On Cinco de Mayo (May 5th), 2007, a spontaneous 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. Fifty-seven year old Pedraza died at the corner where he waited on a daily basis for one-day jobs. It is also the corner where Pedraza organized other day laborers to defend their rights. In 2002, Pedraza was part of a court case against the City of Rancho Cucamonga who wanted to enforce a law disallowing day laborers to gather on the street. In the recent months before his death, Pedraza had attended several meetings of the Rancho Cucamonga city council to support his fellow day laborers so that they could have a job center where they could be safe from hate-based attacks and traffic accidents.
Pedraza, a Mexican immigrant and a father of five daughters and the grandfather of seven, was killed at 1 P. M. on May 5, 2007 when an SUV, that hit a car in the intersection, rolled onto the sidewalk where day laborers were gathered. On any other day, the day laborers would have left by the noon hour. On this day, the day laborers stayed because the Minutemen showed up to protest the day laborer corner.
The Fernando Pedraza Memorial and Community Celebration is supported by the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center, Latino and Latina Roundtable, National Day Labor Organizing Network, Pitzer Center for Community Engagement, the Latino Student Union, and Radio Jornalera.
Contact: Fanelly Millan at 909-446-9068