ARREST THAT SOUP!!!

Coalition on Homelessness, SF (coh@sfo.com)
Thu, 21 Oct 1999 20:54:05 -0800


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Arrest that Soup!
Police order Food Not Bombs to put down the ladle

	San Francisco Food Not Bombs has a long history of harassment and
repression on the part of City Hall and the police.  Over the past ten
years we have been arrested over a thousand times, our food confiscated as
evidence or dumped into the gutter, threats made by police to our members,
and our literature about economic inequality and local protests seized along
with our banners and signs and vehicles.  We were arrested in Golden 
Gate Park and in Civic Center under the Agnos administration and 
arrested repeatedly in
Civic Center and United Nations Plaza under the Jordan administration.
When police approached us twice this past month to inform us that we
were in violation of the law and that we must cease sharing free food in
United Nations Plaza, many said, "oh no, not again."
	When Willie Brown ran for Mayor in 95, along with all of the other
candidates running against Frank Jordan, he stated in the Bay Guardian that
he opposed Jordan's policies on homelessness, that he was against the
police arresting FNB and that he would dismantle the infamous Matrix
program which criminalized homeless people for "Quality of Life"
infractions.  Additionally, Terence Hallinan, who was then running 
for District Attorney, repeatedly stated that he opposed the 
repression against FNB and that once elected he would not prosecute 
anyone for serving free food with FNB.  Many people believed that the 
times of police arresting or harassing people for sharing food were 
over.  However, an election quickly approaches us.
	"Criminalizing Food Not Bombs's First Amendment activities is 
a reiteration of the same weary scene that has played out in Act IV 
of the last three Mayoral administrations, from a script that 
traditionally includes three years of do-nothing homeless policies," 
commented one long-time FNBer.
	He further stated, "As the scene unfolds, FNB's food servings 
are suddenly portrayed by the City as a health risk... the real 
agenda here is that FNB is regarded by 'quality of life' proponents 
as a 'magnet' for visible homelessness, as if providing vital 
nourishment to destitute human beings somehow creates poverty and 
hunger."
	On Friday Sept 3rd and Sunday Sept. 12th, Food Not Bombs activists were
told that our community meal was in violation of the law, and that we faced
citations unless we packed up and left.
	On the 3rd, police gave two FNBers citations for 'selling 
food without a permit', regardless of the fact that we distribute 
food for free.
	On the 12th, three officers rolled up on FNB and told us that 
we "need to stop serving."  The officer in charge said that the 
Health Dept. would becoming to UN Plaza and issuing citations for 
serving without a permit (a permit that neither the Health Dept nor 
the City currently issue). A Health Dept. official who was called by 
the police reportedly said, "I don't want to come down there and get 
involved."
Strong support for FNB from people eating at UN Plaza was expressed 
to the police.  When the police appraoched the FNB server to get ID, 
two men waiting in line for soup immediately volunteered to serve the 
food in a show of solidarity.  The officer declined to take IDs.
	The recent harassment of FNB is part of a larger plan to eliminate
homeless and low-income people from Civic Center and United Nations Plaza.
The Board of Supervisors recently voted to make UN Plaza an official park
of the City, falling under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Park and Rec.
Park and Rec. has begun posting new regulations in UN Plaza that prohibit
homeless people from being in the area from 10pm to 6am.  Using the police
to force homeless people out of visible areas has long been a tactic used
by elected officials, especially when they are up for re-election.
	In response to this tactic, Clare Bayard, an FNB organizer, 
said "San Francisco is just trying to maintain its national 
reputation as one of the nastiest cities toward homeless folks.  As 
elections approach, the police have stepped up their harassment of 
the homeless and their advocates in a sadly ironic attempt to remove 
from visibility everyone who is obviously suffering under the system 
and anyone who supports their civil and economic rights."  Bayard 
also said, "There's no interest in fixing the real problems, just in 
creating the appearance that the City has actually done something 
about the 14,000 people with nowhere else to ge besides public 
spaces. The City has no empathy and we [FNB] have no tolerance for 
that."
Recently, a free lunch program organized by a group of students from 
Marin's Branson High School was also ordered to cease their efforts 
to eliminate hunger in SF.  On Sept. 11th, the students went to Civic 
Center to hand out sack lunches as they have for over five years. 
The students where threatened with arrest from the group of police 
who arrived in several police cars and a van.  The students were
literally chased out of the City's Civic Center for acting on their 
civic duty to help other citizens.
	The students' story generated front-page stories in the Examiner
and the Chronicle, which then led to a compromise deal from the City.  'If you
move to Boedekker Park in the heart of the Tenderloin, the police will not
arrest you', the students were told by City Hall.  Somehow, food distributed
in a park hidden in the poverty of the Tenderloin is safer and does 
not pose a health risk, while the same food, served under the same 
conditions in Civic Center poses a grave risk to the health of 
homeless people. While free food programs like the ones organized by 
the Marin students and FNB are heavily scrutinized by the City for 
supposed health and safety concerns, poor people eating out of trash 
cans and/or dying on the street seems to go unnoticed.
	Food Not Bombs activists hope to generate an enormous out-pouring of
support and solidarity from the larger social justice movement and 
concerned citizens from around the world.  Already emails of support 
have been sent to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors from dozens of 
activists from as far away as Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia.
	FNB requests that people either call or email the Mayor and Board of
Supervisors and ask them to end the harassment of FNB and other food 
providers and work on addressing the root causes of hunger and 
poverty instead.

CHRIS CRASS

	Editor's note:
	As this STREET SHEET went to press, SFPD arrested two Food 
Not Bombs activists Oct. 20th at 6pm in United Nations Plaza.  FNB 
volunteers were distributing free food to low-income and no-income 
people in the plaza when the police arrived.
  	FNB volunteers Jeff and Sasha were handcuffed together and arrested for
continuing to serving food to hungry people after Officer Banta told them
to stop serving. People who were there to eat questioned the police 
on why the servers were being arrested, and the police said "for 
serving food without a permit." (The permit in question is no longer 
issued by the city, and has been used for years as a political tool 
for selective enforcement.)
	FNB members were able to serve food for ten minutes before 
police officers
came to arrest them. There were about eight cops there, none of whom seemed to
know why they were there or to understand the situation. The police 
were roundly disrespectful to the community being served, as well as 
the food servers, but their anger was met with a calm and nonviolent 
response. The police confiscated and photographed the soup and bread 
as evidence after arresting the servers.

Mayor Willie Brown 415.554.6141 or Willie_Brown@ci.sf.ca.us
Board President Tom Ammiano 415.554.5144 or supammiano@aol.com
Supervisor Sue Bierman 415.554.6661 or Sue_Bierman@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Amos Brown 415.554.7601 or Amos_Brown@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Leslie Katz 415.554.5335 or Leslie_Katz@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Barbara Kaufman 415.554.4880 Barbara_Kaufman@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Mark Leno 415.554.7734 or Mark_Leno@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Gavin Newsom 415.554.5942 or Gavin_Newsom@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Mabel Teng 415.554.4981 or Mabel_Teng@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Michael Yaki 415.554.7901 or Michael_Yaki@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Leland Yee 415.554.7752 or Leland_Yee@ci.sf.ca.us
Supervisor Alicia Beccril 415.554.6488 or Alicia_Beccril@ci.sf.ca.us













END FORWARD

**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material
is distributed without charge or profit to those who have
expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information
for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**



*******************************************************
HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>
6,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people
Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy
*******************************************************

chance martin
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
468 Turk St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
vox: (415) 346.3740
Fax: (415) 775.5639
coh@sfo.com
http://www.sfo.com/~coh
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***********************************************************

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S VIEWS, News, Alerts, Actions & Research

6,000+ ONLINE POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn

***********************************************************

Arrest that Soup!  

Police order Food Not Bombs to put down the ladle


	San Francisco Food Not Bombs has a long history of harassment and 

repression on the part of City Hall and the police.  Over the past ten

years we have been arrested over a thousand times, our food confiscated
as 

evidence or dumped into the gutter, threats made by police to our
members, 

and our literature about economic inequality and local protests seized
along 

with our banners and signs and vehicles.  We were arrested in Golden
Gate Park and in Civic Center under the Agnos administration and
arrested repeatedly in 

Civic Center and United Nations Plaza under the Jordan administration.

When police approached us twice this past month to inform us that we 

were in violation of the law and that we must cease sharing free food
in 

United Nations Plaza, many said, "oh no, not again."

	When Willie Brown ran for Mayor in 95, along with all of the other 

candidates running against Frank Jordan, he stated in the <italic>Bay
Guardian</italic> that 

he opposed Jordan's policies on homelessness, that he was against the 

police arresting FNB and that he would dismantle the infamous Matrix 

program which criminalized homeless people for "Quality of Life" 

infractions.  Additionally, Terence Hallinan, who was then running for
District Attorney, repeatedly stated that he opposed the repression
against FNB and that once elected he would not prosecute anyone for
serving free food with FNB.  Many people believed that the times of
police arresting or harassing people for sharing food were over. 
However, an election quickly approaches us.

	"Criminalizing Food Not Bombs's First Amendment activities is a
reiteration of the same weary scene that has played out in Act IV of
the last three Mayoral administrations, from a script that
traditionally includes three years of do-nothing homeless policies,"
commented one long-time FNBer.  

	He further stated, "As the scene unfolds, FNB's food servings are
suddenly portrayed by the City as a health risk... the real agenda here
is that FNB is regarded by 'quality of life' proponents as a 'magnet'
for visible homelessness, as if providing vital nourishment to
destitute human beings somehow creates poverty and hunger."  

	On Friday Sept 3rd and Sunday Sept. 12th, Food Not Bombs activists
were 

told that our community meal was in violation of the law, and that we
faced 

citations unless we packed up and left.  

	On the 3rd, police gave two FNBers citations for 'selling food without
a permit', regardless of the fact that we distribute food for free.  

	On the 12th, three officers rolled up on FNB and told us that we "need
to stop serving."  The officer in charge said that the Health Dept.
would becoming to UN Plaza and issuing citations for serving without a
permit (a permit that neither the Health Dept nor the City currently
issue). A Health Dept. official who was called by the police reportedly
said, "I don't want to come down there and get involved."  

Strong support for FNB from people eating at UN Plaza was expressed to
the police.  When the police appraoched the FNB server to get ID, two
men waiting in line for soup immediately volunteered to serve the food
in a show of solidarity.  The officer declined to take IDs.

	The recent harassment of FNB is part of a larger plan to eliminate 

homeless and low-income people from Civic Center and United Nations
Plaza.  

The Board of Supervisors recently voted to make UN Plaza an official
park 

of the City, falling under the jurisdiction of the Dept of Park and
Rec.  

Park and Rec. has begun posting new regulations in UN Plaza that
prohibit 

homeless people from being in the area from 10pm to 6am.  Using the
police 

to force homeless people out of visible areas has long been a tactic
used 

by elected officials, especially when they are up for re-election.

	In response to this tactic, Clare Bayard, an FNB organizer, said "San
Francisco is just trying to maintain its national reputation as one of
the nastiest cities toward homeless folks.  As elections approach, the
police have stepped up their harassment of the homeless and their
advocates in a sadly ironic attempt to remove from visibility everyone
who is obviously suffering under the system and anyone who supports
their civil and economic rights."  Bayard also said, "There's no
interest in fixing the real problems, just in creating the appearance
that the City has actually done something about the 14,000 people with
nowhere else to ge besides public spaces. The City has no empathy and
we [FNB] have no tolerance for that."

Recently, a free lunch program organized by a group of students from
Marin's Branson High School was also ordered to cease their efforts to
eliminate hunger in SF.  On Sept. 11th, the students went to Civic
Center to hand out sack lunches as they have for over five years.  The
students where threatened with arrest from the group of police who
arrived in several police cars and a van.  The students were 

literally chased out of the City's Civic Center for acting on their
civic duty to help other citizens.

	The students' story generated front-page stories in the Examiner 

and the Chronicle, which then led to a compromise deal from the City. 
'If you 

move to Boedekker Park in the heart of the Tenderloin, the police will
not 

arrest you', the students were told by City Hall.  Somehow, food
distributed 

in a park hidden in the poverty of the Tenderloin is safer and does not
pose a health risk, while the same food, served under the same
conditions in Civic Center poses a grave risk to the health of homeless
people. While free food programs like the ones organized by the Marin
students and FNB are heavily scrutinized by the City for supposed
health and safety concerns, poor people eating out of trash cans and/or
dying on the street seems to go unnoticed.

	Food Not Bombs activists hope to generate an enormous out-pouring of 

support and solidarity from the larger social justice movement and
concerned citizens from around the world.  Already emails of support
have been sent to the Mayor and Board of Supervisors from dozens of
activists from as far away as Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia.  

	FNB requests that people either call or email the Mayor and Board of 

Supervisors and ask them to end the harassment of FNB and other food
providers and work on addressing the root causes of hunger and poverty
instead.


CHRIS CRASS


	<italic>Editor's note:

	As this STREET SHEET went to press, SFPD arrested two Food Not Bombs
activists Oct. 20th at 6pm in United Nations Plaza.  FNB volunteers
were distributing free food to low-income and no-income people in the
plaza when the police arrived.

 	FNB volunteers Jeff and Sasha were handcuffed together and arrested
for 

continuing to serving food to hungry people after Officer Banta told
them 

to stop serving. People who were there to eat questioned the police on
why the servers were being arrested, and the police said "for serving
food without a permit." (The permit in question is no longer issued by
the city, and has been used for years as a political tool for selective
enforcement.)

	FNB members were able to serve food for ten minutes before police
officers 

came to arrest them. There were about eight cops there, none of whom
seemed to 

know why they were there or to understand the situation. The police
were roundly disrespectful to the community being served, as well as
the food servers, but their anger was met with a calm and nonviolent
response. The police confiscated and photographed the soup and bread as
evidence after arresting the servers.


</italic>Mayor Willie Brown 415.554.6141 or Willie_Brown@ci.sf.ca.us

Board President Tom Ammiano 415.554.5144 or supammiano@aol.com

Supervisor Sue Bierman 415.554.6661 or Sue_Bierman@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Amos Brown 415.554.7601 or Amos_Brown@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Leslie Katz 415.554.5335 or Leslie_Katz@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Barbara Kaufman 415.554.4880 Barbara_Kaufman@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Mark Leno 415.554.7734 or Mark_Leno@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Gavin Newsom 415.554.5942 or Gavin_Newsom@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Mabel Teng 415.554.4981 or Mabel_Teng@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Michael Yaki 415.554.7901 or Michael_Yaki@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Leland Yee 415.554.7752 or Leland_Yee@ci.sf.ca.us

Supervisor Alicia Beccril 415.554.6488 or Alicia_Beccril@ci.sf.ca.us














END FORWARD


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material

is distributed without charge or profit to those who have

expressed a prior interest in receiving this type of information

for non-profit research and educational purposes only.**




*******************************************************

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn>

6,000+ POSTS by or via homeless & ex-homeless people

Nothing About Us Without Us - Democratize Public Policy

*******************************************************

chance martin

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco

468 Turk St.

San Francisco, CA 94102

vox: (415) 346.3740

Fax: (415) 775.5639

coh@sfo.com

http://www.sfo.com/~coh

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