Wednesday, November 5, 2014

8 FNB Volunteers Arrested at Downtown Development Authority, Faces Sharing Ban Arrests Friday

On Tuesday, November 4th, Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs staged a protest against Homeless Hate Laws including the new sharing ban on the streets of downtown. After marching down Las Olas, protesters decided to go to the office of the Downtown Development Authority to ask them to cease their support of homeless hate laws.
After waiting 10 minutes or so for someone to answer the door, a DDA employee came out, and after being politely told about what they were there for, she told those waiting that the Chairman and Vice Chairman were unavailable, but that she would contact Executive Director Chris Wren and gave everyone permission to wait in the hallway. Apparently this person then immediately called the cops and said that she felt "threatened," and FLPD officers soon came  and announced  the DDA would not be speaking to anyone  and that everyone needed to leave. Responding officers included Jody Weymouth, wife of DDA co-chair Michael Weymouth. Despite the fact that the DDA representative misled visitors into believing they could wait to speak to someone, and the fact that many people at the scene  were clearly in direct contact with the very DDA officials everyone wanted to talk to, 7 protesters were arrested for insisting on waiting to speak to someone. Once arrestees were being loaded into a paddywagon, Officer Weymouth then personally grabbed another protester outside for filming from a sidewalk and charged her with trespassing and resisting arrest.

Despite the DDA's false claims that they felt "threatened" by "smelly" people, or that they REALLY just needed us to make appointment,  protesters felt the ongoing impact on hunger for homeless people in Fort Lauderdale, and the ongoing hunger strike, demanded an immediate response from those responsible. So far they have refused to specifically say whether or not they would be willing to change their stance on the sharing bans which was the specific question Food Not Bombs wanted to answer on Tuesday.

Food Not Bombs vs. The Sharing Ban This Friday

Unfortunately as it stands, and judging by the events of last Sunday, it seems highly likely that sharing ban enforcement will either shut down this Friday's sharing and/or result in arrests. We ask that people continue to come to and support sharings on Friday or any other day of the week and to tell the world  what is happening in Fort Lauderjail. As well as the increasing hunger in downtown and unnecessary arrests, Food Not Bombs volunteer Jillian Pim is on day 4 of her hunger strike and  we must do everything possible to stop enforcement of the  sharing ban  for her and the oppressed people of downtown.

Please also share and help out with Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs' defense fund, donations will be used for bail money, to replace supplies if they are confiscated, and to help Jill for costs associated with her hunger strike.

Wrongful arrest outside of Downtown Development Authority

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