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Hunger Strike Day 13: Tag Team

by Dan Le

Dan is a member of the San Antonio Bay Waterkeeper Team, and is covering for Diane at the Formosa Plastics Texas plant while she is away on a speaking engagement at Colby College in Maine. Click here for more information on how to support the strike.

Less road traffic today, and also less wind, but lots of rain. Without the road and wind noise, you can hear the steady hum of the plant, steady as today’s rain. It’s supposed to rain even more tomorrow.

A few days before the hunger strike began, Diane mentioned she had previously accepted an invitation to speak at Colby College in Maine and she wasn’t sure what to do about it, since it would require her to be away November 12th through 15th. I asked her if she could reschedule given the hunger strike, and she said she had already committed to be there.

“Two weeks into a hunger strike…are you sure you’d be up for traveling?” I asked her, hoping to convince her that it probably wasn’t the best idea.

“Oh, yeah, I can do it, no problem. Probably shouldn’t deal with driving around in an unfamiliar town though, so I’ll see if they can arrange to have someone pick me up.”

She then told me about one of her past hunger strikes where she was driving home and sat at a stop sign for an abnormal length of time in a daze until the car behind her honked its horn and snapped her out of it.

She laughed, “Yeah, things can get reeeaaal strange after fasting for a while!”

I chuckled along with her, but then thought, “Wait, this is not reassuring!”

So I then suggested that someone go with her, and that it might be helpful. “Oh no,no, I’ll be fine, really, I will.” By this point, it was certain I wasn’t going to change her mind.

Then with a subtle tone of concern, she came back to the question at hand: “Wonder what we can do about having someone out there while I’m gone.”

Without much thought, like a reflex action, I immediately offered to cover for her, and she responded with great relief. Here I was concerned for her welfare, and I realized for her, the most important thing was showing up; showing up and being present everyday at the doorstep of Formosa Plastics; showing up everyday to take samples of plastic pellets polluting the bay; showing up to support Vietnamese fisherman.

And that’s Diane Wilson for you: if says she’s going to do something, she’s going to do it. And she shows up everyday until the job is done. So watch out Formosa Plastics! Not only for Diane Wilson, but watch out for all of us standing up and showing up everyday with her!

Day 13, tagging in for Diane for a few days

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