Fast For Life
of The Fast For Life
Dated June 19 1983
To Begin August
week ago today more than three quarters of a million people
disarmament, peace, and justice in New York City. It was the largest
demonstration in American history, overshadowing even the great marches
anti-Vietnam war period. From the evidence of peace movement strength,
similar evidence from many other countries, we take hope that the
the earth will rise up:
- · to
put an end to the madness of the arms race;
- · to
put an end to the arms themselves;
- · to
put an end to foreign policies of intervention and domination;
- · to
begin the reallocation of the world’s resources to meet human needs;
- · to
begin to affirm life, to celebrate our common humanity, to love each
share the bounty of the earth more equitably.
write this letter during the Second United Nations Special Session on
Disarmament. WE do not yet know what the outcome of these deliberations
be. What we do know is that we live under the threat of a nuclear
The preparations for that holocaust, both conventional and nuclear,
thousands to starvation each day. We live under a double crime, a
crime, a crime that must be stopped to save the hungry, and to save the
public pressure for a nuclear freeze build and succeeds the major
opt for a greater build-up of conventional forces. This must not be
because a conventional arms race will increase the probability of a
conventional war which would escalate to a nuclear war. This is true
nuclear arms were cut back. Thus, comprehensive disarmament is as
nuclear disarmament if we are to reduce the threat of nuclear holocaust.
have a long way to go and a short time to get there. We believe we must
and intensify our efforts. We must act in a manner commensurate with
we face if that evil is to be overcome in ourselves and in the world.
live more simply and share what we have that others may live also. We
our own complicity in institutions of violence and we must resist those
institutions through civil disobedience, draft resistance. And tax
are up against great odds. To prevail we must use the most powerful
methods available to us. If Gandhi is correct, the most powerful such
fasting. Fasting for religious people is a path to God; for those
moral and ethical principles fasting is a profound way to express their
beliefs. Gandhi and many others throughout history have confronted evil
institutions by offering their lives through fasting. We intend to do
Through fasting we identify with the millions who hunger as long as the
race continues. We will share their pain and by doing so we may finally
the doors to our own hearts and to the hearts of our brothers and
Open-ended fasts, because of the life risks involved, have a way of
decision-making, breaking stalemates, and producing change. If we ever
such speed, it is certainly now. The children are dying and the thread
holds the Bomb is fraying.
the Second United Nations Special Session on Disarmament we have been
in limited fasts with thousands of other persons around the world. We
such fasting in the months ahead, inviting others to join us and
communicate the purposes of our fasts to peace and justice
organizations and to
the public. We hope this action will deepen and strengthen the peace
and that we will soon attain at least a cessation of the arms race as a
step towards disarmament and justice.
believe that such a first step will become much more difficult if
Pershing II Missiles are deployed in Europe in the Fall of 1983. That
deployment defines our time frame for action.
If such plans are not renounced, indeed, if
and deployment of
nuclear weapons by all
has not been stopped by Hiroshima Day, August 6, 1983, we intend to
the hunger of the world, we would prefer to start sooner, but we need
prepare for such a fast, to counsel with our loved ones, and to
spirits. We also wish to allow sufficient time in order that others
prepare themselves to struggle for these goals by fasting with us in an
open-ended or more limited ways and by taking other actions such as
personal support, financial support, writing letters help with media, obtaining organizational
disobedience, etc. We
invite your help,
counsel, and participation.
will call our fast a Fast for Life, for that is what it will be, a fast
affirm that all humanity has a right to live freed from the pain of
the dread of holocaust.
this Fast for Life we now commit ourselves.
love and hope,
by Soalnge Fernex, Dorothy Granada and Charles Gary).