Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our membership has been weathering immense hardship, fear, and unpredictability. The vast majority are undocumented immigrant workers who largely labor in farms and restaurants. Hundreds of our members have been laid off, with no sense of when their next paycheck is coming. Those who do have work are continuing to do the essential, invisible labor to make our society function. But often without living wages and sufficient protection from the virus. This pandemic has shed light on the inherent inequalities of capitalism. Crisis moments like this offer dangerous opportunities for capitalists to double down on the most marginalized members of our communities.
Now, as the state fails to provide even the most basic safety measures, our solidarity network has stepped up for workers. We have shifted our work online and have quadrupled our mutual aid program and food distribution.
We see more than ever that WE ARE THE LEADERS WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.
PVWC is innovating new ways to fight––using Zoom, Facebook, text messages, & WhatsApp as our virtual streets to organize people both online and offline to build our power. With your support, our impact could double. Please enjoy this beautiful artwork made by Nina Yagual sharing what we have been working on these last two months!
A final note:
We prepared this letter just days before George Floyd was murdered. His senseless death ignited our collective consciousness and rage nationwide. We cannot doubt that anti-Blackness and white supremacy is fundamental to the preservation of capital. Now, we are once again witnessing the harrowing paradox of the state; even as it fails to protect us in the most fundamental ways, it must draw on it’s pillars of violence--white supremacy, militarization, and the defense of private property---to preserve its power over us.
In the United States, white supremacy creates an incentive among non-Black immigrants to perpetuate anti-Blackness in exchange for more resources. James Baldwin, an African-American writer, called this the “price of the ticket.” As an organization with a membership base of primarily non-Black immigrant members--mainly Indigenous and non-Indigenous people from Latin America--we recommit ourselves to refusing that ticket.
The movement slogan links our efforts--“La policía, la migra, la misma porquería! The police and I.C.E. are the same trash!” We have resisted state violence in our campaigns to abolish ICE, stop wage theft, win drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, and develop worker-owned cooperatives. But these steps alone cannot abolish state violence. Our liberation is entwined with the liberation of Black people, including Afro-Latinx people who face the dual brutalities of the police state and the immigration/ICE apparatus.