The first part of a rolling protest campaign of collective fasting that will continue until Christmas gets underway this Friday evening in Barcelona. In the protest, part of the "Enough Hostages!" campaign to support the Catalan political prisoners and their hunger strike, ten people will fast simultaneously in the emblematic Dipòsit d'Aigües del Rei Martí - a medieval structure built as a water reservoir - in the Barcelona district of Sarrià.
In this space, those taking part will alternate periods of fasting and rest until December 20th. They will fast for intervals of between two and seven days at a time. All taking part are between 18 and 75 years old and will be given a prior medical examination and will then be medically monitored during the fast.
The action is intended to denounce the situation of the nine Catalan political prisoners and support the hunger strike that four of them have begun: Jordi Sànchez, Jordi Turull, Joaquim Forn and Josep Rull. According to the Catalan National Assembly (ANC), the fasts also seek to "amplify the impact of the strikers' protest both within the country and internationally." Through actions like this, the campaign aims to draw attention to the reality that "there will be no democratic normality until the hostages can return to the positions" which, since they are publicly-elected officials, "the people entrusted them with".
Events to support those fasting
In this fasting protest in the Sarrià district, public acts of support for those taking part have also been scheduled. This Friday night as the fast begins, a talk on the significance of a hunger strike will be given by Mallorcan professor and activist Jaume Sastre who went without food for 41 days in 2014, in protest against the plan of the Balearic Islands government to severely reduce the presence of the Catalan languages in schools.
Until December 20th, public acts will be held at 7pm, coinciding with the time of day when those who are taking relief from other fasters will begin.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, a fast will begin at 7pm at the Catalan location of Montserrat which will continue until Boxing Day. On December 14th, a further fast will begin in the parish hall of Santa Maria de Cornellà, in Barcelona, scheduled to contonue until December 21st. Other fast are also currently being planned.
The "Enough Hostages" campaign was launched in February this year, but has been reactivated with the fasts. It has the backing of groups who are working together to give support to the prisoners' hunger strike, among them civil society entities ANC and Òmnium Cultural; municipal bodies the Association of Municipalities for Independence, and the Association of Catalan Municipalities; and the three main political parties that support the Catalan republic, ERC, CUP and JxCat.