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Cesar Chavez Grandson Among Jailed Occupiers

A Santa Monica College student, Arthur Rodriguez is active in environmental and food issues.

Arthur S. Rodriguez—grandson of labor leader Cesar Chavez and a Santa Monica College student—was among the nearly 300 Occupy L.A. protesters jailed last week in downtown.

He was released Friday afternoon, according to jail records, which show, initially, his bail was set at $5,000.

"Early Wednesday morning, Arthur decided to join a group to make a firm statement about their commitment to Occupy's chief aim of exposing economic inequality by being arrested when police closed down the Occupy encampment at City Hall," Rodriguez's father, Arturo, wrote in a message to United Farm Workers, where he serves as president.

Arthur Rodriguez, 27, is active in environmental and food issues at Santa Monica College, where he is reportedly studying recycling and resource management. He had recently helped cultivate an organic learning garden on campus, according to school spokesman Bruce Smith.

In his president's message, Arthur's father said his son had participated intermittently when he wasn't in class with the occupy encampment outside City Hall in downtown L.A.

His father said he organized trash disposals—the encampment was reportedly covered in litter and smelled of urine after it was raided Wednesday by police—and arranged workshops on environmental, labor and economic issues.

In October, L.A. Stage magazine interviewed Arthur for a story about Cesar and Ruben, a musical in production at the college that chronicles his grandfather's life through his interactions with Los Angeles Times reporter Ruben Salazar. Chavez is often memorialized for his staging of non violent protests.

According to his Facebook page, Arthur attended Tehachapi High School, a small town in the mountains southeast of Bakersfield, and not far from where Chavez tended rows as a migrant farm worker. 

Handfuls of students have trekked to downtown since the occupy movement sprouted up there in October.

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"Like so many others, [Arthur] joined the global Occupy Wall Street movement because he feels strongly about the tremendous economic inequality plaguing this country and the world," his father wrote. "We are proud of Arthur for his activism and commitment in the tradition of his grandfather, Cesar Chavez, and the farm worker movement."

Neither the United Farm Workers or Arthur Rodriguez returned Patch's messages.

firedup49 December 07, 2011 at 08:08 PM
A looser, too bad. get a job
Carl Hamilton December 08, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Why is he a "looser"? Just because he is one of the many who is uniting and standing up against the economic injustice in this country?

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