Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A "successful" hunger strike?

Hollywood actress Mia Farrow has been on a hunger strike for ten days. She is fasting in protest against the expellment of aid organsiations from the region of Darfur.

A Sudanese official called her "ignorant" for hoping to achieve something through that course of action. Indeed, how likely is Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir to be impressed of the self-inflicted death of an actress? Death of hunger is mundane in Darfur; dying of hunger in a rich and peaceful country might even seem obscene to some survivors.

It strikes me as a very sad thing to do, understandable as a form of resignation, strange as means to an end. Success in the context of a hunger strike often has a weird tinge to it.

One example would be successful five-day hunger strike of Bolivian President Evo Morales. What he starved for was an ammendment to the constitution that would allow him to run for second term.

Cuban prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia went on a hunger strike for more than week in 2008, hoping for - at least - a mattress that was not infested with germs.

And, as it seems, some Harvard students go on hunger strikes for the most curious things, like security guard pay.

Oh, people. Hunger strikes are for the ones who don't have a voice. Those of you who have... talk.

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