To call attention to the many social and economic problems facing Appalachian Ohio and to protest the utter failure of the GOP-dominated government, especially at the federal level, to even meaningfully address, let alone sufficiently meet, the many dire needs of this distressed region, one Congressional candidate has started a protest fast on Ash Wednesday and intends to continue it until Easter Sunday.
"The governmental abuse and neglect suffered by working families and the communities of need in Appalachian Ohio is a social sin, and should be a crime", said Werner Lange, a certified Democratic candidate for Ohio's gerrymandered 6th Congressional District.
"Instead of serving the salt of the earth here, the current GOP incumbent has joined the Trump regime in pouring salt into their wounds."
"What this hard-pressed region needs is a public servant of the 99%, not a bought-off political puppet of the 1%. Whether that is me or the other fine Democratic candidate in this race, is up to voters to decide. Either of us would be a thousand times better than the current (mis)Representative."
Lange eats a meal with solid food only once per day, and from sunrise until sunset takes only water or juice. On the sixth day of his fast, Monday, Feb. 19, Lange will be in front of the Steel Trolley Diner (140 E. Lincoln Way) in Lisbon starting at noon for his first of weekly vigils.
Protest fasting has a long and proud legacy in America and the world. To show their solidarity with the 1773 Boston Tea Parry, American patriots throughout the colonies engaged in fasting on June 1. American and British suffragettes effectively used protest fasting and hunger strikes to help gain the right to vote. Cesar Chavez, founder of the National Farm Workers Association, lived almost exclusively on water for 25 days to help win a long strike against corporate agribusiness. Fasting was used by American students to protest the war in Vietnam. Gandhi used fasting to help end end colonial rule in India; and Mandela did the same to gain freedom for himself and South Africa. Most recently, the Presbyterian Hunger Program encouraged clergy and laity to join a 5-day Freedom Fast just last month to protest unfair labor practices against the United Farm Workers union.
"Like prayer, fasting is a spiritual discipline that helps connect us deeper with the Power of Love, not the love of power", said Rev. Dr. Lange.