Man fasts in hopes to remove Stonewall Jackson monument

Local News

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Protests continue at the West Virginia State Capitol in the hopes to remove the Stonewall Jackson monument on capitol grounds. One protester is making his statement through self-deprivation.

James Cochran is fasting, not for some crazy diet trend, but to send a message in hopes that it results in the removal of the statue.

“A statute to a man who didn’t want your state to exist doesn’t make much sense,” Cochran said.

The statue has been the epicenter of racial tensions in the Capitol City and Cochran says its removal is long overdue, and the crys to tear it down haven’t been heard.

“So that’s where I got the idea of making some additional sacrifices in terms of fasting, just to show I’m serious and I really want it to happen,” he said.

Cochran is doing his fasting in stages. He has completed a 24-hour fast, is currently in the middle of a 48-hour one.

“Making sure to stay hydrated, you know, just being really careful,” he said. “I think probably 72 hours, I might try to do three full days, but that’s probably the maximum.”

He hopes his message gets the attention of Gov. Jim Justice.

All these other states are getting rid of their statues,” he said. “I believe we will too and it’s just a matter of time and I rather see it happen sooner rather than later, and that’s the whole reason why I’m doing this.”

He challenges others to join his mission, “Hungry for Justice” (and on Twitter) by fasting or giving up their favorite foods until the statue comes down.

A news conference is scheduled at 1:30 p.m., on Tuesday, July 14, at the West Virginia State Capitol Complex in front of the Culture Center, where a formal request from 30 civil justice organizations asks to be placed on the Capitol Building Commission’s next agenda.

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