Mia sent a note to friends and fellow Darfur activists, “I am ready to go on a hunger strike.” Mia has visited the Darfur region eleven times, spending countless hours hearing the horrific stories of survivors. She also spent hours creating community with the proud and courageous men, women and children. They did not know about her celebrity back home. They saw someone standing with them at the most difficult and dangerous times.
When Mia told of her fast, this group of friends decided to support and join her. The situation on the ground—more than a million people in imminent danger of dehydration, disease, and starvation—and the long, slow destruction of a society and culture moved Mia to this action. A positive vision of a world in which the human rights of ALL humans is respected is what motivates this group to stand today and tomorrow with the people of Darfur.
Joining and/or supporting Mia are Shannon Sedgwick Davis, from Bridgeway Foundation; Pam Omidyar, from Humanity United; Ruth Messinger, from American Jewish World Service; John Prendergast, from the Enough Project; Jerry Fowler, from Save Darfur Coalition; Gloria White Hammond, from My Sister’s Keeper; Ellen Kennedy, from GI Net MN; and I, Gabriel Stauring and the Stop Genocide Now team. Many more will join.
When deciding to embark on this action, we found inspiration in the life and work of a humble Mexican-American labor activist and leader of the United Farm Workers. Cesar Chavez embarked on fasts to fight for the rights of the voiceless, and his sacrifices lead to improvements in the lives of many.
Cesar Chavez, on fasting:
“A fast is first and foremost personal. It is a fast for the purification of my own body, mind, and soul. The fast is also a heartfelt prayer for purification and strengthening for all those who work beside me in the farm worker movement. The fast is also an act of penance for those in positions of moral authority and for all men and women activists who know what is right and just, who know that they could and should do more. The fast is finally a declaration of non–cooperation.”
“The evil is far greater than even I had thought it to be, it threatens to choke out the life of our people and also the life system that supports us all. This solution to this deadly crisis will not be found in the arrogance of the powerful, but in solidarity with the weak and helpless. I pray to God that this fast will be a preparation for a multitude of simple deeds for justice. Carried out by men and women whose hearts are focused on the suffering of the poor and who yearn, with us, for a better world. Together, all things are possible.”