Thursday, October 30, 2014

March Against Homeless Hate Laws on Election Day 11.4.2014

As part of the #resisthomelesshatelaws week of action here in Fort Lauderdale, we will be taking an election day march down Las Olas Boulevard.

Join Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs & company to put unaccountable public officials and wealthy business interests on notice for their support and implementation of prejudicial and harmful laws targeting homeless people in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

We will meet at the Federal Courthouse on Broward Boulevard at 10 am, head south to Las Olas, march West to Andrews, and end at Stranahan Park. Bring signs.

The City of Fort Lauderdale has recently began implementing laws including sharing banscamping bans, panhandling bans, and bans on the storage of belongings on public property in order to chase homeless people out of the downtown area.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Week of Action October 31st - November 7th

With the passing of a new "sharing ban" regulation, the City of Fort Lauderdale has fulfilled its regime of "Homeless Hate Laws" along with new restrictions of going to the bathroom in public, panhandling, storage on public property, and camping. It joins 21 other cities that have created laws to restrict food sharings in the last 2 years.

Starting on October 31st the vast majority of groups that share food outdoors with the homeless will essentially be outlawed, particularly since so far it looks like most of these groups are going to be disobeying the sharing ban law. We are calling on the public to join us in a week of extra-legal food shares and protests in resistance to the criminalization of homelessness here and everywhere.

Friday, October 31st: 1st day of enforcement. Resist the Sharing Ban with Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs at Stranahan Park, 10 E. Broward Blvd, at 5 will be a very memorable outlaw's Halloween food share.

Saturday, November 1st: Project Downtown sharing, same location, 1 pm

Sunday, November 2nd: Love Thy Neighbor sharing, same location, 1 pm

Monday, November 3rd: #resisthomelesshatelaws Online Day of Action. This is for everyone: no matter where you are we need you to tell Fort Lauderdale, NO HOMELESS HATE LAWS!

Tuesday, November 4th: Vote with Yr Feet: March Against Homeless Hate Laws 10 am Federal Courthouse

Friday, November 7th/All Week: Day of Solidarity. To mark 1 week of the sharing ban law we are calling on Food Not Bombs chapters and other solidarity groups to hold their own food sharings or protests as Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs shares again on Friday, same time, same place. We particularly call for cities that have their own sharing ban problems to demonstrate support and resistance. For a complete list look here. Please look at the online day of action for links and resources that may be helpful for planning something.

Please get in touch with us and let us know about solidarity actions or if you want to add any other event to this week in Ft Lauderdale or anywhere else. While we may be able to help invite people to your actions please also feel free to plan and act autonomously.

If you are a food sharer in downtown Fort Lauderdale that will be sharing during this week PLEASE LET US KNOW we want everyone that is opposed to these laws to be aware of them.

More to come...

Resist Homeless Hate Laws Week of Action
October 31st-November 7th

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!