Saturday, August 10, 2013

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation - Kelly W. Patterson

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation

ChalkThePoliceState 29a 300x127 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPDs Killer Reputation
The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Departments’ Pathetic History of “Accountability”

A Community in Fear

Not too long ago I attended a meeting of the Clark County Commissioners concerning a vote over the process that would be adopted to address shootings by Las Vegas area police. Prior to the vote that eventually happened (after all the important stuff like giving a certificate to a group from a retirement home whose most lauded act was alerting neighbors if they forgot to close their garage door), members of the community were allowed to address the commissioners regarding the issue.
One speaker after another stepped to the microphone and it wasn’t long at all before a common theme began to develop. Statements such as, “I’m afraid of what will happen if I call the police,” “I would never call the police even if I was in real danger because I’m scared more of them,” and “I don’t trust them not to kill someone if I call them for help” were recited over and over again throughout the session. These fears were often accompanied by personal examples of negative experiences resulting from interactions with Las Vegas area police, including several from the families of people that actually had been killed by the police.

Legitimate Reasons to be Afraid

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When the cops in Las Vegas kill people their ONLY “punishment” is paid leave.
Obviously, every time the police respond to a call they don’t kill or otherwise abuse the people they encounter, even in Las Vegas. However,it happens often enough to instill the sort of fear and hatred toward them that was on public display during the commissioners’ meeting that day. The problem is that people within the community know that should something happen to them or one of their loved ones at the hands of a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department they have very little hope of that cop ever being held accountable for their actions. They don’t know that the cop responding wants to kill them, but they do know that if they do they will get away with it.
The bigger problem is that members of Las Vegas area police departments also know this. Jesus Arevalo told his then-wife that he wanted to shoot someone so that he could get free time off, based on the policy of placing cops on paid leave during investigations. Within a couple of months after that statement, Stanley Gibson, an unarmed, disabled Persian Gulf veteran suffering from a PTSD induced panic attack and in no way representing a threat to anyone was murdered by Jesus Arevalo. Those seven unnecessary shots fired from Ofc. Arevalo’s AR-15 were the ticket to what is fast approaching two full years of the paid vacation that he had indicated he was hoping for. No charges were ever brought against him for his actions, which even other police on the scene characterized as unexplainable in their official statement to the detectives subsequently going through the motions of an investigation. At worst, Arevalo might possibly be punished by being fired.

A Long History of Corruption and Violence

ChalkThePoliceState 22 300x119 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPDs Killer Reputation
The Biggest Gang in Las Vegas
Throughout their history, the LVMPD has consistently rated among the highest statistically nationwide (even when compared against cities with much higher populations) in times they have shot at people while on duty and in the level of fatalities resulting from those shootings. Stanley Gibson was just one of the latest names in the laundry list of the victims of Las Vegas police that includes Erik Scott (whose murderers were later given an award for bravery while gunning down someone from behind and then unloading their guns on him as he lay already dying on the ground), Trevon ColeOrlando BarlowTanner Chamberlain,  Deshira Selimaj, and Henry Rowe, among the 150+ shootings just since 1990.
Yet not one singular time in the close to forty year history of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has a Las Vegas area police officer ever been charged for shooting someone, regardless of whether the person shot was unarmed or even completely innocent of having committed any actual crime. One rather telling fact is that the reason the old Las Vegas city police was originally merged with the Clark County Sheriff department to create “Metro” was in response to an uproar after a very questionable shooting that was ruled justifiable. Yet, no matter how questionable the many shootings by Metro have been, the justifications have continued unabated.

An Absolute Refusal to Hold ANYONE Accountable

ChalkThePoliceState 12 300x143 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPDs Killer Reputation
Finally someone within the Las Vegas police system has made some sort of stand for justice, but will it actually matter?
A recent incident has shined a very public spotlight on the reasons why it is so impossible to hold anyone  within the LVMPD accountable for their actions. In one of the most questionable shootings ever Officer Jacquar Roston claimed to have confused a hat Lawrence Gordon was wearing for a gun and shot him in the leg as he sat in a car. As would be expected of anybody with even half a brain, Metro’s internal Use of Force Review Board didn’t really accept that excuse and recommended that Roston be fired  as a result.
The fact that this recommendation was hailed as an “unprecedented” act by the board tells you a lot about the past history of the Las Vegas police in relation to officer involved shootings. The fact that Sheriff Gillespie promptly disregarded that recommendation in favor of a one week unpaid suspension (after Roston had already spent 8 months on paid vacation during the investigation) tells you a lot about the prospects for any sort of accountability for them in the near future.
However, in one glimmer of hope for some sort of prospect for justice, seven members of the board did actually have the integrity to stand up and resign in disgust after Gillespie’s disgraceful action. One former member of the board, Glenn Rinehimer, stated that previously the board had been “stacked” with retired police officers from other parts of the country designated as civilians. According to Rinehimer, they didn’t seem in any hurry to actually investigate whether shootings were justified. “The retired police just didn’t seem interested,” Rinehimer said. “They didn’t ask a lot of questions. They voted quickly for it to be justified.”
Robert Martinez, a co-chair of the board who also resigned, had previously expressed hope that this sort of rubber stamping had ended once former police employees and their family members were banned from being appointed as civilians on the board last year. He believed that Metro truly desired a fair and transparent process. That is until Gillespie essentially exonerated Roston despite the board’s unanimous recommendation. “I was thoroughly fooled,” Martinez said. “I thought it was going to change and it isn’t.” Within his resignation letter Martinez characterized the process as a flawed one that undermined the Use of Force Review Board.
Gillespie 300x200 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPDs Killer Reputation
Sheriff Gillespie announcing that the final week of Roston’s 8 month vacation will be unpaid.
Former Assistant Sheriff Ted Moody, who submitted for retirement in response to this case, agreed that Gillespie was undermining the credibility of the board even as Metro faces increasing scrutiny over questionable shootings and other scandals that are becoming hard to even keep up with lately. Las Vegas police officers will not have the public’s trust until the department has a credible process for reviewing its own shootings, Moody stated. And that process must be stable, impartial, unbiased and free from political interference. “Anything short of that is going to fuel further suspicion and mistrust and is just begging for the imposition of externally imposed oversight,” he said. “Nobody wants that. We can be better than that.”
Rinehimer went even further in his assessment of the problems with a system that is in practice designed to ensure no cop is ever held accountable. Rinehimer said the sheriff’s decision to overturn the Use of Force Review Board’s recommendation doesn’t set a good precedent, especially for officers who find themselves in similar situations in the future. “At the end of the day, the officer might be sitting there smiling, knowing the sheriff might not fire him anyway,” Rinehimer said. “It’s a farce.”

A Lack of Accountability that is Not Good for Anyone, Even the Police Themselves

ChalkThePoliceState 23 300x148 Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPDs Killer Reputation
The inevitable backlash
There’s an obvious incentive for members of the community to demand accountability for the heavily armed band patrolling through the streets that they live and work. If those individuals are permitted to act as an occupying force with the impunity to do as they please to those within that community, those among their ranks that have an unscrupulous tendency will take advantage of that to commit criminal and violent acts.
However, there are reasons why even those within the local police departments should want to see accountability for those “bad apples” that we are always being told are just exceptions to the rules. Fear eventually gives rise to hostility and working within the bounds of a hostile environment makes someone’s job just that much harder to do. People within communities don’t feel real obligated to help with the investigation of crimes when the person doing the investigation is perceived as being as bad or worse than the people being investigated. Having to deal with indifference or even active retaliation in the process only serves to make the job of the police more difficult and frustrating, which in turn makes them more bitter and cynical and leads to even more abuses. At some point, that downward spiral needs to be put to an end and the only way to do that is to create real accountability, rather than a hollow, toothless sham that does nothing but draw attention to the lack of it.  And as Sheriff Gillespie recently found out, people are a lot less accepting of having their taxes increased in order to supplement the LVMPD’s budget during an almost daily barrage of news about yet another police scandal.
More from the author Kelly W. Patterson:

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


SHANNON WEST-REDWINE Shannon Erin West Redwine, 45, of Las Vegas, entered into heaven surrounded by family and friends Nov. 30, 2012. She is survived by her husband, Kevin Redwine; children, Michael Jones, Micaela Redwine and Shane Loyd; grandson, Noah; parents, Maj. Gen. (retired) and Mrs W. Thomas West; sister, Dr. Robin McGlohn and husband Judd McGlohn; brother, Brian West and wife Michelle West; nieces, Reagan Lynne West and Lauren Erin McGlohn; many devoted aunts, uncles and cousins; and Kitten. Shannon was born in Selma, Ala., and grew up around the world in her military family. She was a graduate of Florida State University and UNLV, with a master's degree in social work. She retired in 2010 as regional homeless services coordinator for southern Nevada. Shannon helped establish several community programs and initiatives in southern Nevada, including the Southern Nevada Community Gang Task Force, the Clark County Neighborhood Services Unit, the Ready for Life Collaborative (focusing on transitioning youth and young adults) and Camp AnyTown. Recently, HELP of Southern Nevada renamed its facility for young people the Shannon West Homeless Youth Center in recognition of her tireless efforts in advocating for homeless youth in southern Nevada. Shannon's love for her community and passion for helping the disadvantaged was her life's work and is her legacy. Shannon was a member of Green Valley Christian Center, Leadership Las Vegas, American Society for Public Administration, Clark County Citizens' Advisory Committee and a loyal member of the FSU Silver State Seminole Alumni Association. The family would like to express their gratitude to Dr. Heather Allen and the staff of Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada and Sunrise Hospital for their diligent and compassionate care during Shannon's cancer journey. Visitation will be 3-7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 4, at Palm Mortuary-Downtown, 1325 N. Main St. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Green Valley Christian Center, 711 Valle Verde Court, Henderson. In lieu of flowers, donations to celebrate Shannon's life may be made to HELP of Southern Nevada's Shannon West Homeless Youth Center, Southern Nevada Homeless and Housing Trust Fund, Camp AnyTown, the Nevada Community Foundation Shannon West Redwine Fund, the American Cancer Society or a charity of choice.



The Clark County Commission will be discussing the coroner’s inquest process for officer-involved homicides on December 4, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. We need the Commission to pass a simple housekeeping measure to allow the inquests to proceed. The Commission needs to understand that the public does not want it to abandon or water down the coroner’s inquests for officer-involved homicides. The LVMPD has a very high rate of officer-involved homicides, and the public deserves to know the facts when a member of the community is killed.

Meet outside the County Commission building at 9:15 a.m. on December 4, 2012. We will have free t-shirts so you can tell the Commission: “Start the Inquests. We deserve to know.”

What is the inquest process?
In December of 2010, the coroner’s inquest process was reformed into a transparent, public airing of the facts when the LVMPD kills a member of the public. The 2010 reforms did not make the process adversarial. They replaced the jury and verdict with a panel and neutral factual findings. To help get at the truth and ensure fairness, they also provided for participation by the officers, family members, and the public. The reforms were responsive to widespread concerns from citizens and the product of a democratic process and public input. The Sheriff supported the reforms and they also had broad public support (including from PLAN, the Las Vegas NAACP, NACJ, and the ACLU).

Why haven’t we had any inquests since reforms were passed?
Unfortunately, the Police Protective Association (PPA) has fought the implementation of the new inquest process, trying to avoid transparency. The Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court of Nevada have both rejected the PPA’s arguments that the process violated their rights, finding that the coroner’s inquest is a fair process. The Nevada Legislature also refused to abolish the inquest.

How can we fix the inquests?
The Nevada Supreme Court recently held that justices of the peace cannot preside over the inquests under current law. The Clark County Commission can easily fix this technical, procedural issue if it has the political will to stand up to the PPA. The issue regarding who should oversee inquests was not part of the 2010 changes. The pre-2007 had hearing master, oversee inquests. Just like justices of the peace, hearing masters are attorneys. They already oversee non-officer homicide inquests and are qualified to preside over inquests into officer-involved homicides.

Why should the inquest be fixed?
The public deserves to know what happens when the LVMPD kills a member of the community, and transparency is needed to restore the trust between the LVMPD and the public. The County has spent significant sums of money and time on the 2010 reform process, to defend the inquest in court, and to lobby at the legislature. That money should not go to waste.

Most importantly, since the 2010 changes were passed, there have been 22 officer-involved homicides. This means that a total of twenty two families now stand in line waiting to learn the facts about how their loved ones were killed. Without an inquest, there is no way for families to get direct access to information about their family members’ deaths. The families and the public that employs police officers want and deserve an open and transparent process in place so they can assess the facts surrounding office-involved homicides themselves.

Is there any reason to wait?
There is no reason to keep delaying. While the PPA has appealed the case it lost in federal court to the Ninth Circuit, there is no stay or injunction in place and nothing stopping the inquest from moving forward. In fact, both the Nevada Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court have already determined that the process adequately protects the rights of officers. Even if the PPA continues to improperly refuse to allow officers to participate regardless of whether the officers have any right to the protection of the Fifth Amendment claim, the inquests can move forward. Enough other evidence—evidence such as dispatch records, other witnesses, reports, and even video in some cases—can tell the story of what happened.

No more excuses. Start the inquests. We deserve to know.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Mission Statement, Occupy Las Vegas, English/Spanish


Mission Statement: Occupy Las Vegas

The first questions that come out of anyone's mouth whenever a new political movement arises are, “Who are they?” and “What do they want?”

They are good questions that should be answered.

WHO are we?

We are the 99% of Americans who have not benefited from the various financial bailouts, tax breaks, and other subsidies that the dominant 1% of the population have gained over the past several years.

We are students, veterans, homemakers, workers, the unemployed, those on Social Security benefits, those whose savings and investments were either wiped out or greatly diminished by the economic fluctuations starting in 2007.

We are those who have had our homes foreclosed upon, those whose homes are about to be foreclosed, those whose homes are now worth a fraction of what we paid for them, and those who have never owned a home and don’t expect to ever be able to.

We are the newly poor who wonder how everything for which we worked hard vanished so quickly and how we and our families are going to survive.

We are the long-time poor, who have never had much of a chance, let alone a voice, to make our own way in our current social and economic system.

We come from all backgrounds, races, and religions.

We are concerned about and more than a bit scared by the directions in which we see our lives, and the lives of our families, friends, neighbors going, the directions in which we see our nation and the whole planet going, and we are angry with those who have taken us in those directions.

We are part of a much larger global and national movement that wants real changes in how the world is run.

In short, we're you, and you are one of us.

WHAT do we want?

We want an end to corporate money's influence in politics, whether through campaign donations, PACs, or other groups. Money is not speech.

We want truly effective campaign finance reform, so that corporations and other interests have no overwhelming advantage over the rest of us in any part of American politics.

We want far greater legal accountability for public officials and corporate executives, and we demand that, if found guilty of committing crimes while in office, they are made to pay for those crimes in full, like anyone else.

We want our justice system to treat everyone equally regardless of origins or social class, at all levels and at every stage, from investigations to trials and sentencing.

We want an end to the continual attacks on our social safety net and on the rights of workers to organize themselves and, if need be, to strike to get better pay, benefits, and working conditions.

We want secure and sustainable investments and improvements in our social infrastructure, like schools and libraries, and to create an America where everyone may actually live in a decent and dignified manner, an America where everyone's rights count and are respected by all.

This is who we are and what we want. We ask for no more and shall take no less.

We are the 99% and we will not be silenced.

Spanish Version:

¿Quiénes somos?

Somos el 99% de los estadounidenses que no se han beneficiado de los rescates financieros diversos, exenciones fiscales y otros subsidios que el discurso dominante del 1% de la población ha adquirido en los últimos años.

Somos estudiantes, trabajadores, desempleados, y los que benefician de la Seguridad Social, aquellos cuyos ahorros e inversiones fueron eliminados ya sea con o reducido en gran medida por las fluctuaciones económicas a partir de 2007.

Nosotros somos los que hemos tenido nuestras casas en ejecución hipotecaria, están a punto de tener que hacer a nosotros, o cuyas casas ahora valen una fracción de lo que pagamos por ellos.

Somos los nuevos pobres, que se preguntan cómo todo lo que hemos trabajado duro desapareció tan rápidamente, y cómo nosotros y nuestras familias van a sobrevivir.

Somos los pobres desde hace mucho tiempo, que nunca han tenido mucha oportunidad, mucho menos una voz, para hacer nuestro propio camino en nuestro actual sistema social y económico.

Venimos de todas las procedencias, razas y religiones.

Nos preocupa, y mucho más que un poco de miedo por las direcciones en que vemos nuestras vidas, las de nuestras familias, amigos, vecinos, nuestra nación y el planeta entero se va, y estamos enfadados con ellos, como todos nos han sido tratados en el pasado, y están siendo tratados ahora.

En resumen, usted, y usted es uno de nosotros.

¿Qué queremos?

Queremos poner fin a la influencia del dinero corporativo en la política, ya sea a través de donaciones de campaña, los PAC y otros grupos.

Queremos una reforma de financiamiento de campaña realmente efectiva, por lo que las corporaciones y otros intereses no tienen ninguna ventaja abrumadora sobre el resto de nosotros en cada parte de la política estadounidense.

Queremos que la rendición de cuentas mucho mayor seguridad jurídica para los funcionarios públicos y ejecutivos de empresas, y exigimos que, si son hallados culpables de cometer crímenes durante su mandato, se les hace pagar por ellos en su totalidad, como cualquier otra persona.

Queremos igualdad de trato de nuestro sistema de justicia en todos los niveles y en todas las etapas de las investigaciones, a través de juicios y condenas para todos, independientemente del origen o clase social.

Queremos poner fin a los continuos ataques a nuestra red de seguridad social, y sobre los derechos de los trabajadores a organizarse y, si fuera necesario, a la huelga para conseguir mejores salarios, beneficios y condiciones de trabajo.

Queremos inversiones seguras y sostenibles y la mejora de nuestra infraestructura social, como escuelas y bibliotecas, y para crear un país donde todo el mundo realmente puede vivir de una manera decente y digna, y contar con sus derechos y sean respetados por todos.

Esto es lo que somos y lo que queremos. Pedimos nada más, y no tomará menos. Somos el 99%, y que no será silenciada. "

Map, Protest March, Occupy Las Vegas, October 15, 2011

World Revolution Day - Fremont Street Protest March

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gail's Veggie Chili Beans

Gail's Veggie Chili Beans - No meat

I do not soak the beans over night. And, I do not bring them to a boil and let them soak, etc.

Total prep and cooking takes about 4 hours.

1 1/2 gallons of water in a large pot.

Put stove on high heat.

Rinse 1/2 gallon of pinto beans in strainer, add to pot of water. Stir.

Do not cover.

Cook on high, lower heat to medium high when necessary so the water and beans do not boil over the pot.

Add about 4-5 onions, chopped. Stir.

Add water to pot if necessary. Stir beans occasionally throughout the 4 hours.

When beans start to soften (this takes about 3 hours) add fresh diced tomatoes or one or two large cans of Crushed diced or crush peeled tomatoes with tomato puree or tomato paste to the pot of beans.

Alternative to the tomatoes is about 3 cups of spaghetti sauce.

Cook until beans are soft.

Add seasoning to pot of beans. I add the seasoning by eye. About 2-3 tablespoons.

I make a large batch of chili seasoning to last for a few servings. I use an empty spice bottle to put all the ingredients in. Then shake well to mix all the ingredients.


12 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cumin
4 tsp. oregano
4 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. onion salt

Sharing Food - Soup

Vegetable Soup

In a large pot add water and put stove on high. Lower heat to medium if/when necessary.

ALL ingredients are optional.


2 onions, chopped
5-6 stalks celery, chopped
5-6 carrots, chopped
6-8 large potatoes, cubed

Optional, any other vegetable, fresh or frozen, ie. broccoli, mixed vegetables, green beans, peas, corn.

Optional, one or two cups of mixed lentil beans, raw split peas.

When vegetables are cooked or almost cooked, add to boiling water about 16 ounces of uncooked elbow macaroni or cut up spaghetti or any other macaroni.

Add seasoning. Seasoning can consist of a "touch" of salt, garlic, onion salt, oregano, and basil. Optional, if I have extra spaghetti sauce, I add 2-4 cups of sauce to this pot.

Sharing Food - Rice

When sharing food at the park, I never use meat or meat base, fish or dairy products - when I prepare the food.

In the past, when we received already prepared products - donations from the stores - meat, fish, cheese, etc., we would immediately distribute the food to the needy rather than having it all go to waste.

Long grain brown rice when we have it, white rice if brown rice not available.

Optional - add chopped onion to water before adding rice.

1/2 gallon of water in large pot
Add a little vegetable oil to water
High heat until boiling
Add 1/4 gallon of rice and stir thoroughly for vegetable oil to prevent rice from sticking
Lower heat to a low, cover pot.
Rice is usually done when all water in the pot is gone.

White rice takes 15-20 minutes to cook.

Brown rice takes about 45-50 minutes to cook.

Seasoning for rice is optional, ie. salt.

If rice is done cooking for "awhile" and you need to get it hot again:

In a small pot, boil water, chopped onion, and seasoning to taste. Seasoning can consist of a "touch" of salt, garlic, onion salt, oregano, and basil. Optional, if I have extra spaghetti sauce, I add that to this pot and heat, reducing the amount of water.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



by Keith McHenry on Monday, June 13, 2011 at 4:44pm


June 13, 2011


Food Not Bombs

Keith McHenry - cofounder


Orlando Food Not Bombs

Benjamin Markeson


"I'm always willing to talk, but we've offered them alternative sites to feed," Dyer said.

Thanks Buddy, then lets talk but we aren't going to accept an alternative site where it would be impossible to reach the public and seek a change in priorities so no American is forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen.



The City of Orlando has made a total of 15 arrested this June. Orlando Food Not Bombs offers once again to meet with the mayor. Buddy Dyer claims everyone has enough to eat in Orlando yet food providers claim otherwise. Food Not Bombs should have as much right as the corporations that just won Citizens United to reach as many people as possible with the message that in the world's wealthiest country that spends over 50 cents of every federal tax dollar no one should be forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen.

More arrests for homeless activists at Lake Eola in Orlando Florida

Pat Fitzpatrick, active with the No Meal Limit Campaign in Gainesville was arrested along with two local members of the group Orlando Food Not Bombs, Ashley Albinson, and Palmer Harrell. Orlando Food Not Bombs also hand delivered a letter to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer requesting a meeting. The city failed to send anyone to the mediation ordered by the federal district judge and ignored other requests to talk with Food Not Bombs.

Mayor Buddy Dyer is telling the public that there isn't a problem with hunger in Orlando and that it is unnecessary to seek public support for changes in federal and local policies. Yet Second Harvest reports people are being turned away from the facilities Mayor Dyer claims are able to provide for everyone. Food Not Bombs invited everyone to attend the meals and talk with the people coming to eat to find out for themselves the true face of hunger in America.

Second Harvest in Orlando reported that over 55,000 people required food through their central Florida program. They also reported that 20.7% of the pantries, 10.1% of the kitchens and 33.0% of the shelters responded that they turned away clients during the past year. Their website also shows that 49% of the Central Florida Second Harvest clients had to choose between paying for food and paying for their rent or mortgage. This morning Orlando Regional Realtor Association announced that housing sales for May 2011 were 14.99 percent below May 2010. The people eating with Food Not Bombs eat with us because they need food. Many must choose between food or housing. Mayor Buddy Dyer and other officials must come to terms with the fact that we are in a crisis and hiding the problem of hunger is not a solution.

Nearly 1 billion people go without food every day world wide even though there is enough to feed everyone. Over 25,000 people die each day because they do not have enough to eat. Many of those going hungry live right here in cities like Orlando. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that over 15 percent of Americans were going with out food each month in 2009. That number has increased. Federal authorities also report that 387,849 new recipients were added to the food stamps program in March 2011. Over 44 million Americans rely on food stamps to feed their families and the number continues to grow. Efforts to organize to end hunger should be supported not arrested. These staggering and painful statistics reflect the failure of priorities. No one should hungry in the world's wealthiest country.


Orlando Food Not Bombs delivers letter to Mayor Buddy Dyer requesting meeting.

Weapons of Mass Dining

More arrests for homeless activists at Lake Eola,0,602586.story

Group issues demands as more activists arrested at Lake Eola,0,602586.story

Monday, June 13, 2011

Food Not Bombs - Public Service Announcement



June 12, 2011


Food Not Bombs
Keith McHenry - cofounder

Orlando Food Not Bombs
Benjamin Markeson


Orlando Food Not Bombs also announces several events including A Day WIthout Food on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 and the Black Out Arrests Speak Out at City Hall on Monday, June 27, 2011.

More arrests possible during the June 13th Breakfast at Lake Eola Park. The meal starts at 9:30 AM and everyone is welcome. After the arrests everyone is invited to march to City Hall to deliver the group's letter to Mayor Buddy Dyer requesting a meeting. Copies of the letter adopted at the June 10th Food Not Bombs meeting will be provided to the media outside city hall.

The Orlando police may arrest more volunteers at Lake Eola Park for sharing breakfast with more then 24 people. Support from all over the world is still pouring in. A group of friends emailed to say they would be driving down from Georgia to share food at Lake Eola Park on July 4th. The on-line petition started in Japan passed 1,000 signatures yesterday. People are making Youtube videos and sending them around the internet. A second online petition was started yesterday.

Local support is also building. A group of local home owners came out from their condominiums to express their support at Wednesday's dinner. Members of the Orlando Police, jailers and inmates have all told us that they think Buddy Dyer is wrong to arrest us. Everyone from the unions, churches, punk bands, and grocery store clerks to the guy at the copy shop and a woman waiting for her husband near Winn Dixie have offered help. Suggestions of every kind are being emailed or called in. The Detroit Underground gave out 150 sandwiches in solidarity and many other people have organized events in their cities in support.

I walked through the Parramore district of Orlando this afternoon talking with families on their porches and the community living under the 408 bridge. Parramore is on "the other side of the tracks" where many homes and business are owned by the African American community and the area of town where Mayor Buddy Dyer and his business associates intend to move their "homeless problem." Everyone I meet in Parramore was friendly, welcoming and once they realized I was with Food Not Bombs I was greeted with enthusiasm. A man that introduced himself as Tyler or "The Professor" called over to me as I left my van eager to talk with me. He told me he had been living on the streets of Orlando for years. He knew the important dates in the history Orlando Food Not Bombs from the early meals to the day when Eric was arrested to the announcement that we had lost the case in Atlanta. His friend took a photo of both of us with his cell phone. The staff at the Orlando Union Rescue Mission helped out giving flyers announcing our meals to everyone staying for the evening. The message we are hearing from Russia and Italy to Parramore was don't give up, keep on sharing food, we are behind you all the way.

And we wont give up!



MONDAY, JUNE 13TH at 9:30 AM Risking arrest sharing breakfast at Lake Eola Park, corner of Central and Osceola, Orlando
Presentation of the letter requesting a meeting with Mayor Buddy Dyer.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15h at 5:30 PM - Risking arrest sharing dinner at Lake Eola Park, corner of Central and Osceola, Orlando

MONDAY, JUNE 20th at 9:30 AM Risking arrest sharing breakfast at Lake Eola Park, corner of Central and Osceola, Orlando

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 22nd at 5:30 PM - Risking arrest sharing dinner at Lake Eola Park, corner of Central and Osceola, Orlando

MONDAY, JUNE 27th Breakfast at 9:30 AM and Black Out Arrests Speak Out at City Hall in the Council Chambers at 2:00 PM - 2nd floor, 400 S. Orange Ave. Wear black and come to speak at the city council meeting to ask for an end to the arrests.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29th at 5:30 PM - A Day Without Food at Lake Eola Park, corner of Central and Osceola, Orlando

FRIDAY, JULY 1st at NOON - Free meal, cultural events and over night vigil outside Orlando City Hall

Join our fast, join us at Lake Eola Park and call Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer at 407.246.2221

Nearly 1 billion people face a day without food every day. Over 25,000 die each day from hunger. Hunger is not limited to less developed countries, with over 15 percent of Americans going with out food each month. Federal authorities report that 387,849 new recipients were added to the food stamps program in March 2011. Over 44 million Americans rely on food stamps to feed their families. Second Harvest in Orlando reported that over 55,000 people required food through their central Florida program. They also reported that 20.7% of the pantries, 10.1% of the kitchens and 33.0% of the shelters responded that they turned away clients during the past year. Their website also shows that 49% of the Central Florida Second Harvest clients had to choose between paying for food and paying for their rent or mortgage. These staggering and painful statistics reflect the failure of priorities. No one should hungry in the world's wealthiest country.

The City of Orlando started arresting people for sharing meals with the hungry on June 1, 2011. The city had arrested 12 volunteers by June 8th. The 11th Circuit Court ruled that the city could restrict Food Not Bombs to sharing only twice a year per park. The law is not limited to Orlando. Cities like Gainesville, Fort Lauderdale, Saint Petersburg, and other Florida cities are also introducing laws restricting the sharing of food with the hungry. We encourage you to participate in these three actions in Orlando. If we defend the right to share food in protest to war and poverty in Orlando other cities will withdraw their anti-feeding laws.

(This campaign and letter to the mayor adopted at the Orlando Food Not Bombs meeting June 10, 2011)


Human Needs Not Corporate Greed vigil July 1, 2011 at your local city hall!

I'm Going to Disney World…to get arrested sharing food with the hungry

Orlando Food Not Bombs