Fasting for a cause?

I’ve been thinking more about what sort of action might help the asylum situation. I can see lots of petitions and marches and letters to politicians, and I think these are necessary and strike at the root of the matter, which is our horrible policies. But I also think that any action that comes from these is going to be slow, and that people are likely to fall through the cracks in the meantime.

So I’m wondering about organising a fundraiser for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, or a similar organisation, which helps the people who are already in this awful system.

One thing that occurred to me, having grown up with friends doing the 40 Hour Famine, was something like a sponsored 24-hour hunger strike. This appeals to me, because it is both practical (hopefully) as a fundraiser, but also allows those of us who are less comfortable with political rallies – or less able to attend them – or less good at writing letters – to sit, in some way, in solidarity with asylum seekers, a number of whom have conducted hunger strikes to protest their own treatment.

I can’t tell whether this is a good idea or a terrible one. Is it good symbolism, or deeply inappropriate? Or worse, is it something that might displace better or more practical ways of either helping or expressing solidarity? Feedback from people more knowledgeable than me about political action – and fundraisers – and everything, really, because this is far from my area of expertise – would be very welcome.

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