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What is a hunger strike protest?

March 2018

March 2018

Based on the scapegoating of my previous 8 hunger strike protests as being the consequence of mental illness, it is the right time to define the legitimate albeit gruesome methodology of confronting social injustices. Here is a definition through simple google of the words. “hunger strike protest”.

"A hunger strike is a method of non-violent resistance or pressure in which participants fast as an act of political protest, or to provoke feelings of guilt in others, usually with the objective to achieve a specific goal, such as a policy change."

The following link provides a good analysis of what a hunger strike protest is and can be along with a brief history.

For those with limited time to read, then here are a few extracts from the link:

…. the eloquence of the hunger strike lies in its ability to reconfigure the power dynamic between the powerless and the powerful. By starving themselves slowly the hunger striker makes public the very private act of dying and their suffering becomes a source of strength eliciting strong emotions among supporters and observers….

…..Anyone who has seen Hunger, Steve McQueen’s 2008 film about the Maze prison hunger strike will have some idea of just how horrific is starvation as a way to die. The body literally consumes itself. After about three days the liver starts to break down body fat in a process called ketosis. The body slows its metabolism to compensate but after about three weeks starts ‘mine’ its muscles and vital organs for energy. Ketosis results in the production of toxic ketone bodies which can be excreted through urine, oxidized by the brain or even expelled through the lungs but ultimately cause a potentially lethal condition called ketoacidosis. Death comes by dehydration, atrophication and the painful failure of internal organs, chiefly kidneys and liver…..

…..In India, Mahatma Gandhi staged 17 hunger strikes in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Whilst most of these were directed against British colonial rule, his 1948 hunger strike aimed at stopping the bloody inter-religious violence that followed partition. Announcing that he would not eat until the violence stopped, he is largely credited for ending the fighting. Gandhi was imprisoned by the British in 1922, 1930, 1933 and in 1942 and on each occasion staged a hunger strike. Gandhi’s 1932 fast calling for the improvement of the lives of the Dalits (Untouchables) resulted in meaningful policy changes after just six days of fasting. Although the British Government ceded to many of his demands records declassified in 2006 show that Winston Churchill had opposed these concessions and favored a strategy of letting Gandhi die in prison…...

"Gandhi, wrote in his Letters to a Disciple, that “[u]nder certain circumstances, fasting is the one weapon God has given us for use in times of utter helplessness.”

Considering I have to protest a ninth time is an unfortunate indictment of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and York University in not resolving the matter to the detriment of ALL Canadians. They are on the wrong side of truth regarding this matter. The fact they know it makes their decisions all the more unacceptable and depraved.

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