Mia Farrow hits day nine of online hunger strike for Darfur
The actress and activist has committed to three weeks of an all-water diet in support of refugees in Darfur, where Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir expelled or shut down 16 aid agencies -- a move that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said put the lives of more than 1 million people at risk.
Farrow has been keeping an irregular video blog of her fast on her own YouTube channel, as well as on the channel of Darfur Fast for Life, an organization that fellow activists put together to draw attention to Farrow's efforts.
As of tonight, 75 other people had signed up on the site to join Farrow in the fast. Some said they would only drink water; others said they would eat the same rations as those in Darfur.
Farrow, a slight 64-year-old, said in a recent video that she wasn't sure if she'd be able to last the full 21 days -- she has never fasted before, and her doctor was skeptical.
Still, she was resolved to make a statement. "Of course I don't expect that me on hunger strike is going to do that much," Farrow said in the video. "But if it provides a news hook for newspapers so they can talk about what's really important, then that will be worth it."
Gabriel Stauring, who helped organize the site, expressed concern for Farrow, with whom he said he'd traveled to Darfur last summer. "You’ve seen Mia’s size," he said. "There’s no way she can go that long without doing permanent damage. We want to convince her that if we have somebody else that is famous and that would draw attention, that she should stop." Stauring suggested that more recognizable names might be joining the effort soon.
Also striking is Pam Omidyar, a founder of the philanthropic group Humanity United, and the wife of EBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Omidyar has been eating the refugee meals for 18 days, according to her blog on fastdarfur.org.
Farrow appeared on CNN's Larry King Live on the day she began the strike, and will reappear on the show Tuesday night, according to Stauring.
-- David Sarno