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FIRST DIABLO FOOD NOT BOMBS SHUT DOWN BY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND POLICE
by Derailer (diablofoodnotbombs [at] gmail.com)
Monday Jun 14th, 2010 3:09 PM
On Thursday June 10th, formed chapter of Food Not Bombs in the Diablo valley area attempted to serve food at the Concord farmers market in the Todos Santos plaza to the homeless and underprivileged. The Contra Costa Health Department with the assistance of the Concord Police Department ordered the group to cease operations and confiscated all of the group's food and supplies.
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On Thursday June 10th, a newly formed chapter of Food Not Bombs in the Diablo valley area attempted to serve food at the Concord farmers market in the Todos Santos plaza. Prior to the serving of food, the group was confronted by the health department and the police which told members of the group not to serve the meal. Due to the presence of hungry individuals and families at the park, the group decided to set up and begin serving despite instructions by the authorities not to. After serving around 30-40 people and with about 50 people waiting in line, the Contra Costa Health Department with the assistance of the Concord Police Department ordered the group to cease operations and confiscated all of the group's remaining food and supplies. The authorities used lack of permits and violations of health codes to justify their actions. As hungry people walked away with plates full of food, the police proceeded to take their plates and ordered them to leave. The police also began to yell and push individuals that were trying to save what was left. They ordered them to leave the park stating they were causing a "disturbance" and threatened them with arrest even though the individuals were simply serving free food and constituted no threat to the public. Diablo Food Not Bombs maintains the only threat the group posed was to the business interests of the overpriced vendors and the gentrified downtown area of Concord, in which the serving of free food might undermine profit margins, even though the people being fed could not afford the expensive food in the first place. Also those who have effectively shut out the issue of American poverty in their minds would then have to see and mingle with the homeless, underprivileged and starving. The only threat Diablo Food Not Bombs poses is a threat to the status quo of hunger in our area. The city of Concord is obviously not doing enough about those deprived of food in our community and instead subdues efforts of ordinary people who try to feed them. If the city truly wants to make the farmers market a community event, it would be inclusive of all people, especially those trying to help others out directly, instead of spending tax payer dollars and city resources to repress them. The Health Department is currently holding the cookware and supplies that were taken and will not release them until the group signs a document saying that they will not serve food in the future without a permit. Diablo Food not Bombs states that given their current capacity, they cannot meet the unfeasibly enormous financial and facility permit requirements set by the city ordinance and the county health code, and they will not just wait around or go through bureaucratic motions while there are people in our community that are in need of food. DIABLO FOOD NOT BOMBS IS CALLING A BAY WIDE ACTION NEXT THURSDAY JUNE 17th IN TODOS SANTOS PARK, CONCORD AT 4:30pm. COME DEFEND THE HUMAN RIGHT TO FOOD!!!
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by Derailer Monday Jun 14th, 2010 3:09 PM
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Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Jay
Tuesday Jun 15th, 2010 3:48 AM
once upon a time, years ago, there was a food not bombs in concord. they served at baldwin park on saturdays. saturday was the day that loaves and fishes did not have any meals.

trying to serve at the farmers market is asking for trouble. the organizers of the farmers market are super strict about not letting people pass out fliers or busk without a permit. or at least that has been my experience.

anyway, it's awesome to see some folks getting things done in the concord area.
by Ergoat
Tuesday Jun 15th, 2010 9:02 AM
Take that, hungry people!
by anon
Tuesday Jun 15th, 2010 11:02 AM
I live right down the street from the concord Farmer's Market and love seeing a food not bombs in my area. thanks and fuck every single cop
by (A)
Tuesday Jun 15th, 2010 2:43 PM
im so happy to hear y'all are starting another FNB!

keep it up! you are inspiration to all of us!
by .
Tuesday Jun 15th, 2010 2:49 PM
got horrible sick on hormel chili corporate ''meat'' product. more danger in your supermarket shelf than at fnb.
by Justin
Wednesday Jun 16th, 2010 3:59 PM
Sickening, isn't it? I wonder if these cops and bureaucrats ever go to church.
by Kate Fowlie, Contra Costa Health Services
(kfowlie [at] hsd.cccounty.us) Wednesday Jun 16th, 2010 6:22 PM
Our Environmental Health Division did have to stop the distribution of food by Food Not Bombs last week at the Concord farmers market because the group didn’t have a permit to serve food at the market and they didn’t use an approved kitchen to prepare the food. You are right that there are people in Concord and around the county that do not have enough food, including many families. People deserve enough, safe food. It is important that all food provided to every resident be handled safely and be safe to eat. We work with churches, food pantries and restaurants to train staff in safe food handling to be sure that they can carry out their best intentions and protect the health and well being of the community. That’s why it is so important for any organization that serves food to have a permit - that helps us do our job to protect everyone’s health. And nonprofits are exempt from paying the fees for permits. We did release the equipment back to Food Not Bombs and they signed a form that indicates they will follow the California Retail Food Code. We support any effort to help people who are homeless and there are many organizations in Contra Costa that work with the homelesss community and some of them provide food. These food pantries all need more resources and we urge residents to support these agencies, such as Loaves and Fishes and the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano. A good source of info is 211 and online: http://211database.org
by Fresno Food Not Bombs
Wednesday Jun 16th, 2010 10:02 PM
Fresno Food not bombs has been sharing food for over 15 years. We share food twice a week with about 150 people. Guess how many folks have complained about getting ill from our healthy vegetarian meals? Not a single person. That would be approximately 120000 meals shared without a single complaint. And guess what; we've never recieved a permit from the health department.
It looks like the Health Dept. in Concord cares more about the profit margin for businesses at the farmers market then hungry people recieving a free nutritious vegetarian meal.
by huh?
Thursday Jun 17th, 2010 9:31 AM
Why not just go get a permit, since it is free? Doesn't sound that hard to do. Not sure what the holdup is there.
by bokor
Thursday Jun 17th, 2010 10:19 AM
Because manifesting "Food not bombs" by permission of the state would defeat the point of the protest. What the fuck do you need permission for?

The part of FNB that is food is to share a convivial meal and get people talking to each other that ordinarily wouldn't.

It is important that FNB be veg as it tends to be safer to handle. Honestly though, are people such cows that they can't make their own fucking choices anymore without coming up against some anal probing agency and dupes with guns. Illegal picnics?

Lastly I would like to note that the "Health department" and the cops illegally seized that food. No one was selling the food so no one was operating commercially. That is the only place the H.D. has any jurisdiction. If this ever happens again I would point this out and tell the cops to please escort these criminals away from my food.

Alternatively if they don't return the food after being informed (meaning they will keep on with the assumption you are acting in commerce) bill them for the food. Lien their assets for nonpayment.
by Concord Kate
Sunday Jun 20th, 2010 12:50 AM
Seriously, why doesn't your group go where the homeless are, like along the Clayton Road corridor (behind McDonald's near Thornwood Drive, the corner of Treat & Clayton Rd are 2 spots), the corner of Oak Grove & Monument camp, or the creek near the Concord's El Torrito's? These people aren't cruising the Concord Farmer's Market - most of these people don't have wheels and tend to stick around their own areas. The farmers & other vendors who sell in Todos Santos Plaza are honest, hardworking people. Just because they charge for their stuff doesn't make them greedy bastards. You're picking on the wrong group of people. I'm an SF Bay Area native that was part of the 60's movement and did my share of protesting. But I learned that if you cop a shitty attitude, you're going to get it right back and end up nowhere. Why does FNB have to have such a pissy attitude? I heard the Health Dept. was willing to give you guys a free permit. If Glide Memorial, Loves & Fishes, the Diggers and other groups can do it working with "the system," why can't FNB? "The system" is made up of people, too, who deserve just as much respect as you do. Are they any less compassionate about helping others just because they want to take the extra step of making sure the food is safe? Drop the attitude and grow up.
by Libertarian Lou
Sunday Jun 20th, 2010 12:44 PM
The point that FNB is making is that the government should NOT be the ones in charge of determining if food is "Safe". "Food safety regulations" stifle the economy and get between people and their food. Why should the government have a monopoly on determining if food is "safe"? You don't trust the FNBers to figure it out with their own eyes?

Occasional "salmonella" panics are like a form of McCarthyism meant to push the sheeple into fearing a "virus under every bed".
by Kate
Sunday Jun 20th, 2010 6:58 PM
People like Libertarian Lou forget that the government is made up of people who put their pants on one leg at a time like you and I. When you cop a Us vs. Them attitude, it sets up antagonism. We should all be acting like a community, respecting each other's differences, but willing to work together and LISTEN. Do you want to sound like the Tea Party'ers, blaming every roadblock on the "gubmint."

Again, I ask, why not go to where the most needy are, which is NOT at Todos Santos Plaza during the Farmer's Market events. Take that extra step and actually go to the homeless camps. These are the hardcore underfed. A lot of the people who lined up at the Concord event were not needy or homeless. Sure they may have been hungry, but that's just because their last meal was a few hours prior. In other words, they were just opportunists.

Why don't you serve food outside of the fast food establishments as a healthy alternative? The McDonalds on Clayton Road in Concord (cross street Thornwood) has a homeless camp at the back as well.

Or is it more important to be up in people's faces?
by Mutulist Mofo
Tuesday Jul 6th, 2010 12:26 AM

Yes, FNB has every reason to take an us versus them stance. The state is an illegitimate monopoly of force; voting every so often who is is allowed to commit crimes for the benefit of those being robbed or other wise coerced is not democracy. FNB, and everyone for that matter, have every reason to raise hell against the government, because yes, it has been and continues to be the root cause of (among other things) poverty by way of regulations and zoning laws that hurt the poor and benefit those already with capital, and by drastically tipping the balance in favour of corporate power. (see Charles Johnson, Scratching By: How Government Creates Poverty as We Know It as well as Kevin Carson, The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand: Corporate Capitalism As a State-Guaranteed System of Privilege)

So yes, a hearty and well deserved FUCK YOU IN THE NECK YOU MOTHER FUCKERS to the sadistic ass holes at the Health Department and to the goons in costume sent to do their dirty work (telling hungry homeless people to NOT eat; what the fuck is wrong with you people?). I applaud, encourage, and support any organisation or individual working to build alternatives without seeking first the "permission" to fix or alleviate the aftermath of so-called "solutions" that got us here to begin with.