Activist Jillian Pim Ends Hunger Strike Protest of Fort Lauderdale Homeless Laws
Jillian Pim, who had been on a hunger strike to protest Fort Lauderdale's homeless feeding ordinance and had been living on lemon water and salt, has ended her hunger strike after going without food for 24 days.
Pim tells the Sun Sentinel she took food and ended her strike last Tuesday after her health began to decline, saying she began to show symptoms of a decline a lot sooner than anticipated.
In all, Pim says she lost 33 pounds.
Pim, 30, who is a homeless activist with South Florida Food Not Bombs along with her husband Nathan, had been protesting Fort Lauderdale commissioners' approval of the new ordinance on October 22.
The ordinance restricts public food sharing, essentially prohibiting feeding the homeless. This, advocates argue, is a violation against homeless people.
After taking a meal of chocolate and a raspberry lemonade, Jillian began her hunger strike and said she wouldn't end it until the city overturned the ordinance, or if her health started to show serious problems.
"If I starve and it actually changes something, it'll keep all these other people from potentially starving," Jillian told New Times earlier this month.
The plan had been to go at least 40 days without food.
"I was experiencing symptoms that should not take place until Day 30 [of a hunger strike] and I was only on Day 20," she told the Sentinel. "I was experiencing muscle pain, like excruciating muscle pain, which means my body had started to feed off of muscle mass earlier than it should have."
On Tuesday, Pim decided to end her hunger strike and began taking in food slowly, starting with a nutritional shake and moving towards solid foods.
On the eleventh day of her hunger strike, South Florida Food Not Bombs, along with other activists, picketed outside Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler's home.
About 60 homeless advocates, along with some homeless people, carried signs and chanted outside the home while mounted police guarded Seiler's driveway.
During her strike, Pim says she received positive feedback from fellow activists around the world, and that her strike also inspired others to start their own hunger strike.
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