Friday, July 1, 2011

Free Meal and Overnight 'First Amendment' Vigil at City Hall, City of Santa Cruz

640_food-not-bombs.jpg original image ( 700x465)

Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs
Meal and Overnight Vigil
In Solidarity with Orlando Florida

Defend First Amendment Rights and Support Food Not Bombs Co-Founder
Keith McHenry

Tuesday June 28, 2011 (n below: July 1, 2011)
from Indybay Santa Cruz

The City of Orlando, home of Disney World in Florida, is being sued in court over a city law that has effectively made it illegal for any group to feed more than 25 people at a time in downtown parks without a permit. It also limits groups to no more than two permits per park, per year.

The group Food Not Bombs has refused to obey the new law—saying food is a right, not a privilege—and has continued to serve free meals to poor and homeless Floridians. Over the past month more than 20 members of the organization have been arrested. Keith McHenry, who helped found Food Not Bombs over 30 years ago, was arrested on June 22nd and remains in jail.

Acting in defense of First Amendment rights, in solidarity with Keith McHenry, and to end the criminalization of poverty, Food Not Bombs-Santa Cruz is planning a free meal, event and overnight vigil on Thursday, June 30th starting at 7pm outside Santa Cruz City Hall.

Overnight Success on Center Street

by Linda Ellen Lemaster, Linda's Hearth
July 1, 2011

I went to the Food Not Bombs solidarity meal, at a quarter of 8 pm last night. It was already a full fledged success -- having fed about three dozen folks, and several volunteers were beginning to talk about a sleepover.

Crow and Casey were the hosts and cooks and very remarkable energy centers for this event. A number of HUFF activists, and at least five survivors from last summer's PeaceCamp2010, including Ed Frey fresh from jail for Lodging, attended the event. HUFF's Norse provided signs linking both sleep and eats as human rights, and the blue lettered FOOD NOT BOMBS' twenty-foot long banner could be seen halfway down the block.

India Joze, longtime food ally of poor and homeless locals, contributed hearty vegetarian stew to the fare Food Not Bombs organizers had prepared: soup in clear broth, tons of fresh salad, and loaves of sourdough french bread. Somebody drove by to drop off a bag of fruit.

After eating and catching up with folks at the event, I spent the night nearby in a car I get to use, and there was at least one other car-sleeper. Seven other people spent the night at City Hall on the brick plaza that links this governmental center's garden campus with Center Street, wrapped illegally in sleeping bags and blankets.

I came back by at 7:30am, to find fresh coffee from a SubRosa collectivist and most of the sleepers making plans for the day and for a month from now.

Keith McHenry is my "stone soup" man. He's one of my major heroes, similar to 'India Joze'. He got me to stop whining and showed me I can make soup in almost any setting, as we joined energies and borrowed an old-fashioned coffee percolator from the City-County Library, across the street from another demonstration at same City Hall in the 1980s.

McHenry had a huge impact on this movement offering food to hungry people in the US of America, but it really IS a movement actually, and putting him in jail now cannot stop this movement. en it is so essentially simple to prevent; we all need to wake up and realize what's going on -- starving and criminalizing people for natural and unavoidable functions -- in our names and with our taxes.

The city of Orlando is an 'invented' city, built over the Everglades in the late 1960s and early 1970s, advertising jobs all over the state of Florida for their soon-to-materialize DisneyWorld. This shame of Orlando's government seems a microcosm of our economy. Starve them -- redistribute the now-unemployed victims of our Nation's entertainment addiction industry.

Last night I was very proud of Food Not Bombs.

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