Monday, October 6, 2008

Court rules OK to feed hungry people

It may have taken more than a year for a decision, but The 13th Juror reported this week that according to the U.S. District Court, Orlando FL Division, sharing food with the hungry and homeless is a form of expression protected by the First Amendment.

The decision came about because of a lawsuit filed by Food Not Bombs and several other plaintiffs last September after groups were diened a permit by the City of Orlando to feed people in a public park.
To establish that their conduct is expressive and protected by the First Amendment, the members of Food Not Bombs had to prove that they are conveying a message that is likely to be understood by the public. The city tried to argue that their message – that society can and should provide food for all of its members, regardless of wealth – wasn’t likely to be understood. But Mayor Buddy Dyer testified that he believes that Food Not Bombs provides food to the homeless only to convey its political message – not necessarily to help the homeless. 13th Juror.
How sad that Mayor Dyer thought that people wouldn't understand the message that we all need to take care of each other. I know that much of selfishness comes from fear but it is not each other we need to be afraid of.


MoonRaven said...

Wow. The idea that it could be illegal to feed hungry people... And that it took a District Court to confirm that.

I like your statement that we all need to take care of each other. How sad indeed when people don't understand that.

Michaelann Bewsee said...

Thanks. I've been saving the Stone Soup story but think I'll post it soon.