Criminalizing Homelessness in South Carolina

when the poor fight back(ThinkProgress)

Last August, the city of Columbia, South Carolina approved a new plan to give its homeless population an impossible choice: leave downtown or be arrested.

The city is now taking even more steps to criminalize homelessness. On Saturday, it will begin to strictly enforce an old and seldom-used ordinance requiring groups of 25 or more to obtain a permit and pay a hefty fee before congregating in a public park.

One impacted charity that was interviewed by the Free Times, Food Not Bombs, has been serving food to the homeless in Finlay Park every Sunday for 12 years. The group’s organizer, Judith Turnipseed, noted that the group has an impeccable track record and always tidies up after the meal. But with the new crackdown, Food Not Bombs will have to pay at least $120 per week for the right to feed the homeless, an extremely tall order for a group that’s not even an official 501(c)(3) organization but just serves out of the goodness of its heart.

Full Story Here

More Attempts to Shutdown FNB

logofnbnew(Newsreview.com) 

On Sunday afternoons for more than 20 years, volunteers with the nonprofit Food Not Bombs (Sacramento) have passed out free vegetarian meals to hungry, low-income Sacramentans at downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza park.

This month, however, city police interrupted the organization’s feedings and informed volunteers that giving away free meals is illegal.

(full story)

 

Intelligence Operations Threaten Democracy

fnb cops(FNB Blog) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. — The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The national conversation inspired by revelations about the NSA spy program by Ed Snowden is failing to discuss one of the most devastating aspects of the crisis. “Since when did feeding the homeless become a terrorist activity?” asked ACLU Associate Legal Director Ann Beeson on May, 18, 2005. “When the FBI and local law enforcement target groups like Food Not Bombs under the guise of fighting terrorism, many Americans who oppose government policies will be discouraged from speaking out and exercising their rights.” Along with discouraging participation in groups like Food Not Bombs but the work and lives of those who do participate are sabotaged using the information covertly collected by government and corporate intelligence operations.

(full story)

Wasted: How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill

food_001.thumb(NRDC) Food is simply too good to waste. Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten. Getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten. That is more than 20 pounds of food per person every month. Not only does this mean that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also 25 percent of all freshwater and huge amounts of unnecessary chemicals, energy, and land. Moreover, almost all of that uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills where it accounts for almost 25 percent of U.S. methane emissions. (full story)

Please Continue to Help with the Sandy Relief Effort – Volunteers Needed All Across the Country

 

(foodnotbombs.net) We can not thank you enough for your support.  It is so amazing to see so many people come together to help with Sandy Relief.  This is a critical time to help as the media moves to cover other events there will be a danger that the ongoing emergency will fade. We saw this after Katrina.  Please consider becoming a long term Food Not Bombs volunteer helping with our groups on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and Manhattan. Our volunteers are preparing huge amounts of food but the need is so great we could use more donations and help. There will be many hungry and cold people struggling for many more months so your help is urgently needed.

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