Campaign to Have UFW Apologize for Budweiser Sponsorship of Iconic “Sí se puede” Logo Grows

May 28, 2012
7:10 PM

What started out as a few images shared on social media is beginning to grow. A "No se puede" campaign has been organized by the Watsonville Brown Berets, which is demanding that the United Farm Workers (UFW), co-founded by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, apologize for having a Budweiser logo appear under the UFW's iconic "Sí se puede" image during the organization's 50th anniversary convention and celebration.

The original post from May 23 says the following. It is also urging people to share their thoughts with the group, since they plan to present them to the UFW's leadership:


You might now know us personally or we might have worked with you in solidarity or in person over the past 18 years of our organizations history. We are the Watsonville Brown Berets Autonomous Chapter. We are writing this plea because we, along with many others in the social justice advocacy and activist communities, are displeased with the United Farm Workers’ (UFW) current decision to accept sponsorship from Budweiser and merge the UFW’s logo with theirs.

We find this very disrespectful to the legacy of many who sacrificed and dedicated their lives, including our own family members and elders, to build this movement of social justice. The UFW represented more than collective bargaining, it represented hope, dignity and respect. To merge the symbol of the United Farmworkers with a corporate logo that creates destruction in our own communities, and many others, is disrespectful

The UFW is more than just a union, it is a movement! Budweiser seized an opportunity to place their product and sell more beer to a vulnerable community plagued by alcohol abuse and domestic violence caused by this very product. The legacy of alcohol in our communities is a negative one. Hensley McCain (wife of U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.) is the chairwoman of the Hensley & Co. Budweiser Distributorship. The Budweiser Corporation has funded anti-immigrant political figures that support SB 1070. There have been calls for boycotts of this product across Latino and pro-immigrant communities.

Comments under this post are echoing similar sentiments. Here are just a few samples:

Please do not endorse the “Budweiser Corporation.” I pledge to help fundraise for the UFW as soon as we know that all ties with Budweiser have been broken. This is not a stance that Cesar Chavez would have taken. Please correct this mistake.

The proud legacy of the UFW not accepting government grants nor corporate payouts has been disrespected by your rightward turn in selling out to boycotted Budweiser. Please correct yourself with a public apology and return money to scab Bud. Respect yourselves !

ufw leaders & admin. you have committed a grievous error coupled with greed. we all make mistakes and the ufw should be big enough to admit. your partnering with bud is: morally wrong. you as a group know the struggles our people face daily with alcohol abuse. the partnership is ethically wrong: it erodes the widespread meaning of the union of hope and success. lastly, it grossly dishonors cesars’ everlasting legacy, which belongs to all of us. do not capitalized what so many lived, sacrificed and ultimately died for. shame on you ufw, show more pride.

I know for a fact that the drink of choice for Cesar Chavez was comfrey tea. Naming a beer in a UFW poster is disrespectful to the man and his legacy of fighting for social justice!

This is a bad idea. Money gained is no excuse for dishonoring Cesar Chavez and many, many others who struggle. This is a big sellout.

The campaign is also being shared on Facebook, where as of tonight, it has gotten close to 200 shares already. Here are just some of the comments being posted there as well:

If you are a rank and file member of a labor union, a union officer or a delegate to a labor council, please bring this action in the form of a resolution and send the UFW the demand on your union letterhead. We cannot allow Labor to be co-opted this way. Stand up, speak up, fight !

The problm..our own tambien..many.our new generation. Does nt vote nor r willin to boycott as many whose struggles we reap….thyd rathr adopt Anglo Saxon customs n kill one anothr…thx.4. Info… They are selling not only Cesar Chavez and the legacy of one man, but the legacy of a whole movement. Freaking bottom-feeders.

I agree tht we need to take action through our unions and also as individuals. Use that phone number and email address to ask your questions. Re-post.

This is tragic. Alcohol is pushed so hard in barrios, ghettoes and reservations to have our people "on 1" so we never organize as 1 people. The leadership of the UFW must be held accountable.

As of tonight, UFW leadership has yet to respond to our questions about the relationship between Anheuser-Busch and its organization. We did hear from Anheuser-Busch on Friday, and the company confirmed that it did sponsor the UFW's 50th celebration and convention. We are expecting comment from them tomorrow.