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Day 11

Fast wise, this day isn't much different than yesterday. But im not fooled. Eleven days into a fast is the equivalent of 200 feet in a mile run. Best policy is to take it one day at a time. And interesting enough, one sure thing that a fast will automically deliver to your door is a very calm spot where only the ' now' is present. Yesterday doesn't bother you, tomorrow doesn't bother you. Heck, even Fox News doesn't bother you.

I had the real unfortunate task of being on Fox News. Hannity and Combes. What can I say. I had only seen them in passing by a tv set, but their reputation for rabid skunkness was everywhere. I sure didn't want to do it, disliking talking as I do. But news stations always get these real nice guys to do the coaxing. They just wanted my comment on the Ragiing Grannies version of the star spangled banner and the hunger strike. There was a choice of Medea Benjamin or myself, and I was pulling for Medea. After a long conversation in a car, everybody figured Fox goes for the emotional so I should go on. Lucky for me, I was eight days into the hunger strike and hadn't had coffee in as long so I was calm to the point of falling off my Fox chair. The skunkness didn't come right off; it waited on the dark haired one who interrogated me on Cindy Sheehan and everytime I started to say something, Original Skunk yelled "Anwer the question! Answer the question! Yes or no! Yes or no!" After about 4 attempts to say something and being interrupted every time, I finally told Original Skunk to "shut up and let me talk." So im very appreciative of my newfound calmness. It helps when you go on Skunk News.

Day 9

Holding this water bottle pretty close. I try not to use a different plastic bottle every day and end up polluting the earth with more trash. We've got enough landfills. The car that has the water jugs is out at the capitol so ive got an empty water bottle. Oh well, so much for drinking water. Dick Gregory, the legendary faster and our official "doctor"said drink at least a gallon of water a day and I certainly don't do that. Probably more like 2 pints. Maybe that's the reason my voice gets lower and lower; its gotta be a water issue there. Dick said don't go to the doctors if you get sick because they don't know nothing about fasters. They're only interested in those that have been eating. Have no advice other than, "start eating!" I find that pretty amazing especially as research with rats (or maybe its mice) have shown that starving them a little bit lengthens their life. So if this hunger strike doesn't kill me then im sure I'll live to a ripe old age. Another little amazing fact is that when you start fasting, the body burns the fat cells for energy and the fat cells is where chemicals you have been exposed to are stored. So fasting releases those contaminates from your body and hopefully with all that water you're drinking, you get rid of a lot of bad stuff. Probably why you live so long. "Doc" Gregory comes down to the park every day. Very well dressed man. I wont even guess at his age but he does discuss Babe Ruth and folks like that. Yesterday he was in sharp looking white suit and he looked like he just stepped off a model ramp. Fasting has certainly not harmed that man. He's on a juice fast and the last time he did a juice fast he was on it for 270 days. Gregory also said he use to weigh 300 pounds. Now he's about 125 pounds dripping wet. Ive done 7 hunger fasts so ive got a good idea of how it works. The first 4 days is usually the worst and then it starts getting better. Youre not hungry anymore, although a woman yesterday in our evening circle said she was "hungry!!!". I know ive been on strikes before and at 20 days I feel that maybe im mistaken; maybe im not on a hunger strike at all. The "Doc" says this is because the body's own morphin is cruising through your body. Its an automatic reaction to the fasting. "Doc" says when you see all those starving kids in Africa with bloated bellies and tiny arms and legs and you wonder why they don't swat off all those flies, its because they're high as a kite. That's what the "Doc" says.

Day 4

I started a letter on the first day but pooped out. Probably it was that 2 mile walk in the hot hot sun that did it. Dick Gregory, who's famous for his hunger strikes on the Viet Nam war, made a speech under the trees and said if you're on a fast its real important to pace yourself, don't exercise, don't walk 50 blocks to a July 4 parade. But on the first day, even with seven hunger strikes under my belt, I walked all the way to the parade. Then the rest of the day I sat under a tree, red-faced and exhausted. Not a good start.

But here I am, fourth day into the strike or fast or whatever you want to call it. Feeling much better. Energy aint bad. I'm a cafeein nut; drink coffee all day long and I'll tell you a little secret, I've always felt my high energy came from all that coffee.. But I haven't had coffee in 4 days and still my energy comes. It sneeks upon me like a small green snake wiggling across the yard

Some of the women felling weak and are having little fainting spells. Not actually fainting, but getting dizzy and nauseous. They get pass that stage, though. Day four is a breaking point. I don't get faint at all. Don't know why, maybe it's from being from Texas. Reason enough.

Out of the 4 days of fasting, we've been rained out twice and run out by the cops twice. For no apparent reason, here come the fellas yelling at everybody to get clean outa the park. Nobody allowed. First time that happened, a big dignitary was arriving at the White House. The next time it happened, the prime minister of Canada was coming and going at the White house and here come the cops. I'd like to describe them more than just 'cops' but frankly Im not sure who's at the bottom of this. The secret service, the swap team, and the K-9's were involved so I'm a little unsure of who was really incharge. The second time the cops came, we just got close to the road between the White House and Lafette Park with our banners to bring the troops home and refused to move. The cops came up and said we had to move. Get out. It was for our own security. We said, "Why?" and they said there's harmful emissions out there and the alarms are going off all over the place. We said what harmful emissions and they very dead faced and serious. "Radiation."

Well why weren't the cops wearing masks? Why did they look so calm about the whole thing if radiation was running rampant? What about that poor president over there? Wouldn't the radiation affect the president? Did the EPA know about the radiation problem?

Well the cops didn't worry about the president because doctors would take care of George Bush, it was just our health they were worried about, so get outa the park.

Eventually we stonewalled and asked enough questions that even the vistors that got ran out got tired and started coming back in. Then it was sure enough ruin for the evacuation. Now they just clear the road and leave the park to us. Victory comes in small doses.

Day 2

The first hunger strike I did on a shrimp boat in Texas is kinda like that tree in the forest illustration. You know, does it make a sound if nobody hears it. I was hunger fasting on a shrimp boat and that was 1991 and I was still ignorant of the uses of cell phones, So there I was on a shrimp boat and a lot of folks were putting me thru the ringer on it. My mom and sisters and two brothers included. The only folks that knew about the hunger strike was the Formosa Plastics, a petrochemical plant, that I was fighting. So every day, here came the corporate officers in their black suits and they'd tell me how stupid I looked. Didn't I realize how stupid I looked. Well, no I didn't so I stayed there until the captain of the shrimp boat showed up and told me to get off his dang boat or he'd throw me overboard. Amazingly, after 14 days I won everything I wanted on that hunger strike.

Now here I am on my 8th hunger strike in Washington DC and a hot day in Washington is whole lot like Texas minus the humidity. I had spent my first night in Washington dc on a porch swing, the wind on my face, and not a single mosquita around. Nobody rushed me to get up, I had an automatic alarm clock-- old shrimping habits.

Not counting the hunger strike, we have a pretty generous schedule . all us fasters and supporters were suppose to met at 10am under the trees across from the white house It is a lot more generous than the first codepink vigil back in 2003, pre Iraqi war, when we sat on stone cold bences in lafette park at 7am on very cold morning. Its not bad under the trees. We've got a bunch of codepink banners left over from a hundred protests that we sit on and after a prayer and some singing, our day begins.