Senior staff writer, Orlando Jose, interviewed Ron Lopstain at Stockton’s 10th annual Cesar Chavez birthday celebration. There were many people at the event, including other former and current activists. Lopstain was once security for Chavez and was also an avid activist. Lopstain was wearing a bright red vest covered in buttons.
How did you get your buttons?
Lopstain: “As you can see, I wear my buttons with pride every year. These buttons I earn here doing a lot of marches and rallies for boycott, strikes [and] a lot of picket lines. I was president for MECHA along time ago, and we did a lot of the campaigns over there. I did security for Cesar Chavez a few times. I’m just glad to wear this. I only wear this twice a year and I’m glad to have it today.”
What did you do when you were boycotting?
Lopstain:“We boycott lettuce, boycott grapes, boycott Gallo. Chavez is a Teamster. We have all kinds of buttons, there’s blood on those grapes, one of those buttons is for Juan de la Cruz, a farm worker who was shot on a picket line on a strike in the fields. He was shot by the villains. That’s what we call them. Back in the day, we remember him too. Juan de la Cruz liberation brigade was a group founded in Los Angeles who went out to the supermarket, and boycotted Safeway that had the grapes, lettuce on their shelves, we made sure they took it off, it was a big thing,” Said Rob Lopstain
What is your message?
Lopstain: “Remember what he stood up for. Remember his legacy. He stood up for farm workers that couldn’t stand up for themselves if there was a problem in the fields. Like what people are doing right now, they want to deport these people that are out there working. If Trump has his way, that’s what probably going to happen. We don’t want that to happen. These people deserve a right to have fair wages, for equality and all the benefits that any other worker has in the State of California.”