‘600 crosses’ pay tribute to essential immigrant workers who died during pandemic – Pasadena Now
National Day Laborers Organization Network (NDLON) based in Pasadena paused wednesday to honor immigrant workers who died during the pandemic.
The group organized a Virtual service and Workers’ Memorial Day concert at Villa Parke in which organizers called for immediate amnesty for surviving family members of deceased immigrant workers.
As part of the tribute, 600 handmade pine crosses were installed along the park to represent the thousands of workers who died during the health crisis.
The concert proceeded without an in-person hearing, but families of excluded workers who died during the pandemic were scheduled to speak, as well as leaders of community workers and immigrants.
“The Workers’ Memorial Day virtual service, concert and art installation will honor the many immigrants who have sacrificed so much to continue working and supporting our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” NDLON said in a statement. before the event.
In Los Angeles, a county where 23,000 people have died from the virus, COVID-19 has killed Latin American residents at a rate nearly three times that of white residents, according to the LA County Department of Public Health.
In addition to the placement of the crosses, the NDLON planned to release a report on Thursday on the “impacts of the global COVID19 pandemic on immigrant workers and people of color in the United States.”
The 10-page document details the disparities resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and makes recommendations for actions President Biden can take without needing further approval from Congress, according to NDLON.
In an accompanying statement titled “600 Crosses,” NDLON Co-Executive Directors Pablo Alvarado and Nadia Martin said on Wednesday: “The virus has challenged the proposition that in this country all workers – all people – are created equal. It was a test that we failed as a company. We did not always protect those who faced the greatest danger of disease to ensure our safety. We did not protect the vulnerable. We were unable to ensure the safety of our elders.
“Essential workers” have died in the tens of thousands over the past year, at rates far higher than others, the statement added. “We all know that, but as the praise from politicians and social media has waned, not many people are talking about it. And hardly anyone does anything about it.
“Black and brown workers, who constitute a disproportionate number of ‘essential workers’, have also died disproportionately,” the statement said.
Alvarado and Martin called the crosses “a symbolic resting place to bring together those who are gone with those who are grieving. The crosses, made of simple pine, will each bear the name, date of birth and death and occupation of a person who died in the pandemic. “
“The cross is the symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, the suffering and death endured so that others can live,” the statement continued. “The rows of crosses will resemble a military cemetery, to evoke the vast scale of the loss and to make an important connection as well. … We must no longer ignore and reject them.
NDLON said it plans to commemorate Gil Espinosa, a 44-year-old warehouse worker. Alfredo Manriquez, gardener, 54 years old. Mónico Manríquez, gardener, 83 years old. José Antonio Bernabe Lule, 61, day laborer, organizer and immigrant. rights leader. Garment workers Antonio Macías, 63, Enrique Garcia, 34, and Filiberto De la Cruz, 62. Laborers Marina Villanueva, 60 years old, Francisco Delgado López, 98 years old. Godofredo Rivera Hernandez, 70, day laborer, dry cleaner and musician. Policarpo Chaj, 49, a K’iche Mayan leader, organizer and court interpreter.