Proudly they proclaimed: “Eight Cosecherxs (eros) were able to block Trump Tower, imagine what we can accomplish with 11 million.” [Facebook photo attribution]
Amanda Jusino, Juan Pablo Orjuela, Maria Fernanda Cabello, Carlos E. Rojas Rodriguez, Emily Bloch, Cata Santiago, Phoebe Gardener and Thaís Marques.
Our brave Cosecheras and Cosecheros
“Even though 24hours in NYC jail was unpleasant I felt incredibly lucky to have the support of this crew, and so thankful for all the support we had on the outside. Special thanks to Catalina Adorno for legal coordination, Nataly Castaño Vélez for calling and reassuring my parents that everything was fine, Roberto Juarez for picking up your phone at all hours, Carlos Saavedra Diaz for excellent police liaisoning, Vera Parra for being an incredible media coordinator, and to Fhatima Paulino for sending love and guidance from afar and for managing our social media media accounts while we were locked up, and to so many others who worked tirelessly to make sure we had everything we needed. ” (Always over-reaching)
What follows are STATEMENTS FROM the COSECHERXS [arrest photos property of George A. Adorno, Erik McGregor and Cosecha Facebook / Built By Us]
Carlos E. Rojas Rodriguez – Lives in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, From San Juan De Lurigancho, Lima, Peru
“I am engaging in this civil disobedience to honor my parents’ labor. My parents are one of the most vulnerable workers in this country– they’re farm workers. We migrated from Oaxaca, Mexico to Homestead, Florida in 2005. The experience of the undocumented workers that worked on Trump Tower is parallel to the experience of my parents who work hard under the sun for a mediocre salary. Donald Trump and his supporters don’t recognize the dependency this economy has on hands of working immigrants. I am getting arrested because I know that my parents aren’t the only ones who struggle because they don’t have permanent protection, dignity, and respect. I want to send a message to our community: we will not stand with Trump’s rhetoric of hatred and racism. His ideology is a threat to my family, to me, to 11 million people. The time is now to stand against hate and racism.”
Amanda Jusino – East Boston, Mass.
“My parents grew up in New York City, both from Puerto Rican immigrant families. Because we are Puerto Rican my family never had to live with the fear and uncertainty of not having papers but they did have to learn to adjust to life in a different language, culture and country. Growing up in Western, MA I saw the disrespect my mom faced at her job in a doctor’s office. Everyday when she came home from work I saw the powerlessness she felt in the face of mistreatment and her inability to leave her job for fear of not getting another. This daily dehumanization wore our family down. I know this is just a tiny sliver of the injustice, disrespect and mistreatment that immigrant families face in this country every day. I’m getting arrested with Cosecha today because I want all immigrants, children of immigrants and grandchildren of immigrants to know that we don’t have stay silent and watch our families and our communities face mistreatment. We are here to demand dignity for our entire community from my mom, to the undocumented workers who build Trump Tower, to the farm workers who picked the apple I ate for breakfast this morning.”
Maria Fernanda Cabello, Lives in Frederick, Md, From Hermosillo, Mexico
“When I saw the headlines that Trump started his campaign by saying “When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best” I became upset not by Trump, but by all his supporters that came out and agreed with him. It reminded me of the story of this country. Countless times I have seen racist and xenophobic people treat my family and people like us like we are less deserving because we are immigrants and undocumented. I am getting arrested today because I want to make a statement that you cannot talk down on immigrants while benefiting from our labor. I am getting arrested so that more immigrants join Cosecha and fight against this hateful narrative and to win permanent protection, dignity and respect for immigrants in this country. I want more people to join harvest and fight with us against the anti-immigrant sentiment, so that we can get permanent protection, dignity and respect for our undocumented community.”
Juan Pablo Orjuela, Boston, Massachusetts
“Five years ago, I made a promise to myself and the immigrant community that I was going to fight for us the way they fought for me. That was the same day that the DREAM Act failed on the Senate floor. I had driven all the way down from New Jersey the night before, only to watch the votes come in against me, my community, our future. I saw everyone. The disappointment. The pain. I promised to never allow this pain to come to my community ever again. For five years, I failed to complete my promise and it has eaten at me and bothered me. Especially now. Now, we have the opportunity to start things up again, to take a step towards completing my promise. I’ve realized I’ve been trying to keep this promise by myself so I have to do something that reactivates my community so we can fight together, just like we did in 2010. So I want to tell our community: I need your help. I can’t do this alone anymore.”
Cata Santiago – Lives in Florida City, Florida, From Coatecas Altas, Mexico
“My name is Cata Santiago and I am engaging in this civil disobedience to honor my parents’ labor. My parents are one of the most vulnerable workers in this country– they’re farm workers. We migrated from Oaxaca, Mexico to Homestead, Florida in 2005. The experience of the undocumented workers that worked on Trump Tower is parallel to the experience of my parents who work hard under the sun for a mediocre salary. Donald Trump and his supporters don’t recognize the dependency this economy has on hands of working immigrants. I am getting arrested because I know that my parents aren’t the only ones who struggle because they don’t have permanent protection, dignity, and respect. I want to send a message to our community: we will not stand with Trump’s rhetoric of hatred and racism. His ideology is a threat to my family, to me, to 11 million people. The time is now to stand against hate and racism.”
Emily Bloch – From Brookline, Massachusetts
“It deeply bothers me to live in a country that does not remember its own history. My family came here as Jewish Immigrants from Eastern Europe almost 100 years ago. We came looking for a better life and fleeing persecution just like the 200 undocumented Polish workers that built Trump Tower. I stand with immigrants now because it does not serve this country to have a class of exploited workers who live in perpetual insecurity. I stand with immigrants now, in this civil disobedience, because the people close to my heart can’t get arrested. During this action, I will be thinking of Sonia, an undocumented woman from Peru, who has not seen her children in 12 years. She sees me as one of her children, but it pains me to know that she can’t give her own kids a hug. On her 12th year anniversary of her leaving her country, I called her and we cried on the phone together. We cried because of how deeply we value our relationship, and I cried because I didn’t want to be her substitute child– I want her to see her own children. I want to tell the immigrant community that there’s hope, you have power, and you have allies. This country needs this movement.”
Phoebe Gardener – Lives in Providence, Rhode Island
“I have been organizing immigrant workers for 5 years and I have seen the pain of not being valued because of your status. I’ve seen the pain of working so hard, but not getting paid. The pain of not being treated as a full person. I am engaging in this nonviolent civil disobedience to say that we will not longer accept the pain anymore. I want to show my support and love for the undocumented workers across the country. I am also doing this because of the undocumented people who are making a sacrifice by my side during this action. I want to tell the immigrant community that I will be here until the strike– we are not going anywhere. I see you– I see the sacrifices that you make, the work you do, and I want to honor you. It’s time to do something bigger than we’ve ever done before to make this country recognize that this country relies on you.”
Thaís Marques – Lives in Newark, New Jersey, From Belém, Brazil
“My parents are legal permanent residents, my brother is a citizen and I’m undocumented. I recently had my application for a green card rejected. I sent in the application a week before my 21st birthday, but United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) has the right to be discretionary about their decided that because I applied so close to my birthday I no longer qualified as a minor. Living in a country where decisions about my future are all discretionary, is suffocating. Living here without any rights is suffocating. I’m tired of feeling like I don’t have any control over my future.”
++ ++ ++
There you have it. Eight very entitled ILLEGAL migrants (and friends) . Chained. Chanting their Lies. Claiming ILLEGALS BUILT Trump Tower!
“Trump Tower was built by 200 low wage, undocumented immigrant workers. 35 years later, our people continue to work in fields, construction sites, restaurants, and other industries for less than minimum wage without any dignity or respect. Join us as we honor the undocumented workers who built this tower, but also the workers who continue to build this country.”
In fact, a union lawsuit against the contractor was for pension and welfare benefits for 200 POLISH illegals who were hired to TEAR DOWN the Bonwit Teller Department store, not the CONSTRUCTION of the Tower.
Critical COMMENT made on-line to rebut the Cosecheros :
“Built by us? Unless you helped build it with your own hands you have no right saying that. You have no right taking credit for the hard work of Americans and immigrants. Immigrants are and always have been welcome here. Shame on you for trying to equate immigrants with illegal aliens.“
++ In these two short video clips, the illegals proudly twist the narrative. VIDEO #1- I caught snippets of two press interviews.
Carlos Saavedra Diaz – speaking to NBC: “Once again, the hypocrisy of the message of anti-immigrant racism that Donald Trump has supported, while this building was itself and his hotel in D.C. has been built on the hands and the work of undocumented (aka ILLEGAL) immigrants (MIGRANTS)”
Q- What’s going on in front of the door?
” In front of the door we have people that are willing to get arrested, they’re here and in solidarity with this movement- and they’re trying to show that this (?) messaging, this (?) racist,hateful messaging you can’t send” (HUH?)
Q: What do you hope to accomplish then.
“We’re hoping to accomplish, to recognize the labor of “undocumented immigrants” that it took to build this country. Took to build Trump’s Tower which is called the most important project in the world and what it took to build his hotel in D.C.”
Q: (chanting begins again)
“Undocumented workers” have always been misrepresented. We don’t have enough voices (very loud chanting)
Young female (unidentified) gave some of the correct historical background re the demolition of Bonwit Teller (before construction)
“Donald Trump is a hypocrite because he (has used) hate rhetoric against immigrants while (pointing skyward) this tower, before it was built, was demolished by over 200 “undocumented” Polish workers 35 years ago…”
In VIDEO #2, illegal protestor, Tais Marques, spoke while chained at the Tower Doors.
Thaís Marques (Cosecha protestor while chained to door) ” My name is Thaís Marques. I am “undocumented”. I am a daughter of legal, permanent residents. My brother is a U.S. citizen. I am here today to honor the 200 “undocumented” workers who worked on the tower and the 11 million (where do they get these numbers?) “undocumented” who built this. This country DEPENDS on US. (unclear) This country, this economy would FALL. This country depends on us.”
++So. Yes. It was a Peaceful Protest. The “Cosecha EIGHT” (the 4 chained and 2 each foot-blocking the revolving doors) calmly executed their plan. NO one was getting IN or OUT of the doors (for about an hour). But, the NYPD’s plan was tight, as well: To clear the entrance – from all sides – making it difficult to get good pictures due to the ‘crowd cover’ of police bodies .