The 'Friends of Marcia Powell' are autonomous groups and individuals engaging in prisoner outreach, informal advocacy, and organized protest and direct actions in a sustained campaign to: promote prisoner rights and welfare in America; engage the Arizona public in a creative and thoughtful critique of our system of "justice;” deconstruct the prison industrial complex; and dismantle this racist, classist patriarchy...

Retiring "Free Marcia Powell"

As of December 2, 2010 (with occasional exceptions) I'm retiring this blog to direct more of my time and energy into prisoner rights and my other blogs; I just can't do anyone justice when spread so thin. I'll keep the site open so folks can search the archives and use the links, but won't be updating it with new posts. If you're looking for the latest, try Arizona Prison Watch. Most of the pieces posted here were cross-posted to one or both of those sites already.

Thanks for visiting. Peace out - Peg.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Support Food Not Bombs!

This is bad news from the courts - and may herald a new series of city ordinances all over the country trying to silence anti-war and anti-poverty activists. Still the ruling won't stop Orlando Food Not Bombs from feeding the hungry and exposing the mechanisms by which Americans starve our poor to death. Make sure to watch the backs of our own Food-not-bombers here in Phoenix, folks: we need fact, I'll put up a widget with their contact info and meal schedule.

Support these folks in Orlando, please - they're going to get arrested for asserting their first amendment rights and feeding hungry people.

What is wrong with this country, anyway?

More power to you and your comrades, Keith. We're rooting for you out here.



July 11, 2010

CONTACT: Food Not Bombs
Keith McHenry - cofounder


The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals July 6 opinion against Orlando Food Not Bombs is another example of the Federal Courts disregard for the public good. The court ruling will not stop Orlando Food Not Bombs from continuing to provide free meals in protest to war and poverty.

“We accept that Orlando Food Not Bombs had the requisite expressive intent, but we believe that the feedings in this case present at most an ambiguous situation to an objective reasonable observer… Just feeding people in the park is conduct too ambiguous to allow us to conclude that a great likelihood exists that an objective reasonable observer would understand that the feeders are trying to convey a message.” - Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judges Edmondson, Barkett, and Baldock

WASHINGTON D.C. - Two days after America celebrated "Independence Day" the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta found that the First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not protect Food Not Bombs and The First Vagabonds Church of God's right to free expression. TheEleventh Circuit Court judgement against Food Not Bombs joins the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" ruling and the Federal Fifth Circuit ruling against the six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling in showing a disregard for the public good on behalf of corporate greed.

Eric Montanez, one of the Orlando Food Not Bombs volunteers arrested two years ago, helped carry on the group's regular Wednesday night feeding at Lake Eola Park as scheduled ­ and pledged to continue doing so regardless of what happens.

"The city is criminalizing homelessness and poverty and criminalizing individuals and organizations in the community that are trying to address those problems," Montanez said.

Orlando City Attorney Mayanne Downs said at a news conference earlier Wednesday that enforcement won't begin for at least 20 days ­ the amount of time that Orlando Food Not Bombs and other homeless activists who sued the city over the rules have to go back to court.

Food Not Bombs is not "Just feeding people in the park" but is seeking to express in the most effective means possible that America should redirect it's resources from military spending towards food, housing, education, healthcare and other basic needs. Providing free food to the hungry in the most visible location possible under the banner Food Not Bombs is the most
effective means of expressing this message. The court ruling will not stop Food Not Bombs from continuing to provide free meals in protest to war and poverty.

Federal court censorship of Food Not Bombs at this point in history is particularly disturbing considering that U.S. military spending and homeless and hunger are all at record levels. It is more important then ever for the message of Food Not Bombs to have as much impact as possible on American taxpayers by sharing free meals with the hungry under the banner Food Not Bombs in the most visible locations possible. U.S. taxpayers were asked to pay at least $663.8 billion this year for their military as 40 million Americans require Food Stamps millions of people are waiting for unemployment checks and A record 3 million homes received
foreclosure notices in 2009.

Food Not Bombs shares vegan and vegetarian meals in over 1,000 cities around the world. Nine Food Not Bombs were arrested in San Francisco on August 15, 1988. The cities campaign to silence Food Not Bombs ended in 1995 after police made nearly 1,000 arrests. Amnesty International declared all Food Not Bombs volunteers "prisoners of conscience" in 1995
and the United Nations Human Rights Commission, Food First and many other groups came to the organizations aid. Local authorities have arrested Food Not Bombs volunteers in nearly 20 cities in the United States. The only time volunteers have been arrested for feeding the hungry outside the United States was in Utrecht, The Netherlands in the late 1990's. The police apologized for the mistake.

Orlando Food Not Bombs can expect world wide support if threatened again with arrest. Volunteers from all over the United States are likely to travel to Orlando to risk arrest. Food Not Bombs has an eastern United States Gathering planned for November in Washington D.C. where the subject of coordinated global actions will be discussed. Orlando Food Not Bombs will ask full appeals court to rehear the case.

The Eleventh Circuit Court judgement against Food Not Bombs and The First Vagabonds Church of God


Requiring permits to feed homeless in parks upheld

Orlando Can Restrict Homeless Feedings

Appeals court sides with Orlando on food ban‎

Orlando group defies federal judge's ruling, continues to feed homeless

Homeless advocates decry court ruling restricting feedings in parks,0,2019022.story


Fight over homeless feeding site heats up in Fort Lauderdale


Ordinance Would Regulate Feeding Miam's Homeless

Miami Florida considers anti-homeless feeding law

Diablo Food Not Bombs Succeeds in Feeding the Hungry!

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