Sunday, December 7, 2014

#ShutItDown & The Mystery of the Limbo Cases

On Saturday December 6th, Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs was headed to one of its weekly protests against sharing ban supporters downtown when we caught wind of a hastily-organized protest for  Eric Garner at the Federal Courthouse.

True to form, this assembly went street to street and shut down traffic for 3 hours or so. This included in front of many of the establishments we have been protesting, such as YOLO.  We were really glad to participate, as the lack of justice over police killings against people of color is completely outrageous. It was also a welcome sight to see even more people protesting in downtown Fort Lauderdale over the inequities and disenfranchisement that is built into our society.

We can only hope that homeless people, black communities, and all disenfranchised peoples of Fort Lauderdale benefit from the new plateau of dialogue we've reached this fall. Some of the leaders of this protest have said they
will gather again at 4:30 pm at the County Courthouse on Monday.

The Mystery of the Limbo Cases
The news  around Chef Arnold's case Wednesday was kind of confusing. The City never formally filed charges against him.

It actually turns out almost everyone ticketed for sharing food had not been charged. Even many of the 8 arrested at the DDA office over a month ago have simply not had trespassing charges filed against them yet. 

The takeaway here is that the City seems to be going it alone. The FLPD has not shown much enthusiasm for enforcing the ban and the courts seem to have absolutely no interest in prosecuting someone over it. This situation is actually not that unusual - the vast majority of laws that criminalize homeless activity are for the purpose of INTIMIDATION. 

For example, the police do not try to arrest absolutely everyone for sleeping on the streets, or peeing in the bushes. But many people are intimidated and  harassed from being homeless in certain areas because of the threat of arrest for these activities. The same has been the case for the sharing ban. Many sharing groups were intimidated into shutting down or changing their operations, and it now turns out that those that  resisted the law will face even fewer consequences than expected. This is not to say that food sharers will not have to deal with their tickets, but the mishandling of cases and growing lawsuit challenges seems to keep making things worse for one entity and that is the City of Fort Lauderdale.


With that in mind: We welcome you all to Shoe Day next Saturday as part of #christmasiscancelled ! Shoe Day is an annual anti-holiday celebrated by Food Not Bombs folk by going out in public with posters of famous tyrants and throwing shoes at them. This year will be a bit special - we'll be doing an "All-Fort Lauderdale" edition with posters of the local bureaucrats who have become notoriously despised for their  anti-homeless policies the last few months, and bring them to the Winterfest Boat Parade downtown. This will be a really fun one as public participation in Shoe Day (in this case, getting party-goers downtown to throw shoes at the Mayor and his croneys) makes it one of the funnest protests in South Florida. Take a Shoe to Tyranny next Saturday to #resisthomelesshatelaws  !


  1. I've got to say, I think your Shoe Day ad could really use some work. If I were to see it without any context I would think it was the most confusing ad for the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Parade ever. You can't even see the words "Shoe Day." If I'm not familiar with the concept of Shoe Day I have no idea why I should care. And if even after all that I were still interested in attending I can't see the dates, and even if I did suss that out you don't even have a time listed. So that graphic isn't doing anything to get me to participate. Without context it's just weird and confusing.

  2. Homeless = Anonymous click and View by Jerald Jamerson from Oak Cliff Texas

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