FOOD NOT BOMBS WON'T QUIT - Mitch Perry

04/23/04

As we reported earlier this week, there were 3 more arrests in Tampa's Massey Park last Sunday, again for feeding homeless people in the park without a permit.

On Monday, about 3 dozen activists, many from the group Food Not Bombs - held a demonstration in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Tampa, where they protested the recent arrests by serving up free food.

The arrests have intensified since Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio began stepping up enforcement in city parks..........The arrests have occurred because those feeding the homeless - many college students aligned with the group Food Not Bombs - have refused to pay application and rental fees and acquire insurance to use a city park, with special events limited to three times a year.

USF Students Jimmy Dunson & Amberly Banks were arrested last Sunday.....Dunson told WMNF today what it would cost his group to pay for those fees........But it's apparent that he and Banks believe it's immoral to have to pay for feed hungry people (roll tape#1 o.q."in the park or not")

Food Not Bombs says that despite the crackdown, they will continue to attempt to feed homeless people this Sunday, as they have every other Sunday in recent months....

Amberly Banks, a 22 year old Environmental Policy Juinor At USF, says they certainly don't want to be arrested (roll tape#2 o.q. "bail won't be an option")

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio has said that she does want to work on solutions to the homeless situation.....Recently she wrote to the Hillsborough County Commission on conducting a Joint Task Force between the City and the County to focus on the problem.....

The County Commission postponed a discussion on that this past week, but County Commissioner Pat Frank told WMNF this week that she is NOT pleased to see arrests for feeding people in Tampa (roll tape#3 o.q."allow that to happen")

Calls to Tampa City officials to discuss the homeless situation were not returned to WMNF by airtime this afternoon.

For 19 year old Jimmy Dunson, the arrest last Sunday was his 2nd in as many months at Massey Park in downtown Tampa....He says that if there is a Task Force to deal with the problem, he thinks homeless people should be included in that discussion...And he said that Food Not Bombs does more than simply distribute food to the less fortunate (roll tape#4 o.q." were having trouble with this")

The arrests have made national news....Jimmy Dunson says he's been invited on Fox News' O'Reilly Factor - but said he would only go on under a certain conditions

(roll tape#5 o.q."Nothing yet")....For more information about Food Not Bombs , you can go to the web at WWW.Tampafnb.org .

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