Rev. Al Sharpton Continues Fast

A hungry Al Sharpton was getting conflicting advice from two women on Sunday: His mother and Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow.

The activist's mother was trying to convince Sharpton to stop his prison hunger strike in protest of the continuation of Navy bombing exercises in Vieques, Puerto Rico, while Coretta Scott King was urging him on.

"It is a terrible tragedy that Puerto Rican children are experiencing serious illnesses as a result of the Navy's bombing exercises," King wrote to Sharpton, "and I applaud the courageous protest of the 'Vieques Four' to call attention to this injustice."

But Sharpton's mother, Ada Sharpton, urged her son to quit the liquid diet on which he has lost 8 pounds.

Sharpton has been fasting since Tuesday at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, where he is serving a 90-day sentence for trespassing on Navy property during a May 1 protest on Vieques.

The Navy has used its range on Vieques, home to 9,400 people, for six decades and says it is vital for national security. Critics say the bombings pose a health threat, which the Navy denies.

Also serving sentences for their roles in the protest are New York City Councilman Adolfo Carrion, state Assemblyman Jose Rivera and Bronx County Democratic Party chairman Roberto Ramirez. All three were sentenced to 40 days.

Sharpton and his wife of 21 years, Kathy, had been scheduled to renew their wedding vows Sunday at a Harlem church.

Instead, she visited him in jail, as did their teenage daughters Dominique and Ashley and Sharpton's mother, said Sharpton spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger.

The 46-year-old activist said he would subsist solely on liquids until bombing operations on the island ceased.

On Thursday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston rejected motions to stay the sentences or set bail for Sharpton and the other three men convicted of federal trespassing by a judge in Puerto Rico.

The court decided to expedite a hearing on the men's appeals of their convictions, setting it for Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.