Hunger strike ends after threats, illness

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Three women, all of whom freely admit that they came to this country illegally as children, ended a two-week hunger strike yesterday. The trio had hoped to pressure Sen. Kay Hagan into signing onto the DREAM Act, an immigration reform bill.

Hagan last week refused to cosponsor the bill, but at a ceremony Monday night marking the end of the strike, the protesters said they did succeed in bringing attention to immigration reform and the issues faced by people who came to the United States as children and face little opportunity beyond high school.

The three had been camped out across the street from the state legislature since beginning the strike two weeks ago.

Rosario Lopez and Viridiana Martinez ended their two-week hunger strike Monday with a ceremony at their encampment in downtown Raleigh.

Loida Silva, 23, fell ill with what friends called a combination of dehydration and heat stroke. She went to the hospital Sunday, but by last night Silva was home, eating and watching the ceremony in downtown Raleigh via an internet video connection.

Dominick Powell, who has been working with the three hunger strikers, said that the three had been threatened over email by a known sexual predator who has targeted immigrant women. Powell wouldn’t give much detail except to say that “the appropriate authorities have been notified.”

The three women, Silva, Rosario Lopez, 25, and Viridiana Martinez, 23, have all lived in central North Carolina since they were children. They are members of the NC Dream Team, an organization established to help pass the bill that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants that came here as children.

Martinez, speaking to a crowd of more than 70 who had gathered to mark the end of the strike, said, “We’re not asking for a free ride.”

She continued, “The system is broken. There is no pathway. There is no ‘go back to your country and get in line.’ There is no line.”

Lopez said they relied on their friends and supporters, not just to watch the downtown Raleigh encampment over night, but by the end they needed help walking. “Even to talk became very hard,” Lopez said.

Lopez and Martinez said they ended the strike with vegetables and soup for breakfast Monday morning.

Read more about the strikers, their motivations and the DREAM Act here.

14 thoughts on “Hunger strike ends after threats, illness

  1. Who cares. I wonder if Loida payed anything when she went to the hospital. Like most illegals she probably didn’t. Go back to Mexico.

  2. Thank you NC Dream team and the hunger strikers (Rosario, Loida and Viridiana) for all of the courage you have shown throughout your hunger strike. We need the Dream Act now!

  3. Thank You Ladies for putting your life at risk for this cause.

    ALL students should have an opportunity to make their dreams come true.

    And Dave, you are the humble reflection of me and I of you.

  4. Wow Dave you are not informed at all. Before you talk or say anything. She is not even from Mexico and btw just in case she doesn’t speak Mexican. They pay taxes like we all do but the only difference is that they don’t get the same rights. So get your facts straight!! Such ignorance should be Illegal!!!

  5. If they are sooooo “Smart” to get into college, they should be able to figure a way to get their documents. They are just a bunch of cry, useless, good for nothing people. THINK!

  6. Undocumented immigrants pay taxes (look up ITIN) and they are also paying for social security but will never get that benefit. If you do a little research and not only go for what the main stream media is saying about undocumented immigrants you will find out that overall they help the economy. But get your facts from valid resources; research articles and valid statistics, then you will understand this complex issue. However, if you let hate blind you then you will never see the truth… A heart full of hate never reaches happiness…. and I feel sorry for those with a rotten heart

    Love to you all <3

  7. And if people like Al were “soooo” smart, they would know that NC, in their infinite wisdom, has banned undocumented immigrants from attending community colleges. THINK???

  8. The system is not broken. It has been abused by illegal aliens. At no point did anyone mention that there is in fact a group of people waiting to get into the U.S. LEGALLY. You all make a mockery of all of them and the citizens of the U.S. And you can’t understand why the citizens of the U.S. are angry? I think that telling Americans that you are “only here to do jobs that most Americans don’t want to do” is a worn-out argument. Why not stay in your own country and make it a country to be proud of? Or is that doing work that “most illegal immigrants don’t want to do?”

  9. Don’t where you are from. If you are illegally get out. I guess they are eating now, I am smelling refried beans in the air. And Dave, you know who is paying for the emergencyroom. YOU ARE!

  10. I am so damn tired of hearing about this DREAM Act. That is amnesty and you can’t give those who INVADED this Country amnesty. I want to hear more of ENFORCE the law, ENFORCE the law, ENFORCE the law, ENFORCE the law. Should I say it again? Ok. ENFORCE the law! Let’s get rid of these illegal aliens!

  11. Delaware Bob, I couldn’t have said it any better. And Dave? Confused is right. You get the bill this time. Sorry.

  12. Life isn’t fair. It sucks for them that their parents broke the law, but unless or until the law is changed, they should not be given any special dispensations to attend college. Allowing them out of state tuition rather than foreign student tuition is nice enough.

    It really surprises me that they didn’t get arrested. They were practically flaunting their disrespect of the law.

  13. The inhumane laws should be abolished and changed as these young women exemplify in this, the civil rights struggle of our time. Much like previous civil rights struggles, these efforts are not easy and do not come without any threats and anger from the groups that believe they have most to lose from others gaining human rights. So, just like racial discrimination was legal and suffrage for women was illegal, so too, immigration rights advocates fight against unjust laws. Unjust laws which benefit the majority and subjugate the minority. Unjust laws that are propagated on ignorance and narrow-mindedness.
    Let’s deport ignorance, anger and xenophobia from our lives. Please enjoy these animated cartoons to enlighten you.
    What do we want?! DREAM Act! When do we want it!? NOW! (Should I say it again?)
    Thank you young women,