Act. Fast.

Eliseo Medina who cut his organizing teeth with Cesar Chavez’  United Farmworkers is undertaking a Gandhian like fast, in the manner of his early teacher.

Saying he will fast until his body gives out, Mr. Medina has lost 16 pounds; his face, sprouting a sparse beard, looks sunken and gray. But he perks up when he talks about the millions of immigrants — including many members of his organization, the Service Employees International Union, and a few of his own relatives — who are living in the country without legal papers.

Eliseo Medina on 11th day of fast for immigration reform.

Eliseo Medina on 11th day of fast for immigration reform.

“Whatever little sacrifice I am making doesn’t compare with the sacrifice these immigrants made when they came to this country for a better life and find themselves living in the shadows and being exploited,” Mr. Medina said, in cadences echoing Mr. Chavez. He wears a brown sweatshirt with the slogan “Act. Fast.” and spends his days in a padded lawn chair, quelling hunger by praying, napping, plotting political strategy and receiving a parade of visitors — including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Friday morning.

…on Friday, now 67 years old, in a white tent just below the Capitol on the National Mall in the 11th day of a water-only fast he hopes will “touch the heart” of the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, and make him act on immigration.

NY Times

Along with Medina several others are fasting:

Lisa Sharon Harper, director of mobilizing for the Christian social justice group Sojourners says,

“I don’t fast out of worry, I fast out of hope.”

Along with Harper and Medina, there are three other main fasters: Dae Joong Yoon of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

Huffington Post

Of course Speaker Boehner has not yet revealed the presence of a heart:

When Medina asked whether Boehner could meet that day, he was met with a no.

“What about tomorrow?” he said. “Next week?”

Brittany Bramell, Boehner’s spokeswoman, said she wasn’t able to give an answer.

She simply told him: “I can take your concerns and pass them along.”


You can join the fasters at  — perhaps you will be the tipping point to a show of Boehner’s heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *