College student group Un-Pac organizes nationwide hunger strike in defense of voting rights

The college student-run advocacy group Un-Pac is planning to resume its Washington, D.C., hunger strike Thursday in support of the passing of the voting rights law.

The hunger strike is being resumed in an effort to get Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act until January 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The act would serve to roll back a slate of restrictive voter laws in several states by thwarting voter suppression and ending partisan gerrymandering,

While President Joe Biden has urged Congress to pass the Freedom of Information Act to vote as quickly as possible, the GOP’s use of filibuster, a lengthy debate aimed at delaying a vote on the legislation, could potentially put that prospect in an uphill battle. Will make That remains the case even as the bill appears to have strong support from Democratic senators as well as pressure from the president to end it.

As a result, Un-Pac is moving forward with a hunger strike that took place in the streets of Washington, DC in early December. Members of the group met with conservative Democratic Senator Kirsten Cinema, and they ended their hunger strike when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged that a vote on the act would come by Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a sentiment by Joe Biden. Was echoing.

As the fight to pass the voting rights law intensifies, advocacy group Un-Pac plans to strike once again in an effort to urge President Joe Biden and Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act. Here, Un-Pac’s co-founder and national organizing director Joseline Garcia talks to hunger strike participants outside the White House at the group’s previous performance in December.
Leigh Vogel / Getty

However, as the fight to eliminate the filibuster and pass the Freedom to Vote Act intensified, UN-PAC announced that they would once again go on a hunger strike.

“Protecting our democracy is not a partisan issue, and all of our voting rights are under attack by black money and a broken, outdated voting system,” Un-PAC said on its website. “Conservatives, independents, moderates, liberals and progressives are coming together to call for federal intervention. President Biden and the US Senate must prioritize saving our democracy and passing the Freedom to Vote Act this year.”

This concern for the passage of the act seems to be shared by many liberals across the country, including some Democratic politicians. Notably, voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams chose to skip a speech on the topic delivered by President Biden on Tuesday.

Several voting rights activism groups also boycotted the speech, with a coalition in Georgia calling the president’s speech an unnecessary “photo op”.

As some Democrats begin to show their dismay with the roadblocks seen by the bill, the un-PAC hunger strike looks primed to begin, and it may be for a long time. An Un-PAC spokesperson told newsweek That the group’s hunger strike would be “precarious” until the Freedom of Vote Act is passed.

Additionally, the group provided newsweek With a message he had for senators: “The overwhelming majority of Americans agree that we should get black money out of politics, ban partisan gerrymandering, and protect our freedom to vote, And we can’t let the broken filibuster, who wasn’t a part, stand in his way of the original Constitution and, which was changed more than 160 times in American history.”

“We are resuming our hunger strike for democracy to request that our senators share our urgency and pass the Freedom to Vote Act before it is too late. Ours The future hangs in the balance of their decision, and our senators have a responsibility to represent their constituents and pass this legislation rather than be skewed by broken, partisan divisions in the US Senate,” the statement continued.

Hunger strikes have often been used by activist groups to create awareness on various issues, and Un-PAC does not seem to be alone.

At least two dozen black pastors began a hunger strike on Monday. Independent Reportedly, a similar effort urged Congress to pass a voting rights law by the end of the month.