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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cameron Whitten Will End His Hunger Strike

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Cameron Whitten, a week ago.
Cameron Whitten, is finishing Day 55 of his hunger strike today, enduring the last three weeks with only water and a carefully calibrated menu of salts and minerals. After all that, the activist says he's ready to announce an end to the protest he's waged since June 2.

He told the Mercury, for a story we'll be publishing in our print edition this week, that he and an intermediary, Reverend Kate Lore of downtown's Occupy-friendly First Unitarian Church, reached an agreement with Mayor Sam Adams' office on a compromise that will let Whitten declare victory and resume eating.

Whitten didn't share details about the "proposal," as he put it, saying it was still being fine-tuned. But he said he was planning a news conference and "Big Eat" outside city hall for Thursday morning and would send out an invite on Wednesday.

His health has gradually worsened since he gave up the broth and juice that sustained him early on. But the decision also paid off. The concern over his well-being earned him meetings with city officials and also shined a media spotlight on his demands—especially waiving code-violation fines for Old Town homeless rest area Right 2 Dream Too. And a rally on Friday partly in his honor brought out close to 300 people, including mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith.

There had been persistent whispers that Whitten might end the strike, pressed by community members alarmed over his health. Adams’ office, also reached before press time, deferred to Whitten on whether any announcement would be forthcoming. But a city source has confirmed that an agreement is in place.

“We’re moving forward,” Whitten said. “It’ll be announced when we know what can be done.”

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