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Formosa Plastics Hunger Strike: Day 2

by Diane Wilson

Follow Diane’s day-by-day account of the latest Global Hunger Strike against Formosa Plastics. You can join her by signing up here.

Well, as I have said before about hunger striking: Watch your energy! And where did it go? I was at the Day 1 Press Conference and was totally blown away with the participation from the Vietnamese American community that showed up in vans and the folks like, Sharon Lavigne, who are fighting Formosa Plastics attempt to build a $12B plastic plant in their community at St. James Parish, Louisiana. The Vietnamese women wore beautiful yellow flowing dresses and sang some extraordinary songs in Taiwanese. Sharon Lavigne said she was supposed to have left early to catch her flight back to Louisiana but there was such an energy from the singing, drumming, and a strange little guitar instrument, and the powerful words of the speakers, that she missed her flight. Too much fun, she said.

So after that I got home about 6 pm and went to bed. And woke up at 7 am. Like I said, watch your energy if you are hunger striking for an extended period.

New day! Couple things I forgot. First thing: gloves. It’s still cold especially when you are on the shady side of the truck. I’m sitting on the tailgate of my red chevy truck, swinging my feet. Takes no energy. This morning my legs felt a little jittery. Not getting sugar, my body was saying, “What’s going on here?” Other than a little low sugar jitter, I’m not hungry AT ALL.

Second thing I forgot: I’m bringing a quilt next time and sitting on the ground as close as I can get—legally, legally—to Formosa Plastic’s big black sign announcing who all is in their industrial park. Here’s the lineup and usual suspects:
– Formosa Plastics Corporation, Texas
– Formosa Plastics Corporation, America
– Formosa Utility Venture, LTD
– Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America

For folks that don’t follow Formosa Plastics closely, they have a bit of a strange company structure. Ask the lawyers to comment on that one. But right now the PR folks at Formosa Plastics Texas made the comment, “Our understanding is the hunger strike relates to an incident which happened in 2016, in Vietnam. Formosa Plastics Corporation, U.S.A. is a separate company so we cannot comment.”

This is interesting. When San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper filed our citizen Clean Water suit in 2019, we sued Formosa Plastics, Texas and Formosa Plastics, USA. And when we won the judgment from the federal judge and Formosa Plastics wanted to settle with us, it was upper management from Formosa Plastics, USA who was in the room. Only Formosa Plastics Corporation, USA. And I guess they were speaking for Formosa Plastics, Texas, too? And to get the okay on what we were demanding , Formosa Plastics Corporation, USA called Formosa Plastics in Taiwan. The mother ship I guess you’d say.

Now the sun has come out and I have shed the gloves and my coat and shawl. It feels like summer on the back of my truck. I’m getting a sun tan.

Interesting thing today, I had the plant manager come visit me. I’ve known him a long time in the 35 years of fighting Formosa Plastics. He was very nice and courteous and gave me water to drink.

Formosa Plastics has learned a thing or two. The first hunger strike I had against Formosa Plastics, I was visited by management and they left me a Whataburger hamburger and french fries.

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