Later in the evening, Black Hat offers a suggestion that will make such impossible-to-answer questions irrelevant. Unions! If the workers form unions, they can get what they want. To illustrate his point, he tells about workers in rubber plants in Akron, Ohio. Townspeople were yelling "Red" and getting ready to run the union right out of Akron. The workers, however- all 5000 of them- marched through town with rifles, and as Black Hat tells it, "they ain't been no trouble sence then."
Black Hat's story moves his listeners, but they don't know if poor and hungry migrant farm workers in central California could ever form themselves into a union.
Halfway through the evening's dance, though, we see what strong men working together can do. A guard reports two carloads of men with guns waiting in the dark outside the camp. Jule, a camp guard at the gate, spots three intruders, young migrant men hired to stir up trouble. One starts to pick a fight over a girl. The alerted squad grabs all three and hurries them into the darkness. Under orders not to harm the men, although they have every right to do so, the squad releases them at the edge of the camp.
Meanwhile, deputies ride up to the gate and demand to be admitted.
"Got a warrant?" the gatekeeper asks.
"We don't need a warrant if there's a riot."
"We got no riots here." Indeed, the only sound the deputies hear in the camp is the foot-stomping beat of good country music.
© Copyright 1984 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc. Electronically Enhanced Text © Copyright 1993, World Library, Inc.
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