Message to the Guest Workers

October 25, 2010

Dear Friends:

I am asking you to attend the Prayer Vigil and Petition Drive on November 9, 2010 to be held at American Memorial Park at 6:00pm.  It is sponsored by the United Workers Movement-NMI.
Workers, residents, religious leaders and ethnic groups are participating in the event.

Some have questioned the wisdom of having "another" prayer vigil saying that it "does nothing to strengthen our cause in Washington."  This is not true. Nothing worth fighting for comes easily. It takes persistence, passion and determination to keep the cause of the guest workers in the spotlight, especially because the CNMI is so far from Washington DC.  When people gather in Saipan, Rota and Tinian to show solidarity for their cause, the policy makers in Washington get the message! I know this for a fact because I communicate with the federal officials.

Some are saying that rallies, vigils and gatherings of guest workers are "offensive" to the local population.  I find it difficult to believe that anyone would object to a peaceful gathering of the alien workers who make up a vital and contributing segment of the CNMI community.  Among the very few rights that the CNMI disenfranchised foreign workers have are the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom to assemble.  I urge the alien workers to ignore the nay-sayers and exercise your constitutional rights.

Last evening I caught a clip of President Obama's speech at the University of Minnesota.  He could have been speaking to the CNMI guest workers. He said:
"Don’t let them tell you that change isn’t possible. It’s just hard, that’s all... 
You know, this country was founded on a tough, difficult idea — 13 colonies deciding to break off from the most powerful empire on Earth, and then drafting a document — a Declaration of Independence that embodied ideas that had never been tried before: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That’s not an easy idea. And it had to be fought for, inch by inch, year by year.

Slowly — slaves were freed. Slowly — women got the right to vote. Slowly — workers got the right to organize.

Imagine if our grandparents and our great-grandparents and our great-great-grandparents had said, "Oh, this is too hard. Folks are saying mean things about us. I’m not sure if we can ever get to the promised land." We wouldn’t be here today. But they understood that we are tested when we stand up in the face of difficulty; when we stand up in the face of uncertainty; when we’re unafraid to push forward. Because we know we’re doing it not just for ourselves, but for future generations.  
That’s how we came through war and depression. That’s why we have civil rights and women’s rights and workers’ rights.  That’s why we’ve been able to clean up our air and clean up our water.  That’s why we’ve been able to end combat operations in one war.

The journey we began together was never about putting me in the White House — it was about building a movement for change that endures. It’s about understanding that in America anything is possible if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it, and most of all, believe in it.

So I need you to keep fighting. I need you to keep working. And I need you to keep believing.
We should heed President Obama's message.  We need to keep fighting, keep working, keep organizing, keep gathering, keep speaking out, keep marching, keep rallying and keep believing!  No one, anywhere will ever embrace our message if we stop talking, if we retreat, if we are intimidated, or if we listen to those who are trying to silence the voices of the alien workers for their own political and self-serving gains.

Again, I invite all of the alien workers, their families and supporters to attend the prayer vigil and to sign the petition.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If each of us bring five friends we can get more people and get new energy into the movement. We can never give up!

Anonymous said...

Thanks and I support.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your continous support and we will be there.