Statement by the Indian Workers Congress
Upon receipt of the Institute for Policy Studies’ 2008 Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award
June 4, 2008
We are very grateful for this award, which is a great victory for our cause. We would like to thank the members of the committee who granted us this award, and with them, all the allies in the US who have supported us with donations of their time, energy, money, food, housing, and many other things.
Above all, we thank God for the chance to let the people of the world know about our struggle for justice.
We suffered under a system that abuses guest workers—not only in America, but in many countries. This suffering gave us the chance to form the Indian Workers’ Congress, and this award lets us show the power of its unity to the world. It gives us power from our suffering.
We told the world from the beginning that we’re not fighting for ourselves, and we’re not fighting for Indians. We’re fighting for all who come to the United States believing in liberty and justice, and we are proud of that fight. When we started our struggle, our hands were empty. We had lost everything, but we kept fighting, and we learned an important lesson: United, we have power; divide, we do not.
This award shows that the world recognizes our struggle is doing good for others. We are grateful to have received this recognition because it will inspire others to fight for justice in the future.
We took a courageous step in coming forward to fight for justice, and it should be a lesson for all the companies that exploit workers the way Signal International exploited us: Don’t try to trap anyone else. The world is watching. We will fight for justice, and we will win.
CONTACT: Stephen Boykewich, Media Director, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice