OBcian One of Activists on Hunger Strike
At least two San Diego activists are currently on a hunger strike because of the attitude of the City of San Diego and its Police Department toward allowing Occupy protesters to have tents at Civic Center Plaza as part of the protest.
Nancy Casady and John Kenney have both been on a hunger strike since earlier this week. Nancy began hers on Monday, November 7th*, and John, his the next day, Tuesday the 8th. So, it’s Nancy’s fifth day and John’s fourth day.
Nancy stated: “I am on a hunger strike until the City Council takes up our request for tents.”
The General Manager of People’s Food Co-op in Ocean Beach, Nancy has been attending Occupy San Diego events, marches and rallies since she and her partner Derek became involved in San Diego’s version of Occupy Wall Street near its beginning in late September.
John Kenney, an Ocean Beach resident, is now in his 4th day of his hunger strike. He’s doing it “in an attempt to get the City of San Diego, its Mayor, City Council and/or SDPD to recognize our right to occupy at least part of Civic Center with tents and committee stations such as Media, Medics, Food & Education.”
John has been involved with the movement since its inception – and has been visible just about every day since. John was recently cited by police for honking his horn in support of trade unionists waving their signs at the Plaza while driving by. Most view this incident as part of the on-going, daily harassment of Occupy protesters by police.
Kenney is taking in only water at this point. He expects to continue his hunger strike at least until the next City Council session with Public Comment, next Tuesday, November 15th.
In response to how he is doing, John said: “I’m okay – one day was pretty bad – Wednesday, the second day. I’ve done fasts before – this is not a fast but a hunger strike. And the second day is usually the worst.”
Both Nancy and John announced their hunger strikes at the San Diego City Council meeting on Tuesday – where OccupySD activists attempted for the fourth time in a month to get the Council to pass a resolution in support of the movement.
There may be another person on the strike but at this point if and who are unknowns.
The use of tents by Occupy San Diego demonstrators has been a huge bone of contention between them and the police, ever since the police raided the encampment on October 14th and forcibly removed the tents. The occupiers feel strongly that the tents are part of their protest, are part of their freedom of expression.
Throughout the Occupy Wall Street movement around the country, the use of tents has been a hot issue. This past Wednesday and Thursday, for instance, police made dozens of arrests in removing tents from the campus of UC Berkeley.
Yet in places like Los Angeles and Irvine, tents are allowed to be used by occupiers by city governments.
*Editor: We had mistakenly said October 7th, thanks @bricktamland for the heads up!