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Occupy DC Hunger Strike Ends

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Adrian Parsons on Dec. 7, the day before he began his 25-day hunger strike that ended Jan. 1.
Adrian Parsons on Dec. 7, the day before he began his 25-day hunger strike that ended Jan. 1.

WASHINGTON -- Adrian Parsons started off his new year with some coconut water and broth.

Parsons and three other Occupy DC demonstrators stopped eating on Dec. 8, vowing not to consume anything other than water and vitamins until D.C. had been granted budgetary and legislative autonomy and full voting rights. Eleven days in, only Parsons was the still fasting. He made it nearly two weeks longer.

Just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, Parsons posted to Facebook that he was planning to end the strike. The broth, he said in a phone interview late Sunday night, "tastes like liquid chicken," and he was so taken with the coconut water -- mixed with a little honey -- that he felt as if he could "smell the flowers the bees made the honey from."

Parsons, who lost some 27 pounds since he began the strike, said he gave up because of kidney pain and other health concerns. Recuperating at his girlfriend's house in Petworth, Parsons said that after the coconut water and broth he was already feeling stronger and "wanted to dance."

The protester said he now intends to focus on the three new D.C. voting rights initiatives he and the other hunger strikers launched on Friday. The movement will become "less based on us and the limit of our bodies," Parsons said, and more on "the limit of Congress."

While immediate, tangible gains remain elusive, Parsons said the strike yielded new allies, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory.

Parsons said the fast sharpened his thoughts, and that without such a cognitive boost the initiatives launched Friday would not exist. And there were other, more personal benefits as well, he said: "I saved a lot of money on food. So that was very productive as well."

WATCH: Parsons discusses the hunger strike:

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