FOOD NOT BOMBS RETURNS
Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs continues its weekly public feeding in front of the Main Post Office.
Last week it was driven by police and postal officials from the spot it had served at for the previous month--under the eavs of the Post Office.
At that spot it did not block traffic, was protected from the wind and rain, and operated without difficulties--except that postal employees objected for unspecified reasons (anonymous complaints).
Last week under threat of arrest, FNB was forced to the sidewalk to serve.
More on this at http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/01/19/18730563.php?show_comments=1#18730857
and the main story to which this comment is attached.
THE BROADER THREAT
Allowing bureaucrats and cops to deny the community the right to assemble is a dangerous precedent. Two and a half years ago City Hall and the Library were made curfew zones at night to stop peaceful protest.
Last year, Chief Administrative Officer Susan Mauriello decreed a 7 PM to 7 AM curfew at the courthosue and county building against Occupy Santa Cruz. This curfew is still in force--as though we were under martial law.
The e-mail address and website for for Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs are foodnotbombs-sc [at] riseup.net
They also have a facebook page. The best way to reach them is to come to the Saturday 4 PM meal and volunteer.
Robert Norse of HUFF (Homeless United for Friendship & Freedom) is posting this event. At our weekly meeting we voted to support FNB and encourage others in the community to cook and serve. We also urge folks to come witness and be in solidarity with FNB servers as they rightfully use the public space to both feed and raise important social and political questions.
THE BROADER PICTURE
The attack on Food Not Bombs may be part of a broader agenda by groups downtown (the Downtown Association, Santa Cruz Neighbors, SCPD, City Council) to remove visible poverty from sight and "make Santa Cruz a less welcoming place for the Undesirable".
Attacks on food servers has been done in the past in Santa Cruz and other cities and only stopped when FNB and other feeding groups refused to stop feeding, even in the face of threats of arrest.
A HISTORICAL LOOK BACK
For an account of my jailtime and its impact in helping to stopp the harassment of Food Not Bombs in San Francisco two decades ago see: http://www.huffsantacruz.org/StreetSpiritSantaCruz/001.SoupCrime%20In%20San%20Francisco=8-96.pdf
UPCOMING ATTACKS ON THE HOMELESS
City Council with its right-wing majority is likely to pass the anti-homeless recommendations of the Public Safety [sic] Committee, perhaps as early as next Tuesday. See
"New Attack on Homeless Slated in City Council's "Public Safety" Committee Meeting http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/01/29/18730942.php
I hope that our local FNB will continue the work of its predecessors in taking direct stands to dramatize the abuses of the anti-homeless groups (and phony povertypimps).
Those who have aided and abetted the anti-homeless sweeps of the last year using "needle hysteria" to scapegoat already vulnerable poor people need to be confronted and exposed.
These are my opinions, though I think many in HUFF share them (even some in FNB). I do not speak for FNB (nor for the homeless community), but only for myself.
Please get in touch with FNB and sign up to cook and serve. And show up with cameras, video and audio devices, and friends to witness and support.
The only thing that illegitimate power understands is the power of the community aroused.