Hunger Strike for Democracy

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

LWVME members are joining a national movement by participating in our own 24 hour hunger strike on Wednesday, January 19. Voting rights is not a partisan issue, it’s an American issue. The overwhelming majority of Americans in all 50 states, and across the political spectrum, support the reforms within the Freedom To Vote Act. Our Senators must represent their constituents and pass this bill, not be skewed by the broken, partisan divide in the US Senate.


The hunger strike will take place from 8:00 PM Tuesday, Jan. 18 until 8:00 PM Wednesday, Jan 19. 


How it Began:

On December 6th, 20 brave young people began an indefinite hunger strike in Phoenix, Arizona to plead that the Senate protect voting rights, end political gerrymandering, and get dark money out of politics by passing the Freedom To Vote Act this year. After meeting with Senator Sinema on Thursday, December 9th, they took their hunger strike to D.C.! On day 15, they temporarily suspended the strike when Senate Majority Leader Schumer pledged that the Senate would vote on the Freedom To Vote Act on or before MLK Day. Now, we have returned to D.C. and restarted our hunger strike to plead that the Senate pass the Freedom To Vote Act NOW.


Support from Friends and Family: 

Fasting can be uncomfortable, so having the support of close friends and family can go a long way. If you are planning on joining, please consider sharing your decision with loved ones who are supportive of our work and ask them to check in on you throughout the day.


Key Suggestions:

  • Stay hydrated: During a hunger strike you should be drinking 10 glasses of water (2.5 liters). It will also be very helpful if 6 out of 10 glasses of water (1.5 out of the 2.5 liters) are water with electrolytes (like Smart Water)
  • Pro-tip: If you want some flavor in your water, you can buy propel water with electrolytes - it comes with different flavors
  • Do not operate machinery or heavy equipment:  It is not advisable to operate machinery during a fast. Fasting could make it hard for you to focus and you experience dizziness so it is better if you are able to do the hunger strike in a calm and comfortable environment.
  • Do not engage in physical labor: It is recommended that you do not engage in physical activity during a fast. Try to conserve as much energy as possible by staying in rest mode. Being indoors on rest mode might be the best way to go about it
  • Over-the-Counter Medication: Fasting often gives people headaches and dizziness. This is normal. If you want to take anything to deal with the pain or discomfort please take tylenol. Do not take any form of ibuprofen or aspirin stick with tylenol.
  • Expect discomfort: Everybody is different. Our bodies will do their best to adapt and go into starvation mode - but hunger striking is not a comfortable or enjoyable experience, and that’s the point! We are making a sacrifice in order to demonstrate that we would rather suffer through a hunger strike than the consequences of inaction on fixing our broken democracy.