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Entries in Food Not Bombs (1)

Thursday
Jun092011

Arrested for Feeding the Homeless in Violation of New Orlando Law

File photo. Doug Menuez/Thinkstock(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Members of the organization Food Not Bombs were in good spirits as they passed out corn on the cob, rice, beans and other vegetarian dishes to the homeless and hungry in an Orlando park. This cheer was interrupted when police officers on bicycles arrived and arrested five of the volunteers.

This is not the first time this scene has played out for members of Food Not Bombs.

Since June 1, a dozen members of the group have been arrested for violating a new Orlando city ordinance that prohibits sharing food with large groups in downtown parks more than twice a year.

The mayor of Orlando even branded them "food terrorists."

Food Not Bombs is an international political organization that protests war, poverty and the destruction of the environment, according to their website. The group meets to distribute food twice a week in downtown Orlando's Lake Eola Park.

They won a district court case to prevent the enforcement of the new ordinance, but the decision was overturned in the appellate court.

A spokesperson for the city of Orlando said that the ordinance had its origins in complaints from residents and business owners about trash left after the food distribution, public urination and concerns about crime.

Lake Eola Park is the city's "crown jewel and a signature part of the city right in the middle of Orlando," according to the spokesperson. The city says the ordinance is a permit system that allows them to be aware of what is happening and where so that they can provide necessary services such as clean-up.

Food Not Bombs has no intentions of stopping their distribution of food in Lake Eola Park. They are planning on collecting enough signatures on a petition to challenge the ordinance again.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio