Thursday, May 17, 2007

Homeless protest disrupts
mayor's fund-raiser

Protesters outside the Urban Think! bookstore hoist ladles used to serve stew to the homeless in Lake Eola Park each Wednesday.

Photo by the Orlando Sentinel

A group of activists for homeless rights cornered Orlando's mayor and blocked a street with their protest.

Mayor Buddy Dyer never emerged to talk with 50 or so protesters outside a downtown bookstore, where he was holding a fund-raiser for his 2008 re-election campaign. Instead, the mayor walked out the back door.

For about an hour, the protesters laughed, chanted and hoisted signs declaring their opposition to an ordinance passed in July restricting the feeding of hungry and homeless people at downtown parks.

Some of the best: "Weapons of mashed potatoes!" and "Ladles gone wild!"

Read the Orlando Sentinel story here and watch the Channel 9 report here.

Update: Check out the Central Florida Future report on hte protest here. The Future is the student newspaper at the University of Central Florida.

The single most hilarious part is this:

"OFNB should be grateful, said Dale Revels, a resident of Thornton Park and owner of an insurance agency in Kissimmee. "If we had a Republican mayor, there'd be riot cops on horseback with batons beating them to death. This is a progressive city with a progressive mayor that lets people protest," Revels said, holding a Corona.


At 3:26 PM, Blogger Vox Populi said...

Geez. I loathe when people who are elected to public office then won't face the public. I'm glad you are high-liting this cowardly action.

This is akin to mayor pam iorio (tampa) ignoring the whole problem to death (literally) and also mayor rick baker (st pete)who pretended he didn't know his staff was slashing homeless tents.

At 7:27 PM, Anonymous LaVonne said...

NO SOUP FOR BUDDY!!! Then again, he doesn't need it, AND, he feels safe in the City of Orlando as we surpass 25 murders. Maybe we not all living in the same City.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Sunny said...

Weapons of Mashed Potatoes! Good one.

Dyer could have completely turned this into a political plus-but oh yeah-that would take a bit of personal fortitude.

Of which he has zip.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger Jacqueline Dowd said...

Sunny, you're absolutely right. Most of the people who attended the fund-raiser came out the front door, of course. They read the fliers and engaged in discussions with the protesters. A consciousness-raising event for both groups!


At 6:57 PM, Blogger John C said...

I've looked into much of the same problem we have in Jacksonville over the 'food bannings'. While the propaganda put out stating meals are served to homeless sounds decent, the reality of actual meal times; let alone days mentioned; has never come out in the open.

People need to be aware of the quality of food served at 'kitchens', in terms of actually being healthy! How many homeless are obese, due to having a plate given to them that's 75% starches, or more?

People need to be aware that many locations serve only one meal daily, or what days they are not served!

Image is everything. The 'food banning' laws strengthen the argument local service providers have for getting more funds...when they won't increase the days they serve food.

The same ones who years ago served certain days...have not deviated. Some, for two decades. Until 'food bans' are lifted, people will continue to go through malnourishment. 'Charitable feeding' won't necessarily cure the hunger of homeless...but it's a start in an epidemic that we keep hearing the word 'no' said, rather than looking at things that can be done.


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