The FBI's dossier on Chávez was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which contains provisions that allowed the FBI to withhold portions of the documents from public view. Indeed, many parts—and in some cases, entire pages—have been excised from the files. Nevertheless, the collection provides a compelling window into the efforts of the farmworker movement, as well as the values and methods of the FBI itself.
In this series of memos from early January 1971, the FBI's field office in Pittsburgh reports on a demonstration sponsored by the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee (UFWOC) at the Pittsburgh federal building in response to the U.S. Army's purchase of boycotted lettuce for the consumption of military personnel.
According to a memo dated January 12, a confidential source stated that a demonstration comprising of approximately 15 individuals occurred on that date and that the protest was held at the federal building because the U.S. Army maintained offices there. The source relayed that the demonstration was carried out in a peaceful manner but also noted that among the participants was a member of the Communist Party of Western Pennsylvania.
A subsequent memo dated January 8 contains advance information on the January 12 demonstration. It also notes that the Pittsburgh police department was aware of the event and that the information was given to U.S. Army intelligence and the U.S. Secret Service, among other agencies.