Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farmworkers of America (UFW) was one of the heroic figures of the 20th century.

Many lessons can be learned from Chavez’ life. He, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was an adherent of nonviolent civil disobedience and led many strikes and boycotts for his cause.

Chavez was also an early environmentalist, warning the public of the devastating effects of pesticides on both farmworkers and consumers. Chavez fought for the rights of immigrants, refusing to let the forces of agribusiness and racism scapegoat immigrant workers.

Chavez is a beloved hero of the Mexican-American people, the labor movement and, indeed, of all people who believe in justice.

The People’s Weekly World will be honoring Chavez, his work and memory with a full-page ad to celebrate his birthday. Readers will have the opportunity to pledge to carry on his work for labor rights, equality for Mexican Americans and Latinos, and dignity for all by signing onto the ad and getting friends, neighbors and co-workers to sign on, too.

To honor Chavez sends a clear message to President Bush, John Ashcroft and other ultraright forces, that we refuse their attempts to polarize our nation, especially using anti-immigrant racism and increased racial profiling in the wake of Sept. 11. The demand of amnesty for all immigrants, high on the agenda before Sept. 11, is under attack from these forces. Honoring Chavez will help blunt and reverse these attacks.