Feb 12, 2006

Mike Ferner To Join Anti-War Fast

Left: Mike Ferner, photo by historymike

(Toledo, OH) Former Toledo mayoral candidate Mike Ferner will participate in a 34-day, liquids-only fast designed to end the war against and occupation of Iraq.

The protest will begin on February 15 in Washington, DC. The start and end dates of the fast commemorate the third anniversary of worldwide protests against the invasion of Iraq, and the date of the US invasion.

Fast participants will consume only water or juice, and will maintain a daily vigil at the US Capitol, where they will lobby members of Congress and conduct sit-ins at key Congressional offices.

Calling their action “Winter of Our Discontent,” the five fasting protesters hope to bring attention to "the destruction caused by 15 years of economic and military warfare waged against that country[Iraq], and they seek a commitment from the US to provide full funding for the reconstruction of Iraq."

Ferner will be joined by Jeff Leys, Cynthia Banas, Ed Kinane, and Joel Gulledge. Leys is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and he has made several trips to Iraq. Kinane is a former Wall Street type who traded in his Brooks Brothers suit to, among other things, teach school in Kenya.

Banas is a retired librarian and longtime UNICEF volunteer who lived in Iraq for a total of 11 months between 2001 and 2003 as a member of the Iraq Peace Team. Gulledge is currently a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, and has volunteered for such groups as Mid-South Peace and Justice Center, SUSTAIN, and Food Not Bombs.

I applaud these folks for their dedication and self-sacrifice in keeping alive the dream of peace. I know that I will get lambasted by many readers for my anti-war stance, but the costs in human lives and American wealth as a result of this conflict are both mind-boggling and abhorrent.

Mr. President, bring home the troops and end this debacle.


Lisa Renee said...

Until the day comes when everyday ordinary people who are not aligned with any of these anti-war groups demand it end? As many groups of five or more can try this type of PR move but it's probably not going to be effective. Fasts and Hunger strikes are not the way to end this, they are outdated forms of protest that don't even generate the type of media attention they used to.

So while I'm sure those doing this really believe in their cause, it's not going to reach those that are needed to end this. Nor is it going to help elect those that will try to end this, which is the more realistic alternative. Rather than do fasts and sit ins? Trying to help promote candidates that will end the war to me seems to be a better option.

Anonymous said...

Ferner is a traitor, and he dishonors the good men and women fighting for our freedoms.

historymike said...

Ah - the old "anyone who disagrees is a traitor" argument.

Awesome. By the way - did you use all three of your brain cells to parrot back that thought?

BTW - did you know that Mr. Ferner is a Vietnam vet?

historymike said...

Thank you, Lisa, for civil discourse.

While I fully expect that people will disagree with my stance, I do appreciate when intelligent posters like you offer insightful views.

As opposed, of course, to mental midgets like anonymous.

Lisa Renee said...

You know me Mike, I am most always civil. I don't have anything personally against Mike Ferner, I realize his heart is in the right place, as most of the anti-war protestors are. I just disagree with the methods they decide to use. I wish we weren't in Iraq too, but I also fear that leaving the wrong way will just create a situation where we keep having to go back. Is there a way to leave the "right way" given how many things have been mishandled? That at times I wonder. Iraq does need to step up, the sooner the better. Hopefully Iran will not just replace Iraq as the next place where American troops are sent. A recent piece in the Telegraph concerning the amount of planning being done on a possible war with Iran is very concerning.

KraZyKaT said...

I commented on Toledo TalK

pimping comments here -lol @ Lisa

historymike said...

Pimp at will.


KraZyKaT said...

ooops...wrong link Toledo Talk

Sorry :(

Lisa Renee said...

lmao at KK, but seeee it worked cuz you commented here too


Stefan Schmidt said...

Ferner is a traitor, and he dishonors the good men and women fighting for our freedoms.

You mean for Israel’s freedom. And since he is a Jew and that would make him a traitor in the eyes of the Zionists.

I believe he is grandstanding, however (just like all those Democrats who voted for the war).

Thank you, though, I needed a good chuckle (‘our freedom;’ do you mean our freedom from our tax dollars or our freedom from White citizens who have died in this pointless war?).

Either way, neo con, you are the traitor who has prostituted your country to the ultimate pimp: Israel.

Stephanie said...

While I disagree that any kind of immediate pull-out is a good idea in Iraq, I'm certainly not going to disparage you for believing otherwise (and I'm even "courageous" enough to use my name). Though, I don't think holding up a man who got caught vandalizing property to spread his message is a good way to garnish support.

In my awareness this Gandhi-ish form of protest works best if you have a national icon participating. The five people you listed don't seem like national icons to me.

However, I wish you good luck in spreading your message and am glad that you, at least, are sticking to legal forms of protest.

Kurt said...

While I didn't support the war in Iraq to begin with, don't you think that leaving now would promote more instability in the mideast region and more religious zealoutsy? As much as it pains me everyday when I see our troops dying for a very lackluster cause, I can't help but think that we're in this thing for the long run, and removing the US presence their now will only promote more terrorism and hatred towards the US. I'm a big believer in balance of power, and I think Saddam helped establish a balance of power in the middle east even though he did so many terrible things. That is why I opposed the Iraq war at the beginning, but now that we've toppled him, we need to restore that balance. If we leave now, Iran will likely take over Iraq. We can't leave now, because I fear that would lead to WWIII. Ferner is over the hill, so to speak.

-Sepp said...

Starving for peace...that'll fix everything. As if Bush will look out his window and say "OMG! it's Mike Ferner fasting for peace...now I'm convinced it was all a bad idea!" C'mon. As for his being a vietnam vet, he was a conscientious objector on a navy ship and as far removed from ever seeing combat on the ground as one could be. Vietnam era vet is the proper tag for him. The entire "troops home now" may sound like a great idea on the surface but, the consequences for such an act would be much worse in the long run when Iraq becomes the next Taliban style regime.

Anonymous said...

stefan schmit - I'm not sure if Mike practices it now, but he was raised catholic. Not that it matters, but he isn't jewish.

historymike said...


Agreed that a fast is a better, more socially-acceptable form of protest than graffitti.


I think Iraq is about oils far more than as a nod to the Israeli lobby.


Good point about an immediate pullout. This is a real quagmire, and I am torn between being angry that we were ever dragged into this and realizing that US troops may indeed be keeping this tinderbox from exploding further.


I think a greater likelihood would be the carving of Iraq by Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, or a major regional war. There was a decideldy theocratic bent to the last Iraqi elections, though, and your prognosis might be accurate.

Anonymous: Historymike, or Mike Ferner?

Stefan Schmidt said...

I think Iraq is about oils far more than as a nod to the Israeli lobby.

Yet, Saddam Hussein had to sell his oil to feed his country. The short term supply of oil in the world market (based in dollars; oil is always sold in dollars no matter which country purchases it; the only country that threatened to change the system was Iran- to the Euro) remained constant meaning that the equilibrium price of oil is not altered.

This move only benefited specific companies who would collect the profits instead of Iraq.

Most of these companies upper management is run by Jews. The Jews in the media also pushed for the war as well as the ultra-Zionist- Wolfowitz.

Israel and its diplomats and lobby groups have also pushed for the war but as of yet have not sent a single soldier to Iraq.

stefan schmit - I'm not sure if Mike practices it now, but he was raised catholic. Not that it matters, but he isn't jewish.

Being a Jew is more than just practicing Judaism. There are a lot of Jew Christians as well as Atheists but they are still Jews.

Look at his picture again and tell me that he does not look Jewish.

Stefan Schmidt said...

It does not really matter if he is Jewish or not if he is sincere. I am sure there are Jews out there who disagree with the Iraq war but too often they tend to focus on what is good for Israel rather than what is good for the USA.

Michael said...

Protests like that won't and don't work. If they are really serious, run for office and try to change from within. All this is, is a poor PR stunt to try to obtain media coverage.
If they run and fail, it means that their views are in the minority.

Anonymous said...

I'd really like to want to care what Mike Ferner does and what Stephan Schitt thinks.


liberal_dem said...

As for his being a vietnam vet, he was a conscientious objector on a navy ship and as far removed from ever seeing combat on the ground as one could be. Vietnam era vet is the proper tag for him.

Ferner got a hell of a lot closer to combat than Bush did defending Texas or Cheney did with his 5 deferments.

I suppose you'd like to rip John Murtha too?

Surely, you spat upon John Kerry, didn't you?

-Sepp said...

Liberal Dem...give it up. Yes, Bush deserves the same "vietnam era" vet tag too. At bare minimum he didn't pull some BS conscientious objector status scheme. What about Ferner's shipmates...the guys who also got drafted and did their time like it or not? He screwed them and, the next guy in line to be drafted. In combat and on the ground seeing the killing and terror of war, one could understand a man thinking "I can't do this...this is counter to my beliefs". What did Mike see in the middle of the ocean that made him "object" and abandon his crewmates? Bad food? Lumpy bed? What? I wouldn't bash Kerry, Murta or, McCain for their service because they actually served and when people were counting on them to do their part...they did it! Ferner doesent equate to a hair on the ass of any of them. Liberal dem, there is far more to the military than "just shooting the bad guys" during a war. Each soldier is an integral part of a unit. The other guys in my unit counted on me to be there for them just as much as I counted on them. We all knew it. If I wasn't doing my job (and vice versa) one of the others could be injured or killed. No matter how badly one of us "conscientiously objected" to what we had to do, it would be worse for my conscience to have a crewmate killed because I wouldn't do my job. I'm sure Ferner's crewmates aren't revering him for stabbing them in the back the way you do.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Couldn't Mr. Ferner have done something behind the scenes, to influence/affect some worthwhile social changes rather that mugging for the cameras, drawing attention to himself?

Surely that would have been a more noble approach to pursue...

I'd like to see him work on convincing some influential and credible politicians to begin talking up a different approach to peace, such as engaging in a gradual shift to a more xenophobic America, at least until we can get our own house back in order first.

Then, others might listen to what we have to say about their world…