Eddie Gonzalez (PEOC): (323) 422-8107
Suzanne Foster (PEOC): (310) 486-8499
Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Time: 10:00 AM Press Conference Begins, Memorial Ends at 12:00 PM
What: Press Conference and Memorial Service to celebrate the memory of
day laborer leader Fernando Pedraza
Where: Corner of Arrow Highway and Grove Ave in Rancho Cucamonga , CA
Who: Pedraza Day Laborers Coalition, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, the Claremont Colleges, Pomona Economic Opportunity Center (PEOC), National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), San Bernardino Community Service Center, Inc, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE)
( Rancho Cucamonga , CA ) – On Monday May 5th, at 10 AM at the corner of Arrow Highway and Grove Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga , day laborers and their allies celebrate the second anniversary memorial of day laborer organizer Fernando Pedraza by coming together to demonstrate community support for workers’ rights and dignity to the Rancho Cucamonga City Council.
“We are here to celebrate the life of Fernando. We will not let his memory die,” said Roberto Corona, Pastoral Associate of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. “Fernando Pedraza’s body may not be here, but his ideals and dreams continue in each one of the thousands of men and women gathering on corners across our nation.”
The press conference and memorial service coincide with the day that Fernando Pedraza died two years ago. On Cinco de Mayo, 2007, an unplanned demonstration by the Minutemen against day laborers on the corner of Arrow Highway and Grove Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga ended with the death of day laborer leader Jose Fernando Pedraza. With the realization that there be dignity and respect for the day laborer community, Pedraza stood by his fellow day laborers across from the group of vigilantes who screamed racial attacks against the workers. Fifty-seven year old Pedraza was hit and killed by a tragic car accident as he defended his fellow workers at the corner where he waited on a daily basis for work.
Pedraza, a Mexican immigrant and a father of five daughters and grandfather of seven, was killed at 1 p.m. on May 5, 2007, when an SUV, after hitting a car in the intersection, rolled onto the sidewalk where day laborers were gathered. The day laborers were only there at that time on that day because of the Minutemen protest against their right to look for work.
“Honoring the Memory of Jose Pedraza reminds us to remember the struggle against injustices of the day laborer community in Rancho Cucamonga and to continue to empower each other to stand up for their rights,” said Eddie Gonzalez, Rancho Cucamonga organizer for the PEOC and Pedraza Day Laborer Coalition member.