Sunday, 04 December 2011

THE "OCCUPY' HUNGER STRIKE

Ken Berwitz

When I was younger, I used to read Mad Magazine.  For years, I bought every issue the day it came out.  And one of the many routines, jokes, lines, etc. from Mad that stayed in my mind, even to this day, was about a poet who demanded that all his works be buried with him when he died - and found out that everyone else agreed with him.

I am reminded of that bit today, as I read that the "Occupy Wall Street" protesters in New York, on the brink of complete irrelevancy and kept afloat only by the media - who seem to be the only ones who care about them - are going on a hunger strike.

Excerpted from an article at abcnews.com:

Demonstrators with Occupy Wall Street began a hunger strike today, demanding an outdoor space by a New York City church for a new occupation two weeks after being evicted from their encampment nearby.

The strike will be held at Duarte Square on Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in lower Manhattan, and the protest organizers said the hunger strike would be continued in jail if demonstrators are arrested.

If we do get arrested, which seems most likely like we will be, we will continue the strike in jail, Ibanez said.

The New York Occupy protesters said they hope that other Occupy groups around the country that have been forced out of their encampments will join them in the hunger strike, to make that a national movement as well.

According to the statement from occupywallstreet.org, the hunger strike is not only about getting a new site for the demonstrators, but about keeping the movement alive in the face of government-enacted violence and repression.

I am definitely worried about being hungry and being sick, thats definitely crossing my mind but I am more worried about people being apathetic, Ibanez said.

"Occupy" protesters have been rousted from the public places they expropriated in virtually every major city.  And the public, which these delusionaries claim to speak for 99% of, have responded with almost complete indifference. 

You'd think this tells the "occupy" protesters that they don't really speak for anyone but themselves.  But, evidently, it does not. 

Here's an interesting question:  if, by its almost complete indifference, the public has shown that it could not care less that the "Occupy" protesters were forced out of the public areas they were camping in, why would the public care if some number of them went on a hunger strike? 

It's not like the protesters don't have access to food;  well-meaning dupes have been giving them free food for months.  It's not like they can't get a job and earn money to eat;  no one is stopping them.  It's not like they don't already have the money for food; many of the "Occupy" protesters are college kids who get their money from mommy and daddy. 

So if a few of them (believe me, there won't be many) go on a voluntary hunger strike - which they can break any time they want - why would anyone care at all that they are doing it?

My favorite line, from protester Diego Ibanez, is "....I am more worried about people being apathetic". 

Just how, exactly, does Mr. Ibanez think they feel right now?  


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