Solidarity Hunger Strikes Day 2
18/03/2012 – Day 2 – Kate Connelly
At the end of the second day of the rolling hunger strikes for Hana Shalabi, I go to bed knowing that tomorrow I’ll wake up and someone else will begin their 24hr fast; my turn will be over. The prospect of students from all over Scotland participating in this action is reassuring… We are making this commitment not because it is any sort of sacrifice when compared with the strength and bravery shown by Hana Shalabi, but because every one of us has been asking the same question for 32 days now: Why are so many people unaware of what is going on?
People don’t just decide that they are willing to put their lives on the line to highlight injustice unless they are sure that there is no other way to make people take notice. It is our responsibility as people who have become aware of Hana’s struggle that we make it known to everyone we possibly can. This is the very least we can do.
All day I’ve been trying to imagine myself in a situation which I knew to be utterly helpless, and asking myself whether my response would be anything like Hana’s; that is, a response which shows no defeat, only absolute strength. The answer is clear from what I have just written: For Hana Shalabi, no matter how much has been taken from her, no matter how badly she has been treated, as long as she has breath left in her she is not helpless.
The lack of coverage in the mainstream media of Hana’s hunger strike is appalling, just as it was a few weeks ago for Khader Adnan. We owe it to the people who make greater sacrifices than we ever have to make sure that their stories are heard. I know that courage and strength of the magnitude shown by Hana Shalabi is something to which I will always aspire. To show the proper respect to one of the most remarkable women of our lifetimes, speak out about Hana Shalabi.
‘You can bend but never break me
’cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
’cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul’