experiment was a success.
Continuing on through Chicago, the West tour held a forum on working
conditions in the fields and farmworker justice. Students emphasized
the power they have as consumers to demand respect for human rights
in the supply chain.
For the tour's final stop in Chicago, San Lucas Church provided
a delicious dinner (Puerto Rican style!) and then hosted a send-off
mass, blessing our struggle and wishing us safe travels on to Louisville.
The outpouring of religious support for the CIW continues to enspire
and empower us. The tour stop in Chicago was certainly no exception.
As the East tour heads to Louisville, Rolando builds momentum for
the upcoming week of education and action through music. The bus
provides a space for riders to absorb the day's events and focus
on the next day's journey.
Around 1:00 AM, the West leg pulled into the Louisville headquarters,
where they reunited with their companeros and companeras from the
East Leg. The evening was full of excitement, and even some exhaustion.
Before bedding down for the evening, riders were briefed on the
next day's visits to 17 Louisville churches in solidarity with the
At the end of Day Six, friends reunite and swap tales from their
side of the tour. Riders were eager to hear about their companer@s'
impact on the communities they visited and to learn how the tour
changed their perspective on the campaign.
Romeo, CIW staff member, along with the Louisville organizing committee,
welcomed us to our temporary headquarters in Louisville, courtesy
of our friends at Urban Spirit. It certainly promises to be a memorable
here for more photos from Day 6!
Click here for photos & reports
from Day 7, the beginning of an extensive week of education
and action in Louisville, KY leading up to the March 11-12 national