BYU student leaves school, joins occupy movement hunger strike

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 6 2011 4:03 p.m. MST

A month ago, Brian Udall was enrolled at BYU as a film major. Now, as most BYU students are gearing up for finals, Udall is on a hunger strike with the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Udall, 18, dropped all his classes and headed out to New York City after police raided the Occupy Wall Street camp at Zuccotti Park in SoHo, according to a Manhattan news website. He and two other protesters with Utah ties want to claim a 20,000-square-foot vacant lot owned by the Trinity Church in SoHo as a central location for the Occupy Movement.

One of the forerunners in the movement, a former Utah Valley University student named Diego Ibanez, told DNAinfo.com that the protestors need a new space to occupy because of the volume of people in the movement and hopes the Trinity Church will be on board.

"We're asking Trinity for political sanctuary," Ibanez said. "They have a great opportunity to show they're on board with the same values Occupy Wall Street has."

Udall and Ibanez are joined by 22-year-old Provo resident Shae Willes, according to the New York Daily News.

The three argued that since the movement keeps getting uprooted from other public spaces for protesting, the Occupy Wall Street members deserve a public space to have their voices heard. To demonstrate their commitment to the cause, the group's hunger strike consists of consuming only a juice with maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and water.

The group insisted that if arrested, they will continue their hunger strike for the cause.

"We're willing to go as long as it takes," Ibanez, 23, told ABCNews. "If we do get detained, we're going to continue the hunger strike in jail, and as soon as we leave we're going to come right back down here and continue."

The trio was indeed arrested, twice on Sunday, the Daily News reported.

Hunger seems to be an issue for the New York Occupy protestors.

On Saturday, prison-bound pizzas for a group of protesters fell into the hands of some very hungry police officers in the Lower East Side.

When the officers saw the pizzas at the front, they assumed someone ordered it for them and scarfed the pies down.

Once they realized the Mini Munchies pizzas were destined for the detained protesters, they immediately ordered more to reconcile their mistake, but the protesters weren't having it.

"We weren't touching their dirty pizza," Charles King, the president of Housing Works said in a statement obtained by DNAinfo.com. "We knew it was cheesy hush money."

EMAIL: sgambles@desnews.com

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