On August 8th, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was un-welcomed to Salinas High School by members of the American Federation of Teachers, Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, Watsonville Brown Berets and other demonstrators. With an escort of police in cruisers and on motorcycles, Schwarzenegger’s vehicle drove past a group of protesters and into a back entrance of Salinas High. Police quickly locked out the people who, in the theory of US Democracy, are supposed to be represented by the Governor.
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On Sunday April 3, 2005, more than 1,200 people marched through the streets of Salinas and rallied at the Cesar Chavez Library. While we honored the life struggle of Cesar Chavez, we too struggle to keep the Libraries open in Salinas. Connections were easily made between the U.S. government policy of endless war around the world and the closing of community resources such as the entire library system.
La Union Del Pueblo Entero, the United Farmworkers and the Monterey Bay Labor Council held banners to identify their participation in the Cesar Chavez march.
In an effort to save Salinas, California’s public library system, which is slated to shut down because of budget shortfalls, dozens of authors, community activists, and supporters organized an Emergency 24-hour “Read-In” outside the Cesar Chavez Public Library in Salinas, from Saturday, April 2 at 1pm to Sunday, April 3 at 1pm. Then at 1pm on Sunday, the Read-In merged with the annual Cesar Chavez March and Holiday Celebrations.
“We’re telling people to bring their tents, sleeping bags and favorite books. We’ll be here all day and all night to show our determination to keep our libraries open,” says Efren Barajas of United Farmworkers of America, one of the groups organizing the read-in.