Revolution #240, July 24, 2011

Three-Day Fast in Ontario in Support of Pelican Bay Prisoners on Hunger Strike

Revolution reporter Li Onesto received the following email on July 14:


Having read your inspiring article in Revolution (via Countercurrents), I am writing to tell you a little bit about our Solidarity Fast in Haliburton, Ontario. Haliburton County is a rural-to-bush region of a very conservative character located about three hours drive northeast of Toronto. It is very difficult for progressive people here to participate regularly in protest actions taking place in the urban centers to the south. On the whole we have focused on relocalizing transition-town events as our primary form of socio-political organization.

When we received news about the Prisoners Hunger Strike in California, a few of us decided that the best way to express solidarity was to hold a three-day fast. We are just finishing that today. In the interval, with a lot of time freed up by not chasing grub, we have sought to keep our community informed about the on-going events in California. Surprisingly, a local community newspaper, the County Voice ( has picked up the issue and will be running an article on our activities today.

In general I would consider the solidarity fast an effective tactic for raising awareness and rallying progressive people in areas that are remote from the immediate site of resistance. It tends, however, to attract mostly "spiritual people" affiliated with churches and meditation groups, since these folk may already have some experience with fasting. To cut through sanctimoniousness, those of us who employ this tactic have to remain aware that fasting under pleasant domestic circumstances is hardly the same as committing to a hunger strike in a hell-hole.

Our heartfelt thanks for all your work on behalf of oppressed people.

One love

In solidarity,

Douglas Smith

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