Hungerstrike Against Harris! - Day 001

David Fingrut (hermes3@lglobal.com)
Fri, 8 Mar 1996 10:11:08 -0500


Participant: David Fingrut, age 22
Occupation: Theatre worker at Mixed Company in Toronto
Contact #'s: (416)535-7722 w: (416)588-8580 email: hermes3@lglobal.com
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Today I am taking part in a 24-hour fast to express my outrage with the
policies of the current provincial government over the past 9 months in
Ontario. I am disturbed by Mike Harris' so-called 'Common Sense
Revolution', particularly for its disregard for the most basic principals of
democratic government: to provide for the health and welfare of its citizens.

Cuts to social services cannot be justified as a means of reducing the debt,
as they simply were not a large factor in debt creation. Cutting welfare
cheques, shutting down hospitals, and closing rape crisis centres will not
reduce provincial spending; it is a is cruel and ineffective tactic that
will only hurt the most vulnerable in Ontario. Cutting Ontario's Futures
Employment Training Program in replacing it with the Workfare Program will
increase the desperation of unemployed youth. The Omnibus Bill was simply
the blueprint for the silencing of dissent.

I am taking into consideration the Jewish tradition in which I was raised
and its 3 annual fasts: Yom Kippur (commemorating the Day of Judgement),
Tishah Be'Av (commemorating the destruction of both temples in Jerusalem by
the Babylonians and the Romans) and this week's Fast of Esther
(commemorating the survival of the Jews of ancient Persia against attempted
genocide).

I am also conscious of how extreme right-wing governments begin by
scapegoating and oppressing the unemployed, people with disabilities, &
union members, and then gradually become increasingly abusive towards women,
lesbians and gay people, political prisoners, and ethnic and religious
minorities. As the grandchild of concentration camp survivors from
Bergen-Belsen, I refuse to allow Ontario to become another Nazi Germany.
That is why I am fasting today.

David Fingrut - March 8th 1996

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HHH HHH A HHH HHH !!! March 8th marked nine months
HHH HHH A A HHH HHH !!! of irresponsible government
HHHHHHHHH AAAAA HHHHHHHHH !!! in Ontario beginning with the
HHH HHH AA AA HHH HHH June 8th, 1996 election of
HHH HHH AA AA HHH HHH !!! Mike Harris and the Tories.

This gestation period of cutbacks, destruction of the social safety net, and
caving in to the corporate agenda has caused devastating harm to women,
working people, people of colour, First Nations peoples, the unemployed, the
homeless, people on social assistance, the elderly, the disabled, youth,
students, the arts, and the ecology in Ontario. Utilizing the non-violent
tactics of ahimsa and calling upon the spiritual traditions of Ontario's
multicultural and multifaith community, citizens across Ontario have pledged
to undertake a fast against fascism with HAH!

Hungerstrike Against Harris! was formed on February 10th 1996 by youth
participants of the 'Responding to the Harris Agenda' citizens' forum in
Waterloo, Ontario. The goal of HAH! is to express protest with the tactics
of the current provincial government through a continuous series of
rotational 24-hour fasts.

For more information about HAH! or to sign up to take part in the fast for a
day, call (416)760-3403, fax (416) 971-2292 or email <hunger@io.org> Please
consult a physician if you are in doubt about your ability to fast.