Silly Warren Jeffs. The Texas polygamist leader everyone is so obsessed with (maybe people are just sad Big Love is no longer airing?) was hospitalized this past weekend as a result of several days of his hunger strike.
That's right, Jeffs (who the media reports was "spiritually wed" to 78 wives) was using this non-violent resistance tactic to protest his jailing. Back in 2008, the guy was arrested after police raided his compound and seized more than 400 minors who were suspected of being sexually and physically abused.
Jeffs is giving hunger stikes a bad name. The act has, in the past, promoted good things like:
- India's independence. Gandhi used hunger strikes repeatedly to protest British rule in the country. Fasting was a dramatic and famous way he and his followers made an international call for Indian self-rule.
- Women's suffrage. Before women were granted the right to vote in England and the United States, female activisists used to participate in hunger strikes while they were in jail.
- Censorhip in Cuba. 1970's poet Pedro Luis Boitel and modern day reporter Guillermo Fariñas both took to conducting a hunger strike after the government restricted their human right to free speech.
- Turkish human rights violations. Starting in 1980, socialist supporters were jailed by the Turkish government and endured torture and other inhumane conditions. As a result, outside supporters launched hunger strikes to show their support.
While hunger strikes were used for good, they aren't necessarily a good thing. After all, you could, oh ya, die from them. Plus, surviving one can still be detrimental. Barry Horne, an animal-rights activist who participated in hunger strikes, was leaft partially blind and with kidney damage due to his efforts.
So go ahead and protest peacfully and safely in the name of your cause. I mean, don't you want that slice of cake Mom has waiting at home for you after you're done?