Saturday, May 31, 2008
Update on Indian Guest Workers' Hunger Strike and Birthday Wishes to Paul Konar
We never fail to be impressed by the bravery of these workers.
This past Wednesday Paul Konar (pictured above, center), a welder who has worked all over India and in the Middle East since the 1970s, celebrated his 54th birthday.
Today he also celebrated day 18 of his hunger strike. Although he has given up all food for two and a half weeks, Paul has not given up hope. He is confident that his Satyagraha (non-violent civil disobedience) will help these workers achieve victory in their struggle to remain in this country until the Department of Justice hears the charges of human trafficking against Signal International.
His example and that of his fellow workers and organizers is one from which we could all learn a lot. Their bravery has also garnered support in Congress, with Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a letter to the Department of Justice demanding that the workers be granted continued presence.
In the past few days we've been blessed to be able to spend a lot of time with Paul and other workers as Sameer has been helping out the New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice with the organizing efforts. He also has a new article on the campaign over at Foreign Policy in Focus.