Marching with Liberty

In 2000 agricultural activists carried this contemporary interpretation of the Statue of Liberty on a two-week, 230-mile March for Dignity, Dialogue, and a Fair Wage. The protest was organized in Florida by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW brought together diverse, interracial groups including agricultural workers, environmentalists, and community organizers, to negotiate for better working conditions and higher wages in the agricultural industry.

Immokalee Statue of Liberty, by Kat Rodriguez, 2000

The statue’s original pedestal (not shown) features a simple message borrowed from African American poet Langston Hughes: “I, too, am America.” This Lady Liberty holds a basket of tomatoes to represent the work of agricultural laborers.

Gift of Coalition of Immokalee Workers

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Coalition of Immokalee Workers protesting for higher wages, Florida, 2000

Coalition of Immokalee Workers protesting for higher wages, Florida, 2000

Courtesy of Kat Rodriguez