Twenty activists for immigration reform brought to an end a fourth week of fasting on Thursday just a few steps away from the US Capitol building, with the news that top lawmakers in the Democratic Party have given them their support. Around 200 people have been participating in various stages of the hunger strike since Tuesday November 12th, with the final 20 remaining in tents that were pitched on the Mall, which is the grassy esplanade that is right at the very heart of the United States’ capital city.
On a chilly but sunny afternoon several hundred activists chanted and marched from the seat of the US Congress in order to pay tribute to those strikers who were sitting in a tent not far away.
Supporters were urged by The Alliance for Citizenship, which is a national coalition of groups that advocate immigration reform, to get in touch with the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, as well as Eric Cantor, the House Republican Majority Leader, in order to demand that the nation’s broken immigration system be reformed.
Organizers of the hunger strike claim that it will continue in different states. Democrats in the House of Representatives recognized their efforts early on in the strike. “We thank you for your sacrifice,” Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader, told the strikers. “We are forever in your debt.” The strikers even received a visit from President Obama and his wife Michelle in November.