Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Orlando Activists Shrug Off Arrests, Continue Feeding Homeless

Food Not Bombs continues to do amazing work in Orlando despite having been arrested some weeks ago for distributing food to people without a permit, as they fed about 100 people at City Hall on the Fourth of July.  Their usual site and location of their arrests is Lake Eola, which they avoided on Independence Day to spare the homeless that come for food the throngs that gather there on the Fourth.

Their arrest has raised the ire of some high profile groups, with famed online hacktivism group Anonymous targeting Orlando tourism sites.  Food Not Bombs moved their operation to the City Hall at the invitation of the Mayor.

"'What happened was, Mayor [Buddy] Dyer was quoted as saying that he offered to let Food Not Bombs gather at City Hall any time they like, and he'd donate some of the peppers he grows on his mayoral balcony to the chili pot,' Markeson said. 'So, we wanted to see if he would live up to his word.'

"Markeson added that while mayor did not make an appearance on Monday, they were not harassed by police and 'at least 100' people turned out for oatmeal, grits, pancakes, potatoes, bread and coffee.

"He also said that City Hall had not been used in the past because it lacks easy access to basic sanitation facilities, unlike the public park which has running water outdoors."

However, the organization has vowed to not be deterred with the draconian arrests of their organizers, promising to return to their Lake Eola venue.  They are urging attendees to bring cameras in case someone tries to arrest them.

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