The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Arrested for Feeding the Poor

Nov 10, 2014

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police have arrested Mr. Arnold Abbott and cited two ministers for the crime of feeding the homeless.

A new city ordinance limits where the poor can be fed; requires approval by property owners; and demands that outdoor toilets are provided with hand washing stations, and that distributed food is at regulated temperatures.

Ridiculous? Abbott was ordered by one police officer to “Drop that plate right now” as if, Abbott said, he were carrying a deadly weapon!

Abbott, at the age of 90, has ministered to the poor for 23 years. He was arrested for feeding 100 homeless people hot chicken stew, pasta, cheesy potatoes and fruit salad at a beachfront park.

When protests against his arrest started pouring in from around the country, officials rushed in to explain the “humanitarian” reasons for the new ordinances that prohibit feeding poor people outside.

The Chair of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust “explained”, saying, “When you feed people out on the street, garbage gets dropped; that breeds rodents and creates a health and safety hazard for them and the general public,” adding “Feeding needs to be done indoors.” (As if he were speaking of zoo animals!)

The city mayor has said that he feels that feeding people on the street creates a cycle of dependency. As if he isn’t dependent on the wealthy he serves!

But the president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau let the cat out of the bag when she said, “It is not pleasant getting e-mails from people saying we’re not coming to your city because you have no heart.”

The whole uproar, of course, is about money from tourism. The City Commission passed this ordinance to drive the homeless out of Fort Lauderdale so that tourists would not be “bothered” by the sight of poverty. But their plan was exposed.

Good for Abbott and all those who have exposed the monstrous politicians and their wealthy patrons for what they really are!