Same War, Different Battle (2): Ralph Abascal

February 16, 2013

Ralph S. Abascal (1934-1997), attorney and defender of farmworkers’ rights, argued the case that resulted in the ban on the use of DDT and other deadly pesticides in California’s fields and orchards.  His father, who had wound up in California after emigrating from Cantabria, Spain, lost three brothers to the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War; Ralph’s mother was a migrant fruit picker, whose family had re-emigrated to California from the Hawaiian Islands, where they had been recruited to work on the sugar cane plantations in the early years of the twentieth century.  In our website about Spanish immigrants in the United States, Luis Argeo and I set out to explore the milieu out of which figures like Abascal would emerge.

More on Spaniards and California farmworkers  here; more one Ralph S. Abascal here. For the first installment of “Same War, Different Battle” click here.)