Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two more activists arrested for food sharing, including first-ever arrested under ordinance in 2007

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 11:49 AM

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Two more people affiliated with the group Orlando Food Not Bombs were arrested yesterday at Lake Eola Park for holding an unpermitted food sharing with over 25 people. Those arrested were Samantha Simpson and Eric Montanez, who are both 25 years old. The arrests were notable given that Montanez was the first and only person to be arrested under the Large Group Feeding ordinance back in 2007, though he was acquitted by a jury in October of that year. That same month, Montanez and other OFNB members filed a federal lawsuit disputing the constitutionality of the city's ordinance, a case which it won in 2008, but lost in April of this year on an appeal from the city. Since June 1, 25 activists affiliated with OFNB have been arrested for violating the ordinance. (The founder of the international Food Not Bombs movement, Keith McHenry, has been in jail since June 22 for violating a trespassing order barring him from Lake Eola Park, which he received after being arrested on June 1 for allegedly violating the Large Group Feeding ordinance.) Montanez had previously suggested to the Weekly that he had no intention of getting arrested again, but as activists congregated in the cul-de-sac outside of Lake Eola's picnic area, it became apparent that neither of the two individuals who had volunteered to serve food had showed up.

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