Friday, March 4, 2011

Day of the Fallen - Austin, Texas 3.2.11

The Workers Defense Project ( organized a march and rally called "Day of the Fallen" to commemorate the deaths of construction workers in the state of Texas. We began the march at the Federal Building Plaza and carried 138 black coffin replicas to the steps of the Texas Capitol.

Although the coffins were built lightly of foam core board and contained only air, I felt the heaviness of the sadness we were conveying.

People had come for the march from as far away as El Paso, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio. We numbered about 300, I think. Included were union members and family members of construction workers who had died on the job.

Jim Hightower spoke, and Eliza Gilkyson sang. Rev. Jim Rigby emceed. There were prayers in English and in Espanol, gospel music and a singalong of "If I had a hammer," led by a young trio.

On my way home, I looked out the bus window at the beautiful buildings in our downtown, the new lofts and storefronts. Most of the people who built them can not afford to live in them. Some of the people who built them were injured on the job. Some were not paid for their work. When I pass the spot on Rio Grande where three immigrant men fell to their deaths because of faulty equipment, I sense their spirits are present, asking me why. The chic little shop that opened a few feet from where the men hit the earth is called, "Bodega on Rio."

Sign the petition asking our legislators to Build a Better Texas:

This is an Austin Indymedia & ZGraphix production.
Produced by Jeff Zavala.
Edited by Jeff Zavala & Matt Gossage.

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