Fort Lauderdale's controversial "sharing ban" goes into effect today, putting restrictions on where and how homeless people can be fed. But in defiance of the law, several groups will begin a "week of resistance" and continue to provide food for the needy.
Food Not Bombs will kick off the protest by doing what it does every week: offer free food to people at 5 p.m. in Stranahan Park. And because it's Halloween, participants are urged to come dressed as food.
The group plans to "greet the City on Halloween at our weekly sharing with our middle fingers fully extended and fight for our rights," according to its Facebook page.
In addition to defiant public feedings, people resisting what they call "homeless hate laws" will also march to the federal courthouse Tuesday morning and mark a "Day of Solidarity" on Friday that plans to bring attention to the growth of similar laws across the country.
Other groups participating in the protest include the Broward Homeless Campaign, Project Downtown, and the Peanut Butter and Jelly Project. Churches have also been vocal about maintaining their right to feed the homeless, and the Universal Unitarian Church of Fort Lauderdale as well as the Royal Palm Church plan on joining the protest.
"Every sharing group is willing to call the city's bluff," Nathan Pim, coordinator of Food Not Bombs, tells New Times. "We will have to see over the coming days and weeks if the food keeps flowing, unimpeded or otherwise."
"It's our right to feed the homeless," says Jeff Weinberger of the Broward Homeless Campaign. "They can't take away our right to share food."
For more information on the week-long pro-food protest, see here.
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