“NO, YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND GOVERNOR! “
To Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga:
In Response to Governor’s October 2020 Declaration
1. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you wouldn’t see just the numbers of the stranded, you would see the faces of mothers, fathers, children, elderly, middle-aged, we permeate all corners of the community and are from all walks of life.
2. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would put in a practical solution and say: “Okay since we cannot help our families who are stranded, here is financial assistance to tie you over while we continue to work out our plan.“
3. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would know this isn’t just about The Few vs. The Many, The Desperate vs. The Encouraged, The Downtrodden vs.The Lively, The Heartbroken versus The Hopeful.
4. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would reach out and offer words of compassion with heartfelt sincerity. Not with a declaration that was devoid of emotions, as if the lives of the stranded were just an afterthought.
5. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would know that Hawaii’s data has been showing a downward trend. Their percent positive has been below 5%, which indicates low transmission.
6. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would offer a practical plan and say —“ We will begin repatriation for 40 of our residents, we will test, quarantine for 14 days, then test again, and continue on another repatriation by this date.”
7. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would know in the upcoming winter season, the stranded residents who are located in states with four seasons will suffer the most.
8. IF YOU UNDERSTOOD, you would know that YOU ARE NOT JUST THE GOVERNOR OF THE RESIDENTS ON ISLAND— You are the Governor of ALL OF AMERICAN SAMOA—ON-ISLAND AS WELL AS OFF-ISLAND. You see Governor, the stranded residents carry American Samoa ID’s such as check stubs, Permanent Legal ID, Drivers License, Voters ID, Bank Statements, ASPA Bill Statements etc.. Therefore they are YOUR residents.
You see Governor, what you fail to understand is that while fear dictates your inability to put forth any action, the Alliance will use fear and work through it, we will use it to empower our movement, we will accumulate evidence that we can cope. We will rise, because OUR CAUSE IS JUST! We stand at the precipice of despair but we will not topple over because we have faith to propel us forward with an ironclad will.
We will not let any injunction turn us around. We, as a people, will get home to our families, to our land, to our jobs, to our churches, to our villages , we will get home to where we belong.
Although, you as Governor, have a sovereign right to secure our borders, and to determine conditions of entry, you also must never forget you have an obligation to respect human rights law, refugee law and humanitarian law.
WE CALL YOU TO ACTION, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, Governor of American Samoa and your Taskforce to take up the mantle of responsibilities for ALL your residents, and not cower in the face of adversity. Plan with a sense of urgency and execute the repatriation plan with confidence. God Bless America and God Bless American Samoa. #FamiliesBelongTogether #RepatriateNotOpenBorders
Tagata Tutū Faatasi Alliance of American Samoa