STATEMENT OF LEGISLATORS ELECTION AND FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN
We, the people moving with a trending dream!
Lorna Kung（Tri-District constituency : Sanchong, Wugu, Luzhou）-- translated by Ong S. Lorenzo
Each one of us is with a dream and definite desire to move onward
From south to north, rural to urban, from the other shore to this shore of hope, from the other country to this country…. Regardless the order of arrival, in this land, we all have an instinctive survival and a haunting lasting desire to move on
For more than ten years, I have devoted myself to a wide variety of complex immigration / labor movements and communities, bearing pains and enjoying smiles of immigrants and migrant workers. I perceived that immigrants and workers are the master of the society which should not be looked with indifference due to their different nationalities. To join the forthcoming legislators electoral campaign is a decision I choose to take the immigration / labor movements as a social approach to a higher ground
My own family is one of those that experienced historical tension and contained stories of grass-roots people forced to move under primary pressures. My father was a veteran of Mainland China, and my mother is from Miaoli Hakka. From different marginalized groups, they came together into the Taiwan mainstream society. Regardless of social stereotypes and disrespects, with courage they married. Working hard together, they toiled with poetry and lived at edge of a big city – Banchiao. Father worked as a driver while Mother made clothing as with the majority of hardworking ordinary Taiwanese citizens supporting their family.
Circa the late 1980 to the 1990 when the martial law was lifted coincided with my college days. I attended university countryside community camps to go working at rural areas at the time when the Taiwan society was surging and turbulent. For the first time the raging formidable “Taiwanese Consciousness” had a severe shock and impact in my soul. At that time, a feeling of alienated original sin engulfed me for not being able to speak “local Taiwanese language”. I felt so confused with how a full-blooded me could not assimilate with and integrate into the Taiwan “rock bottom” rural communities.
With thinking pain, a deep conscious analysis of what should I know to understand the world I live permeates. After university, I chose to enter and work with grass-roots workers trade unions. I started to learn local Taiwanese language and tried to learn and understand the “rock bottom” for seven years step by step. With that span of time, I am awarded with wealth of advanced experiences of social enlightenment.
Going into immigration / labor communities
Then, in another span of 13 years, an exposure to all kinds of migration in Taiwan (migrant workers, new immigrants, black households without legal residency status, as well as those Filipino Chinese overseas compatriot Taiwan passport holders but not treated as Taiwanese…) was experienced and I was devoted to tackling with their identity status, labor rights and all variety of discriminatory policies against them. I fully experienced and understood their feeling of homesickness from loved ones as well as emotional suffering from anger to the Taiwan society for its exploitation of labor. Such a situation is exactly consonant with what many of my Taiwan’s labor friends have been through for a long time.
I always explained this situation to many local workers in details: We only have the difference of “the time we arrived at this land”. However, whether we are local or foreign workers, old or new residents, all fall on the same class situation and our common destiny is “being decided by people with power” and “being purposely alienated by the people with power”. The state apparatus deliberately segregates different ethnicities with different treatments and cuts off our linkage with each other.
I was quickly reduced to a “low-level migrant worker” during the three years of doing part-time works in my European related work-study experience, a personal experience of solitary journey in a foreign land, being discriminated against and working illegally at an Italian restaurant in order to survive. I also took to the streets in Rome to participate in the migrant’s movement and an internship at the International Organization for Migration broadened my horizon on how the international community treats immigrants and migrant workers.
There is one immigrant / labor for every 35 people in a particular occasion when the world reached more than 200 million migrant populations. From my observation and experience in Europe, I come into the conclusion that the Taiwan society is conservative to migrant workers. For example, six months after arrival in Rome, I have the right to vote and elect a foreigner to the City Council. Or even 19 European countries have recognized the “local political rights” of foreigners who have more than five-year residency. In so far as Taiwan is concern, subject to Taiwan national policies, migrant workers are still not allowed to have the long-term residency and thus forced to living in a long-term separation from their families. Outrageously incredible! Reaction of my French co-students for such wanton violations of human rights policies.
Movements and Politics
In the fateful year of 2010, I chanced along a group of “black households” foreign mothers who are married to Taiwanese. Due to economic difficulties and policy obstacles, they are forced to fall into an identity crisis and dilemma. Quickly I deeply felt the Taiwan Government’s indifference and discrimination towards people of third world countries. Taiwan only looks at the political and economic power of Europe and America, but turns a blind eye to the plight of third world foreigners. Such a vision is a kind of class bias of the world.
In another night, a black households husband called me for help, because his wife suffered sudden myocardial infraction and was in an emergency room for treatment. The wife got no health insurance and he was so anxious; however, besides comforting, what can I do? As I believe, this is heaviness that all immigrants / migrant workers and social workers bear in our hearts. Thus, on the one hand, we should carefully avoid succumbing to being fragmented social workers who can only mend the holes created by the Taiwan government. On the other hand, in the face of such institutional oppressions, we can consider what else can we do? A more determined soul I am because of this pain. We need to find a new approach to adopt!
This is a political situation which I must face with. A political force to overhaul the system and to make institutional reform we must form. After all only the power of the common people can we rely on, instead of the politician’s small favors.
Refusal of Political Alienation : Unreasonable electoral system emasculates the autonomous voters
In the past, I was keen to politics, casting votes on the blue, the green and even no party affiliation candidates. I was always looking for fresh forces that can change Taiwan, but, alas, disillusioned when experiences of setbacks and disappointments repeatedly set in. Now like most people, I am tired of blue-green politics of money, unscrupulous manipulation of ethnic conflict and class indifferences. An unreasonable election system laid before my eyes where each candidate must spend large sum of money, rely on political parties to stand for election, and once elected, kowtow to parties’ subtle objectives and ignore grass-roots opinions that they once swore to fulfill. Under this scenario “Ordinary people politics” is only a dream.
This political development has brought forth political alienation and stigma and has left my friends with no choice but political isolation resulting to “hopeless, false expectations” to some people regarding Taiwan electoral system. Savoring stability, my middle class friends are hurling themselves to professionalism and becoming politically apathetic. Young people also choose to step aside, looking bewildered and disillusioned, as Taiwan is continuing a path of precarious declining future. The young people are the most hurt! Not to mention, there is no right to political participation of immigrants and migrant workers, and they are rather left to be treated aside and marginalized. My election elicited my ordinary family and friends’ growing impatience with the loathsome political activities, and they asked me to quit. Expectedly, I saw how the electoral system emasculated the political concerns of the people again while the politicians still make a mockery of the system and scramble for power and profit every day. But no one answer me, what else can we do except directly face politics?
.Relationship with the immigration and migration communities brings the catalyst to stand for my election. I firmly and sincerely believe that, you and I all carry on with dreams of progress, and we are all migrating / moving forward from here to there and searching for opportunities. If there is a fair treatment at every stamping ground where every one in the world is the boss of their society, then this is utopia.
Democracy index of Taiwan will depend on the treatment of immigrants and migrant workers. When we can treat them as our family with no differentiation (insider or outsider, master or slave), and when we can share a common aspiration, work together and partake the fruit of this land with them, by that time, confidently we can announce to the world, Taiwan democracy succeed!
People’s Alliance for Democracy—Sanlu-Wugu-District legislative candidates
Born in 1969 in New Taipei city. Finished B.A. major in Social Work at Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, and Master in Social Philosophy of Human Mobility and International Migration Policy at Pontific Urbanian University / Scalabrini International Migration Institute, Rome in Italy. Served as workers for immigrants and migrant workers at private and public sectors, and now as the incumbent spokeswoman of Coalition of Black and White Human Rights Movement.
Address: 3 Flr. No. 694, Ren Ai Street, Sanchong District, New Taipei City
Account name :第8屆立法委員擬參選人龔尤倩政治獻金專戶,
Account no. : 170 – 20 – 050753 – 7