Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Not getting the point of your tactic

I've always thought that the point of a hunger strike was to shame entities or people into action by threatening to die on their doorstep in plain view of the broader society unless they carried out a specific course of action. And I also thought that, to be effective, one had to actually be willing to risk death for the cause.

In San Antonio, that's apparently not the case. Here, you strike until you get really, really hungry, and then you simply let someone else take over.

A Dream Act supporter is a free woman after sitting behind bars for a week.

Reverend Lorenza Smith was released from jail a short time ago. She was the lone protester who decided to not bond out right away in order to make a point. Smith says she has no regrets! [Nice editorial use of the exclamation point. No bias there, nosirree. --ed.]


Reverend Smith, along with 14 other UTSA Dream Act supporters were arrested last week for trespassing at the office of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Hutchison does not support the legislation that would pave the way to citizenship for undocumented students - also known as the Dream Act.


[Smith] stopped her 12-day fast Monday after medical issues [such as impending death, maybe? --ed.] necessitated its end. Now two other church leaders will take on her fast.

(from KENS-5)

By doing this the strikers are showing that they are not willing to face any real risk to their health in the prosecution of this strike. They may be dedicated to seeing the Dream Act get passed, but they don't seem to be fully committed to the hunger tactic. In fact, to gain the upper hand, the powers-that-be need to just wait them out. The protesters may get others to fast for them in succession, and they may get more media coverage, but there doesn't seem to be any real danger to their health. Therefore, no real urgency.

At least, that's the impression I get. Your mileage may vary.


AlanDP said...

Last year--I think?--some bunch of alleged "hunger" strikers were still consuming multi-vitamins and protein shakes, so actually they were just kind of diet-striking.

Sabra said...

Well, these hunger strikers are taking in juice as well as water, so it sounds like a crappy crash diet to me as well, frankly. You can absolutely take in enough calories in juice to keep yourself going and then some.

Still doesn't stop me from wishing I'd known about their protest far enough in advance to go down there with some Church's fried chicken.

mick said...

Perhaps media coverage is the point of the crash dieters. I think media coverage is the point of those willing to die for the cause, as well.