Hunger strikers arrested for protesting energy hikes

CHICAGO - Affordable Power for the People staged a three day hunger strike in protest of skyrocketing energy costs.

The hunger strike began on April 14. After rallying, three members of Affordable Power for the People entered the Illinois State Thompson Center just before its closing time and joined hands in solidarity. They announced their hunger strike and refused to leave the building.

Security guards grabbed their chairs, broke their locked hands and forced group leader Curly Cohen to the ground, threatening him with pepper spray. They were handcuffed and detained two and a half hours before being released.

The next day Affordable Power ended the hunger strike and presented a letter demanding a vote on a rate freeze to State Assembly leader Emil Jones.

Asked about his arrest during the hunger strike, one activist, Dave, said, “We have a moral responsibility to bring attention to this issue,” referring to the steep rise in energy costs.  Dave points to a 26 percent price hike by ComEd, and 70 percent to 300 percent price hike in some parts of Illinois.

Molly Rose joined the hunger strike because she realizes the high rates are a “fixable problem.” She said her thought was, “I can help, so I will.”