How shall I begin my story has no beginning? In these [inaudible] , my great-grandfather raised cattle before the Anglos ever came. Our roots go deep in this place, deeper than the pines, deeper than the mine shafts. This is my village. When I was a child, it was called San Marcos. The Anglos changed the name to Zinc Town, Zinc Town, New Mexico, USA. This is our home, the house is not ours, but the flowers, the flowers are ours. My name is Esperanza, Esperanza Quintero. I am a miner's wife. Eighteen years my husband has given to that mine, living half his life with dynamite and darkness. The land where the mine now stands, that was owned by my husband's own grandfather, now it belongs to the company. Who can say when it began, my story? I do not know. But this day, I remember is the beginning of an end. It was my Saint's Day. I was 35 years old, a day of celebration, and I was seven months gone with my third child. On that day I remember I had a wish, a thought so sinful, a thought so evil that I prayed to the Virgin to forgive me for it. I wished, I wished that my child would never be born. No, not into this word. Are you sick mama? No, Estellita. Are you sad? Are we going to church for a confession? Later, when I finish ironing. Fighting again with those Anglo kids? They think they're tough. But, you promised me you wouldn't. Papa says, if an Anglo makes fun at you to let him have it. Never mind what your papa, hold still. Does it hurt? Nah. I'll cut the cake. Never mind the cake. Go get your father when he comes off shift. Tell him to come straight home. I hear you had a little trouble Quintero? Defective fuse? Well, you're all in one piece, so what's the beef? You know the beef. This new rule of yours that we work alone. We're taking it up with the super. Super's busy with your negotiating committee. So much the better. Now, wait a minute. Super's the one who made the rule. He ain't going to give you no helper. He will, if he wants us to go on blasting. Read your contract. Or get somebody to read it for you. It don't say nothing about no helper. Listen Mr. Barton, there's blood in that mine. The blood of my friends, all because they had to work alone. That's how you get splatted all over the rocks, when there's nobody help to check the fuse. Nobody to warn the other men to stay clear. Warning is a shift foreman's job. Foreman wants to get the order out. Miner wants to get his brothers out in one piece. You work alone, savvy? You can't handle the job, I'll find someone who can. Who, a scab? An American. Mama. Not a word about the cake, you hear? Papa, is there going to be a strike? Ramon, I don't like to bother you, but the store lady, they say that, if we don't make another payment on the ready this month, they'll come and take it away. We are only one payment behind. I argued with her. It isn't right. It isn't right she says. Was it right that we bought this instrument, but you had to have it, didn't you? It was nice to listen to. I listen to it every night when you are out at the beer parlor. No money down. Easy term payment. I tell you something, this installment plan, it's a curse on the working man. Where are you going? Got to talk to the brothers. This water's cold again. I'm sorry. The fire has gone out. Forget it. Forget it? I chop wood for the stove five times a day every time I remember. I remember not to cross the tracks, the Anglos have hard water in pipes, in bathrooms, inside. Do you think I like living this way? What do you want of me? If you're asking for better conditions, why can't you ask for decent plumbing too. We did. Got lost in the shuffle. What? We can't get everything at once. Right now, we have more important demands. What's more important than sanitation? Safety of the men, that's more important. Five accidents this week, all because of speed up. You're a woman. You don't know what it's like up there. First, we got to get equality on the job. Then, we'll work on these other things. Leave it to the men. I see. The men. Your strike may be for your demands, but what wives want, that comes later, always later. Now, don't you start talking against the union again. What has it gotten me, your union. Esperanza, have you forgotten what it was like before the union came, when Estella was a baby and we couldn't even afford a doctor when she was sick? It was for our families, we met in graveyards to build that union. All right. Have your strike. I'll have my baby, but no hospital will take me because I will be on strike as well. The store will cut off our credit and the kids will go hungry. We'll get behind on the payments again. Then, they'll come and take away the radio. Is that all you care about, that radio? Don't you think of anything except yourself? If I think of myself, it's because you never think of me. Never. Never. Stop it. The children are watching. Stop it. That's a problem that has to be taken care of. The company will always tell you those things. We know it's not safe for minors to work alone. But they don't work alone in other mines, Anglos always work in pairs. So, why should I risk my life, because I'm a Mexican? That's in the demand. We're negotiating. Three months of negotiations, nothing happens. Even with brother Barnes here from the International. What have we got? No raise, no seniority, no safety code, nothing. Take a drink. [inaudible] I say we got to take action, now. Rest of the men feel the way you do? He talk for all of us. Do you ever stop to think maybe they want us to strike? They don't want no strike, not with their war boom on. Then, why is the company hanging tough? They've signed contracts with the other locals, why not this one? Because most of us here are Mexican-American, because we want equality with Anglo miners. The same pay, same conditions. Exactly, and equality is the one thing the bosses can't afford. The biggest club they have over the Anglo locals is, well at least to get more than the Mexicans. Okay. So, discrimination hurts the Anglo too, but it hurts me more and I've had enough of it. But you don't pull a strike when the bosses want it, so they can smash your union. You wait till you're ready so you can win. Do the bosses wait? No sanitation. So, my kids gets sick. Does the company doctor wait? Twenty bucks. So, we miss one payment on the radio I bought for my wife, does the company store wait? "Pay, or we take it away." Why is the bosses store in such a hurry? They're trying to scare us, that's why. To make us afraid to move. To hang on to what we got and like it and I don't like it, and I'm not scared, and I'm fed up, to here. Hey Ramon [inaudible] What are you doing here? Something wrong with Mama? I thought maybe you forgot. Forgot what? It is Mama's Saint's Day. What a kid. He can't wait, it's my Wife's Saint's Day. I was going to ask you brothers, how about a [inaudible] . What time? [inaudible] the later the better. [inaudible] . Why are they singing? They are singing for me. Can we light the candles? Yes. Now we can light the candle. [inaudible] . Happy birthday. Happy birthday. [inaudible] . Give me one, Charlie. Come on Charlie. Here. Happy birthday. Happy birthday. [inaudible] . Hurry up. Come on. Come on in. I did not mean to weep again. Why should I weep for joy? I'm a fool. No, you aren't. Was it expensive, the beer? Antonio paid for it. Forgive me for saying you never thought of me. I did forget, Luis told me. All the next week I kept thinking about my manyanita. I had never had so nice a party. It was like a song running through my mind. A daydream to lighten the long days' work. One, two, three- [inaudible] . We all forgot our troubles at the manyanita. Even Ramon, I couldn't dance that night, not in my condition, but I wasn't really jealous when he danced with the others, because it was good just to see him smile again. [inaudible] . Then one morning I was hanging out my wash, and while we were talking the ladies came. They were a kind of delegation. It was about the sanitation they said. The Anglo miners have bathrooms and had running water. Why shouldn't we? [inaudible] . I know, I spoke to Ramon about it only a week ago. He said they dropped it from the union demands. [inaudible] . We've got to make them understand, make the men face up to it. Show her the sign. We'll make a lot of signs like this. Then we'll get all the wives together and go right up to the mine. To the mine? Sure, where they're negotiating in the company office. We'll go up there and picket the place. Then both sides will see we mean business. A picket line of ladies? Sure, why not? You can count me in. Luis. Listen, we ought to be in the wood choppers' union. Chop wood for breakfast. Chop wood to wash his clothes. Chop wood, heat the iron. Chop wood, scrub the floor. Chop wood, cook his dinner, and do you know what he will say when he comes home? "What have you been doing all day? Reading funny papers?" Come on Esperanza, how about it? We got to. No. I can't. If Ramon ever found me in a picket line- He'd what? Beat you? No. No. [inaudible] It's Mr. Palinsky. Easy now, easy. Let me see, let me see, let me see, let me see. He's all right. I want to see him now. How did this happen? I wanted into a drift and that's how it was blast. I told you it would happen. It's going to happen when a man works alone. Why did you give them a warning signal? Your foreman said that's a foreman's job. Check the proof just before we blasted, it was all clear. The man must have been asleep or something. You weren't even there, you are back at the station, Kerensky told me. You are a liar [inaudible] A no good dirty. Get a hold on yourself, a man has been hurt. I'm sorry about it is you are savvy. Accidents occurs to everyone, and to the company most of all. I see no reason to treat the occasion like a paid holiday. Suppose we all get back to work. All right fellas, the excitement is over let's get to it. [inaudible] . What are they saying? No savvy. What about it? Tell them I need them to get back to work. They don't work for me, I worked for them. Ruis. It's up to you brothers. [inaudible] Jesse! That night, the men held a union meeting, just to make the walkout official. It didn't take them long. They voted to strike 93 to five, and Theresa said now was the time for us to go in. I didn't want to, I have never been to a union meeting. But the other said, 'one go, all go'. [inaudible] The meeting was nearly over when we came in. Charley Vidal was making a speech. He said there was only one issue in the strike, ''Equality''. But the mine owners would stop at nothing to keep them from getting equality. [inaudible] . He said that bosses would try to split the Anglo and Mexican-American workers and offer rewards to one man if he would sell out his brother. [inaudible] Yes, you ladies have an announcement? [inaudible] the ladies wanting me to. Louder. [inaudible] would you speak from over here. The ladies have been talking about sanitation. We were thinking, if the issue is Equality like you say it is, then maybe we ought to have equality in planning too. I mean maybe we could make it a strike demand. Some of the ladies thought it might be a good idea to have a lady [inaudible] . Well, we'd like to help out if we can. I think I can speak for all the brothers. In saying we appreciate the ladies offering to help, but it's getting late and I suggest that we table it. The chair will entertain a motion to adjourn. [inaudible] . All those in favor. I. Opposed, [inaudible] It's just a question of when. Why didn't you support her? You're the worst of the lot. But Theresa, you can't push these things too fast. You were pushing all right, pushing us right back in our place. Why didn't you check this thing with me, it's embarrassing. At least you didn't make a fool of yourself like [inaudible] It's not a bad idea, to make sanitation one of our demands. But honey. Why don't you just put a sign outside, 'no dogs, no women allowed.' So, it began. Much like any other strike. There would be no settlement, the company said, till the men returned to their jobs. But the back to work movement didn't work. So, the company recruited a few strike-breakers from out of town. But they usually lost their nerve when they saw the size of the picket line. The Sheriff's men were always there. They stood around showing off their weapons. But the men only marched, day after day, week after week. At first, it was an unwritten rule that the women stay at home. The Union gave us rations and we had to figure out how to feed our families on them. But then one morning, Mrs. Salazar went to the picket line. Her husband had been killed in a strike many years before, and she wanted to be there. Nobody remembers just how it happened, but one day Mrs. Salazar started marching with them, and she kept on marching with them. After a while, some of the women began to bring coffee for their husbands and maybe a couple of tacos. Because a man gets tired and hungry on picket duty. It was about that time that the Union decided maybe they'd better setup a ladies' auxiliary after all. I didn't come to the lines at first. My time was near, and besides, Ramon didn't approve. But Ramon is a man who loves good coffee, and he swore that the other ladies made it taste like sink sludge. So, one day, I made the coffee. Prieto, Sebastian Prieto. Haven't seen them for three days now. Hey, Ramon. Listen to this, chief foreman came to me last night, said he'll make a sheriff doesn't he? If I start back to work movement. Jenkins, want to string along with Sam tamale here. I just said [inaudible] tamale is fine. Those guys got thrown the other side of the hill, we chased the rest back. Recognize them? Anglos from out of town but they're not miners, I could tell that. They don't know a [inaudible] from [inaudible] Okay. Take five, get yourself a cup of coffee. Hey, Ramon, here comes the super. Morning. How's it going? Well, those new fellows you hired from out of town, we brought them up here but truck this morning, they took one line at that picket line and turned tail. They don't look so rough to me. Well, Mr. Hartwell, they got some pretty hombres there. Especially that picket captain, what's his name, Ray, Raymond something or other. Oh, yes I know that one. After a main picket line, I have another post on the back road. They're robbing controls all over the place. On company property? Why don't you have them thrown off? Because all the company property Mr. Aqua, the store, the housing area, everything. Where are you going to throw them? Who does the throwing? Well, are they going to let us pass? Eventually. This is just a little ritual to impress us with their power. Now, why don't you let these gentleman pass? Don't you know who is in that car? It's the paymaster from Moscow with our gold. No, no. It's the president of the company himself. Come all the way out here to make Jenkins general manager. So, why are you acting so mean? Childish. Well, they're like children in many ways. Sometimes you have to humor them, sometimes you have to spank them. Sometimes, you have to take their food away. Here comes the one that we're talking about. He's quite a character. Claims his grandfather once owned the land where the mine is now. Want to go up to your office Mr. Alexander? Naturally. You think I parked here for a cup of coffee? You're welcome to one. No, thanks. The men would like to know who this gentleman is. That's none of their affair. That's all right, it's no secret. My name is Hartwell. I'm from the company's eastern office. You mean Delaware? No, New York. New York? You're not the company president by any chance? No. Too bad. The men have always wanted to take a look at the president. What did you come out here to settle the strike? Well, if that's possible. It's possible, just negotiate. Are we talking to a union's spokesman? Well, not exactly, but I wish he were one. He knows more about mining than most pi cards we've had to deal with. I mean it. I know your work record. You were in line performing when this trouble started. Did you know that? Let's say you had a real future with this company. But, you let those reds stir you up and now they'll sail you down the river. Why don't you wake up Ray? That's your name isn't it, Ray? My name is Quintero. Mr. Quintero. Well are you going to let us pass or do I have to call the sheriff? There's nothing stopping you. I was wrong, they don't want Jenkins for general manager, they want me. You should have heard that fellow. What a line. I was up for appointment, he says. [inaudible] . What's the matter? It's nothing, just a little catch. Papa, papa. Over here. Is that Luis? What is he doing? Playing hookie again? Luis, come back here. Papa, we've see them, two scabs, over there. They're hiding over there in the galley. Hold it, brothers. You, Antonio and Felo, Cheste come with me. The rest of you, stay on the line. Max, Luis come back. That's them, there. There they go. Prieto, Sebastian Prieto. Ramon, listen to me, for the love of God. You. You. I'd expect it of an Anglo, yes, but you. Ramon, I mean, I had to get a job. You Judas, blood-sucker. Ramon, my kids. [inaudible] My kids don't have enough to eat. You think my kids have enough to eat, you rat? I know, it's wrong. Just let me go. I'll leave town. Just let me go. You think I was going to work you over? I wouldn't dirty my hands on you. Papa. Luis. The baby. Get the women. Quick. Why do you stop? I want to have a little talk with you, the way you slugged that fellow back there. That's a lie. I didn't. That's no way to talk to a white man. No, no, no. Go back and get a blanket, you idiots. So, we can carry her. Hey, Vance. I thought you said this bull-fighter was full of pepper. He don't look so peppery now. Oh, but he is. He's full of chili, this boy. He likes it hot. His chiquita makes it good and hot for him, don't she, Pancho? Sheriff, we need a doctor quick. There's a woman going to have a baby. What do you take me for? An ambulance driver? But there's a company doctor. We don't have a car, if you'd just get him. Are you kidding? Company doctor won't come to no picket line. We can't get her home. There isn't time. Take her inside. Hold your head up, Pancho. That's not the way to sit. I'll outlive you all, you lice. How's that? What's that Spic talk? God, forgive me for wishing this child would never be born. [inaudible] Have mercy on this child. Let this child live. [inaudible] Oh my God, Esperanza. Ramon. Ramon was in the hospital for a week and then in the county jail for 30 days charged with assault and resisting arrest But I made up my mind to postpone the christening till he got out of jail. We christened him Juan. That night we had a double celebration. Juanito's christening, Ramon's homecoming. We put all the children to sleep in the bedroom, as usual, and the men took over the parlor, as usual, $5,000. That beats. Raise you $10,000. Dog. All right, let's see them. Aces, wired. Come to papa. Hear those deputies slugged Cente. Yeah, there's been lots of provocation lately. They figure if they can lock up the leadership on some phony charge, maybe they can bust the strike. Are we going to let them play poker all night? I want to dance. With whose husband? With any of them, even my own. If you dance with my husband, you'll have to put up with this. Another thing. Your attitude towards Anglos. If you're going to be a leader. What attitude? You lump them all together. Anglo workers and Anglo bosses. He's a guest in my house, isn't he? You're even suspicious of him. Maybe. I think he's got a few things to learn about our people. Go on. Spill it. Well, you're the organizer. You work out strike strategy and most of the times you're dead right. When you figure everything the rank and files to do down to the last detail, you don't give us anything to think about. Are you afraid we're too lazy to take initiative? You know I don't think that. Maybe not. But there's another thing like when you came in tonight. I heard you ask your wife, "Who's that? His grandfather?". That's Juarez, the father of Mexico. If I wouldn't know a picture of George Washington, you would say I was an awful dumb Mexican. I've never seen it fail. Try to give Ramon a friendly criticism and he kicks it right back in your face. No, he's right. I've got a lot to learn. Now, we've got that settled, deal the cards. If it makes you feel any better, he's got even less use for women. What are they talking about in there? Discussing each other's weaknesses. I didn't know they had any. Right now, Ramon's on the receiving end. If we shut out the women from the life of the union. Come on. Bet. Let's break up that game. We can't think of them just as housewives, but as partners and we have to treat them as such. Well, look who's talking? A new World's Champion of Women's Rights. Cut it out, Ruth. Me, I'm a camp follower. Following this organizer to one mining camp to another. Montana, Colorado, Idaho. But does he ever think to organize the women? No. Wives don't count in the Anglo locals either. Not that I like the way you treat your wife, Ramon. I think you're all wrong. But when Dr. Barnes here gives you his cure-all for female problems, just ask him if he's tried it at home. Hey, Esperanza. Esperanza's nursing the baby. There goes the game. Good. Consuelo, turn up the radio. Come on, papa, on your feet. Look at him, a fighter, huh? He was born fighting and born hungry. Drink. Drink, Juanito. You'll never have it so good. He don't have it good. Someday. Hard words they're saying about you in there. They say I'm not good to you. You are no good to me in jail. It's hot lying in my cell and my cut and I couldn't sleep, with the bugs and the stink and the heat. I'd say to myself. Think of something nice, something beautiful. Then I think of you. And my heart would pound against the cut for love of you. Not just Juanito, you'll have a good too as Esperanza. We're going to win this strike. What makes you so sure? Because if we lose, we lose more than a strike. We lose the union and their manhood. If we win, we win more than a few demands. We win something bigger. Hope, hope for our kids. Juanito can't grow strong on milk alone. Is this Quintero's place? What do you want? You got a court order. You can't come here without a warrant. We got the warrant too. We don't want any trouble, all we want is right here. I hate to break in on you folks like this, but this is the fellow whom the radio is torn, he got himself a repossession order. Don't touch it. We don't want trouble with you, Quintero. We got order to repossess this machine. I said don't touch it. Let them take it. Over my dead body. I don't want your dead body. I don't want you back in jail either. But it's yours; I wouldn't let them. Can't you see they want to start a fight so they can lock you all at one time? What are you so upset about? Let's have some real music. But the strike did not end. It went on and on into the fourth month, the fifth, the sixth. The companies still refused to negotiate. They tried to turn the Anglo miners against us. They say that all Mexicans ought to be sent back where they came from. How can I go back where I come from? Check that I was born in this company property. I don't know nobody that would tell the bosses to go back where they come from. There would be any bosses in the state of New Mexico if they did. Brother, live to see the day. Jenkins is no boss. You mean we're going to let people like Jenkins stay here? You can't turn him back to Oklahoma, it would be inhuman. But I was born in Texas. Oh, no, that's even worse. The seventh month came. We couldn't buy food at a company store. I knew the strike fun was nearly gone. A few families couldn't take it any longer. Where they went, we do not know. So, it was decided by the union that hardship cases should seek work in other mines, and this was done. Strikers who found jobs divided their pay with the union so the rest of us might eat. Ramon was not a hardship case; only three children to feed. Even so, the mine owners might have starved as out were it not for the help we got from the International in Denver and from other locals. We who thought no one outside our county knew of our troubles or care that they didn't know, found we were wrong. Letters came from our own people of the Southwest, from far away; Bude, Chicago, Birmingham, New York, messages of solidarity and the crumpled dollar bills of working men. We, women, were helping and not just as cooks and coffee makers. A few of the man made jokes about it, but the work had to be done, so they let us stay. No one knew how great a change it was until the day of the crisis. The sheriff was smiling, so we knew he brought bad news. The company had got a court injunction, ordering the strikers to stop picketing. A Taft-Hartley injunction, they called it. It meant heavy fines and jail sentences for the strikers if they disobeyed. A decision had to be made at once, whether to obey the order or not. If we obey the court, the strike will be lost. The scabs will move in as soon as our picket line is gone. If we defy the court, our pickets will be arrested, and the strike will be lost anyway. So, there it is brothers. The bosses have us coming and going. I just want to say this. No matter how you decide, the International will back you up as it's always backed you up. This is a democratic union. The decision is up to you. Bother Chairman, if we give up now, if we obey this rotten Taft-Hartley, we are fools and cowards. So, there's only one way, fight them, fight them off. Come, we don't get nothing. And arrest us. The men quarreled. They made brave speeches. It seemed that brother Barnes was right. The company had them coming and going. It seemed the strike was lost. Brother Chairman, if you read the court injunction carefully, you will see that they only prohibit striking miners from picketing. We women are not striking miners. We will take over your picket line. Don't laugh. We have a solution, you have none. Brother Quintero was right when he said we'll lose 50 years of gain if we lose the strike, your wife and children too. But this we promise. If women take your places on the picket lines, the strike will not be broken and no scabs will take your jobs. If that's the motion, only members of the union can make a motion. I so move. Second. You had heard the motion. The floor is open for debate. Luz asked him which was worse, to hide behind a woman's skirt or go down on his knees before the bus. Brothers, we don't count enough on our women. The bosses don't count on them at all. Where the bosses went now because there is no unity between the men, their wives, and their sisters. Carlota Sanchez said she didn't think Vicodin was proper for ladies. It wasn't nice, maybe even a sin. I say, let's give the sisters a chance. What will happen when the cops come and beat our women up? Are we going to stand there and watch them? No. We'll take over anyway, and we'll be right back where we started. Only worse, even more humiliated. Brothers, I beg you. Don't allow that. Call the question. All right. The questions have been called. You brothers know what you're voting on. That the sisters of the auxiliary take over the picket line. All those in favor will so signify. Brother chairman, void of order. I don't know anything about these questions of parliament, but you men are voting on something that women are to do or not to do. So, I think it's only fair if the women be allowed to vote, especially if they had to do the job. Brothers and sisters, it would be unconstitutional to permit women to vote at a union meeting. If there's no objection, we could adjourn this meeting. No. No, wait, and reconvene this meeting as a community mass meeting with every adult entitled to a vote. I so move. All right. On the motion to adjourn, all those in favor will raise their hands. Aye. All those opposed, the ayes have it. Now, every adult is entitled to a vote. Let's move on to the original question. All those in favor that sisters take over the picket line will so signify by raising their hand. Aye. All those opposed. The motion has carried 103 to 85. So, they came, the women. They came from Zinc Town and the hills beyond, from other mining camps 10, 20, 30 miles away. Women we have never seen before, women who had nothing to do with the strike. Somehow they heard about the women's picket line, and they came. The men came, too. I think they were afraid, afraid that women wouldn't stand fast or maybe afraid they would, but not all the women went to the picket line. Some were forbidden by their husbands. I was one of them. It's not fair. I should be there with them. After all, I'm the one who got the women to vote. The union don't run my house. Those Anglo dames stirred you up to make a vote of yourself, but you don't see any of them down there. Yes, I do. There's Ruth Barnes. She's the organizer's wife. She's got to be there. No, she wants to be there, and there's Mrs. Kalinsky. There's Jenkins' wife. You don't see her on no picket line. Anglo husbands can also be backward. Can be what? Backward. Can't I even put an appearance? With a baby in your arms? The baby likes to be walked. It helps him burp. Hey, girls. Wait a minute. Don't you want to sleep on pistol? Shut up. What's so amusing? They're funny a court order. I'm not so sure about that Mr. Alexander. That is the law. All that Jenkins says he is no picketing by miners. Whose side are you on anyway? Don't get excited. They will scatter like wheel. Let's get out of here before another Anglo dame shows up. All right, boys. What about these? Forget it. They'll scatter like crab. Get back. They're beating up my wife. It will get worse. You can't tell. They will start shooting. They will throw you in the jail. Get back. Why are you standing there, do something. Relax. But women are getting hurt, we're going to takeover. They're doing all right. Anyway, looks like you got your hands full. Papa, I'm hungry. So am I. Where's your mama? She's coming [inaudible] . Boy, did you see the way mama whooped that deputy, knocked the gun right out of him? I don't want you hanging around there, you hear? You all right? Sure. It must have been some experience for you, huh? I guess you've got enough today to last you a lifetime. I'm going back tomorrow. Listen, you might get hurt. I might. If you think I'm going to play nurse-maid from now on, you're crazy. I've had these kids all day. I've had them since the day they were born. I'm telling you, I don't stay home with these kids tomorrow. Okay. Then tomorrow, I take the kids with me to the picket line. So, I came back the next day and every day for the next month. I kept Juanito in the coffee shack, and when the weather was good and there was peace on the lines, I brought his crib outside. Estella played with the little ones and Luis was in school. Ramon came every day, just watching. The ladies, well, they criticized Ramon for not keeping the kids. The sheriffs men left us alone. But then they cursed us, insulted us, called us foul names. It started again. They used tear gas again. This time the wind was against us. We spread out as we have planned, and I took the baby away from the danger, as we had planned. You two, get out of there. Form your line. But they couldn't break our line, they couldn't break it. Well, I've tried everything but shooting them down. You haven't tried locking them up. You want them all arrested? No, just the ring leaders, the fire leaders, and the ones with big families. Button, where's that boy? Hey you, come here. All right, girls, I'm going to give you a choice. You can go home or go to jail. No ifs and buts. Get off the picket line or get arrested. Okay. Point them out. That one, Teresa Vidal, she's their leader. You're under arrest. [inaudible] what's left thee? Keep marching, sisters. Let's show some discipline. But Teresa. They'll charge us with resist and arrest. Keep marching, sisters, keep marching. Mrs. Salazar, the old one. China Diaz, that one, in the blue dress. Luz Morales, that one. Mrs. Kalinsky, the Anglo. Ruth Barnes, she's the organizer's wife. Dana Alvarez, the pretty one. And that one. With the baby? She's Ramon Quintero's wife. He doesn't like her being here. We'll take care of the baby, Esperanza. Don't worry about Juanito. We can take care of Estella too. No, the baby stays with me. Be quiet! I told you 10 times, we have no foods, we have no beds. We have no beds. So, would you please, please shut up! He can't drink this milk, it will make him sick. He's on a formula. I was a fool, I shouldn't have. Don't you worry, we'll get some extra. The baby can't drink this store milk, we want to use formula. You want the what? The formula, the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. We want the formula. Well, you can get the JP to swear out peace bonds. Or you can heist the bail high enough to keep them in jail. Keep them? What am I supposed to do? Feed them out of my own pocket? What I want to know Mr. Hartwell, is when are you going to settle this thing? You won't negotiate with them. What do you want anyway? The company has other mines. You've got to see the larger picture. Once these people get out of hand. What are you doing here? Ain't you seen enough of me? I come for my kids. They're in your jail. But you've played every trump in your hand and they're not dead yet. Not every trump. Such as what? I can't shut them dames up. They keep yelling about a formula. A what? A formula for the baby or something, his kid. [inaudible] . Now, look at here. I got you some milk for the baby. So, what's all the bellyaching about? That milk is no good. The baby has a formula. If Juanito gets sick you'll be responsible. I'm not running a drugstore. You girls got only ourselves to blame for this and you'll be back with your families in an hour. All you got to do is to sign a pledge not to go back on the picket line. Don't sign nothing for this stinker. [inaudible] . We want the formula. Where'd that fellow go? [inaudible] Hey, Pancho, come here. All right. Where's the baby? And the little girl? [inaudible] . Will you kids get out of those baskets? Three hours just to heat enough water to wash this stuff. I'm telling you something, if this strike is ever settled, which I doubt, I'll never go back to work for that company unless they install hot running water for us. It should've been a union demand from the beginning. You're telling me? It's like Charley Vidal said, there's two kinds of slavery, wage slavery and domestic slavery. The woman question, he calls it. The woman question? Yeah, the problem is what to do about them. So? What does he want to do about them? He says give them equality. Equality in job, equality in home, and also sex equality. What do you mean sex equality? You know. He's some organizer, that Charley. He can sure organize a wife right out of your home. Papa, can't I leave now? There's a meeting of the Junior Shop Stewards. The what? The Junior Shop Stewards. There's lots of ways we can help. Don't I have enough troubles without them shipping you off to reform school? But you need all the help you can get. You've got to help around the house. But you've got me doing everything. Mama never used to make me dry the dishes. You should have helped her without being asked. Good night everyone. How do you feel? I'm okay. Four nights. How did you sleep? We raised so much fuss they finally brought cots in. I nearly lost my voice, yelling so much. How's Estellita? The baby? They're asleep. Did you have to sign a pledge not to go back to the picket line? No, no. We wouldn't do it. But if you go back, they'll lock you up again. No, no, the Sheriff had enough of us. We drove him crazy. Hi. Hello. Well. It's all set. Consuelo's squad can take the day off tomorrow. We're taking over. All right, we'll work it out. We've got to have a talk, you and me. All right, but later. We've got a meeting now. A meeting? Yes. To plan for the picket line tomorrow. You can sit in if you want. Now, let's see. Who's available? Chana's husband is out of town on that delegation to see the governor. A whole lot of men going on a fuel hunting expedition tomorrow, 30 or 40 of them, so their wives they're out too. But we can ask them to keep our kids, so the rest of us can-. What are you going to do about him, Esperanza? It's about time he was house broken. Maybe if a delegation of us talked to him. I have to work it out with him myself. I got a friend, he's got a friend in the Bureau of Mines. You know what he says? They ain't never going to open that mine up again. How come? He says the ore's worn out. So, help me. Bull. Lot of bull. That's a rich mine. I know. But what's the difference? They'll never settle with us, never. Hey, what do you know? It's him. El Presidente. The president of the company. Let me see this. Listen to this. Man of distinction, J Hamilton Miller, financier, business executive, board chairman of Continental Factories, and president of Delaware Zinc Incorporated. Let me see. Wait a minute. Wait a minute now. Some more. An enthusiastic sportsman and expert marksman, Mr. Miller manages to find time every year for an African safari. He leaves this month for Kenya where he hopes to bag his 13th lion. I'm going to frame it. Look Ramon. Got to look at the larger picture. The guy is a lion hunter. What do you expect him to hunt, rabbits? Boy, oh boy, would I like to get me some venison. I ain't tasted meat in four weeks. How about it Ramon? Let's take off for a couple of days? Why ask me? Am I running this strike? If you want permission to go over the hill, go ask the Ladies Auxiliary. I waited up till midnight. You weren't waiting for me. That meeting only lasted 10 minutes. The first night I am home, you run to the beer parlor. What is it? Can't you bear the sight of me? Be still. But you wanted to talk. Tell me. Tell me. We can't go on this way. I just can't go on living with you. Not this way. No, we can't go on this way. We can't go back to the old way, either. The old way? What's your new way? What does it mean? You're right to neglect your kids? Where are you going? Hunting? When? Right now. Alone? No. Ramon, you can't. Why not? I'm not needed here. But you are needed. Especially now with most of the other men away. You are the captain of the standby squad. Sure. The standby squad. Standby for the funeral. Whose funeral? We are doing all right. There hasn't been a scab near the picket line for three days. You know why? Because the company knows they can start without. Even if it takes them another two or three months, what it's to them it's a much down a little longer. It's a lot to them. They'll do anything to open that mine. They've got other mines. You don't see the larger picture. They've got millions, millions. They cannot let us and they know it. You mean, you are ready to give up? Who said anything about giving up? I'll never go back to that company on my knees. Never. You want to go down fighting; is that it? I don't want to go down fighting. I want to win. Ramon, we are not getting weaker. We are stronger than ever before. They are getting weaker. They thought they could break our picket lines and they failed. Now, they can't win unless they pull something big and pull it out fast. Like what? I don't know. But I can feel it coming. It's like alone before the storm. Charley Vidal said. Charley Vidal says. Don't throw Charley Vidal up to me. Charley is my friend. I need friends. Why are you so afraid to have me as your friend? I don't know what you're talking about. No, you don't. Have you learned nothing from this strike? Why are you afraid to have me at your side Do you still think you can have dignity only if I have none? Talk of dignity. After what you've been doing? Yes, I talk of dignity. The An Global has looked down on you and you hate them for it. "Stand on your place you dirty Mexican!" That's what they tell you. But why you must say to me, "Stand on your place"? Do you feel better having someone lower than you? Shut up. You're talking crazy. Who's next [inaudible] than don't make me feel superior and what will I get out of it? I don't want anything lower than I am. I am low enough already. I want to rise and to push everything up with me as I go. Will you be fail? If you can't understand this, you are a fool. Because you can't win this fight without me. You can't win anything without me. That would be the old way. Never try it on me again. Never. I'm going to bed now. Sleep where you please, but not with me. They had a little taste of what it's like to be a woman, and they run away. With Ramon, it's pride. I spoke out of the bitterness to me, and he was hurt. Anything worth learning is a hurt. These changes come with pain. For other husbands too, not just Ramon. You mean you're ready to give up? You want to go down fighting; is that it? I don't want to go down fighting. I want to win. Ramon, we are not getting weaker. We are stronger than ever before. They are getting weaker. Have you learned nothing from this strike? I can feel it coming. It's like alone before the storm. They thought they could break our picket lines and they failed. Now, they can't win unless they pull off something big and pull it out fast. Brothers. We got to go back. Esperanza, where is Ramon? Did he go hunting with the others? Where? Where can we find him; do you know? No. They're hunters. Deserters, that's what they are. Something's wrong? Charlie tell us. The company has an eviction order. Eviction! Eviction! Where? In la casa de Quintero. Eviction. In la casa de Quintero. Eviction! Eviction! Don't worry. Quintero's gone hunting with the others. Evicting him first, the rest will be easy. Let their neighbors watch. It'll scare some sense into them. Can we do something? All right girls. Get back. Get back. Hey, what's going on? Eviction at the Quintero's place. All right. Let's go. That way. All right. come on. Yeah. Leave them brats alone. Come on. Let's get our work done. Don't pay any attention to him. Go back and get the rest of the stuff. This is what we've been waiting for. What are you saying? This means they have given up trying to break our picket line. Now, we can all fight together. All of us. [inaudible] pick up the stuff. Now see here Quintero. These women are obstructing justice. You make them behave, savvy? I can't do nothing Sheriff, you know how it is. They won't listen to a man anymore. You want me to lock them up again? You want them in your lockup again? Keep them off the yard. Hey. the guys from the open pit. Yeah and the guys from the mill. Got anymore ideas? I don't make policy. I'll talk to New York. I think maybe we'd better settle this thing, for the present. We didn't know then that we had won the strike, but our hearts were full, and when Ramon said. Thanks, sisters and brothers. Esperanza, thank you for your dignity. You were right. Together we can push everything up with us as we go. Then I knew we had won something they could never take away. Something I could leave to my children and they, the salt of the earth, would inherit it.