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Hunger strikers who said they would protest until voting rights legislation was passed ended their demonstration Thursday after eight days.
“We ended the strike because we lost, and it is really infuriating that nothing we did over the past year … was enough,” Un-PAC co-founder Shana Gallagher told Fox News.
Democrats failed to change filibuster rules Wednesday, meaning the party didn’t have the votes to pass the voting legislation. Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema voted against the rule change, joining every Republican in the 48-52 vote.
The hunger strike started with 40 activists and ended with 34.
Gallager told Fox News on the first day that the group was “committed to an indefinite hunger strike” until voting rights legislation passed the Senate. By the eighth day, the group felt “delirious,” “uncomfortable,” “tired” and “infuriated,” Gallagher said.
“We ended because the bill failed,” she told Fox News.
A West Virginia student similarly said: “No matter what it takes, two days, 20 days
On their last day of protest, the demonstrators blocked one side of the North Barricade outside the U.S. Capitol. Police issued three warnings before making arrests. The group was previously arrested on Tuesday after refusing to leave the U.S. Capitol steps.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman joined the group’s protest Thursday and was among the 27 demonstrators arrested for “crowding, obstructing or incommoding,” Capitol Police said.
The New York Democrat tweeted Friday: “We got arrested because voting rights and the fate of our democracy are on the line.”
Gallagher said she doesn’t know the next steps for the hunger strikers.
“Obviously, we don’t have a choice but to keep going because our futures are on the line and will be much darker if we inherit a dysfunctional democracy, which is the path we’re on right now,” she told Fox News.
“We need to make a new plan” but for now, “folks are resting, recovering, spending time with loved ones and hopefully eating lots of good meals, and then we will be back,” Gallagher continued.