A little uplift for your morning. Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick explain their latest “short, opinionated documentary” for the NYTImes, “Occupy Bakery”:
We first met Mahoma López, the subject of this Op-Doc video, in April 2012 at a secret meeting in a McDonald’s on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. We’d spent the previous autumn documenting the Occupy Wall Street protests. Mr. López had reached out to the Occupy movement for help with his struggle to improve conditions at his workplace — the original Hot & Crusty bakery and cafe at 63rd Street and Second Avenue. At first he seemed a quiet, humble worker — the kind customers often overlook as they wait in line for sandwiches and coffee. But Mr. López would not be invisible for long…
In the early 20th century, immigrants were at the forefront of the labor movement that helped build our middle class. Today, when the fastest growing job sectors are retail and food preparation, the struggles of low-income workers and their families matter more than ever. Turning these jobs into living-wage jobs while fixing our broken immigration system would lift millions out of poverty and benefit our entire economy by increasing consumption and tax revenue. Mr. López’s story is part of a growing wave of low-wage and immigrant workers organizing across New York City and around the country that has the potential to spark this kind of change.
It’s time we admit it: America runs on the labor of the undocumented. Their struggle for rights, inside and outside the workplace, is an inseparable part of our democratic project.
Well worth the seven minutes, take my word.