This post is a little softer than my earlier posts. Maybe I am feeling the peace of Chavez moving within me.
We have seen over and over again the power of non-violent protest. Some of the most powerful movements were successful thanks to hard work, perseverance and non-violence. Men like MLK Jr. and Gandhi showed us that violence is not the way to freedom. In Fight in the Fields, we were witness to a struggle of the helpless. This story was so powerful to me. These farmers were seen as simple immigrants. They were given nearly no opportunities for a successful and rewarding life. They were simply farm hands, cheap labor. But these men and women did not give up.
Lead by Cesar Chavez, this “simple immigrants” were given a chance for freedom and a happy life. His story won me over. He never gave up hope and never resorted to the violence of his opposers. He had a mission for greatness and a belief in peaceful protest. His fight was long and seemed almost impossible, but he never abandoned hope.
The fight of Chavez is nothing like the fight of the revolutionaries we see in My Revolutions. In fact, they operate on distinctly different belief systems. The revolutionaries have their good intentions. They fight for equality and poverty and feminism, but they implement a very violent tactic to achieve their goals. They burn buildings and plan bombings. They become the enemy rather than eradicate him. In Fight in the Fields, we see a tranquil and peaceful plan of action.
It is up to the viewer to decide which route is more successful. Some say “you’re nobody until somebody kills you”. In Anna’s case, she became somebody of importance and change after her death. She will forever be remembered as someone who fought against the machine and won. But is death the prize? Are we not free until we are gone? Some would argue that revolutionaries like Chavez are more successful. We saw his success. He did change the lives of farmworkers forever. If he were violent, would his hope for change have come sooner?
I am still deciding which path works best. I think we all have some of that revolutionary anger and passion within us. But we are all capable of peace.