Dick Gregory, Famed Activist to Fast Until End of Nation’s Economic Crisis

Dick Gregory, 76, world famous activist, author, lecturer and comedian, appeared on the radio and television shows of Don Imus and Joe Madison last week and made an historic announcement in connection with what he called “the inexcusable crisis of humanity in connection with the tragic state of the this country’s economy as a result of the past eight years of greed, arrogance and fear-mongering,” Gregory said.


Gregory called the times the most serious experience of his life, citing the people he meets as he tours the country. “Not since the days of The Civil Rights Movement have I ever seen such fear and anger in the people I meet. Except now, it’s all Americans. We have to take the lead and create humanity where none exists.”


“At least during the Great Depression there was no television,” Gregory continued,” not like what happens now where kids see food commercials every fifteen minutes and go to bed hungry every night.”


“Therefore,” Gregory announced, “starting as of noon today, I will not eat another bite of solid food until there is an end to these intolerable economic conditions for the people of this country.”


Gregory vowed to continue a daily prayer vigil for the “humanity and dignity of the American people who are suffering from this tragic economic distress.”


Gregory told Imus this morning, “The media has focused on ‘corporate greed’ but that’s just a small part of it. There’s also a total lack of simple humanity that has destroyed this nation’s heart and soul. It’s time we reach out to help our brothers and sisters to stop the neglect of everyone, the elderly folks who have lost their pensions, the workers who have lost their jobs, the families who have lost their homes, and the parents who have had to give their children up for foster care.”


Gregory said, “My fast will consist of four days of just liquids, two days of just water and one day of nothing at all but the air that I breath.”


Gregory, who has been an activist for nearly a half-century, throughout his career, marched with Dr. King during the 60’s and was arrested many times as a central figure in The Movement. He marched with Americans against the war in Vietnam in that decade, said this morning, “From my heart I believe this crisis now demands the commitment of all Americans to put and end to it or face total destruction.”

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