Alasdair Codona is a hunger striker outside the Scottish Parliment. He is now 23 days without food.
I speak not on not on his behalf, but as an observer.
I was a stranger to Alasdair when the Daily Record first shared his story on the 18th day of his hunger strike outside Scottish Parliament. As a fellow human and animal rights campaigner around the world I was confused as to why someone would go to such extreme measures when there was no accompanying social media.
I came to Alasdair expecting a homeless man with the possibility of mental health issues. Alasdair is not homeless. He is a Scottish human rights campaigner for homeless people. He is a prominent Gaelic song writer and musician and is well loved within the Gaelic communities. He’s been campaigning for 3 years to improve one aspect of the system that he believes leaves homeless people open to discrimination. He says he has been unsuccessful, that no one listens and that he is now willing to give his life for a cause he feels so strongly for.
He spent many months preparing for this hunger strike. Alasdair’s hunger strike began outside Scottish Parliament on the 7th Dec. He admitted he began knowing he would die because he says he already knew no one from the Scottish Government would listen or engage with him about his cause. The MSP’s left him on hunger strike as Parliament closed up and they began their Xmas Holidays. Alasdair says his death will show that the people voted in by the Scottish public don’t care. I do not write this because I agree with what Alasdair is doing or saying and I am not a supporter of hunger strikes. I am writing this as a plea for compassion from Scotland’s MSP’s to help this man who felt this was his only way to be heard. Scotland is a great nation. Not only do we have the best ‘banter’ in the world but I believe we are a compassionate nation and the people of Scotland would not want this man to die without engaging him.
Ishbel Taromsari, World Bike Girl
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.