Orlando Food Not Bombs member Eric Montanez arrested.April 5, 2007
Erik Montanez is a pedicab operator ie. bike taxi! He plays in that band Republicorpse, they played at Ouroboros’s first show. That was fun. Erik also helps with the Orlando Food Not Bombs group. Who feed people in Lake Eola park every Wednesday and Sunday.
He was arrested last night for violating a controversial city ordinance that states quite simply that you can’t feed more than 25 people inside Lake Eola’s park. Violation of this ordinance is a misdemeanor.
Police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones said officers worked surveillance and counted exactly 30 people that Erik fed. Local news station WFTV said that, “Police even took a sample of what was served as evidence.” You can watch a video of the stations coverage here.
Erik got out of Jail this morning on $250 bond.
Food Not Bombs and Erik are plaintiffs in a federal suit against the city arguing that the ordinance is unconstitutional. The group is persuing this along with Stop-Orlando.org, a grassroots coalition fighting the ordinance and the criminalization of homelessness in Orlando.
ACLU lawyers were meeting Thursday afternoon to take legal action against the arrest of the homeless advocate. They said the city publicly said it would not enforce its ordinance about feeding the homeless until the ACLU lawsuit worked its way through the courts. They don’t think the city’s law has a leg to stand on.
In regard to this incident, the ACLU claims it’s just another example of the harassment it endures as its group, and several others supporting the homeless, try to help those in need. They believe the city doesn’t want the homeless around because of the image some worry it presents to the public.
Jacksonville’s Jerry Moran, mentioned here in Folio’s Blog, has a different approach to dealing with homelessness. Remember? He was the guy who would takes pictures of homeless people and post youtube videos of them publicly defecating. I haven’t heard much about him lately, you? He certainly has a different perspective (arguably his wallet) when it comes to homeless people. Well, the Orlando Food Not Bombs group is being entirely more helpful to the community for sure! Please check out the group’s website, or even look over a wishlist of items they need.