Sunday, November 30, 2014

7 Hunger Strikers As Sharing Ban Reaches 1 Month

Root Robin of Fort Lauderdale, Bettejo Passalaqua of Weeki-Wachi and Feral Peterson of Tampa have joined the hunger strike in opposition to Fort Lauderdale's food-sharing restrictions. Root declared that they would begin December 1st at  midnight, while Feral began their strike on Saturday the 29th, and Bettejo on Black Friday.
Root at Saturday's "Mass Action"

Root has been a volunteer with Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs for most of 2014. "Compassion is not criminal. Food is a right,and I refuse to eat while the restraints on public food sharing are enforced. I stand in solidarity with the poor until they're no longer repressed and until we're allowed to feed in public without restraint. The real criminals are the officials who banned public use for public space with homeless hate laws like the food sharing restrictions."

Feral has a long history of social activism, which includes working with Food Not Bombs groups in Clearwater and Saint Petersburg. “Food is the centerpiece of community,” Feral says. “This law is depriving people the right to something as encompassing as sitting down and breaking bread. It's essentially dismantling their community.”

Bettejo says she joined the strike for multiple reasons, tying together this struggle with many others faced around the world: “There are times when we have to act. We have to act when laws are passed that tell us we cannot share food with people because they are houseless. We have to act when our nation's children are gunned down in the street by overzealous militarized police who are not held accountable. We have to act when our tax dollars pay for young Palestinians to be gunned down in the street by the same Army who trained Ferguson cops. We have to act when our sensibilities can no longer be silenced. It is that time.”

The hunger strike first began with Jillian Pim, who went a total of twenty-four days without food after the initial arrests were made for food sharing. As of Monday, December 1st, Thursday Addams is on his 18th day, Dezeray Lyn and Chris Mince are on their 8th day, and Samantha Portis is on her 4th.

The strikers remain strong and confident.

What of the City? No enforcement or sometimes even police presence at recent food sharings, and many people arrested in relation to food sharing have not received court dates so far. Chef Arnold has a hearing for his 1st food sharing violation this Wednesday...will the City actually prosecute someone for sharing food, or has this all been a big bluff?

Christmas is Still Cancelled in Fort Lauderdale...Join us Tuesday evening at Stranahan. For the Seven.

1 comment:

  1. Solidarity with you and your worthy cause, from Madison, Wisconsin. As a person who was once on hunger strike myself, I appreciate deeply the dangers and suffering inherent in your methodology. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. There will be outrage and deceit from those who oppose your mission but stay strong, stay the course,