Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Does anyone remember Live Aid?

Plastic mouse ears and million dollar advertising campaigns, is that what Orlando is all about? 

Down here in the state of the sun like most large metropolitan areas we have a large population of homeless people. We also have a group of volunteers called  Food Not Bombs their mission is clear and simple - end local hunger by simply feeding those who need to be fed. Simple right? not in Orlando where 3 members of the group were arrested for feeding meals to the homeless in a local park.
The problem is simple - The city of Orlando has an ordinance that states that mass feedings can only be held twice a year and a permit must be obtained for more than 25 people fed. Food not bombs handed out over 100 meals, that means more than 100 people were able to eat that day but 3 volunteers got to spend the night in jail for their dedication to their cause.

I understand both sides with the issue of the homeless in parks especially when children are present, at times the homeless can be a nuisance to the public by panhandling and loitering but don't they also have a human right to eat? Is it our social obligation to feed someone that is hungry?
I am not a man who can applaud my merits in life by ignoring those that are less fortunate around me, I can't sit in a restaurant and watch someone outside feed on rubbish. As a home owner and business owner I have dealt with the constant parade of the homeless and like someone here today said "The homeless are like stray cats, once you feed them they never go away."
The local residents of the park used for the feeding do have a valid point, home values in America are plummeting enough already without the swarms of homeless men and women gathering at the end of your driveway, but closing your curtains and calling the police still does not solve the problem of hunger in America, nor does the constant battle of homeless shelters. Ultimately when a homeless shelter is constructed local home or business owners protest as to the closeness of said shelter to ones property.

The issue may never be solved especially down here where we have thousands of millionaires and millions of tourists spending their money in our parks, Florida wants the white washed glossy brochure image that the rest of the world sees but that is not what is behind the curtain. What we don't need are regular people trying to help those less fortunate that most of us being hand cuffed and arrested.
We have too many real criminals in this world, we have an alleged rapist heading the IMF, we have Mexican drug dealers at the border beheading tourists, we have former senators allegedly guilty of campaign fraud to cover up an affair, we have real life pirates off the coast of Somalia not the Disney pirates, the ones who actually will kill you. Savvy...
But what we should not have are volunteers being called criminals for feeding people, time to turn this boat around because I think we are heading in the wrong direction.

Oh yes Live Aid does anyone remember the point of that wee gathering?

The Daily Mail reports on this issue, take a look

Every man, woman and child deserves a meal