Food Not Bombs, I weep for my peopl
23 Sep 1993 10:30:04

Arrest count 73
Wednesday, Sept 22.
San Francisco, C A L I F O R N I A

After the first bucket of soup (delicious
red pepper, potato, and organic mushroom)
was taken by police, a practically naked
man began performing for the gathered
crowd. With heavy chains around his neck,
he twisted his body in slow contortions
while staring at a bowl of rice. Channel 4
caught most of this, but was distracted when
several nicely dressed youth waded into the
Civic Center fountain and began exchanging
grapes in slow motion. The police, the
tourists, the activists, the homeless, and
the business people were struck dumb by
this display of creative non-violent
civil disobediance (eating, distributing
free food without a permit). This allowed us
an opportunity to retrieve three more buckets
of soup, which was made by Brian, Tim,
Micheal, James Henry and I.
While we prepared the soup we discussed the
nonviolence covenant (previously posted) and
decided that the tricky issues for our group
would be no drugs (caffeine, nicotine), not
harboring anger, following a designated
leader, sharing plans with authorites, and
protecting the other from attack. We will
meet tonight with the group to consent on
a non violence pact (or nobody leaves the
I think it was also mentioned that God is
within and without.

With a constant police presence (two
patrol cars, four officers) homeless, hungry,
activists, and the like just don't come to
Civic Center to eat now. It seems that Mayor
Frank Jordan's policy of get-tough-on-the-
homeless has at least moved them on over to
Berkeley, where the population of Telegraph
Ave has soared. This is wierd. I now feel
like we our feeding ourselves and that we
are the next to go.
I spoke with one officer at length last night,
who said (a) busting the homeless was NO
strain on the resources of the department
(18 cops out of hundreds), (b) the police
though we are doing the right thing and
a good thing -off the record, (c) they
are following orders, (d) they have a union
that had to fight for pay raises in the
last five years, (e) this is not a union
issue, because our activity does not effect
'working conditions' (f) FNB has political
opponents, because of the NOT BOMBS part
of our group, and that that was the
problem (g) election isn't for two years
(h) it will be interesting to see where
this all is in six months. The officer
wished us 'good luck'. Oh my God.

I asked later at the town meeting at New
College on Valencia if Food Not Bombs was
still willing to serve to make the political,
moral statement of peace and anti-militarism
regardless of how many people come to eat.
People felt that the homeless were not in fact
going anywhere and that I was falsely concerned.
Our town meeting was for people from Homes Not Jails,
Food Not Bombs, Proposition V (fingerprinting
walfare recipients), Demonstration Committee,
Homeless Coalition, and street people. The meeting
was so sharp in contrast to the Chamber of Commerce
meeting I attended yesterday. There, housing
advocates making paychecks from the gummint
shook there heads about how there wqas "nothing
they could do without jobs." What BS.

I was so strengthened and saddened simultaneously
by the energy put forth at our town meeting.
Here were fourty or so dedicated, humble and broke
people, willing to speak to each other about
oppression, poverty and other rediculous, unfair,
and repugnant issues, and maintain their opposition
to the powers that be even though there is no
support, no progress, etc. I think I was just tired.

from San Francisco ChronicLier
Wed Sept 22, 1993

SF May Take Carts From Homeless
Mayor considering further step in campaign against street people.

Mattier and Ross

First came the crackdown on aggressive panhandling, then the
arrests of people handing out free food in Civic Center.
Now Mayor Frank Jordan has a new target in his
war on street people in San Francisco - shopping carts.


Most Precious Possession
Even some law enforcement types are a bit leery of the
And off the record, some say it could be downright dangerous.
After all, the carts are often the closest thing to
a home that many street people have. Taking the carts away
from those who are mentally ill - and there are many -
could be especially tricky.


Despite criticism from homeless advocates, Jordan's office
reports that calls are coming in 20 to 1 in favor of the
crackdown and that the mayor has no plans to let up
on the pressure.
Still Jordan and the police know that taking back carts
from the poorest of the poor would be a delicate
pulic relations venture.

"We won't be going out in the dead of night,"said Commander
Martel. "We'll give everyone plenty of advance warning.
We're also not talking about enforcement unless the person
absolutely refuses."

In for the long haul - andy

The opinions expressed herewith reflect no consensus on
the part of Food Not Bombs, Fractal Factory or any
combination of Aaron, Andrew, Keith, Scott or others.
Unless otherwise specifically mentioned.

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