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Sheehan Announces She Will End Non-Fast

From the Kennebec Morning Sentinel:

Farmington group backs fast-for-peace effort

Staff Writer

Saturday, July 29, 2006

FARMINGTON — For the past three Fridays, Julieanne Reed, who has never demonstrated for a cause before, has been driving from Mexico to Farmington to stand side-by-side with a small group at a silent vigil advocating the end to the war in Iraq.

Yesterday, she took another first step. She is among 14 or so men and women who have publicly committed to join a national fast for peace. The commitment is in solidarity with a nationwide grassroots movement, CODEPINK, that asks the American people to forgo food for at least 24 hours.

"I felt in the past I didn’t know enough to take a stand. Now I know I want the war to stop," Reed said as she joined her fellow fasters for a final meal at the gazebo in Meetinghouse Park on Main Street.

The movement, Troops Home Fast, started July 3 with a peace demonstration in Washington, D.C., and many activists are doing long-term fasts to galvanize public attention. According the Web site troopshomefast.org, as of Friday, over 4,120 people have signed on. The end date will be Sept. 21 when a week of non-violent anti-war actions are planned.

Joan Braun, a member of Farmington Women in Black, a group that holds the silent peace vigil in front of the Farmington Post Office every Friday at noon, said she received an e-mail this week that CODEPINK had a break-through.

She said long-term fasters, including Cindy Sheehan, whose son, Casey, was killed in the war in 2004, have been invited to meet with five members of the Iraqi Parliament in Amman, Jordan. The gathering will be to discuss the peace movement and publicly break their fast with the Iraqi peacemakers.

CODEPINK published an open letter to the Iraqi people in one of the county’s largest newspapers this month explaining the reasons behind the growing hunger strike movement.

The five Iraqi leaders are working on a Reconciliation Plan to end the violence in their country, Braun said.

Troops Home Fast demands the U.S. withdraw all troops from Iraq, leave no permanent bases in that country and fund a massive reconstruction effort with funds going to Iraqi — not American — contractors, according to the Web site, troopshomefast.org.

Craigen Healey of New Vineyard on Friday said she had already gone 16 hours without eating.

"I know a 24-hour fast is symbolic but I am doing it in solidarity with the troops and the people in Iraq who don’t have food, water or electricity and are under fire," she said.

Braun said, "Depriving yourself of eating for 24 hours reminds you of the suffering of the Iraqi people. There may be reasons to go to war but what is going on over there is counter-productive. It is making us more unsafe. We have unleashed the terror."

Lee Sharkey, a founding member of the Farmington Women in Black, said she hopes the national fast will "get people thinking about whether we should be going on with our normal lives while people are dying as a consequence of this government’s actions."

"Fasting for me brings the cost of the war home on a very personal level," she said. "I want to raise this question: Is ‘life as usual’ an acceptable stance while this immoral, illegal and incalculably costly war continues?"

So our troops are home and the war is over?

Or is Cindy Sheehan a liar?

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, July 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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