How to Support Hunger Strike of Indian Migrant Workers

Five migrant workers from India who are fighting against their exploitation under the H2B program (see May 8 article “Gandhi Joins with Martin Luther King“) have begun a hunger strike.

They are demanding:

  • Continued presence in the U.S without the threat of deportation
  • The right to participate in a criminal trafficking investigation into their former employer, Northrop Grumman subcontractor Signal International, and the US and Indian recruiters who cheated them.
  • Congressional hearings into abuses of the guest worker visa program in the US Gulf Coast
  • Concrete action from the Indian government to protect future Indian workers.

The American News Project has made a great video on this struggle.

Here’s how we can help:
1. E-mail your Representatives in Congress and ask them to hold hearings on Signal International.
2. Participate in nationwide solidarity actions on May 21, the one week anniversary of the strike. Possibilities for actions include one-day solidarity fasting; prayer vigils; public educational events; petitioning. There will be a major rally and press event on that day in Washington DC.
3. Petitions and delegations to Congressional offices. There is a sign-on letter that Congressional Representatives and Senators will send to the Department of Justice calling for the granting of continued presence for the workers in the U.S. Solidarity activists can gather signatures on the petition and then deliver it to Representatives’ offices.
4. Contribute to the strike fund. The workers are putting in tens of thousands of dollars to make the hunger strike possible, and they need funds to pay for transportation, housing, and all the other logistical support.
5. Visit the workers if you are in or near Washington D.C. There is a schedule of where to find them on DC JwJ’s web site.

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