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  Summer 2006


The Day They Sold my Freedom to America


The day they sold my freedom and took it cross seas & oceans,

They forgot, it seems, again, to leave some here for me

An invisible prison of citadels and walls

Barricades my steps, conspires for my fall.

This inordinate deprivation left me with no other choice

Than to reach inside my arsenal for a weapon aligned with my voice.

I will terrify the oppressor who confiscates my liberty

From the outlaws in the White House to the gangsters in the street.

My back is not your bridge,

Your platform to deny me democracy.

My weapon will dismantle your mass campaign to discredit me.


My weapons will liberate and finally set me free.

I lock and load the bullets from my thesaurus and dictionary

I take aim at all false history which is said and written about me

And with lyrical ammunition, drop bombs on your thievery.

No kidnap-hostage-taking-lynching

Of what God has rightly given me.

I cut the noose from round my neck, now what a sight I see

Those who foreclosed on my freedom

Are now losing theirs with interest and feels

There’s equity in my weapon, enough for you and me

As the most high repossesses what you unlawfully took from me

For though you sold my freedom, I must use it now to bring you liberty

Pick up your pen and join me


Comes now true democracy.


On June 14, Celia was working with a crew of

18 vineyard workers.


It was a windy day, on June 14. The company was spraying pesticides in the vineyards about fifty feet away from us workers. I started to feel dizzy and weak. I got a cough attack. After that I passed out.

My son, Ruben Celio, was calling me, asking me if I was OK. But I couldn’t answer as I was too weak. I was taken by an ambulance to the hospital. At the hospital they did a blood

test and gave me an injection. They put on a respirator mask to help me with me breathing. After a few hours I went home.

At around 8:00 pm, I began to feel sick again. So my family took me to the Kern Memorial Hospital. There all they did was take x-rays of my chest and send me home.

The following day a representative of the company, named Mario, came over to my home. He took me to the company doctor so that I could get a check up. When I got there, the doctor took a blood sample. Then he said that I had a vaginal infection. That it was a personal problem.

My family was disappointed that the company doctor was trying to make it seem like it was a personal problem and so was I because I knew that whatever they were spraying had an effect on my health.

I know that I need help. I'm glad that the UFW is helping me. They found a workers compensation lawyer to take care of my case. The lawyer also had to send me to see a doctor. He determined that I had something wrong with my lungs. It had something to do with the fumes of the pesticides.

Celia Roque


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