by Sonia Peña
This week, Racewire contributors will be blogging from the Transnational Assembly of Remitters and their Families, a global gathering of more than 200 people from more than 22 countries and 22 U.S. states being held in Mexico City.
We’ll be blogging more on the workshops and sharing the stories that we are so lucky to be able to hear first hand, but I wanted to share two things to give you a flavor of the tone and sentiment behind the gathering and the people that are here. The first is a short video clip of Francis Calpotura from the Press Conference held to open the convening and the second (below) are the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Principles, drafted by Kim Fellner and read out loud at the opening Assembly of the gathering by Javaid Tariq of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. Delegates at the Assembly will be giving feedback for changes to the declaration this week. The full text of the final declaration will be posted on the TIGRA website next week.
Declaration of Principles: Global Assembly of Remitters and their Families, Mexico City, May 13, 2008
We are an assembly of united migrant remitters who sustain our families, communities, and countries with the proceeds of our labor and the power of our love.
Our story is written in our bodies, in the words of the poet, “a condition of our age.” It is a chronicle of separation, driven by need, and fueled by the yearning to make a better life for our loved ones. It is about the places we left behind and those where we now live, the cultures we bring with us—and the ones we have learned to embrace. It is a story we whisper to ourselves in the lonely nights, shout out in frustration at hateful ignorance, share with each other to heal our spirits, and pass on to our children as a testimony of endurance and hope.
We are among the millions in motion across the globe who provide desperately needed sustenance for many millions who remain behind. But our conditions make us vulnerable to the unscrupulous practices of companies and governments that feed off our modest harvest, snatching the fruits of our labor to garner their wealth by the billions, which we have purchased with our sacrifices. And that is a blow against our humanity and a transgression against our children.
Today, we form the first–ever assembly of remitters to build a better future for our families and communities everywhere. As the assembly of La Liga de Sustentadores de la Communidad Mundial/The Global League of Community Sustainers, we believe that a new vison of globalization is necessary and possible……