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Demonstrators Call for an End to Laws Restricting Acts of Compassion
by Alex Darocy ( alex [at] alexdarocy.com )
Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
On April 1, community members gathered at the Town Clock in Santa Cruz to share food and spread the message that: FOOD IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE. The demonstration was held in conjunction with international actions calling for an end to laws restricting acts of compassion, and was organized locally by Food Not Bombs Santa Cruz and the Occupy Santa Cruz Food Justice Working Group.
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A press release on the Food Not Bombs website describes the difficulties community members around the world have been having when attempting to share food with those in need: "It has been distressing to receive so many reports in the past few weeks of people being threatened with arrest or cities adopting new laws limiting people's right to share free food with the public. People in Belarus, England, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Florida have been contacting the Food Not Bombs global coordination office about having been threatened with arrest for sharing food. Others report that their local governments are considering laws to limit acts of compassion. Food Not Bombs volunteers in Minsk have been arrested for sharing meals and police raided a benefit concert on March 24, 2012 charging 15 volunteers with sentenced to administrative arrests."

For more information, see:
Food Not Bombs: Food is a Right, Not a Privilege
http://www.foodnotbombs.net/food_is_a_right.html

Occupy Santa Cruz
http://occupysantacruz.org


Alex Darocy
http://alexdarocy.blogspot.com/
§Food Justice!
by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Vacant Lots? or Urban Gardens
by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Food is a Right
by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§75 River Street Tag Cloud
by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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§Occupy Santa Cruz General Assembly
by Alex Darocy Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:03 AM
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After the demonstration, many community members migrated over to the Occupy Santa Cruz general assembly, which is held at the Santa Cruz post office on Saturdays and Sundays.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Robert Norse
Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 5:57 AM
...for bringing into the spotlight not just a national crackdown, but one that is happening locally.

Last year, former Mayor Cynthia Mathews (still politically prominent and reportedly running for City Council again in the fall) tried to defrock Calvary Church minister Joel Miller for his once-a-week Monday meal-and-service for the homeless. Mathews owns a "historic home" across the street next to Jack's Hamburgers and reportedly feared the gatherings of "undesirables" was impacting her property value. She and a small group of right-wing church goers sued Miller in ecclesiastical court costing him tens of thousands of dollars (but he endured and continues to serve meals weekly).

She has also been a prime supporter of anti-homeless gentrification laws over the years like the Sleeping Ban, the Sitting Ban, the Sparechanging Ban, the Political Tabling Ban, the Performing Ban, etc. (See "Cynthia Mathews--Scrooge for the Season" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/12/24/18667496.php . The writer, Becky Johnson, is now--coincidentally--being framed for two felonies and two conspiracies for sympathetic reporting of the 75 River St. vacant bank occupation)

Pastor Dennis Adams regular Sunday meal several years ago was driven away from the Town Clock area and now happens "off in the bushes" at the Homeless Lack of Services Center in a location less public and so less "threatening" to the bigoted businesses downtown. (See notes at "Orlando Food Not Bombs Interview: at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/06/09/18681450.php )

The Drum Circle, once a vibrant cultural event at the Farmer's Market, supported directly by the local Food Not Bombs, was driven away from there and subsequently harassed all over town, with authorities repeatedly threatening arrest to people there and Dannettee Shoemaker (Parks and Recreation boss) declaring "do not trespass" zones---which city authorities then clearcut and fenced off--such as the area on the downtown side of the Soquel bridge across from CVS. (See "City runs off Drum Circle again, cuts down trees and cements AREA CLOSED signs along levee" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/07/29/18654907.php . That story's writer, Brent Adams, is also--coincidentally, of course, also the target of the 75 River St. Felony Frame-Up)

Journalists like Darocy, myself, Johnson, and Adams (as well as two others) are currently facing a possible 8 years in jail for reporting on the 75 River St. protest last year--see "Wells Fargo Closes During Demonstration in Solidarity with 75 River St. Arrestees" at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/02/15/18707438.php, an article by Bradley Stuart--another coincidentally charged with "conspiracy" and "trespass" felonies).

Alex Darocy is a prolific writer and photographer who gave us this report. He is yet another 8-years-in-jail target, charged (See "Two Courts Cream the Constitution: Justice Santa Cruz Style Rides Again! " at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2012/03/27/18710213.php )
by Sylvia
Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 7:03 AM
The photos and story capture both the spirit and content of the event. Thanks for the careful coverage.
by warren west
( solartram [at] gmail.com ) Wednesday Apr 4th, 2012 12:28 PM
right to assemble and do acts of kindness/not in deaf dumb blind facious murderious santa cruz / i know because of 18 years of wrongfull and ongoing prosickution