Occupy Wall Street Begins Hunger Strike

(John Minchillo/AP Photo)

Demonstrators with Occupy Wall Street began a hunger strike today, demanding an outdoor space by a New York City church for a new occupation two weeks after being evicted from their encampment nearby.

Protesters said they are seeking sanctuary on a vacant lot owned by Trinity Church, which is located at the intersection of Wall Street and Broadway.

“The is a chance for Trinity to definitely decide whether they’re a church or real estate company,” protester Diego Ibanez said.

The strike will be held at Duarte Square on Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in lower Manhattan, and the protest organizers said the hunger strike would be continued in jail if demonstrators are arrested.

“If we do get arrested, which seems most likely like we will be, we will continue the strike in jail,” Ibanez said.

The weather has changed since Occupy Wall Street began its activities on Sept. 17, but Ibanez said he and other hunger strikers are prepared for the winter weather.

“Definitely cold, it’s getting a lot colder lately, but I’m wearing a bunch of layers, that’s like for sure,” he said.

The New York Occupy protesters said they hope that other Occupy groups around the country that have been forced out of their encampments will join them in the hunger strike, to make that a national movement as well.

“We’re definitely going to call for more people to join us  throughout the week, with solidarity hunger strikes,” Ibanez said.

According to the statement from occupywallstreet.org, the hunger strike is not only about getting a new site for the demonstrators, but about keeping the movement alive in the face of “government-enacted violence and repression.”

“I am definitely worried about being hungry and being sick, that’s definitely crossing my mind but I am more worried about people being apathetic,” Ibanez said.