In 1968, the United Farm Workers were in the third year of a struggle to get California grape growers to sign just contracts with the union. But the strike was becoming ever more violent. Beaten by Sheriffs and teamsters alike, many striking farm workers were having difficulty coping with UWF President César Chávez’s non-violent approach to the strike. César Chávez decided to defuse the situation by going on a fast, a hunger strike to emphasize the importance of non-violence. UFW Vice-President Dolores Huerta was in New York City when she heard of the fast.