I’ve been thinking and writing about space and thinking about how separation, and seeming isolation, can lend itself to solidarity and transnational resistance.
When I wrote and delivered the paper you’ll see above at Arizona State University in February, I was really theorizing about how migrant Filipinas working as domestic workers are often rendered isolated by the mere nature of their care work. Nannies taking care of children, caregivers caring for elderly, attendants working and assisting patients.
That was the world before COVID-19, and now I think about how perhaps many people in the world right now are rendered alone and isolated because of the nature of this crisis.
There is so much more to think about now in terms of what separation, physically, can teach us about being in solidarity with one another. We’re doing that daily: dropping off baked goods, virtual Zooming, catching up with friends across the world. But what is it we can do in solidarity with frontline workers? Those who might need our solidarity most during a time when they are facing the crisis daily.
Yes, nurses and doctors and hospital workers are in ground zero. But there are plenty of essential workers, doing the essential work of caring that are also in the crosshairs of this pandemic.
Not so long ago, daycare and care home owners, The Gamos family: Carlina, 67, Gerlen, 38, Noel, 40, and Joshua, 42, were arrested and had their Daly City facilities raided by police because of their notorious crimes against fellow Filipino migrant workers in their facilities. Stated in a press release by San Mateo Supervisor David Canepa, “The Gamoses operated Rainbow Bright, a child and adult residential care company in North San Mateo county. They were charged in 2018 with, among others, trafficking Filipino immigrants, and subjecting them to horrendous working conditions. It’s estimated that the Gamoses abused more than 100 adult and child care employees over ten years.” Currently they face a variety of charges, including human trafficking, grand wage theft amounting to some $8.5 million, tax evasion and illegal possession of firearms.
The kind of solidarity-in-place (#SIP of a different kind) needed is one phone call. The flyers below give you all you need to do the type of action required to bring justice to the 100 or more Filipino migrants exploited by the Gamos Family. Please join us!