7 June 2011

Giving people food: An offense against the state?

People are being arrested for giving food to the homeless. People get worked up about guns being a sacred fundamental right. If we accept that, wouldn't giving somebody food fall in the "fundamental right" category. It seems to me that "pursuing happiness" and following personal convictions or religious beliefs might require giving food or assistance to the unfortunate.

Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park. Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan "Keith" McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s. The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall. Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people. "They intentionally violated the statute," said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.


Vancouver Voyeur said...

It's illegal to feed more than 25 at a time. Are we allowed to give them guns?

Karlo said...

Why don't I ever hear Fox News programs where they're up in arms (pardon the pun) about this sort of thing? I guess it doesn't fit the narrative about the poor besieged rich man fending off the sluggard hoi polloi. This story would involve poor besieged common people giving to their fellow man.