Portland, Ore.– Cameron Whitten continues his protest for housing justice, refusing to eat solid food and permanently occupying a space outside City Hall that he refers to as ‘The Hunger Stump’. He currently weighs in at 184 pounds, a total loss of 9.7 from his initial start on June 2nd. Whitten, whose regimen consists of water and various juices, says his weight loss is related to his ability to retain over 190 pounds while committing to a strict, plant-based diet for the past two years.
His previous companions in starvation, Letti Tait and Monica Juarbe, have both resigned their hunger strikes, ending at three and five days respectively due to health concerns. Whitten has picked up another hunger striker, Jason Scheer, 37, who is completing his fourth consecutive day.
A few of Portland’s leaders are starting to pay attention to Whitten’s constant presence outside of City Hall. He has conducted a formal meeting with Commissioner Fritz, who is interested in exploring compromises that could settle his hunger strike prematurely. He received positive reinforcement from organizers associated with the Urban League of Portland, who are considering their support of each resolution separately. Three unions, Laborers Local 483, AFSCME Local 88, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 28 have come out in support of Right 2 Dream Too, endorsing the waiving of over a thousand dollars in fines by the Bureau of Development Services.
One supporter, Joe Walsh, who attends almost every Wednesday City Council meeting with a religious fervor, claimed that when he suggested that Nick Fish should speak with Whitten, the Commissioner replied, “What am I supposed to talk to him about?”
The protest is becoming more elaborate in its organization, as weekly Faux City Council Meetings have been scheduled every Tuesday at 6:30PM, where participants will be exposed to free vegan meals, activist theatre, and probing discussions about local government.
There is no determined end date for this protest.