Thursday, November 13, 2014

Sharing Ban Is An Ongoing Nightmare for City of Fort Lauderdale

Media on the local, national, international, and social levels have not  let up in their criticism of the City of Fort Lauderdale. See today's New York Times, local coverage on Jillian's hunger  strike, etc. 

Mid-Week Recap
Aaron Jackson's sharing
Aaron Jackson of Planting Peace shared pizzas in front of City Hall Tuesday and was ticketed a second time. 

On Wednesday, The Homeless Voice put on a big demo in front of the Mayor's house, and Love Thy Neighbor did their weekly beach sharing, where Arnold Abbott picked up his 3rd sharing citation. Both events were swarmed by press and Arnold at this point seems to have a steadily growing popular following online and at his sharings. Both Aaron's and Arnold's sharings were allowed to finish sharing even after being ticketed.

It was also announced that the Mayor had offered LTN the Beach's aquatics complex to move sharings  indoors, soon followed by a counter-announcement from LTN that they have filed a lawsuit to protect their sharings based on the rulings of their 2000 City lawsuit, and would therefore will not be moving indoors. Arnold's filing, which  hopes to stop enforcement of the sharing ban on the beach, is soon to be followed by Pastor Mark  Sims' filing, which may stop enforcement  of the sharing ban entirely. Both cases could be tied up in court for months or years and cost the City untold sums in legal costs and possible damages, and there  may be  more coming in the future.
"Celebrity Chef" Arnold on Wednesday with Anonymous 
These legal developments represent the most significant, immediate chance to stop the sharing ban,  now. However there is still the possibility of convincing the backers of the "Homeless Hate Laws" to turn back, which brought Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs and some supporters to the Downtown Development Authority's Monthly Board Meeting Thursday morning.

Despite already having prior clarification that this was a public meeting, the FLPD immediately held up everyone at the entrance to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Eventually they agreed that it was a public meeting and allowed people to enter. Inside,the Board decided to offer a resolution in support of the City's "homeless solutions" and allowed public discussion. Comments from the board were occasionally quite  bizarre, including a suggestion to "buy newspaper space" to make their side of the story heard. Despite many Board members using words like "empathy", yet another board member attempted to equate the nuisance of wealthy developers finding homeless people in their buildings to going hungry on the streets.
Food Not Bombs attends "public" DDA meeting
When Haylee Becker of Food Not Bombs stated a cold, hard fact: that the FLPD systemically targets homeless people downtown for displacement, the Board immediately ended public comment and voted unanimously in support of the resolution. Shortly thereafter, 6  or 7 FLPD officers escorted the activists out and down to the street, at one point accusing them of stealing coffee cups from the building. Food Not Bombs and  the Downtown Development Authority seem to be having quite the winter-spring romance. 

Hunger Fast & Over The Weekend

Tomorrow is Jillian Pim's 13th day of hunger  strike, and an international day of solidarity fasting.  Jillian will be at City Hall from 10 am to 4 pm to talk to the City and anyone else who is listening to stop these laws. If you still wish to participate in the hunger fast we are asking for everyone to post pictures on social media hashtag #resisthomelesshatelaws. 

Jill will then join Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs for their 3rd outlaw sharing. Last week 2 volunteers  were jailed and the  sharing was shut down.  Hopefully that is not the case this week as the FLPD are perfectly well aware of Jill's hunger  strike  and  the ongoing hate-storm descending on the City because of their enforcement of these laws.

At this time it is unknown where Love  Thy Neighbor is sharing on Sunday, we will post updates when we find out. However  it should be noted that the Women's Club of Fort Lauderdale is having an unbelievably ill-timed fancy beer tasting in Stranahan Park at the same time as LTN's  usual sharing Sunday. Their sponsor, Riverside  Market, also recently called the cops claiming that Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs was  harassing them and recently stated that "We still love our city, support our community and will always be the Official Craft Beer Hangout of Fort Lauderdale. We don't support anarchists, terrorists, radicals or extremists." The Women's Club is another of the most prominent supporters of the criminalization of homelessness. 

Supporters of the sharing ban are quickly becoming known for their subtlety and honesty.

That is all for now.

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