The shirt on the left belonged to a young man who walked into the CIW’s office in November, 1996. He had been picking tomatoes in a field near Immokalee when he stopped to take a drink of water. A field supervisor accosted him, shouted “Are you here to work, or to drink water?”, and launched into him, leaving him badly bruised and bloodied — and determined to find justice. The young worker walked back to Immokalee, headed straight to the CIW office, and sparked a nighttime march of nearly 500 workers on the crewleader’s house. The marchers brandished his shirt as a banner, declaring “If you beat one of us, you beat us all!”, and helped launch a movement that changed Immokalee forever.
The shirt on the right belonged to a young man who walked into the CIW’s office last week. He had been working at a vegetable packing house, packing eggplants, about 10 miles from Immokalee when a supervisor approached him. According to the worker, the supervisor criticized his work, and he, thinking the criticism unjustified, answered back. A discussion ensued when, according to the worker and a witness, the supervisor hauled off and punched him in the face. Staggered, he swung back, but was knocked to the ground by the supervisor before others in the area stepped in to pull them apart. The worker was told to go home, clean up, and return the next day. Instead, he went to the CIW’s office, and filed a police report. He then went to the hospital, where he learned that the supervisor’s punch had broken his nose.