[Hpn] RE:Tent City, Feed shut down in Dayton Ohio

Stephen Twig Meeks s_meeks99@yahoo.com
Fri, 01 Sep 2000 06:25:07 -0700 (PDT)

As most are aware in Austin,TX, the ban on sleeping in
public was declared unconstitutional (even though it
is stil on the books). It is still illegal however to
set up camp as well as carry on cooking activities.
As far as feeding there are several non-service
provider organisations that feed people (ie;
Loaves&Fishes and Food Not Bombs).

When I was in Tampa FA. a few years ago though, there
was a group of activists (mostly Green Party people
and Neo-Pagans), that began feeding near the Food
Stamp Office there on Thursday evenings. However the
local service provider coalition (ie;"we get a
paycheck because of homelessness and we need the
numbers),Metropolitan Ministries said that THEY were
the OFFICIAL and SOLE people QUALIFIED to FEED people
and weshould not be allowed to do it. Furthermore they
went far enough to say that this group was NOT
Christian based. (This alone however, was enough to
keep the Thursday feed happening, for an attemt to
block 1st Amendement rights, as far as "freedom of
religion and expression goes.

What the bottom line here in the Dayton Ohio article
is I feel is that "renegade" outfits that feed people,
or tent cities that are set up are a threat to the
homeless service provider industry. And people who get
money from the fact that there is homelessness, WILL
support the local City Councils and Police Department
when it comes to shutting down Tent Cities, and
"private citizen" run people feeds, for it does
threaten their numbers sigificantly, thereby reducing
the amount of money that they can put into their

My solution is to make the public more aware to get
involved on a personal basis. Have "tent-ins" in major
cities across the US. Through HPN and local grass
roots independant media, stand in solidarity for
We have the right to fair shelter (even if it is a
tent) We have the right to feed other people (it is a
freedom of expression).

We have the right to choose how we live our lives as
long as we don't harm others or our enviroment (which
for a lot of us is our livingroom and bedroom).

So as a people we need to stand up and take action and
let the service providers and city councils know that
we can control our own lives, and make our own

Peace and Solidarity;

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