Filed under: Action, Community Organizing, Repression, Southeast, The State
Federal lawsuit against Ft. Lauderdale Food not Bombs ends in victory against the city. Originally posted to Tequesta Black Star.
After a 7-year-long legal battle between Ft. Lauderdale Food Not Bombs and the City of Fort Lauderdale, FNB has won a settlement and payment for legal fees by the City for attempting to ban food sharing in parks.
“In a remarkable victory for free speech, in late August three 11th Circuit judges held that the Ft. Lauderdale Food Not Bombs’ weekly outdoor food sharing is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment” https://t.co/xMKCocNouF pic.twitter.com/sPP5wlJqfc
— ken montenegro (@kmontenegro) September 19, 2018
The settlement came amid Food Not Bombs’ victory in their 2nd appeal of the lawsuit in August 2021, and, according to the group’s Facebook page, will create “a strongly worded precedent about sharing food as protected free speech.”
From Ft. Lauderdale Food Not Bombs:
It took seven years, but FTL FNB’s federal civil liberties lawsuit against Fort Lauderdale for banning food sharings is finally concluding. After we won our 2nd appeal in August 2021, the City has accepted a settlement that admits they were wrong to enforce the Park Rule against us and will pay us a small amount of damages. They will also have to pay our lawyers a great deal more!
These results are on top of the victories this lawsuit already accomplished in years’ prior, including the 2018 appeals ruling that ruled that the original sharing ban law was unconstitutional – and creating a strongly worded precedent about sharing food as protected free speech.
So anyways we would like to say: FUCK YEAH! We had to bite our tongues a lot over the years to see how this would play out, but no more. We out-lived and out-maneuvered the old Mayor, City Manager, and City Attorney, who were all intent on policing us and the homeless out of existence. Fuck them! Let’s not forget multiple FLPD Chiefs and Captains who sent their goons to stalk and arrest us, all gone now! Nuts to all the narrow-minded fools who wanted to be rid of us.
And while we struggled to keep FNB going, we did so much more along the way – actions, workshops, fundraisers and so on. We’re honored to have an impact in the courts and the streets over the years.
One downside to running such a long campaign was our friends that didn’t live to see the end. Presente our dear friend and volunteer David Bambi Hitchcock, and Gonzalo Vizcardo, also a volunteer from a long time ago, and our supporters Sylvie, Bob Bender, Jack Lieberman, and Daniel.
We deeply appreciate the contributions of all our volunteers and allies over the years.
All thanks to our lawyers – Mara Shlackman, perhaps the only person who could’ve ever made any of this possible, and Kirsten Anderson, Andrea Costello, and Jodi Siegel of Southern Legal Counsel.
For the other Food Not Bombses out there – y’all are going to accomplish great things! Don’t give up!
Finally we’d like to say – Let’s fuck shit up in 2022 – ‘cuz everything’s scary and nothing’s gonna change unless we make it! The people are hungry!
photo: Creative Commons