Justice for Activists Arrested for Feeding the Homeless

Target: Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, Florida

Goal: Don’t require non-profit groups to pay expensive permit fees in order to feed the homeless.

Several activists with the group Food Not Bombs have been arrested after feeding the homeless in a Tampa park. The activists were handing out hot coffee and bagels on a day that temperatures were dipping to unusually cold levels. The affair was orderly and without any altercations or illicit substances, but police still put a stop to it. They pulled the activists away from the tables as they served food, and even handcuffed them as they still wore their foodservice gloves.

The City of Tampa requires these types of groups to acquire a permit each and every time they want to distribute free food in city parks. Unfortunately, due to the frequency of Food Not Bombs’ gatherings, these permits would make them unable to distribute food nearly so often. If they had to pay for these expensive permits, food distribution gatherings would decline from twice a week to maybe twice a month.

Food Not Bombs activists therefore choose to risk arrest in order to ensure that the homeless are being fed on a regular basis. These kind people should not have to face legal trouble for helping their fellow humans. Instead, the City of Tampa should alter its laws to allow charity groups to gather to feed the homeless in city parks. Add your signature to the petition below to demand that the city take away its permit requirements for non-profit organizations.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Buckhorn,

Seven people were recently arrested in a Tampa park where Food Not Bombs gathered to feed the homeless. On a particularly cold day, the activist group decided to hand out hot coffee and bagels. Police arrived, pulling them away from tables and handcuffing them while they still wore their foodservice gloves, simply because the group did not pay for a permit that is required to hand out food in parks.

These permits are quite expensive, and groups acquiring permits each time would be forced to feed the homeless far less frequently. This permit requirement therefore places undue financial burdens on charitable organizations who aim to help the hungry. We, the undersigned, ask you to modify Tampa laws to allow non-profits like Food Not Bombs to feed the homeless for free.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Karim Corban

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6 Comments

  1. Brenda Denno says:

    Such an outrageous abuse of power. So if you’re a caring person, an empath, you have to pay large sums of money to those who don’t care and who are not empaths. That is how this psychopathic system works?! Absolutely disgusting. The people who care and risk their futures and reputations to feed the neediest people in society should be commended and thanked.

    • I will not sign this petition.

      Tampa has MANY sites which feed and shelter the homeless and which provide help getting them jobs, places to live, if thats what they want, etc.

      This is CONSISTANTLY blown out of proportion by the media. The issue is WHERE the group chooses to hand out the food. NOT that they’re handing it out to the homeless.

  2. Gen Lovyet Agustsson says:

    youre a disgrace to the poor who need to be fed! thats not fair!

  3. NO, I will not sign this petition…this shows up in the media every so often…….and is based on a skewed image of the truth.

    Tampa has MANY sites which feed and shelter the homeless and which provide help getting them jobs, places to live, if thats what they want, etc.
    This is CONSISTANTLY blown out of proportion by the media. The issue is WHERE the group chooses to hand out the food. NOT that they’re handing it out to the homeless.

    • If your not signing, why bother commenting Lajeanne Leveton. Nobody cares about your opinion,I hope one day you experience hunger, homelessness,freezing cold weather and maybe, if you have emotions it will affect you. I will pray for you?

      • If I figure out, I’ll let you know. I have a few connections but none that are incredibly definite at all. If you have any suggestions, let me know. Ther;&#8217es always the draw of a bi-partisan blogging coverage – wanna come to Ohio and cover it with me!?

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