Thousands join fast to protest proposed budget cuts
April 1st, 2011
06:12 PM ET
12 years ago

Thousands join fast to protest proposed budget cuts

Washington (CNN) – Several leaders of progressive organizations announced Friday they will join a group of 6,000 participants in fasting to protest budget cuts that would affect those living in poverty in the U.S. and abroad.

Executives of, Service Employees International Union, the Center for Community Change, and are among those that have jumped onboard. They will protest the proposed cuts with fasting, advocacy, and prayer, Tony Hall, former Ambassador to the United Nation Agencies for Food and Agriculture, told CNN.

The group said in a statement that their protest focuses on the proposed budget cuts that would eliminate $7.6 billion from domestic programs that impact low-income women and children. Other cuts would potentially eliminate feeding programs for 18 million of the poorest and hungriest around the world, and could cause low-income seniors to lose their monthly nutrition assistance, the group stated.

Hall and Jim Wallis, president and CEO of Sojourners, announced the fast Monday with support from a broad coalition of religious leaders.

"Everybody who is fasting believes in fiscal responsibility but not in making cuts that will hurt the poorest of the poor," Ambassador Hall said, adding that he advises people to contact their representatives and pressure them not to cut funding for the poor and hungry.

"At a time when billionaires are getting massive tax cuts and Wall Street profits are sky high, balancing the budget on the back of the most vulnerable in America is simply immoral," Justin Ruben, Executive Director of said in a statement. "I am fasting because this budget will leave pregnant women and children hungry, sick people without healthcare, children without pre-school and students without teachers-while giving tax breaks to those who caused this crises."

Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union, Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, Ritu Sharma, president of Women Thrive Worldwide, Rick Jacobs, Chair and Founder of Courage Campaign; Joaquin Guerra, Executive Director of will be among the participants.

As the situation progresses into next week, Hall will call on members of Congress to join in the fast.

Filed under: Budget
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Bruce Bloomington Illinois

    I have observed many of those who are " fasting and believe in fiscal responsibility " and it does not appear as if these folks have missed many meals, snacks or desserts. I believe the loss of weight will be good for them.

    April 1, 2011 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  2. Think123

    Maybe some of these so called executives of the loony left should offer to take pay cuts and donate the money to help feed the poor.

    April 1, 2011 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. Rev Mkell,

    Wait give another tax cut to the rich!! That will fix it!!

    April 1, 2011 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  4. Marvin

    They are all fat enough. Fasting would be good for them. Don't leave out Michael Moore!

    April 1, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. Como

    With 49% of US tax filers being on the government dole let the fasters starve a litte.

    April 1, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. John

    Think about it - more than 6,000 are going to fast to protest what 200 fat bloated old welfare sponging white people are demanding be done "or else."

    Just like in WI where 70,000 showed up to protest the anti-working people law the republic-baggers illegally forced through, and 300 showed up to support it.

    The baggers are history come 2012.

    April 1, 2011 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. Del

    This is a commendable act, and I will support it. However it would be best led by the religious leaders, as I think it was intended. It is unfortunate that the author leads the list with MoveOn which is a political group. I believe that the idea and the leadership is coming from a bipartisan group of Christian leaders. I hope that will continue to be the case.

    April 1, 2011 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  8. sam

    how are we supposed to give billions to other countries when we are broke .. may be the liberals can give their money .. forgot the liberal logic.. they want u to give not them

    April 1, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  9. 66Biker

    That's how politicians do things. The first thing they think to cut is programs that benefit poor people. Never in a million years will they ever think to cut their own unnecessarily high salaries. And they certainly won't cut taxes on anyone who pays them their "extra income".

    April 2, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  10. Alexandra Stehman

    Since when have we used the word "fast" to describe a "hunger strike"?!

    April 2, 2011 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
1 2