Great news! Amma, the hugging saint of India, has decided to pull her event from the Hilton LAX in 2009! Congratulations to Amma and her supporters for rethinking her venue. Thank you also to all of you who urged her to honor the worker’s boycott at that hotel!
There were many efforts made to get Amma to change the venue location for her hugging event this year in Los Angeles. The Hilton LAX is not the only hotel that could serve Amma’s purposes. Near by there are hotels that are quite big and where workers are respected and get paid a living wage.
We reached out to Amma’s event attendees and explained in detail why she should take her event elsewhere. Our attempts fell on deaf ears.
Below are some examples of the excuses they made up to not move the event.
THE FOLLOWING ARE E-MAIL REPLIES THAT JESSICA AUSTIN – A HILTON LAX BOYCOTT ORGANIZER – RECIEVED FROM AMMA EVENT COORDINATORS.
I appreciate your personal care and concern for your issues. One thing I have learned from Amma, is, that she knows FAR more than we do. We are not in a position to judge her actions. Perhaps there was some fatal accident due to happen at the hotel, and she knew that her powerful spiritual presence would prevent it and save the lives of thousands of people. We do not know.
I urge you to have faith, and open your heart to more faith. Thank you so much for your concerns, I think it wonderful you care, yet, I urge you not to presume you know better than Amma.
“I am deeply saddened that you would attempt to politicize Amma’s activities. If you knew even one tenth of the work that She has done on behalf of the needy and disenfranchised, you would have a different outlook on the situation. Not to mention the subtle but very powerful spiritual influence She has on the world.
I do not understand the situation, nor why it is playing out like this. but the point is that it is possible that you don’t either. I know you are very sincere on behalf of these workers, but please take a moment to reflect on the subtle, unseen possibilities of what is going on in the situation. There are lessons to be learned here. Please don’t be too sure that you know what is right, absolutely. This is the source of so much violence and terrorism in the world today.
I send this to you as a brother, not for Amma, but just as a gentle, loving reminder of the mystery inherent in each situation. I am not saying you are right or wrong, it is not about that at all. Just go deeper.
May your brothers and sisters succeed in their efforts for respect and dignity, and a living wage. May we all see the truth that we are one in love in the eyes of the Creator.
We must all understand that Amma will do what She feels is the best for everyone involved. We have no way of knowing the intricacies of the karma around all of this. I support all those who suffer under unfair laws. Many of us take much less than we are really worth in so many ways on this planet. It has always been the way of man to have suffering. Until we completely surrender to energy that beings such as Amma bring us, and live by their example, then we might as well resign ourselves to suffering.
I am not certain how you obtained my email address. There is karma in that as well. Once again I will state the fact. Amma will do the right thing in this situation for the highest good.
Amma’s 2008 North American Tour will be making a stop at the boycotted Hilton LAX where there is no peace, love or justice! Amma, whom is often referred to as “The Hugging Saint,” has hugged millions of people worldwide. When the location of her visit to Los Angeles was publicly released, we were surprised to learn that she would be holding her events at the Hilton LAX even though there has been communication with both Amma and her followers regarding the seriousness of the situation at the hotel.
For over two years, the Hilton LAX has been involved in a serious labor dispute. The hotel has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to oppose a living wage law for 3,500 hotel workers near LAX. And the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has issued a complaint alleging that the Hilton LAX has committed over 20 Unfair Labor Practices, including the suspension of 77 workers for union activity, interrogations, discrimination and threats of physical violence.
The labor dispute has escalated into a worker-called boycott of the Hilton LAX. Workers are asking the public not to eat, meet or sleep at their hotel. In response to Amma’s decision not to honor the worker-called boycott, clergy and community leaders will be joining workers for a 30-hour vigil asking Amma to meet with them and promise not to return to the Hilton LAX until the labor dispute is over.
Amma has said, “Compassion to the poor and the needy is our duty to God.” We call upon Amma to practice what she preaches by refusing to patronize a business that is treating its workers without compassion and contributing to poverty through low wages and lack of affordable health insurance,” said Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen of the Coalition for a New Century.
If you or anyone else you know is planning to see Amma, workers of the Hilton LAX and local community leaders are asking that you go to one of the other cities on her tour. Please support Hilton LAX workers by honoring their boycott and spreading this message to all those who may be interested.