By my understanding, the undertaking of any kind of strike is a political act involving withholding something someone needs in order to provoke some favourable action. A more political shade of that is to cause some subtle political disadvantage rather than depriving someone of something they obviously want. In the case of the hunger strikes, whether the Chinese government want practitioners to die or not, it is certainly disadvantageous for them if practitioners die in police custody.
By going on a hunger strike one is essentially threatening 「If you don"t release me I will kill myself.」 Which seems to me to be a political act. Also, taking a life is a crime against the universe whether it is someone else"s or your own (my understanding). Also from the point of view of Bigu, as I understand it Master Li recommended against this and so the only reason for such a method to be employed would be if being deprived of food.
While it may be said that the practitioners are defending the great law, is it possible to defend it when you are acting against it?
This is of course, all based upon my present understanding of Dafa, so if anyone would like to share their understanding with me then please do.