Nine members of a South Florida organization have gone without food for nearly a week in hopes of bringing awareness to gun violence.
Thursday was Day 6 of the Circle of Brotherhood’s hunger strike, organized as part of the group’s Operation Hunger Strike campaign.
“Who do we save?” yelled a man at an event held at the men’s campsite in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.
“Our community,” chanted members of the Circle of Brotherhood.
The men taking part in the hunger strike call themselves the Hunger 9.
7News cameras captured the men’s beds under a large tent.
One of them, Phillip Muhammad, said their intent is to help put an end to gun violence.
“I believe in the power that a hunger strike can have,” he said.
Among the activists are clergymen and former felons who have pledged to put food aside until community killings stop.
“I apologize for the wrongs that I’ve done, so for me this is personal,” said Anthony Duren, one of the Hunger 9.
Some of them said it’s been the greatest challenge of their lives, and they plan to go on as long as they can.
“What greater love can you show for your people than to sacrifice yourself?” said Muhammad.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez joined various officials from several police departments in showing their support to the Hunger 9.
Suarez touted the city’s lower crime rate thanks in part to campaigns like Operation Hunger Strike.
“We’re not satisfied with hitting a 51-year low. We’re not satisfied with being 50 percent below the 51-year low,” he said. “We’re only going to be satisfied when there’s zero, and then, you know what? I’m going to follow them to the next community.”
The Hunger 9 said a food strike might seem drastic and dangerous, but it doesn’t compare to the seemingly endless shootings that have pushed them to this point.
“You have fathers, business owners, productive citizens in our community,” said a speaker at Thursday’s event, “but as one brother?”
“One hood,” the Hunger 9 members chanted.
“And who do we serve?” asked the speaker.
“Our community,” chanted the Hunger 9.
When asked how long they plan to continue the food strike, the Hunger 9 said they’re taking it day by day.
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