Day Seven

So this is it. In about an hour I will break my fast by having a long dreamed of bowl of hot soup. Someone remarked that it will probably taste like the best soup in the world.

But it won’t.

The reason is that while I can end my hunger strike, Shaker and the other protesters in Guantanamo are trapped in theirs. They will continue to be tortured each and every day. Denied justice every day. Breaking my fast now doesn’t feel like a victory, it feels like leaving a man behind.

Did it do any good? It didn’t change many minds. Most of the major media outlets ignored the story probably thinking: “Well it’s just one more dead Arab, who cares?”. One journalist I spoke to even said that Shaker’s case “Wasn’t a story at all”. That’s how insensitive we’ve become I guess.

But then again we musn’t expect too much. Great victories are only won by small, often imperceptible steps. I know that my fast doesn’t mean that much, but added to those of all the other people who are fasting in support and added to all the efforts Reprieve are making in other areas, something can still change. We just have to keep fighting. I know I will.


5 thoughts on “Day Seven

  1. Kristal

    I share your disappointment about the lack of coverage of this (or a lot of important) news in the major media outlets. I only found out about Shaker three weeks ago, and I was absolutely stunned when I did. “How have I not heard of this? How is this allowed to happen… and to continue to happen?”, I asked myself.

    But since then, I have shared the story with a lot of people online. I only hope that a few took notice. If they took the trouble to read it, they surely did.

    The Guardian, at least, did a fantastic article about your fast and about the complete miscarriage of justice that has been visited on this poor man. “How can Shaker ever forgive the world and us that live in it? How can any of them? How can we not see how we are creating enemies out of ordinary people?”, it made me ask. The whole story just defies belief.

    I have been moved by your efforts, actually. It’s so good to see that there are some men of conscience in the world. Here is what I posted on facebook on the first day of your hunger strike:

    “Oh, I think he is a very good and brave man. I am grateful towards him for restoring my faith that people are basically decent, but often go along with very bad ideas and allow very bad things to happen because the alternative frightens them. Some people don’t go along with it, and those people can sometimes change a lot of minds and build a tide to wash away the old ways of thinking and believing. He is one such person, and to find him in the intelligence services is a blessing for everyone.”

    And I mean it. So thanks.

    1. gusonk17 Post author

      Thanks for trying to spread the word Kristal (and apologies that I have taken so long to reply!). I’m not so sure about the good and brave bit though, you should see me with spiders ;-). All the best, H.

  2. Joy Hurcombe

    Hi Harry,
    Thank you so much for your steadfast hunger strike for Shaker. I am sure your action will have been noticed, especially by the Government. It seems that we all have to step up even more to try to shame the US and UK to release and return Shaker to his home.We would like to keep in touch with you, possibly to work with you in the future. We recently had a vigil outside M16 and will be opposite Parliament every Wednesday from Sept 11th from 12noon to 3pm. Hope to hear from you.
    Joy Hurcombe Chair of the The Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

  3. Swithin Fry

    Enjoy the soup! Don’t underestimate the impact of your fast, Harry – small seeds sprout large oaks. Cliche, yes, but true. What else can we do, but continue to nourish those seeds. Well done – Swithin Fry

    1. gusonk17 Post author

      The soup made me ill – I was so disappointed as I had looked forward to it all week. (But, don’t worry, I made up time over the next few days.) Of course it all just highlights how much worse it must be for Shaker who has no end in sight and almost no hope at all. How do we end up doing such things to people? Anyway, thanks for taking the time to let me know you found out about this, I really do appreciate it.


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