Editor’s Note: This live event has passed, but Tribune of the People encourages readers to continue donating to support the mariachis through venmo @mariachis_enlalucha or online at https://gogetfunding.com/mariachi-fundraiser/
By Felipe Vera
Today (May 8) at 12:00pm (PST), the mariachis of Boyle Heights, along with the housing struggle organization Defend Boyle Heights (DBH), will be live streaming a concert directly from Mariachi Plaza via instagram. We encourage our readers to donate and attend the concert or follow the livestream by accessing @defendboyleheights on instagram.
The mariachis have been hit especially hard as a result of the deepening economic crisis masked by the COVID-19 pandemic, unable to make a living in this time of ‘social distancing’ and not eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
Many mariachis have not been able to pay their bills, let alone rent. Slumlords have used this to threaten to push many of them out of their homes, however many of the mariachis have come together undeterred, putting forward demands and calls for solidarity. This week, mariachis made posters alongside DBH with messages such as, “I can’t pay my bill$ because restaurants are closed and there’s no work. I need your support,” “We demand rights for the mariachi. We need assistance to pay our bills and rent!!” and “We are a group of mariachis, we have no work. They don’t let us work and we need support in order to eat because we don’t have anything to eat.”
The demands for work or wages, for rent and utility stoppages, along with the ending the ban on protests and congregations continue to be the rallying calls of the working masses. You can donate in person at the event, directly to their Venmo account @mariachis_enlucha, or at https://gogetfunding.com/mariachi-fundraiser/