Friday, June 10, 2011

Orlando cracks down on 'terrorists'

Who knew that Orlando, Fla., was the front line in the War on Terror?

But it is. The city that Mickey Mouse built is waging a brutal, years-long battle against homegrown al-Qaida, ruthless enemies of society and the state pursuing a relentless course of . . . feeding the homeless.

The repeated attacks on public hunger, in blatant disregard of Orlando's ban on feeding the
animals homeless, have thrown central Florida into a state of panic and chaos, leading Mayor Buddy Dyer to use the phrase "food terrorists" to describe Food Not Bombs' vegetarian-chili ladlers.

ABC News outlines why Orlando is after Food Not Bombs -- part of the city's effort to create a nation of bombs, not food:
Members of the organization Food Not Bombs were in good spirits as they passed out corn on the cob, rice, beans and other vegetarian dishes to the homeless and hungry in an Orlando park. This cheer was interrupted when police officers on bicycles arrived and arrested five of the volunteers.

This is not the first time this scene has played out for members of Food Not Bombs.

Since June 1, a dozen members of the group have been arrested for violating a new Orlando city ordinance that prohibits sharing food with large groups in downtown parks more than twice a year.

The mayor of Orlando even branded them "food terrorists."

Food Not Bombs is an international political organization that protests war, poverty and the destruction of the environment, according to their website. The group meets to distribute food twice a week in downtown Orlando's Lake Eola Park.

They won a district court case to prevent the enforcement of the new ordinance, but the decision was overturned in the appellate court.

A spokesperson for the city of Orlando said that the ordinance had its origins in complaints from residents and business owners about trash left after the food distribution, public urination and concerns about crime.
THIS IS BECAUSE it would be so much more difficult for a couple of cops to patrol the feedings, keep order and prevent public peeing than it is to bring in maybe a dozen or so cops to raid a soup line, arrest all the servers, call in the paddy wagon and haul everyone off to jail.

But you gotta do what you gotta do. Because it's terrorism, you know.
Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has been quoted calling the group "food terrorists." He told ABC's Orlando affiliate WTFV, "I think they are using food or the feeding of the homeless for different purposes."

Cathy Jackson, the executive director of the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida, agrees that motives may be more about self-promotion.

"The meal service that's being provided by Food Not Bombs is an unnecessary service," Jackson said. She says there are at least seven shelter operations within less than a mile and a half of Lake Eola Park that provide daily meal services for the hungry.
BUT ALL THOSE hungry people in Orlando -- the ones it's illegal to feed in public without a permit, and not more than twice in one spot in a year -- weren't at those shelters, now, were they?

The professionals weren't where the homeless were, either, and thus were not "connecting with those they are serving to channel them back into a direction of housing and self-sufficiency."
But the "terrorists" were, and at least those homeless folk got a little something to eat.

If this were about more effective means of helping the homeless, we'd see a public-private push to find the homeless where they congregate and bring them to where the food and the counselors are. But the Orlando law -- like laws all across America just like Orlando's -- isn't about addressing our "least of these" problem.

It's about addressing our "Why do we have to encounter the 'least of these' and be troubled?" problem. But what do you expect in a Mickey Mouse city run by a bunch of rats?

Basically, it's always 33 A.D. somewhere, and somebody is always getting what Jesus got for doing what Jesus did.

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