Finding Our Common Interests: Personal Reflections About the Asian Movement
Immediately after graduation from Balboa High School, I enrolled at UC Berkley. There was no way not to at least hear, read, or attend rallies that promoted all kinds of ideas, ideologies, and challenges to the these discussions, I also became more aware of other issues, such as the war in Vietnam, the Black Civil Rights Movement, the farm workers' struggle, as well as left-wing groups involved in change.
It was through this network that many of us actively supported the farmworkers in Delano [to organize a union], especially the Manongs [older Filipino men], and the struggle of the International Hotel in San Francisco. There was a direct link between the Filipino farm workers in Delano and the struggle for the International Hotel [where low-income seniors were threatened with eviction]. Many of the retired Filipinos in the hotel had been farm workers, and many of the older Filipinos in Delano had stayed in the International Hotel in the early 1940s and 1950s. The International Hotel tenants' struggle for decent affordable housing and the farm workers in Delano fighting for collective bargaining through the grape boycott empowered the people in both cases.
While actively supporting the International Hotel struggle, I learned that Manongs' early experiences were not disconnected from today's fight for equal opportunity and other civil rights issues.