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Yale union activists eat whenever they’re hungry, media call it ‘hunger strike’

Why delete your tweet, Jake Tapper?

When graduate teaching assistants at Yale started protesting the university for not recognizing their new union, eight of them claimed to be starting an “indefinite fast” to pressure the administration to cave.

The College Fix asked their PR firm (because yes, they have one) if that meant they stopped eating entirely. No reply.

Now we know what that means. Yale Daily News reports:

According to [union chairman Aaron] Greenberg, the eight students — who received an afternoon checkup from local medical professionals — will switch places with other members of Local 33 if their health begins to seriously deteriorate.

In other words: They are still eating if they feel painfully hungry. “Strike” means you stop doing something entirely, like working. This is a hunger “pause.”

Question for the News: Why is this your headline?

The article has 10 more uses of “hunger strike,” a term that clearly does not apply to this union pressure tactic, as even one of the group’s supporters admitted.

The Washington Free Beacon noted a tweet by a supporter of the occasional eaters, 2016 Yale graduate Dimitri Halikias, now a research assistant at the Brookings Institution.

He posted a photo of the protesters’ pamphlet, which invited people to visit their encampment: “When one of us cannot continue, come take our place.”

As Dimitri, who has since marked his Twitter account private, acknowledged in the tweet, it is a “symbolic” hunger strike “(they eat when hungry). Still inspirational.”

Even CNN anchor Jake Tapper mocked the protesters in a tweet yesterday, though he later deleted it.

As the Free Beacon notes, Yale graduate teaching assistants get paid $30,000 a year, get free health care and pay no tuition.

It’s not just Yale’s campus paper telling blatant untruths about the protest.

New Haven Register is also calling the eat-when-we-want protest a “hunger strike.”

Though the activists have mostly been careful to describe their protest as an “indefinite fast” or similarly flexible language, Greenberg told a plain untruth, as quoted by the Register:

“We are waiting but we are going to wait while not eating,” Local 33 Chairman and city Alder Aaron Greenberg, D-8, said Thursday. “I think it would be a real shame if the university were to remove [the protest encampment].”

Read the Daily News report, Register report and Free Beacon report.

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg Piper served as associate editor of The College Fix from 2014 to 2021.