Hunger strike suspended
If you haven't heard by now, the 13 young people from Peer to Peer Enterprises who had been starving themselves since Friday finally suspended their hunger strike last night. The group, which is demanding $3 million from the city rainy day fund to support knowledge-based youth jobs, is meeting with Mayor Dixon today. At least as of a few days ago when my colleague asked the mayor, it didn't sound like she was planning to back down from her position that she's already funded many youth programs and was not going to pay for Peer to Peer. But the Peer to Peer youth have shown that they're not backing down, either, and it had gotten to the point where they were putting their lives on the line for their cause. Many were fearful for their safety, including an adult adviser who has encouraged the students' acts of civil disobedience.
The slogan of the Algebra Project, one of Peer to Peer's member organizations, is "No Education, No Life." And some of the young people involved are so passionate about their struggle that they feel it is worth giving their lives.
Thankfully, it didn't get to that point -- this time. But as I've said before, these kids are persistent.
For video from the hunger strike, see the "media" section of the Peer to Peer Web site.
UPDATE, 6/5: It sounds like Peer to Peer's funding demand is part of the reason the city budget is being held up. See today's story for more details.