Dear Indymedia Los Angeles,
To our dismay, an article was published on Indymedia LA that supplies
dis-information regarding the activities of the Venice Chapter of Food
Not Bombs and its collective members.
We serve approximately 150 - 250 people in Venice and Santa Monica every
Sunday. Our collective consists of volunteers from all over Los Angeles,
including members of Axis of Justice. Preparation for our Sunday meal
starts early Saturday morning and does not end until late Sunday.
This chapter of Food Not Bombs has been active in Venice and Santa
Monica for a number of years opposing criminalization of homeless
people, feeding hungry people healthy vegan food on a weekly basis, and
providing services that no Social Service agency does in this area.
We are the only activist/charitable organization on the Venice Boardwalk
serving people in such a public fashion while opposing militarization
and we have been on the cutting edge of legal issues in Venice.
Prior to the March 1, 2005 enforcement of the recently amended Venice
Beach Ordinance LAMC 42.15, we had an all-day peace camp on Sundays -
rain or shine - in order to provide services and raise awareness of the
plight of homeless people while the west side of Los Angeles is fast
being gentrified.Since the permit system, we have had to move out of our
Peace Camp, as it is only for those with permits. We now serve every
Sunday in front of Dudley pagoda from around 2 pm until the food and
other donations are given out.
The new Venice Boardwalk ordinance does not permit organizations - only
individuals - and most tables (with or without permits) on the Boardwalk
are selling merchandise for profit. The Venice Food Not Bombs collective
is proud of the work it does in Venice opposing police abuse and
defending Freedom of Speech for those who may be less able to do this
for themselves. The Venice Food Not Bombs has been the only organization
documenting incidents in an organized fashion. Since our inception, we
have been under moderate to heavy police surveillance and interference.
Food Not Bombs is an international organization that has been supported
by Amnesty International and it is celebrating its 25-year anniversary.
The co-founder of Food Not Bombs, Keith McHenry, recently visited and
stayed with collective members of the Venice/Santa Monica Food Not Bombs
so he could attend and speak at a benefit organized by Axis of Justice
for Southern California Food Not Bombs chapters.
The Food Not Bombs Collective, Venice Beach