Every Sunday for two years, the Fort Collins chapter of Food Not Bombs have been preparing free meals for the meal-sharing event held in Library Park. But on February 3, police showed up and threatened the group, saying if they didn’t stop feeding the homeless they would be ticketed.
So the next Sunday February 10th, Food Not Bombs organizers with the Fort Collins Homeless Coalition organized a rally in support of the right to share food in Fort Collins parks. Around 75 people, three times the usual turn out, gathered for the rally to show solidarity with the group.
While Food Not Bombs has been holding the events weekly, city park officials say they were unaware. With the volunteers cleaning up well enough and the events small enough that park rangers had never noticed.
Food Not Bombs has faced repression from local authorities for decades for feeding people who are homeless. The first people arrested for holding these food sharing events were 9 people in San Francisco in 1988.
30 years later in 2018, Food Not Bombs Fort Lauderdale, Florida won an appellate court decision saying that a previous decision in a lawsuit filed against the city that distributing food was not constitutionally protected “expressive conduct” was wrong, and the case has been sent back to trial to determine whether the city’s ordinances violate the First Amendment.