From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
FIRST DIABLO FOOD NOT BOMBS SHUT DOWN BY HEALTH DEPARTMENT AND POLICE
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.
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!!!