Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sharing Ban is Law

They got the message.
Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs, Love Thy Neighbor, and Project Downtown had a nice spread out at the start of the City Commission, unfortunately the FLPD must've misread the invite and came  prepared for a small  riot. Instead people unhappy with the sharing ban law drowned out the City Commission from the outside for at least 2 hours with chants like "Jack Seiler Hates The Homeless" and "Your Power...Your Fault" and many more until the police moved them away from the  windows of the Chamber.

The City of Fort Lauderdale took until almost 2 am to begin hearing the sharing ban law. After deciding they needed to do more to expand the law for the entire city and protect rich interests such as Flagler Village, they passed it. What else can we say at this point?

Enforcement of this law begins on Friday, October 31st, which is when Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs shares every week. We ask everyone join together to resist the sharing ban here and any other sharings happening through the weekend and going forward until the food rights of everyone involved are protected from the City of Fort Lauderdale.

We will have a lot more information about the 31st and other plans to stop this law very soon. For now check out the highlight reel from the first hearing 2 weeks ago or also some of the local coverage from last night.


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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Last Chance to Stop Fort Lauderdale Sharing Ban

The 2nd hearing at the Fort Lauderdale City Commission will take place Tuesday, October 21st. Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs, Love Thy Neighbor, and The Peanut Butter & Jelly Project will be sharing food outside starting at 5:30, and the meeting starts at 6 pm. 

To say nothing of the City Commissioner's apathetic ears, the first hearing on this law did not take place until 2 am last time. We encourage those that are opposed to the law to join  homeless advocates for some dinner and discussion on what is to be done outside, and to participate with the Commission at their own discretion. It would be perhaps a little naive at this point to say that anyone inside is willing to listen to the harmful consequences of their actions. 

If the law passes, the first day of enforcement for the sharing ban will be Halloween. We will be sure to keep everyone updated about what is going to happen then. 

The Resist Homeless Hate  Laws Forum also took place on Saturday. The Unitarian of Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale made for a much more hospitable platform for a free discussion between homeless people, homeless advocates, legal experts, interfaith and political activists than the City Chambers. 

Besides a determined moral opposition to homeless discrimination, many advocates talked about progressive strategies to help poverty stricken people in our communities, including bolstering "homeless rights" laws, creating legal challenges to anti-homeless laws, and expanding services to the homeless community. There were many religious and political perspectives that envisioned a society whose first focus is for the human rights of these people above many of the wasteful ways our governments wastes its resources today. We can only hope this is a beginning on that path.
We will actually have a lot more about the proposals and ideas talked about at this forum for everyone shortly, but first comes this last City Commission meeting...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Campers Surprise Broward 100 Block Party

Thursday, October 16th was the day of enforcement for the camping ban, which will allow the FLPD to arrest people in downtown essentially for being homeless and having no place to go. Ironically it was also the day of the "Broward 100" block party on Las Olas. An evening of speakers, musical entertainment and "street performers" was planned to celebrate 100 years since the creation of Broward County. 

However, there seemed to be a bit of confusion on the stage after the Chinese Dragon performance - that was because homeless advocates from Food Not Bombs decided to stage an impromptu performance to protest the beginning of the camping ban. After issuing a brief statement participants camped out with sleeping bags and cardboard mats that doubled as protest signs against Fort Lauderdale's Homeless Hate Laws.


Far from a hostile treatment, the crowd seemed very receptive to this demonstration and ignored the stage MC's requests to turn back to the regularly scheduled program. Afterwards the demonstrators were allowed to leave without incident. 
Around the same time, these banners also appeared on the parking garage just north of Las Olas Boulevard across from Stranahan Park, and stayed up for most of the night. 


While homeless harassment downtown has indeed been bad lately, as of the time of this writing we have not heard of anyone being arrested under the camping ban law. We have more video and photos to share but we are also frantically preparing for the Resist Homeless Hate Laws Forum this Saturday! You may also find some photos submitted from the public at #broward100

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

First Sharing Ban Vote Passes in Dead of Night


In case there were any doubts about the composition and intent of the City of Fort Lauderdale, last night's, or should we say, this morning's, Commission meeting should wash them away. The meeting dragged on for over 7 hours before the "sharing ban ordinance" was introduced - except it wasn't called a "sharing ban" and the wording in the agenda made absolutely no mention of what the "Unified Land Development Regulation" was about.

Passing a deceptively worded ordinance to deprive food from homeless people in the middle of the night. What's a word for that? Let's try Scumfucks.

The City Commission of Fort Lauderdale, Jack Seiler, Bruce Roberts, Romney Rogers, Bobby Dubose, and Dean Trantalis are Scumfucks. There's no pretense of democracy in this process. It's just rich people and their lackeys, fucking over poor people and asking for public consent...except they don't get any from anyone who is actually aware of what they're doing.  

Fortunately, homeless advocates got sick and tired of this pretense quite awhile ago and planned our own forum to take place on Saturday, October 18th so the public can REALLY decide what to do about homeless hate laws and police brutality against the homeless. 

This leaves about 3 weeks until a likely enforcement date of Friday, October 31st, with violators facing 60 days in jail/$500 fine. Yes, for sharing food with the homeless. We will have more information about that soon but better yet join us at the forum, one week from Saturday! We will also have some video highlights from this late night hate-fest when it becomes available. Many that stayed declared a desire to disobey this law if and when it becomes law. What will you do this Halloween?

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sharing Ban: October 7th!

The final part of the City's anti-homeless ordinances is scheduled for Tuesday October 7th at the 6 pm City Commission.

"ORDINANCE AMENDING UNIFIED LAND DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS, SECTION 47-18.31, SOCIAL SERVICE FACILITY - add definitions, create criteria for approval, amend the permitted zoning districts and adjust the level of review"

This should make sense to absolutely no one but within this ordinance is a whole slew of regulations that food providers for the homeless must be in compliance in order to continue to do business once this law is passed. If the city passes this law in the fastest manner possible as they almost always do, this means that that a de facto sharing ban in Fort Lauderdale would be enforceable on 
October 31st, 2014.

Here is some of the relevant provisions, which organizations must apparently by pre-inspected for:


Outdoor Food Distribution Center (OFDC). Shall be subject to the following:
i. If a dining area is provided, it shall meet all state, county and city requirements for food service establishments or similar uses.
ii. Shall not be closer than 500 feet from another Food Distribution Center or Outdoor Food Distribution Center. 
iii. Shall not be any closer than 500 feet from a residential property as defined in Sec. 47-35 of the ULDR.
iv. Shall provide restroom facilities, portable toilets or other similar facilities for persons preparing and serving food as well as for the persons being served food.
v. Shall provide equipment and procedures for the lawful disposal of waste and wastewater at the location.
vi. Shall provide equipment and procedures at the location for hand washing.
vii. Shall provide written consent from the property owner to conduct that activity on the property. 
viii. Shall have one person, who will be present at the location at all times that food is being prepared and served, who has received Food Service Manager Certification under Section 509.039, Florida Statutes.
ix. Shall have adequate storage of food at a temperature of:
a. 41 o F or below or
b. 135 o F or above.
x. Shall provide transportation of food in a clean conveyance
xi. Shall provide service of food within four (4) hours of preparation.
xii. Where non-prepackaged food is served, a convenient hand washing 
facility for persons preparing and serving the food; which hand 
washing facility must at a minimum include:
a. A five (5) gallon container with a spigot that provides freeflowingwater and a catch bucket to collect wastewater fromhand washing.
b. Soap and individual paper towels.
xiii. Any wastewater generated at a location (including, but not limited towastewater from hand washing, utensil washing, sinks, and steam tables) must be placed in a container approved by the director until properly disposed of into a sanitary sewer system or in a manner that is consistent with federal, state, and local regulations and requirements relating to liquid waste disposal.

There's more, but there's even more jargon and tables involved and we honestly don't know what half of it means yet.

What it does mean is that food providers that do  not comply with these absurd requirements (provide toilets....seriously, Fuck You City!) may incur heavy fines and generally be run out of operation by the end of THIS MONTH. Yes, this is really happening. Join us Tuesday at the City Commission, and again on October 18th at the Resist Homeless Hate Laws Forum where we can work towards stopping the sharing ban!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

How To Plug In To The Forum

We have high hopes to make the Resist Homeless Hate Laws Forum a great deal more democratic and inclusive than the Fort Lauderdale City Commission. Here's the basic plan for the schedule and how our forum will work.

We will be taking stack for participants in the forum from now until about 15 minutes after the start of the forum, 6 pm on October 18th. Participants will be asked to sign up under one of two sections of the forum, either "Speaking Out" or "Proposals." We ask that groups that may attend have a representative speak for their entire group.


David Peery (plaintiff for Miami's landmark Pottinger Agreement) and a speaker working on Fort Lauderdale's hate laws will introduce the subject of the City's campaign to criminalize homeless people.

We'll then have a brief break with music and food. From there the forum begins and speakers will get 5 minutes each (*will depend on amount of speakers). For proposals, we will allow some time for comments, and to see if there is a strong consensus from any of the attendees to take action on a proposal.

We are expecting, among other things, that the situation with the camping ban and sharing ban will require serious action either in the court system or in downtown Fort Lauderdale itself in order to prevent City policies from inflicting serious suffering on the homeless populace of downtown in the coming months. However any progressive strategies towards aiding and sheltering homeless people is strongly encouraged to be shared.

If you or your group would like to be listed as participating in the forum, or if you have a serious proposal for fighting the criminalization of homelessness in Fort Lauderdale, you can contact us through our contact form or on the Facebook event page for the Forum 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Forum October 18th: Resist Homeless Hate Laws

On Saturday, October 18th, from 6-9 pm, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Lauderdale will be hosting a community forum on the topic of solutions to homelessness in the city.

Virtually every voice opposed to Fort Lauderdale's "Homeless Hate Laws" have been shut out and ignored by the public officials creating these terrible policies, from homeless people to local mainstream journalists. We invite everyone to participate in a democratic forum where all voices can contribute to real solutions to homelessness and bad city policy.

Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs will be providing free food (which anyone is free to enjoy and also contribute to). and will also be facilitating a discussion between anyone willing to participate on the subject of solutions to homeless problems in Fort Lauderdale. Groups and organizations are encouraged to have representatives speak on their behalf. Music and a brief introduction to homeless issues are also part of the schedule.

Organizations and individuals are highly encouraged to get in touch with us about issuing their solutions as proposals at this forum or showing interest in participating in this process. You can also join our Facebook event page. We will have more information about participating organizations, and what specific solutions are being proposed, soon!