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.