Movement for a Democratic Society

January 23, 2008
Some locals starting up a Jacksonville Food Not Bombs group. Drop them a line if you can help in any way.  We’ll have information and a canned food/ dry goods donation box at Inertia shortly. The following is from an email Donny sent me. 

“We had a pretty successful FNB this past Sunday in Riverside park. We gathered and cooked all vegan food and handed out blankets. I’ve attached an image for your blog and below is somewhat a summary about what MDS is about:

Movement for a Democratic Society (MDS) is an education and social action organization dedicated to increasing democracy in all phases of our common life. The goal of MDS is the creation of a more egalitarian society in both the political and economic spheres. MDS believes in participatory democracy, the expansion of human rights, universal healthcare, the rejection of discrimination based on race, gender or sexual preference, the preservation of the earth’s environment, the expansion of workers’ rights, a more equitable distribution of wealth, and the rejection of militarism and war as a way of resolving differences among peoples and nations.

I organized the chapter after being motivated by a large (over 2,500) anti-war protest in Orlando, FL on Oct.27, 2007.

Let me know if you need anything else, and if you got any ideas you’d like to share.

Thanks for the support,

Donny Q.



  1. so i love this stuff, and would totally be down with it, but isn’t it kinda like preaching to the choir by doing this at riverside park? if anyone wants to go do something at the st. johns towncenter, let me know.

  2. Hey Adam B,
    MDS just does Food Not Bombs in Riverside Park. We don’t “preach” in the park. FNB is simply a good community cause that we use to bring activists that are interested in doing other projects together in hopes of developing different projects throughout Jacksonville’s communities. I doubt many homeless would show up at the Town Center. I just wanted to clear things up, but thanks for the input. Give us a shout for what you have in mind for the Town Center and what issues you are addressing.

  3. By handing out blankets, do you mean to the homeless? I imagine that you’re also feeding them. Your FNB group seems to have their hearts in the right places but what service are you doing to actually help the homeless?

    I used to be much like you and operated in much the same capacity. After taking a more holistic look at homelessness, its causes, and how to cure the disease of homelessness; I’ve changed my approach to one that takes a little more work but one I feel is more compassionate and helpful.

    Most homeless groups’ studies agree that the cause of homelessness in around 80% of the homeless population is drug and alcohol addiction. Some 60% of those also have some sort of untreated mental disorder.

    When you do your feedings, do you have mental health professionals evaluating and assisting? Are you close to or operating within somewhere that the homeless may receive assistance? What about the area in relation to availability of drugs and alcohol?

    As far as my own situation: when I stood back and looked, I saw that when we took food out to where the homeless stayed in the parks, alleys, embankments, etc.., we were taking food to where the drug dealers and convenience and/or liquor stores were. I saw that our operating outside of homeless service organizations decreased the likelihood that the homeless that we were trying to help would actually receive any help.

    Ultimately, and this was a bitter pill to swallow, I saw that we were doing a great disservice to the very homeless we wanted so badly to help.

    In order to cure homelessness, we must change our traditional approach. We must end giving handouts in ways and areas that serve to empower addiction. We must work with organizations that provide real, healing assistance to our homeless brothers and sisters. We must work harder.

    Peace and Equality,

    p.s. I think “preaching to the choir” is usually used as a metaphor for “delivering a message and arguing points to those who already know the message and agree with the points”. I think Adam B means to suggest that you should take your message away from an area where most of the people agree with you and out to the overly-consumerized suburbs and shopping centers where mass consumption is their religion. Isn’t it funny how conservation is such a foreign concept to most “conservatives”?

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