Members of Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested Wednesday (6/1/11) when police said they violated a city ordinance by feeding the homeless in Lake Eola Park.
Jessica Cross, 24, Benjamin Markeson, 49, and Jonathan “Keith” McHenry, 54, were arrested at 6:10 p.m. on a charge of violating the ordinance restricting group feedings in public parks. McHenry is a co-founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, which began in the early 1980s.
The group lost a court battle in April, clearing the way for the city to enforce the ordinance. It requires groups to obtain a permit and limits each group to two permits per year for each park within a 2-mile radius of City Hall.
Arrest papers state that Cross, Markeson and McHenry helped feed 40 people Wednesday night. The ordinance applies to feedings of more than 25 people.
“They intentionally violated the statute,” said Lt. Barbara Jones, an Orlando police spokeswoman.
link to text and another video http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/crime/os-homeless-feedings-arrests-20110601,0,7226362.story
Florida police arrest activist for feeding homeless
MIAMI | Thu Apr 5, 2007 2:12pm EDT
(Reuters) – Police in Florida have arrested an activist for feeding the homeless in downtown Orlando.
Eric Montanez, 21, of the charity group Food Not Bombs, was charged with violating a controversial law against feeding large groups of destitute people in the city center, police said on Thursday.
Montanez was filmed by undercover officers on Wednesday as he served “30 unidentified persons food from a large pot utilizing a ladle,” according to an arrest affidavit. The Orlando area is home to Disney World and Universal Studios Florida.
The Orlando law, which is supported by local business owners who say the homeless drive away customers but has been challenged in court by civil rights groups, allows charities to feed more than 25 people at a time within two miles of Orlando city hall only if they have a special permit. They can get two permits a year.
Police collected a vial of the stew Montanez was serving as evidence.
Police spokeswoman Barbara Jones said in an e-mail it was the first time anyone had been arrested under the feeding ban.
Montanez was charged with a misdemeanor.