Yale hunger strikers taunted with BBQ, free pizza
Yale University’s College Republicans chapter hosted a barbecue on campus Friday, just a few tantalizing feet from a union-led hunger strike.
According to The Yale Daily News, eight graduate students had resolved to fast until university administrators agreed to cooperate with a graduate student-employee union, Local 33, over its requests for renewed contract negotiations.
The school had repeatedly neglected to meet the union’s deadlines for beginning negotiations, eventually pushing members of the union to launch an indefinite hunger strike on campus, with one participant in the strike, Emily Sessions, remarking that “a fast requires a community around the fasters.”
As Campus Reform previously reported, the hunger strike is actually more of a tag-team effort, with plans to send in fresh strikers to replace members who grow hungry.
Consequently, the College Republicans decided to host a “friendly barbecue in support of Local 33,” noting that for “solidarity purposes” the barbecue would be in the protesters’ “immediate vicinity,” the Daily News reports.
Members of the union, however, claimed they were able to ignore the sights and smells of the barbecue, telling the Daily News that they “weren’t focused on it.”
“We’re really focused on making sure we’re drinking enough water and getting enough rest. We’re focused on getting the university’s attention,” Local 33 Chair Aaron Greenberg explained.
While it is unclear how long the strike will go on, Yale spokesman Tom Conroy informed the Daily News that Local 33 never actually requested permission to erect a tent on campus, explaining that the protesters’ continued “presence and the structure do not comply with university policies on free expression.”
Meanwhile, it was reported Sunday evening that an unknown individual, referring to himself as an “anonymous Yale alumnus,” delivered $200 worth of pizza to the strikers, though they in turn redirected the food to an on-campus food drive.
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