LA Food Not Bombs PROTEST & meal Sunday 12/26 in Pershing Square

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 22 Dec 1999 23:14:16 -0800 (PST)


FWD Non-member submission to HPN from Dan <dipasquo@ISI.EDU>
    Wed, 22 Dec 1999 23:36:38 -0700 (MST)

Subject: free meal and demonstration in support of Food Not Bombs


Press Release - Food Not Bombs 12/23/99
Media Contacts:         Ivinnene Mendoza 626.564.9871
                         LA Coalition to End Hunger and Homelessness
213.439.1070

Food Not Bombs Negotiations Stall, Group Vows to Serve Food This Sunday,
12/26, in Defiance of Pershing Square Management. Demonstration to
accompany the meal.

Food Not Bombs, a grassroots organization that strives to end hunger and
poverty, met last night with Albert Torres, the head of the Pershing Square
Park Rangers, but failed to reach an agreement as to where they would be
permitted to serve their biweekly meals.  This past Sunday, organizer Dan
DiPasquo was arrested for serving food in the group's normal location in
the front of the park. All charges against DiPasquo have already been
dropped, and the group claims that the park has no legal grounds on which
to move them from their location. They have been serving there for the past
two years, and vow to continue to serve there with or without the park's
permission.  This Sunday, 12/26, at 5PM, their community meal will be
accompanied by a demonstration in support of the group.  Several members of
the group have also stated a willingness to be arrested while serving the
free food.

The poverty activists also report that although the park rangers claim the
reason they are being told to move is because they are "sometimes taking up
to much space," the real reason has to do with visibility.  In fact, the
group offered to move to the top of the stage overlooking the park, but
Torres stated that that would not be acceptable.  Because of the far
reaching issue of free speech in public space, Ramona <Frank, put her name
here>, the Los Angeles director of the ACLU, is one of the growing list of
prominent individuals to sign a statement of support for Food Not Bombs.

DiPasquo's arrest was the latest escalation on the part of the city in the
battle against Food Not Bombs for the use of public space in Pershing
Square. This is part of the larger struggle for use of public space in Los
Angeles where the impoverished are routinely harassed by the police and
illegally by the Business Improvement District's notorious private security
guards.  Nationally similar battles are being waged on the poor (in NYC and
Cleveland it is currently illegal to sleep on the street) and on activists
(Food Not Bombs activists in San Francisco and several other cities have
been repeatedly arrested for serving food in prominent locations).

END FORWARD


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