Posted by CODEPINK Staff
The city of Orlando is once again arresting Food Not Bombs activists for sharing healthy meals with the hungry as a result of an ordinance attempting to limit feeding to twice a year. CODEPINK members are appalled at this abhorrent treatment of compassionate individuals making a positive difference in their community through their dedication to the basic human right to food.
The prosecution of individuals distributing meals to the unemployed and under-employed is a clear demonstration of the city of Orlando’s disregard for those suffering from an epidemic of inequality, and a reflection of the larger problem of hunger and homelessness in America. At a time when the US is overextended in wars abroad at the expense of the health of our nation, we need to recognize the important role of FNB in providing a critical service for people lacking proper nutrition.
Being hungry shouldn’t be made a crime simply because the elite consider homelessness an impediment to business interests such as land development. The implementation of this ban is a shameful attempt at masking and delegitimizing problems of social inequity and points to the city’s skewed perception of its social responsibilities.
We firmly believe in people’s right to food, and as such CODEPINK activists in Orlando have worked to support FNB since the inception of the ban, including testifying on behalf of Eric Montanez. We will continue to support the brave members of FNB and their commitment to fight inequality and oppression across the US.
Instead of criminalizing people’s efforts to alleviate hunger, the city of Orlando ought to refocus its attention and resources on job creation and addressing the rampant poverty at the root of the problem. It also seems the Orlando police department’s time (and our tax dollars) would be better spent working for justice, not against it, as FNB is actively doing.
CODEPINK calls on the city of Orlando to stop criminalizing acts of humanity and social justice.