Fasting for Peace — Day Ten

By: Jose Torres

What I felt throughout the day of my fasting was hunger and pain in my stomach, which was asking for food. But, I just knew this was for a good cause. I had to hold down and not fold.

The best part of my day was at the end of my fast because I was proud of myself for not folding and also proud that I had accomplished something for our community and city.

The statement on the “Peace Pledge” that I reflected on was “I pledge to defend people that could not defend themselves.” What went through my mind about this statement was how people feel when they cannot defend themselves. I felt like maybe they would feel pain, fear, or even sadness.

Participating in the fast relay demonstrate my commitment to the Season of Peace-Building by showing the community how tired I am of the violence in Oakland and how dedicated I am to change it.

Edited By: Eva Oliver, RAW Co-Coach

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By: Julio Magana, Youth Developer

The following is my observation of Jose “Chicho” Torres’ Fast on January 26, 2012, DAY 10 of our Season of Peace Building.  We will post his actual reflection this upcoming Monday morning as it is saved on a school computer with no internet access!

As was the case with Juan Luna, it was refreshing to hear that Mr. Torres was well aware that it was his day to fast.  When I first saw him that Wednesday, he was smiling and seemed eager to begin.  The fast breaking/passing ceremony took place in a classroom filled with slightly annoyed students attempting to complete a physics experiment but everyone stopped to look and applaud when Isabel Vizcarra broke her fast with the bite of the ceremonial apple.  Even in the context of a distracted audience, a number of students cheered “Chiiiicho” from their small groups and he immediately seemed flushed with pride as he received the ceremonial armband. Jose chose to reflect upon the pledge to “Defend others who can not defend themselves”.  Jose seemed upbeat and seemed unphased by his fast, hanging out late to energetically play foosball with friends.

The next day, I was again impressed by Chicho’s pleasant disposition and he was excited to report that “he did not fold” even though he was tempted.  The fast breaking/passing ceremony was awesome as most of his friends and BAM brothers were present and the room was filled with focused energy. What struck me was that Chicho was most satisfied by his completion of the Fast as a demonstration of his commitment to do something about the violence.  He repeatedly shared that “people said i couldn’t do it and i did!”   For this reason, I am reminded that a basic goal of our Season of Peace-Building is to allow our students an opportunity to take action NOT to “stop-violence” but to help “build peace” one student at a time.

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