Announcing the Portland Troops Home Fast kickoff!
July 4th Salmon Street Fountain, 11 a.m. until dusk
Code Pink is calling for a national hunger strike against the Iraq occupation. Beginning July 4th, people will be fasting in front of the White House and at congressional offices, at recruiting stations and churches, at festivals and parades around the country. This open-ended hunger strike aims to galvanize public attention, invigorate the peace movement, build pressure on elected officials, and get our troops back home FAST! The goal is to get Congresspersons to sign onto the most forward-thinking bill to bring our troops home, which has been introduced in both the Senate and the House: Senate Congressional Resolution 93 and House Congressional Resolution 348. These bills demand no permanent bases in Iraq, no US control of the flow of Iraqi oil, and the troops out of Iraq by the end of the year.
Why a hunger strike?
Hunger strikes call attention to a grave issue, force change, cause shame for wrongdoers and inspire others to take action. Hunger strikes have been used to change policy and social wrongs for hundreds of years. In early Ireland, where the tradition originated, hunger strikes were actually encoded in civic law. Fasters publicly denied themselves food on the doorstep of the person committing an injustice, because it was considered shameful for someone to come to harm in your home, especially for a crime you committed. That's why for the Troops Home Fast, Code Pink is headed to the offender's doorstep: the White House lawn!
Diane Wilson, a peace and environmental activist who has participated in long-term hunger strikes says, "It's funny. I've found that people are terrified of fasting. There's an Iraq veteran who agreed to join us. He said that he's been in combat, seen people blown up, but that the idea of not eating terrifies him. But once people try it, they usually discover that they're a lot stronger and their bodies are a lot more resilient than they think. Will it be uncomfortable? Yes, but we've been too comfortable for too long."
Are you willing to fast for a day or two? For a week or more? Code Pink Portland is organizing the local rolling fast - you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to the listserve at email@example.com to get on the schedule and receive related announcements. The goal is to have at least one person per day participating in the fast from July 4th until the September 21st week of action. There will be support teams set up and informational materials available for fasters to hand out. You can also volunteer to be on the support crew.
Read more about local and national events at www.codepinkportland.org and www.troopshomefast.org