Youth Climate Activists End Two-Week Hunger Strike With Vow to Fight On

Youth climate activists on a two-week hunger strike.

Youth climate activists ended their two-week hunger strike Tuesday. Generation on Fire

Youth climate activists ended their two-week hunger strike Tuesday.

“We are ending our hunger strike to bring the fire to Joe Manchin and other folks in Congress that are more willing to fight for oil and gas billionaires and not for the young people and their communities,” Kidus Girma, 26, said in a video on Twitter.

The five youth inspired more than 250 to fast in solidarity and took an extreme toll on their bodies and doctors warned they risked permanent damage. Paul Campion, 24, ended his strike earlier this week after being hospitalized with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart beats extremely slowly.

As reported by The Washington Post:

In recent days, the U.N. global climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, has tried to advance conversations about the climate crisis and draw important commitments from world leaders.

But for two weeks, in the nation’s capital, five young people did more than just toss out words and promises. They put their health on the line, starving themselves in hope that their actions would push others to act. After preparing their bodies to go without food, they launched a hunger strike outside the White House on Oct. 20 and vowed not to end it until President Biden and other Democratic lawmakers delivered climate policy that matched “the urgency and the scale” of the crisis.

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, the pace of politics moved slower than the pace of their bodies’ decline.

On Tuesday, two weeks into the hunger strike, the group was forced to end it. The decision, as they describe it, was not an easy one and came only after they faced serious health scares and warnings about the potential repercussions of continuing.

For a deeper dive:

HuffPost, The Washington Post, Press Democrat, Texas Monthly; Solidarity: National Catholic Reporter

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