Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval

 

On his book Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity

Cover Interview of September 18, 2017

Lastly

So often people say “one person can’t really do anything,” but this book indicates otherwise. All these hunger strikes were collective. Oftentimes we associate hunger strikes with an iconic, heroic individual, but these actions could not exist without many other people making flyers, negotiating with powerful officials, creating solidarity networks, and so on.

The students on these campuses were relatively successful. They slowed down the machine and brought about greater dignity to those on the margins. And yet, much has happened over the past twenty-five years. A quarter-century has nearly passed since these hunger strikes took place.

One could reasonably argue similar conditions that existed in the 1990s continue today; in fact, things might have gotten worse. Given this situation, students and many others are putting their bodies on the line. They have a deep desire and hunger for justice. One could only hope that they will succeed. The stakes are extremely high—perhaps amongst the highest they have ever been.

This madness must stop now before it’s too late. As singer-songwriter Jackson Browne said in the 1980s, there are “lives in the balance,” people are “under fire.” I hope that people walk away from reading this book feeling inspired that despite it all change is possible. Another world, another university is possible!