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.
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.
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.
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.