Commissioner Dennis C. Moss stands in solidarity with the Circle of Brotherhood during Operation Hunger Strike to combat gun violence
MIAMI – Marches have not worked. T- Shirts have not worked. Desperate to combat gun violence across Miami-Dade County, the Circle of Brotherhood has employed one of the most extreme forms of protest as they launch Operation Hunger Strike.
On March 9, 2019 a select group of nine dedicated community advocates gathered at the Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall Social and Economic Institute to introduce the faces of change who would come to be known as the Hunger 9. “There is no time limit on the hunger strike,” said Ed Haynes, a member of the Circle of Brotherhood.
The Circle of Brotherhood is often seen at community events offering support for those who are working to make a difference. After leaving a meeting with a mother who lost a child to gun violence, it was obvious that they were not getting support from men in the community.
“There were 50 women at this meeting,” said Haynes. “We were the only men there. We realized that something had to be done.”
After much consideration, the group came to the conclusion that traditional awareness campaigns were not working. They decided to try something new. “No hunger strike has been done by people of color outside of prison,” said Haynes.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss recently visited the Hunger 9 at the protest site, at 1199 NW 62nd St. in Miami, to support their efforts as the district that he represents has had its share of gun related incidents in recent months.
“It takes a lot of courage for these individuals to make this kind of sacrifice,” said Commissioner Moss. “I wanted to let them know that we are in support of them 100 percent as they try to help us curb the gun violence in this community.”
The Hunger 9 include Anthony Blackman, McArthur Richard, Albert Campbell, Phillip Muhammad Tavernier, Melvin El, Ed Haynes, Anthony Durden, George Jackson, and Leroy Jones. Those participating in the hunger strike are checked twice a day by paramedics and are only consuming water unless they have a medical condition.