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3 FNB members arrested in Fla. for feeding homeless

Discussion in 'Anarchism and radical activism' started by punkmar77, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2009
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    Three arrested, accused of illegally feeding homeless
    Orlando police say they violated a city ordinance restricting the feedings.

    [​IMG]

    By Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

    1:33 p.m. EDT, June 2, 2011

    Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.

    Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.

    The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.

    Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.

    "They intentionally violated the statute," said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.

    Police waited until everyone was served to make the arrests, said Douglas Coleman, speaking for Orlando Food Not Bombs.

    "They basically carted them off to jail for feeding hungry people," said Coleman, who was not present. "For them to regulate a time and place for free speech and to share food, that is unacceptable."

    Orlando Food Not Bombs has been feeding the homeless breakfast on Mondays for several years and dinner on Wednesdays for five years.

    Police had not enforced the ordinance while the court battle continued. The U.S. District Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled that city rules regulating how often large groups of people can be fed in a park do not violate the Constitution.

    The penalty for violating Orlando's ordinance is 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.

    Arrest documents state that Orlando Food Not Bombs received permits and fed more than 25 homeless people at Lake Eola Park on May 18 and 23. Coleman said the group rejected the permits.

    On May 25, Orlando Food Not Bombs illegally fed a large group of homeless people, the police report states. The group on its website called for members to show up that day and defy the city ordinance, according to the report.

    Officers said they found a press release on Markeson when they arrested him stating that group members planned to defy the ordinance Wednesday.

    Bail was set at $250 for each person arrested. Cross and Markeson were released from jail early

    Thursday. McHenry wants to stay in jail and let the legal process take its course, Coleman said.

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/loc ... 6362.story
     

  2. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 9, 2010
     
    This was on the news when I got here. Funny, they can spend hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to replace the stupid fountain in that park but object to feeding people at no cost to them.
     
  3. dan00a

    dan00aExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 7, 2010
     
    Hear hear! FNB in general and especially that chapter has fed me more times than I can count, and was pretty much the only ever actual meal I got for a long time. Seeing something like this makes me sick. Then again, FL police have nothing better to do than not only harass the homeless, but make their lives even more difficult than they already are.
     
  4. carnytrash

    carnytrashMember New Member


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    Jun 6, 2011
     
    This is absolutely ridiculous. The whole 'ordinance against feeding' makes it seem like the homeless are wild animals. Surely there are more important things than whether or not people voluntarily give food to those in need.
     
  5. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 9, 2010
     
    3 more FnB people just got arrested. The local news tried to put a spin on it like they were stupid for feeding people in Lake Eola Park because there's a few soup kitchens in the area. Does the media/gov't even realize Florida has like the highest homeless rate in the country? With the sheer number of homeless, and adding on the working poor, a few soup kitchens is barely anything.


    I guess they're just too worried about maintaining the illusion of paradise to keep those tourist dollars coming in to care about feeding people.
     
  6. vAsSiLy77

    vAsSiLy77Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jun 21, 2010
     
    We got some problems here too, official reason: Loitering and left over waste, last week we had a few temporary arrests (nobody had her/his ID on her/him) and the local cop station was again visited by the local population to get everyones ID's checked.
    We never leave any waste, now we take vid's and photos from the place to prove it, a list to sign is going round to prove that the locals don't feel bad about the bunch of people eating and talking two or three hours twice a week and after a few laments about the drinking in public our guests decided on a "not here"-rule... so we'll continue, no matter how nervous the cops are getting.
    The tactic to visit the cops lair in numbers and give them something to do after they tried the arrest thingie proves quite effective, no arrests this week and the few uniforms that show up keep a healthy distance, thank punk for the support we get - we will just outlast them, loitering and collecting waste... :ecouteurs:
     
  7. The Freakboi

    The FreakboiExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    May 8, 2011
     
    This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time! I'm imagining signs saying "please don't feed the homeless" like the "don't feed the seagulls" signs we get down here in Devon.
     
  8. vAsSiLy77

    vAsSiLy77Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jun 21, 2010
     
    We got some "official" support with donated food in the city, it kinda "citizen"-initiative very well established after long years of service, but now distributing only pre-packed packages for welfare recipients - the demand is so great that they have to give out coupons - no coupon, no food, it's just not enough for everybody in need.
    They cooperate closely with the city council and get some financial support, but now they are under orders to evade "crowds" gathering, so if you have your coupon, you get the package and then you're asked to leave the place immediately.
    Right, it's more than ridiculous how they try to keep the growing poverty under the carpet while the city council is debating tourist amusements and the next possible olympic event... just one more reason to continue with what we do and how we do it.
    There were some threats with legals at courts coming from the cops, thats why we do the documentation now and I wonder if and how they will come up justifying a verdict, guess they'll come up with some new signs, great, they'll make a adding to the growing collection we already keep :D .
     
  9. carnytrash

    carnytrashMember New Member


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    Jun 6, 2011
     
    That's the way I feel about it too.

    The funny thing is, there are other organizations that donate food to the homeless; here it's Philabundance and they get lots of positive press. It's almost as tho donations are acceptable as long as the public doesn't actually have to watch the homeless eat or whatever. What next? No buying food for people on the street instead of giving them spare change?
     
  10. punkmar77

    punkmar77Administrator Staff Member Admin Team Experienced member


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    Nov 13, 2009
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    Those are all great Ideas Gobble, I think we should start preparing....we've been left alone for the last year and a half but I think we have a fight coming our way if the city decides they like what they see in Florida...
     
  11. vAsSiLy77

    vAsSiLy77Experienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jun 21, 2010
     
    One of many good things about foodnotbombs is, that it's so damned social and morally pure, everyone can participate, the majority of our activists aren't anarchists, but they see the need and the gain for everyone, food and a place to go for the homeless, a task/mission and the fun of working together for those who contribute - and so they defend the project. And I have to say: I'm fucking proud to be part of it.
    Last years civil disobedience action went a bit out of hand, we were two steps away from a riot, but it was the wrong place, time and people for sports in the street - this time it went smooth and right on spot, two times four or five hours with lots of work for the cops and a special lection for them to learn:
    If they want to play the ID-game to scare people off, they'll get the full hand - and they didn't liked it, having no coffe break makes them think twice about how "cheap" their little harrassments come.
    Next step would be a complete sending off - but they don't have a single fucking reason to justify it - and we have the no-leftover-documentation, the signed lists and the opportunity to use the local news media, we are still discussing possible legal issues and how far we would contribute to a session at court - but I think we wouldn't play this game, too much of lawful evils and too expensive, but it's a big city with lots of places were we could gather - and it really makes me kinda proud to see how easily the idea to react with mobility to continue with everything came up and was quickly organized, some might even build some three wheelers for transports and are already looking for more fitting cookware - and they enjoy it so much to do something that they are already making up plans faster than "us" professional rebels, we really have to keep up with them...
    I think the whole project is a great opportunity to get things visibly going towards kinda reclaim of freedom in "our" land and our community, people are taking back responsibility and start to defend whats theirs against the oppression of the "official" state - it's a small but important step, but the main line of approach is clear and a few of our average housewives asked for media about civil disobedience these days... :ecouteurs:
     
  12. JackNegativity

    JackNegativityExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Nov 9, 2010
     
    I think the news said that there's now been 21 total arrests. I've been hearing comments from people I'd never expect in support for FNB though. Seems the city changed the wording in the regulations for gatherings in the park specifically to screw with FNB, and people are starting see something sketchy is going on.
     
  13. dan00a

    dan00aExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 7, 2010
     
    Florida police love to screw with people that are associated with DIY homeless shelters and feedings because they think it makes the humbum infestation worse. I don't really see how it would, it would honestly give the police and whoever an easier way to keep track of all the transients/crusties/humbums/general homeless population. Cracking down on FNB is NOT the answer and NEVER will be, but for some reason the bastards in blue seem to think it is. This isn't a new thing, they've been doing it for years. It's getting more and more attention because people are slowly starting to realize the disgusting measures being taken against all of it.
     
  14. anachysta777

    anachysta777New Member New Member


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    Jul 4, 2011
     
    police brutality?nonviolence thats the way to conduct politics?
     
  15. nike

    nikeExperienced Member Experienced member Forum Member


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    Jun 19, 2011
     
    i'm far from being a pazifist, but i think any idea of defending a FNB-event by militant force quite a bit strange...
    maybe you should read the FNB-declarations first, get an idea what they want, why they do it and how they do it -
    and then organize a healthy mass protest to support them. good luck.
     
  16. dan00a

    dan00aExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jan 7, 2010
     
    as far as I know there is a mass protest going on in Orlando soon
     
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