NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION - JUNE 11
Solidarity with Indian Guest Workers on Hunger Strike
Sponsored by Jobs with Justice (JwJ), Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ), National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR),
and South Asian Americans Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT),
together with the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
Indian guest workers trafficked to the Gulf Coast to work for Signal International have been on a hunger strike since May 14 demanding dignity and justice. The workers were charged $20,000 apiece for false promises of permanent residency but instead were given temporary H2B visas that bound them to their employer, allowing the company to impose deplorable conditions and threaten workers with deportation. When they organized, Signal sent armed guards to detain the organizers and fired the leaders. The intimidation hasn't stopped their organizing, and the hunger strike now enters its fourth week. The workers have already won their first demand - Congress will hold a hearing later this year to investigate Signal International and the use of the guest-worker program.
Help the workers win their second, key demand - that they be granted "continued presence" - so they can end their hunger strike. The workers must be released from the terror of deportation and granted this legal status as authorized by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act so they may safely participate in the federal government's investigation.
TO HELP WIN THE HUNGER STRIKE:
1) PRESSURE YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO SIGN THE LETTER TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE BEFORE JUNE 11.
Representative Dennis Kucinich is circulating a sign-on letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey calling for continued presence for the workers. Call your member of Congress through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask them to sign onto the letter.
2) ORGANIZE A SOLIDARITY ACTION ON JUNE 11 AT THE FEDERAL BUILDING IN YOUR CITY.
Actions should be focused on public education, media visibility, and pressure on the Attorney General. Local solidarity actions can:
Grab media and public attention by preparing visuals, street theater, or making local connections to expose the abuses of guest workers.
Take a delegation inside to deliver a copy of the Kucinich letter and local letters of support to the U.S. Attorney or other federal official demanding they fax it immediately to the Attorney General. For a list of U.S. Attorneys offices: www.usdoj.gov/usao/offices/index.html#m
Take cell phones and ask passers-by to call the Attorney General immediately to express support for the workers.
Hand out leaflets with information about the hunger strike and the Attorney General's phone number. These will be available soon at www.jwj.org.
Through these actions we will demonstrate to the Department of Justice that workers' rights organizers around the country are paying attention and calling for justice in this case. In Washington DC, the workers and their allies will be holding a massive rally at the Department of Justice in conjunction with the events around the country.
3) DONATE TO THE HUNGER STRIKE SUPPORT FUND, on their web site at www.neworleansworkerjustice.org