[Hpn] DEMO against Criminalization of Homeless People - Hoboken NJ FNB report on 10-14 FWD report on 10-14 FWD

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Wed, 01 Nov 2000 22:58:57 -0800 (PST)


FWD - CC REPLIES To: "FNB Hoboken NJ USA chapter"
                     <foodnotbombs_hoboken@hotmail.com>

[FNB-L] Report On Hoboken NJ FNB 14 Oct Demo against Criminalization of
Poverty and Homeless People

On Mon, 16 Oct 2000, Food Not Bombs wrote:

For everyone who couldn't make it yesterday...

We had roughly 50 people lining the sidewalk in front of City Hall from
about 2pm until around 4:30pm. We didn't have much food to share, but
giving out what food we had did not cause any problems.

I think the cops were more concerned with us blocking the sidewalk, and
honestly, I think they were slightly shocked by the demonstration as a
whole. We
were told not to remain 'stationary' and to walk in a big circle, which
actually took up the entire sidewalk, whereas before, we were leaving most
of the sidewalk open for pedestrians. That just shows you how power trips
can actually make things terribly inconvenient for the public, to say the
least.

There was 'street theater' going on throughout the time we were there. One
activist used a gigantic monstrous puppet which symbolized the "Hoboken
Poverty Cover-up Patrol" to swallow up other activists posing as homeless
people. That went over very well, and seemed to get the point across.

The speakers we had were great, and I have some of them tape-recorded if
anyone is interested. The only thing I'd say for the future, if we ever
have something like that again, is that we need a louder megaphone!

Most of the demo was lively, with people chanting things like, "1234, no
more war on the poor!" and "for our freedom, we will fight!  sharing food
is a right!".

We were fortunate enough to have some of our homeless friends from the park
actually at the demo. I think they were very excited and inspired by the
protest, as we are no longer allowing the issue of poverty to be ignored by
the people or the city of Hoboken.

We ended the demo a little earlier than we had planned, as one of our
friends became extremely ill and needed to be taken away in an ambulance.
I'm speaking of one of the people we talk to at the park every Saturday.
The police proved our point beautifully when they called for an ambulance
but said, "don't rush", even though this man was barely conscious. Luckily,
I'm fairly certain the media is picking up on that part of the story in
particular. It is extremely distressing that he had to be taken to the
hospital, but it couldn't have happened at a better
time than during the  demo, when the media was there WITNESSING the cops
putting poverty on the back burner.

All in all, I think the demo went well. There was some media attention and
we passed out a lot of flyers to people walking by, so I think we're at
least starting to get the word out, and hopefully gaining more support.

Remember, this is only the beginning of our struggle to make our regular
Saturday sharings what we want them to be. It is absolutely essential that
we bring food to the park every Saturday morning, as the people who live
there are counting on it, but we want to do more than just feed them.

We want to bring issues out into the public which have been ignored for way
too long. Obviously, we want to spread the word about what Food Not Bombs
does and what we stand for. We have to decide how we're going to accomplish
our goals from this point on.

We can never have enough people at our Friday meetings (8:30pm at
Giovanni's, Washington St. & 6th, Hoboken) or at the Saturday morning
sharings (10am at Lackawanna Park next to the train
station). We will also continue to have meetings on Tuesdays to accomodate
both Hoboken and New
Brunswick Food Not Bombs at 7:30pm at my apartment in Clifton (email me for
directions). The Tuesday meetings MAY be moved to another day if that day
becomes inconvenient, but these meetings are essential for planning what to
do in the park in the future. Please make room in your schedule to come to
the meetings and sharings!


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