Well merry Xmas to you too, Fort Lauderdale. (Look, I said it! I’m an atheist and I said merry Xmas. Booya.)
Fort Lauderdale was, until a judge suspended operations, happily arresting people for feeding the homeless in city parks. Nöfuckingel.
A Florida city that made it illegal to feed homeless people on the street and arrested a 90-year-old charity volunteer for defying the ordinance must sit down for mediated talks with opponents of the law after a judge issued a 30-day stay of the law on Monday.
Meanie judge. The cops were having so much fun busting do-gooders for giving food to poor people.
Fort Lauderdale’s city council passed the homeless feeding ban last month after an all-night session beset by protesters. Arnold Abbott, a World War II veteran and longtime charity volunteer in the community, was among the first people to be arrested and charged with violating the new law. “One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon,” Abbott told Local 10 after his arrest. Days later, he and other volunteers served the homeless again while police looked on and filmed them.
That guy fought in Dubya Dubya 2 and yet he’s unpatriotic enough to ignore a LAW that says you can’t feed the homeless in the park? What the hell happened to The Greatest Generation, huh?
Like several other cities in Florida and elsewhere that have enacted similar crackdowns on helping the homeless in public, Fort Lauderdale’s policy is the brainchild of a man called Robert Marbut. Marbut believes that on-the-street feedings only enable the homeless to remain homeless and the poor to remain poor, and makes claims about how panhandlers behave that are contradicted by research findings.
Ah that’s nice. This crank goes around Florida handing out his crank Wrong Things and gets paid 40 to 50 k for his trouble, while homeless people get new obstacles. That’s the American Dream right there.
The National Coalition for the Homelessestimates that Fort Lauderdale was the 13th city this year to impose restrictions on where homeless feeding programs can be located, and the 22nd to make it harder to feed the homeless in general.
A Broward County official who works with the Fort Lauderdale government complained to the Sun Sentinel that the press coverage of the anti-feeding law has created an unfair and inaccurate picture of the city as a hard-hearted community. But the feeding ban is only the latest in a sequence of petty crackdowns. Earlier this fall the city made it illegal to sleep in public. Over the summer, city leaders passed a law empowering police to confiscate any personal belongings stored on public property, in an apparent effort to discourage homeless people from keeping what few possessions they have with them on the streets.
Or they could speed things up by shooting all the homeless people for “resisting arrest.”