Every Friday for the past few years, Food Not Bombs has been gathering at Stranahan Park in downtown Fort Lauderdale to pass out food to the homeless, hungry, or just plain bored. Our cover story on the group last year found the local chapter bracing for a local crackdown on public food sharing. While this hasn't yet come to pass, other Food Not Bombs groups around the country continue to face food-sharing bans. Meanwhile, Mayor Jack Seiler has been planting shrubs to hide the homeless people in the park.
At the end of the feature, we saw the local chapter facing an uncertain future as young leaders Haylee Becker and Phil Johnson debated heading out of town and others prepared to take over the informal arrangements. Now, on the occasion of the 32nd anniversary of the group's founding in Massachusetts by Keith McHenry, a changing of the guard is taking place.
Friday at 5 p.m. will see an anniversary celebration in the park, with live music and puppet shows from the Food Not Bombs-affiliated radical anarchist puppet theater, the Autonomous Playhouse Featuring Dan the Pandarchist (a YouTube search might be worth your while). And, of course, free vegetarian food for everyone.
Nathan "Patches" Pim, a longtime Food Not Bombs volunteer based in Hollywood, tells the Pulp that Becker, Johnson, and a few others are planning a tour through Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico, while he and his wife plan to take Dan and company on the road to Ireland in the coming weeks. The group recently acquired a school bus it's converting to vegetable-oil fuel, and they'll all band back together in a traveling puppetry and food-sharing troupe.
Eventually, says Pim, they plan to settle down on land that FNB founder McHenry owns in New Mexico and help start a farm and free school, far from the police surveillance of Stranahan Park.
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