Archive for Mar, 2018

I fasted yesterday. I ate nothing from dinner the night before until breakfast this morning. I am not a stranger to fasting, I have done it often in the past, so I could tell myself to ignore the rumbling in my stomach and stifle the wistful food shaped daydreaming I know I am prone to, but it is still a task requiring focus not to succumb when the habit is to go grab a little something from the kitchen to assuage just the little pangs.

Still, yesterday, I was schooling myself a little differently. Every time my stomach let me know it really might quite like to be fed, I told it it is privileged. I told it to have a little solidarity.

It was International Women’s Day, and I am a roughly middle class rural Scots woman who’s had the luxury of pursuing the ‘5-2’ diet and the comfort of living without any persecution. I have freedom, I haven’t known violence or war. I haven’t known real hunger, or been afraid I cannot provide food for my children.

For most of the last fortnight, women asylum seekers detained at Yarl’s Wood Detention center have been on Hunger Strike. Some have been kept there under indefinitely, some face deportation to countries they have fled from in fear for their lives. Many have children.

I can’t imagine the despair and anger it would take me to feel compelled to go on Hunger Strike. I can’t imagine what it must be like to wake up day after day, hungry yet determined to continue. I can’t imagine the reserves of strength it must take to choose to do such a thing when other avenues are closed to you. I wonder if it might seem easier to give up, but that brings me back to how my own life has not given me a way to relate to what drives these brave women.

Now I have stopped fasting, they still continue to be on Hunger Strike. They have been threatened with accelerated deportation if they continue. They have been threatened because HM Government fears what publicity for their plight might do. I will share their protest in the hope that their plight becomes widely heard and forces HM Government to treat them like the human beings they are rather than another inconvenient cost they would rather ignore.

You can still pledge to fast in solidarity with them here. You can read more about the ladies demands here.