Organized hunger strike

Could we set up hunger strike protests? I suppose I would be willing myself. I’m generally interested in climate policy, which I think would be a good issue we could highlight. We could have speakers to spread media as well. I’m not sure where we would meet, and how we might get there. I bet other organizations would join. We could have several key locations to meet at. I’m not sure if we should go all at once, or stagger each location in time to extend media cycle exposure. Maybe staggered strikes could each highlight a different key issue; climate change, universal health care, primary debates, etc.

I think we could use these tactics as part of a thoughtful escalation. This tactic could be powerful, but shouldn’t be over used.

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I agree. We need thoughtful if escalating civil disobedience.

What do you have in mind exactly?

well, I kind of spouted a variety of ideas in my first post.

Personally, I would think one hunger strike, on the issue of climate justice, and organized at multiple locations across US simultaneously would be good. We would force the public media debate, and lend it to be leveraged towards political primary debates.

But, perhaps there are merits to having strikes organized at different times, since it can extend media cycle coverage. And maybe other issues are worth striking for, (and more issues could expand participants, thus expanding media impact). And enduser makes a valid point that we shouldn’t over use hunger strikes. Though, on the other hand, if US citizens dying of hunger strikes became even just a fraction as prolific as mass shootings, then maybe it would move the needle on political progress.

And, if we’re serious about organizing civil disobedience, then also considering other more creative options is good. Though we should keep non-violence in mind. And also not just protesting; we need to demonstrate commitment and suffering, to evoke emotional response in public, I think. Hunger strikes have a fair record historically for those aspects. I’m not sure what else would be as effective.

To get the public to pay attention you would have to convince people they need to starve themselves to death, or near death. I don’t think you wanna go down that road. I would take that energy and creativity to fighting for public funding of elections. Then it would be much easier to get initiatives done.

Oh, I don’t expect people to need much convincing to participate, at least enough people. Do you? Do we, more broadly? Like, I don’t think convincing is part of this plan; either enough people are political ready, or not enough people are ready, yet.

Climate is an issue, no doubt. The marketing person in me would say the first order of business should be to brand the crisis by a name in which nobody could argue with. I would call it a “Pollution Crisis” instead of a Climate Crisis. See how that changes the conversation. No longer are we fighting about whether or not the climate is changing, now we’re centered on an idea that we all agree with: stopping pollution.

Let’s do that before we start starving and killing ourselves.

Yeah, for sure we should have a bit more of a plan first. :slight_smile:
And ideally, a bit of protesting before any strike so we can announce our intentions and our plan publicly, in order to frame the issues and clarify demands. Then also have protests at the same time (since many in solidarity would not themselves be hunger striking), where speakers would continue on the media fronts.

I’m not starving myself for any cause. I don’t think its necessary. The civil rights didn’t need it and that was way worse than what we will need to do to get our initiatives done. Buddhist monks would set themselves on fire to protest in Vietnam. While it is a profound act, it didn’t do a damn thing to achieve long term change.

You don’t need to starve yourself. I wouldn’t want anyone to pressure another to be more radical than they will be.

I’ll continue the thread by clarifying my perspectives. My understanding of history includes: civil disobedience, while not always effective in each instance, is still among the most effective political strategies; the civil rights movement is full of necessary civil disobedience; the civil rights movement is actually much simpler than the climate crisis movement, because, by the time the climate crisis is as in-your-face as the civil rights violations were in-your-face, by then the climate crisis movement could be moot.

The dangers of our climate crisis compound over time. Potentially, if we can force sound climate policy soon enough, we might avoid extinction. And, the sooner we force sound climate policy, then the greater will be our potential survivors’ standards of living. There is a spectrum of currently more-or-less radical political actions, and it precedes a spectrum of possible policy results. If the result would be sound climate policy eventually, then radical disobedience is not strictly necessary. Or, if the result would be sound climate policy as soon as possible / now, then how could radical disobedience not be definitionally necessary?

I honestly and sincerely respect your passion. I just think a hunger strike would do more harm than good and would be seen as unnecessary. The conversation would be more about the hunger strike than the actual issue.

But lets keep our eyes on the ball here is to put the issue front and center in the face of the American public in such a way they have no other choice but to face the issue. I have another idea:

To get the issue in the face of the American public, it needs to come from a person whose credibility. We need to be able to have conversations with climate deniers and directly prove to them that what we believe is true. This is the art of persuasion.

The one person whose credibility is virtually unquestioned is a doctor. If a pediatrician told a mother that the food her children are eating, the air her children are breathing, and the water her children are drinking is full of contaminates and pollution AND could show them how it is actually affecting their health - shit gets real, real quick. Suddenly, that mother is a soldier to protect her children. Nothing will stop her. That would cause a movement greater than anything we could imagine.

Requiring doctors to have these conversations with patients brings a reality check in a way no other person can.

Thanks for your respect; it is mutual :slight_smile:

I agree a hunger strike would be seen, and be spun, as unnecessary and counterproductive. I’m wide open to not organizing a hunger strike (it would be much easier for me to not do it); but if we’re not doing that, then we still need another plan for civil disobedience.

In order to “keep our eyes on the ball”, rather than continuing to elucidate (for the relative and shrinking few not already aligned on the issue) how the climate crisis is indeed a crisis, we need to force system change despite institutional resistance. Democracy is not functioning. People expect it to continue to not function. To keep our eyes on the ball is to find how we can force some democratic function. And again, civil disobedience is historically among the most effective ways to do it. If this thread is not about how we might hunger strike, then it is about what else we can do and how we can do it.

Lets assume we did organize politically and help to pass some regulation as what you suggested; such an informed electorate would still need to see a political path they could follow to make their now more personalized political demands. What I’m talking about is trailblazing that path. That is what civil disobedience does. It gives an electorate a rally point. Is this not what we need to do?

What we do, how we do it, and when we do it; those are among the primary questions. I suggested a hunger strike, which we could organize in a variety of ways. I’m open to other paths worth trailblazing.

Are we pretending there is no profit motive for this information to be concealed? I am not sure how any of this makes sense with the purse strings of research held by industry?

I live in Trump country. They do not know anything about climate except how the weather is behaving. They need proof they can understand. We haven’t gotten the word out well enough.

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I live there too, while this is true it is incomplete understanding. When you work in the nature and hunt, fish, and camp you get a certain familiarity with nature. They will not understand the research perhaps but they will understand the events that they experience.

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I’m not in Trump country, so of course you two would know better than myself about that aspect. But I’m also not focused on only that minority, because even when they would understand climate better, then they would still need a political path to follow that they could have some faith in actually realizing democratic interest into policy (despite our non-democratic government). I could agree, we haven’t gotten the word out well enough, especially considering the corporate propaganda. My point in this reply so far is that I don’t see how the delay of understanding in Trump country is relevant to the point of this thread.

That said, if I were to focus on Trump country, I would add a couple comments. Regarding Trump country, I could agree my suggestions here may not be relevant to them yet. And, I think a significant issue is how climate policy might be felt (or be made to be felt) as socioeconomically threatening, eg: threatening the local economies of fossil fuels, farming, etc. Indeed, incorrect (or late) climate policy forsakes economic justice, and would in fact threaten people, perhaps especially Trump country people. If I was to continue this tangent, then I could explore what economic justice could look like, and we could explore what that means in Trump country contexts.

However, again, Trump country is, I think, not the primary obstacle for climate policy, nor even the primary obstacle for democratic government more broadly, and it was not my initial focus for this thread. I’m not saying it is not an important issue; it is important, and Trump country perspectives will be vital to climate justice, and other issues. Also, I think I’ve seen some other threads in Operation Hope that are more focused on reaching out, even to Trump country. I actually have another thread you might be interested in on that, called run progressive republicans. Maybe go check it out :slight_smile:

To refocus back on this thread topic, our government is not democratic. I’m trying to force democratic issues, to reclaim The People’s government. I think civil disobedience is a proven tactic. And, I think climate is a good issue for which enough people would risk personal harm. The public display of commitment despite risks of personal harm makes the public uncomfortable, especially the opposition. This is a good thing, because this is how it works.

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I think you’re correct in theory however for it to work in the way you’re thinking it will you must be careful with implementation of this tactic. It is very provocative and must be deployed in high steaks situations.

I think we should think of civil disobedience as tiered options. Ideally a public education in media should be part in parcel, or in coordination with the civil actions.

I had mentioned earlier, enduser, protests with planned speakers before (and during) an action in order to handle the media and frame the narrative of an action; could that be along the lines of what you’re saying? And/or, could you elaborate with an example?

So I think that is a great part of it but I would like to see more coordination in the ramp up.

So it would look like:

Video one by XYZ media activist “I am going to organize a hunger strike on February 1st of 2024 if we don’t get the razor wire on the river boueys removed.”

Activist two knows activist one and several days later talks about how they are going to join the strike. This is done in a framing that recognizes the first creator as a leader, and the framing should be I wish other would follow people like this. So today I am going to be the change and join this cause.

This allows others to join the cause before a single person stops eating. This will give you better media attention if / when it happens. The second part is that you have a heard mentality you’re manipulating. It take much courage to be the first, second, but less to be the third.