Alex Young ended his hunger strike against fluoridation of Mount Gambier’s water on Sunday after he offered to eat in return for cooperation from his supporters for the next stage of his campaign?—?a “people’s mandate” against the State Government.
The crowd of around 100 people cheered for Mr Young to break his 17-day strike, with several people shouting encouragement, including Mount Gambier’s Florence Grinter, who said the community needed Mr Young alive to continue fighting.
But the day was not without disruption, with an anti-Choice Support Day protestor also making an appearance during the opening of Mr Young’s speech, waving a sign which read “we want fluoride”.
Mr Young ignored the protestor and continued his 50-minute speech to the crowd.
He also called for donations to take his case to the Supreme Court and for “any damn lawyer in Mount Gambier who has the guts to fight for the people” to represent him voluntarily for the public good.
He said he had approached several law firms in Mount Gambier to request their assistance, but none had shown interest.
During voting day for the Federal Election on Saturday, Mr Young and those who signalled their support, will gather signatures for a “people’s mandate” at Mount Gambier polling booths.
Mr Young said he had not asked the Australian Electoral Commission’s permission, but expected there would be no trouble with his intentions.
“We understand the mandate has a bit more power to the government than a petition,” Mr Young said.
“Conscience was compelling me to do a hunger strike in order to bring the community here together?—?I was prepared to continue the hunger strike, but the community has assured me they will enter a binding agreement, so in honour of that I took a sip of pumpkin soup.”
Mr Young said the soup tasted “beautiful”, but his taste buds were in shock.
He said he lost 10.5kg over the past 17 days and was admitted to Mount Gambier Hospital’s emergency ward twice with severe abdominal pains.
Mr Young said he had planned a diet of soups and light foods for the initial days after breaking the hunger strike to allow time for his body to adapt.