August 2 , 2006
I never thought when I embarked on my water-only hunger strike to bring the troops home fast that on day 30 Id be leaving on a journey to the Middle East to meet with Iraqi members of Parliament. As a shrimper from a small fishing town in Texas, I dont have ways to get in touch with these folks from Iraq. I dont speak their language. I certainly dont have their emails or phone numbers! But today, Ill be traveling with a group of 14 other Americans, to meet with these Iraqis and learn about their ideas to end the fighting and the occupation of their country. Thats why Ive always said that when you embark on a hunger strike, you have to believe and open up the space for new and amazing things to happen. And sure enough, thats whats happening.
As hunger strikes go, this one hasnt been easy. We sit outside the presidents house for 9 hours every day and watch the snipers walk the roof. Then, too, for the past month, (because were BUSY fasters) weve paraded down the halls of Congress trying to convince those people to pull our troops out of Iraq and visited an embassy or two. The President certainly doesnt talk to us. Congress wasnt budging an inch and when we talk with the aides theres a lot of eyes rolling. Then when the Iraqi Prime Minister came to Washington, he pretended he was gonna meet with us and then he never came to the meeting.
But suddenly we heard from this group of Iraqi members of Parliament. They were moved by our sacrifice when our own government couldnt care less. They were anxious to meet with us when our own leaders refused to meet. And while our own government just talks about war and more war, these Iraqis have been talking about peace, about a peace plan to stop the violence and end the occupation.
Were thrilled to have to honor to meet with these Iraqis working on a Reconciliation Plan, and to bring their ideas back home. Were excited that well be able to break our 30-day fast with them. And some of us will be going on to Lebanon to try to promote a ceasefire and help the folks who are suffering there, because we cant sit around feeling sorry about all the killing. Weve got to do something to stop it.
I said when I started this fast that we who want the killing to stop have to be as committed to peace as those who are committed to war. Many of yall joined in this hunger strike to show your commitment. So we ask that yall continue to participate in the fast — perhaps one day a week, or a rolling fast in your community, until we formally end the fast on September 21, International Peace Day.
When we launch the Declaration of Peace on September 21, well be asking yall to show your commitment again. Were hoping to organize sit-ins in ALL the offices of Senators who refuse to call for an end to the occupation. If youre willing to join us by sitting in for peace, contact email@example.com.
I don’t know what the final outcome of this trip to meet with the Iraqis or our journey to Lebanon will bring. But were certainly not about to leave our future in the hands of George Bush! When our leaders wont build the future we want to see, weve got to do it ourselves. So thank you all for your support of our fast, our journey, and unreasonable women — and men — who wont take war for an answer.
Love and adios,