Activists stage five-day hunger strike in Washington over Gaza
This week, activists in Washington, DC, are staging a five-day hunger strike in front of the White House to protest the US administration's policy in Israel amid the war in Gaza and to demand a permanent ceasefire.
On a cold and windy late-autumn week in Lafayette Park in front of the White House, activists from different groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace, IfNotNow, and the Adalah Justice Project, have been standing in front of the White House, as they stage a hunger strike in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.
"It's been nearly eight weeks of Israel's bombardment of Gaza. We felt like it was time to escalate," Sumaya Awad, director of strategy for the Adalah Justice Project, told The New Arab on Tuesday, 28 November, the second day of the hunger strike. "The cold and the wind have been as challenging as the lack of food."
Each day of the hunger strike has a theme. On Monday, the focus was on Palestinian groups, on Tuesday, it was on Jewish groups, Wednesday will feature members of Congress, Thursday will highlight Black solidarity activists, and Friday will have labour activists. The organisers are asking people to fast on Friday and to call their congressional representatives.
Prominent participants include actress Cynthia Nixon, Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, and politicians nationwide.
Awad said that the response has been generally positive so far, with passersby approaching them and expressing their solidarity.
Since the Hamas-led surprise attack on Israel on 7 October, killing around 1,200 Israelis, with Israel responding by killing around 15,000 Palestinians in Gaza, activists in the US and around the world have been staging daily protests in support of a permanent ceasefire.