Around New England

UVM Hunger Striker Eats

John Mejia, a staff member at the University of Vermont, subsisted on only water from Friday, February 16 through Thursday, February 22 to try to get a Black Lives Matter flown permanently on campus and to get increased funding and endorsement for anti-racism events.

But there was an unexpected drawback.

“The unfortunate side effect is that I’ve negatively impacted my own community. There are plenty of people who are distraught at the thought of me dying … who could not eat knowing that I was starving,” Mejia told  a group of students on Friday morning, according to Seven Days, a newspaper in Vermont.

Mejia, who uses the pronouns “they” and “them” to refer to himself, said he plans to “refuel” and “recharge” and continue the struggle.

About 100 students blocked rush-hour traffic on Main Street in Burlington, where the University of Vermont is, on Thursday afternoon to protest racism, according to Seven Days.

On Friday, after Mejia spoke, students continued demonstrating. According to Seven Days:

“Just before noon, the students made their way down to the building’s Olin Atrium on the first floor, where they chanted slogans that called for UVM president Tom Sullivan’s resignation.”



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