Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

International no image

Published on May 16th, 2012 | by Taylor Heyman
Image © [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="575" caption="© joegaza"]Palestinians showing support for Hunger Strikers[/caption]     Yesterday a deal was reached between 2000 Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli government after a two-month long hunger strike. The Israeli government made the concession not to renew detention without trial for the aforementioned prisoners, to end the solitary confinement of 19 prisoners and to finally allow family visits from Hamas-controlled Gaza. Hunger striking is regarded as an effective non-violent form of protest and is seen as action one can take whilst incarcerated to bring attention either to their conditions within prison, or their cause outside of it.  Is this the future for those struggling to get their voices heard? Or will the increasing 'normality' of hunger striking damage the effect it can have?  The questions are particularly relevant as those in the Arab world and China fight for democracy and rights.However, this is not 21st century method, it was used by the suffragettes from 1913 to draw attention to their cause, as well as by Irish republicans before and after the civil war in the 1920's. Then, as now, hunger strikes gain the attention of the general public, and demand for governments to act. The suffragettes were force-fed to public outcry, and when in 1981 Thatcher's government let ten Irish republicans die on hunger strike The last year has seen some successful strikes, and some in which government claimed to be making changes but did not. Anna Hazare went on hunger strike in August 2011 in protest against corruption in India. After 12 days the Indian government agreed 'in principle' to three of his demands - however, when the draft bill was proposed it hardly confronted any of the issues surrounding corruption in India. In response to this, Hazare again chose to hunger strike, but this time received little public support and some criticism for undermining the democratic process by creating a 'personality cult' around himself instead of his cause. This can be a danger in using hunger striking as a technique to draw attention to one's cause - especially when Hazare gave up his December 3 day strike due to ill health. It sounds callous but if one is not willing to suffer the ill effects of hunger striking, is there a point to it? Public sympathy is roused when we see someone put their health and wellbeing on the line for their cause, albeit morbid. On the other hand, hunger strikes can bring good results. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the Bahraini human rights activist and protestor was on a managed hunger strike (where the striker is brought out of danger when his levels are seriously low) against his conviction and sentencing of life imprisonment. The Bahraini authorities eventually agreed to a civil retrial of the 21 activists, and the significant pressure brought to bear on the Bahraini Regime from his strike certify it's success. However, there is no guarantee of him receiving a fair trial. The real success of his strike was to bring international attention to the plight of his fellow prisoners as well as the opposition to the regime. We can use the above examples to find what makes a hunger striker achieve their objective. Firstly it is essential to gain the attention of national, if not international media in order to evoke public awareness and  attachment to your cause. Even as far back as the suffragettes, the nation was aware of the strike, and Emmeline Pankhurst's campaign made sure to focus on how barbaric the force feeding of the women was to gain public support. Also, the strike should be combined if possible with an outside presence to articulate your grievances. In the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, his wife and daughter were instrumental in  talking to international media about his plight,  which was also highlighted by the F1 race protests. Lastly, as in the case of the Palestinians, hunger strike works best in a state where pressure can be put on the government by outside forces.  The Israeli government couldn't risk the international outcry if they let 2000 Palestinians starve themselves without a genuine attempt at resolution, and so representatives from Egypt and Jordan stepped in to broker a deal . Yesterday was a good day for Palestinians and Israeli's alike - the Palestinians gained renewed rights and Israel, international kudos for resolving the situation. Hunger strikes continue to be as effective as in the 1900's but then, as now, the government can find ways around it. In Emmeline Pankhurst's time, it was the 'Cat and Mouse Act' (releasing prisoners when they were at their weakest point and rearresting them at a later date) and now governments may pledge to commit to changes, but quietly ignore their own promises. Nevertheless, the method works at attracting attention to one's cause and that can be instrumental in bringing change- even if it isn't immediate.

0

Are Hunger Strikes losing their effect?

Palestinians showing support for Hunger Strikers

© joegaza

 

 

Yesterday a deal was reached between 2000 Palestinian prisoners and the Israeli government after a two-month long hunger strike. The Israeli government made the concession not to renew detention without trial for the aforementioned prisoners, to end the solitary confinement of 19 prisoners and to finally allow family visits from Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Hunger striking is regarded as an effective non-violent form of protest and is seen as action one can take whilst incarcerated to bring attention either to their conditions within prison, or their cause outside of it.  Is this the future for those struggling to get their voices heard? Or will the increasing ‘normality’ of hunger striking damage the effect it can have?  The questions are particularly relevant as those in the Arab world and China fight for democracy and rights.However, this is not 21st century method, it was used by the suffragettes from 1913 to draw attention to their cause, as well as by Irish republicans before and after the civil war in the 1920’s. Then, as now, hunger strikes gain the attention of the general public, and demand for governments to act. The suffragettes were force-fed to public outcry, and when in 1981 Thatcher’s government let ten Irish republicans die on hunger strike

The last year has seen some successful strikes, and some in which government claimed to be making changes but did not. Anna Hazare went on hunger strike in August 2011 in protest against corruption in India. After 12 days the Indian government agreed ‘in principle’ to three of his demands – however, when the draft bill was proposed it hardly confronted any of the issues surrounding corruption in India. In response to this, Hazare again chose to hunger strike, but this time received little public support and some criticism for undermining the democratic process by creating a ‘personality cult’ around himself instead of his cause. This can be a danger in using hunger striking as a technique to draw attention to one’s cause – especially when Hazare gave up his December 3 day strike due to ill health. It sounds callous but if one is not willing to suffer the ill effects of hunger striking, is there a point to it? Public sympathy is roused when we see someone put their health and wellbeing on the line for their cause, albeit morbid.

On the other hand, hunger strikes can bring good results. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, the Bahraini human rights activist and protestor was on a managed hunger strike (where the striker is brought out of danger when his levels are seriously low) against his conviction and sentencing of life imprisonment. The Bahraini authorities eventually agreed to a civil retrial of the 21 activists, and the significant pressure brought to bear on the Bahraini Regime from his strike certify it’s success. However, there is no guarantee of him receiving a fair trial. The real success of his strike was to bring international attention to the plight of his fellow prisoners as well as the opposition to the regime.

We can use the above examples to find what makes a hunger striker achieve their objective. Firstly it is essential to gain the attention of national, if not international media in order to evoke public awareness and  attachment to your cause. Even as far back as the suffragettes, the nation was aware of the strike, and Emmeline Pankhurst’s campaign made sure to focus on how barbaric the force feeding of the women was to gain public support. Also, the strike should be combined if possible with an outside presence to articulate your grievances. In the case of Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, his wife and daughter were instrumental in  talking to international media about his plight,  which was also highlighted by the F1 race protests. Lastly, as in the case of the Palestinians, hunger strike works best in a state where pressure can be put on the government by outside forces.  The Israeli government couldn’t risk the international outcry if they let 2000 Palestinians starve themselves without a genuine attempt at resolution, and so representatives from Egypt and Jordan stepped in to broker a deal . Yesterday was a good day for Palestinians and Israeli’s alike – the Palestinians gained renewed rights and Israel, international kudos for resolving the situation.

Hunger strikes continue to be as effective as in the 1900’s but then, as now, the government can find ways around it. In Emmeline Pankhurst’s time, it was the ‘Cat and Mouse Act’ (releasing prisoners when they were at their weakest point and rearresting them at a later date) and now governments may pledge to commit to changes, but quietly ignore their own promises. Nevertheless, the method works at attracting attention to one’s cause and that can be instrumental in bringing change- even if it isn’t immediate.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



Back to Top ↑