Saturday, September 29, 2007

Statement by West Palm Food Not Bombs

The statement below was issued by West Palm Food Not Bombs in response to the city's passage of an anti-homeless food sharing ordinance on Sept. 24.


West Palm Beach Food Not Bombs is a volunteer group of concerned citizens dedicated to helping feed those in need. We believe that food should be a right and not a privilege. We stand in outright opposition to the new ordinance banning food distribution at the parks in downtown West Palm Beach. We were willing to cooperate in finding a solution amenable to all, but with the commission refusing to show a similar interest, we no longer feel cooperation is possible.

We feel the ordinance violates our constitutional rights and those of the homeless population here in West Palm. The only other locations offered us by the city are churches and most are too far away to be practical. While we appreciate and respect the charitable work done by local religious groups, Food Not Bombs is a secular group that seeks to help the poor and defend their human rights, so we do not see a religious venue as an acceptable option. Religious affiliation should not be a prerequisite for helping others. Furthermore, none of the other parks in the downtown vicinity are equipped with restrooms, drinking fountains, tables or chairs.

[City] Commissioner Robinson spoke about flexibility and the need to compromise. The City Commission was unreceptive to any suggestions for compromise and showed zero flexibility in regards to the ordinance. Therefore it is now upon us to be flexible and mold to their desires. Even though Mayor Frankel emphasized the fact that she and the city are not heartless and truly are compassionate, it is impossible to believe her when in the same hearing that she voted to outlaw feeding the homeless she shared her desire to ban food distribution in all West Palm Beach parks, all the while staring directly at the homeless people sitting in the front row. Therefore it became clear to us that accommodating this new ordinance would only lead to us having to do the same at the next location. Commissioner Mitchell agreed, saying in regards to changing our food sharing location to another park, "if we did that, then we would just be hearing from another group that we moved it in front of."

Furthermore, we see absolutely no reason as to why we should sacrifice our constitutional rights and those of the homeless/ This is not about getting attention and finding a way to cause problems as Mayor Frankel suggested. The Mayor started this fight and put us in the situation we are in, forcing us to either give away our rights or stand and protect them. In his essay Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau said, "Under a government which imprisons unjustly, the only true place for a just man is also a prison." If they intend to put us in jail for feeding the indigent, then so be it. We shall go proudly, knowing that ours is the right side of justice and equality.

This entire charade of legality does nothing to solve the problems in downtown. Never was any proof, beyond discriminatory speculation, given that the problems spoken of had anything to do with our sharing food at the Centennial Fountain Park in downtown. The fact is all of those issues already have laws on the books to address them. If there is anyone to blame, it should be negligent law enforcement failing to address these infractions of the law. Blaming all of the problems on the homeless is ridiculous.

Most criminal activity is not from the homeless population. The homeless are afraid for their lives and exist constantly on guard. The people that are victimized and suffering the most are not the condo owners and business operators nor the downtown patrons -- it is the people forced to live out in the streets. The homeless get robbed all the time, they get beaten and raped, pushed aside, spat on, and disrespected, not to mention undermined by the city officials who should be trying to help them, not take away their rights and resources. Ronald Reagan said, "Protecting the rights of the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for existing."

This ordinance is a complete mockery of the justice system and of the Constitution. As such, when deciding what course of action to take from here, only one option began to resoundingly stand out from the others. If we are to cede to their discriminatory ordinance now, it will be that much easier for them to criminalize and ban other activities and locations, slowly removing all of our rights and all of the resources the homeless have for assistance. The Fourteenth Amendment states:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

In addition, the First Amendment grants all of us freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression. We cannot turn our backs on our rights and those of our brothers and sisters. If we allow this to continue, there is no telling where it will stop.

To abandon the needs of the most impoverished is unacceptable and outrageous. We are furious with the mayor's stance and do not intend to give up our civil liberties so easily. We choose to stay at the library and fight this absurd ordinance because someone must, or else we will all slowly lose our rights one by one. It must end somewhere. It shouldn't go any further. We say it must end here. We refuse to be flexible with our rights. We refuse to compromise justice. We must unite against this grave injustice if we care at all about liberty and the rights of humanity.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007




In a surprise development, late this afternoon, after getting a few media calls--WFTV-Channel 9, WDBO-AM (580), Orlando Weekly, the City of Orlando backed down. From now on, everyone, not just those who care to pay for the privilege, will be able to use the tables and chairs at the Lake Eola Park picnic area. The "No Trespassing" signs have even been taken down.

The City, naturally, tried to get us to believe that this whole situation had been a "mistake" or a "misunderstanding." They even went so far as to blame a park ranger for deciding to padlock the fence gates. How pathetic. We know better, of course. The changes, including the padlocks, to the picnic area that initiated this latest skirmish between the City and Orlando Food Not Bombs and homeless activists have two possible sources. One is the Mayor's Office; the other is the Downtown Development Board. Take your pick. Both are determined to leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding measures they believe will make the homeless feel unwelcome downtown. To them human beings and human needs and rights are unimportant compared to helping developers, gentrifiers and businesspeople make more money.

This time, however, the City did something to the homeless that also greatly deprived and inconvenienced the citizens who live in the Eola Heights and Thornton Park neighborhoods. That may have begun to erode support for future inhumane and unnecessary measures that further criminalize homelessness.

Note: Articles from Channel 9 are below the pictures.


City Of Orlando Unlocks Gate At Park After Facing Questions

POSTED: 3:40 pm EDT September 26, 2007
UPDATED: 5:22 pm EDT September 26, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The city of Orlando made changes after Eyewitness News started asking questions about a controversial decision to lock up picnic tables and chairs at Lake Eola Park.

The city says the new fence around a public picnic area has nothing to do with the homeless feeding that goes on there every Wednesday, but some people don't buy it and only Wednesday afternoon did the city agreed to unlock the gates that were keeping everyone out.

The new black metal fence came with a bold message, telling people they are not allowed inside on the blue picnic tables and chairs at Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando. There were even padlocks on the gates to make sure.

"I don't understand why," Jennifer Tussel told Eyewitness News.

She came to Lake Eola Park to spend some time outdoors with her baby, Violet.

"We should be able to sit there. I don't see why not. We work hard every day," Tussel said.

The city said a farmer's market that operates there on Sundays got a permit to serve beer and wine, but an area had to be gated off for people to drink. The park manager told Eyewitness News the gates were to remain locked on the other days to prevent vandalism.

"Taxpayers obviously pay for these, why shouldn't they be available to everybody?" Eyewitness News reporter Eric Rasmussen asked Lake Eola Park Manager Leo Falcon.

"They are available, if they want to rent it, they can rent it," he said, laughing.

But after asking that question, city officials said the locks would come off and the "no trespassing" signs would come down. They insist the fence had nothing to do with an on-going battle to stop homeless feeding at the park, but homeless advocates say everyone suffers.

"The people who live in this neighborhood and other parts of Orlando pay taxes to build and maintain this park and all of a sudden they're being deprived of the use of one of the amenities of this park and we think that's wrong," said Ben Markeson, an advocate for the homeless.

The city told Eyewitness News the decision to permanently lock up the area was a mistake and the gates should remain open.

Copyright 2007 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

City Fences Off Picnic Area That Group Uses To Feed Homeless

POSTED: 11:24 am EDT September 26, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A controversial group that feeds the homeless claims the city of Orlando fenced off a picnic area at Lake Eola to keep them from helping the hungry.

A "no trespassing" sign was posted on the black metal fence that now surrounds the picnic tables in the park.

The group [Orlando] Food Not Bombs believes the fence was put up to keep them and the homeless out.

The city has not yet commented on why the fence was put up.


source: Orlando Weekly blog


Either the people who run City Hall are effectively, deficiently retarded, or they're trying really, really hard to reclaim this city's rightful place on the National Coalition for the Homeless' annual list of meanest cities. Between the repeat crackdowns on people whose sole crime is feeding people who otherwise would go without food, to banning panhandlers from begging at night, and this, you get the sense that Dyer and Co. are doing their level best to eradicate the city's homeless population from their downtown white yuppie paradise, which is going to shit anyway with the rest of the goddamned overpriced condo market.

If you're too lazy to follow that link, don't worry. Here's the gist: Orlando Food Not Bombs, as bombastic and petulant and annoyingly hippie as they are, has been feeding homeless people in Lake Eola Park for the last couple years, despite the city's best efforts to force them out (including an arrest, which I wrote about here). Some genius under Dyer's employ - though the city hasn't returned my calls to tell me who, exactly - came up with a brilliant solution to the FNB "problem": Fence off Lake Eola Park, and require a permit to use the picnic tables.

Get a permit. To use a public park. The city's premier, spotlight park. In the middle of the day.

You read that right. We'll be putting up pictures here soon.

It didn't take long for this "plan" to dissemble. In fact, it took about one media report, which aired on Channel 9, for the city to, um, reassess or something. I fielded a phone call a few minutes back from FNB dude Ben Markeson, who informed me that the city has opened the gates and claims it was all some big misunderstanding or something and they really didn't want to keep the homeless out, except that, of course, they do.

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling slightly embarrassed to live here. More details forthcoming.

Posted by: Jeffrey Billman on 9/26/2007 3:17:28 PM

Monday, September 24, 2007

City's Arrogance Knows No Bounds

Released Sept. 24, 2007

City's Arrogance Knows No Bounds As It Restricts Access to Lake Eola Picnic Tables to Paying "Customers"

The City of Orlando once again has shown that it will stop at nothing to drive the homeless out of public spaces such as parks and to try to stop groups that help them from using public spaces to do so. To achieve this goal, it is willing to inconvenience citizens and deny them access to the public amenities that their tax dollars pay for.

Within the last few days, the City has finished erecting a fence around the trees in the center of the picnic area at Lake Eola Park (the corner of Central and Osceola). It has placed the tables and chairs that formerly were on the circular brick walkway of the picnic area into the new fenced-off area and has put padlocks on the fence gates. It also has posted "No Trespassing" signs on two sides of the fence. Our understanding is that from now on only those who have paid rent to use the picnic area will be entitled to use the tables and chairs.

Orlando Food Not Bombs has been sharing every Wednesday at the Lake Eola picnic area for more than two years. It has continued to do so despite the fact that the City last year passed an ordinance that basically bans food sharings inside Lake Eola Park and more than three dozen other downtown parks. In recent months, Orlando Food Not Bombs has been joined at its sharings by other local groups who also bring food because of their desire to help the homeless, to show solidarity with FNB and to express their opposition to the ordinance. (OFNB is a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the "large groups feeding" ordinance that will come to trial in June of 2008.) The City is, of course, greatly mistaken if it thinks that this petty action will keep homeless people out of the park, or deter Orlando Food Not Bombs and its allies from sharing food with them.

OFNB's sharings only last around 2-2 1/2 hours once a week; however, the City is so determined that the homeless get the message they are not welcome in downtown Orlando that it apparently doesn't give a damn about how its actions affect other citizens. Thanks to the arrogance of the Dyer administration those who live and work near the park have one less place where they can consume a bag lunch, rest, read or whatever. although Orlando's citizens pay taxes to build and maintain public facilities such as the picnic area the City is telling them that iif they wish to use this particular public facility they must rent it. Civic boosters and elected officials like to talk about how Orlando is on the cusp of becoming a "world class" city, but it's hard to see how citizens can have the sort of lifestyle that would seem to be in keeping with that exalted status when they city keeps restricting how they can use public parks. We are sure some Orlando residents will find this sort of treatment to be unacceptable and outrageous, and will wish to express themselves to the public officials who are supposed to represent citizens in the halls of government.

We hope that Orlandoans will realize that the changes to the park, besides being a high-handed way to treat those to whom the park supposedly belongs, represents something even uglier. It is another shameful attempt to practice discrimination against homeless people by seeking to deny them access to public facilities based upon the fact that they are destitute and homeless. Creating a category of second-class citizenship for poor and homeless people should not be tolerated by anyone who believes in equality, democracy and basic decency.

Contacts for Orlando public officials.

Phone: 407-246-2221
Fax: 407-246-2842

407-246-3010 Fax

407-246-3010 Fax

407-246-3010 Fax

407-246-3010 Fax

Commissioner Daisy W. Lynum
407-246-3010 Fax

Commissioner Samuel B. Ings
407-246-3010 Fax

Friday, September 21, 2007

Article on Fort Lauderdale FNB

954 Represent!
By John Linn
Published: September 6, 2007

There’s something admirable about having intense pride for the city you live in. Still, that type of dedication is a rare commodity here in Fort Lauderdale, a city full of people that hail from elsewhere. But for Jadis Mercado and the crew working at (954) Food Not Bombs, commitment to Fort Lauderdale and all its people is what has driven them each Friday at 3 p.m. to Stranahan Park (Corner of Broward Blvd. and Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale), where they serve food to Fort Lauderdale’s extensive homeless population.

You’d think that young people spontaneously offering charity to the obviously needy would be a good thing. but, according to Mercado, reaction to the meals has been mixed. On August 3, Mercado says that Fort Lauderdale police broke up their festivities and threatened to arrest the FnB crew if it returned (a police representative could not be reached for comment). Despite the risk, the collective showed up the following week – only this time with over 150 supporters in tow. Mercado says the police have since retracted their pressure, allowing FnB to continue their efforts unhindered.

And now, the FnB collective has decided to hold a free concert this Tuesday in Stranahan Park to celebrate both the success of the group and the birthday of the 954 area code (which was created on September 11, 1995). Mercado’s band, the Lepracy, will perform alongside fellow experimental noise-core groups the Black Republican Caucus, Mad Holy Cow Disease, and Adjective Noun, all sponsored by FnB’s sister organization, (954) Noise Not Bombs. There will be free food for the homeless at 3 p.m., followed by the concert at 7. Visit
Fridays, 3 p.m., 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lake Eola Ladle Fest: Oct. 8-10

International Call for Solidarity with Orlando Food Not Bombs:
Lake Eola Ladle Fest!
Oct. 8-10

On April 4th, Eric Montanez became the first Food Not Bombs member in Orlando arrested under the City's anti-homeless food sharing ordinance. That measure, aimed at Orlando FNB and other groups that help hungry and homeless people, bans unpermitted food sharings of more than 25 people in more than three dozen downtown parks. Groups only are allowed two one-time permits per per park in a 12-month period. Eric's trial starts Mon., Oct. 8. In addition, five other FNB comrades arrested under a City noise ordinance while drumming outside a fund-raising event for Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer have a pre-trial hearing on Oct. 10.

Eric is, of course, one of hundreds of Food Not Bombs members arrested over our movement's more than 25-year history for the "crime" of sharing food with the hungry and homeless and directly challenging the poverty and inequality that make FNB necessary. His trial will set a precedent that will affect FNB and other anti-poverty groups throughout the country; so what happens to Eric and Orlando Food Not Bombs should be of concern to all of us. Cities and developers around the country are keeping a watchful eye on Orlando to see what they may be able to get away with. The City and business interests need to know that we will not let them take away our rights and tighten thescrews on the poor and homeless through gentrification and criminalizing homelessness. To put pressure on the City, we will hold Lake Eola Ladle Fest--a three-day event in Lake Eola Park in the very spot where Eric was arrested by more than a dozen uniformed and undercover Orlando police for ladling out stew to the homeless.

From Oct. 8-10, we would like FNB members from around the country to stand in solidarity with Eric, OFNB, and the local poor and homeless by helping us share breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and also holding various events and workshops throughout the day. We hope to attract as many of our community's homeless and low-income residents, and supporters from around the country, as possible. We also as a group will walk to the courthouse each morning and we encourage people to show support for Eric by attending his trial. The third day we will hold "The March of Mimes" in support of the Cruddy Dyer-rhea Drum Corps 5--Ryan Hutchinson, Bryan Jones, Brett Mason, Eric, and Will Vertlieb--and also free speech rights.

We here in Orlando we can provide some sleeping space. People are encouraged to bring items such as canned goods, fresh veggies and prepackaged snacks to donate. Also there will be a really really free market that will be available for the homeless and low income residents, so brings things to donate to that, too.

The Lake Eola Ladle Fest begins on the morning of October 8 in the park's picnic area which is located at the corner of Central and Osceola in downtown Orlando. If you are coming the night before or have any questions, e-mail us at and we'll try to find you a place to stay at our collective house(s).

Please forward this message far and wide. We need as many people as possible to participate.

Orlando Food Not Bombs

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bio of Orlando mayor takes center stage in cyberduel,0,53138.story

Dyer bio takes center stage in cyberduel

Mark Schlueb | Sentinel Staff Writer
(published) August 30, 2007

There's a war over Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer's biography, and it's being fought in cyberspace.

On Wikipedia, to be exact.

The online encyclopedia allows anyone with Internet access to edit entries, including Dyer's critics.

So, despite his having logged 15 years in state and local politics, about half of Dyer's biographical Wikipedia entry is about Orlando's controversial ban on feeding the homeless in city parks.

But someone at City Hall didn't take the matter lying down.

According to a new Web site that allows users to track changes to Wikipedia entries, the city's computer network was used to delete the negative information last month.

"I think it's a pretty poor use of taxpayers' money to use city workers to edit Wikipedia entries," said Ben Markeson, the homeless-rights activist who authored the offending section. "They've attempted to make changes to certain information that they find embarrassing."

It's the latest in a string of embarrassing revelations for politicians and corporations since a 24-year-old graduate student launched WikiScanner (, the program that identifies the anonymous authors of changes to Wikipedia. It works by searching Internet Protocol addresses attached to the computer networks of government agencies and corporations.

Since the program went online, users have discovered, for instance, that a passage about Wal-Mart wages being "about 20 percent less" than those of competitors was changed by someone on a Wal-Mart network computer to say the retailer's average wage "is almost double the federal minimum wage."

Members of the group Orlando Food Not Bombs have been a thorn in Dyer's side since the city passed an ordinance last year that restricts homeless-aid groups from feeding groups larger than 25 people in city parks. Some members have defied the ordinance and challenged it in federal court.

In June, six members were arrested for violating the noise ordinance by banging on drums outside a fundraiser for Dyer's re-election campaign.

Meanwhile, Dyer's Wikipedia entry includes only two outdated and incomplete sentences about the downtown venues approved last month, and one short paragraph about his arrest on an election-law violation and subsequent return to office after being cleared.

But, thanks to Markeson, it now contains a much lengthier section on the homeless feeding controversy and the ensuing protests.

The section was added July 7. On July 11, someone using a City Hall computer anonymously deleted the entire section. On Sunday, Markeson put it back.

Carson Chandler, Dyer's spokesman, said there's no way to tell who edited the mayor's entry. But doing so wouldn't violate city policy because staffers are allowed to browse the Web while on their lunch hour or break as long as they don't visit objectionable sites, he said.

"It could have come from anyone on a city computer," Chandler said. "It wasn't the mayor -- I can say that with certainty."

Mark Schlueb can be reached at or 407-420-5417.



So remember a few weeks back when something called WikiScanner was all the rage for like 28 minutes because it allowed you to find out who was altering Wikipedia pages, which are of course totally reliable. The fun part was that we all found out that government and media officials have way too much time on their hands, and busied themselves by using the Internet to trash competitors (Fox News), delete scandals (Diebold) or otherwise better their online reputations (the CIA).

Apparently, some brown-noser down at Orlando's City Hall is no different. According to WikiScanner, on July 11, at 5:40 p.m. - 40 minutes after close of business, so I suppose not on city time - someone from IP address altered Buddy Dyer's Wikipedia entry; basically it removed a long-winded rant by Orlando's Favorite Anarchist™ Ben Markeson on how Buddy hates homeless people and how the brave young souls of are protesting a lot and getting arrested. Of course, Ben's tirade was like six paragraphs longer than the bit about the venues or Buddy's 2005 arrest - you know, the unimportant shit - but whatever, this is the Internet, where any dipshit with a modem gets to add to the historical record.

Anyway, Mr. or Mrs. IP address went online and erased that section, which actually made the Buddy Wiki that much more readable. But as it turns out, Mr. or Mrs. IP address actually belongs to City of Orlando, Information Services, according to

"I think it's like something out of 1984 and I find it disturbing that they
eliminate information they find embarrassing or inconvenient," Ben tells us. He put the disputed section back up, and it's there today (as of this writing).

Anyway, we called city spokesgal Heather Allebaugh for comment, and she said she didn't know anything about that and had only recently discovered that Wikipedia entries can in fact be altered by anyone, and thus are not quite impervious to chicanery. "When we saw it [the WikiScanner story] nationally, I thought, 'Thank God we've never done anything like that," Allebaugh says.

Or not. Anyway, Mr. or Mrs. IP address is apparently a pretty avid Wiki editor, and has altered entries on everything from Major League Soccer's expansion draft (Dec. 1, 2006, 2:55 pm; that's within business hours) to "List of Student Newspapers" (July 19, 2006, 7:55 pm) to "International Accounting Standards Board" (March 14, 3:34 pm) among a bunch of others.

We've put in a public records request to find out where exactly IP address is located. We'll keep you posted.

—Jeffrey Billman

Note by Ben: What i wrote isn't a "rant." It's actually pretty even-handed in explaining why some people support the ordinance and is factual throughout. And i expanded the section on Dyer's arrest for campaign-law violations.

Here's the section in question:

He was re-elected in 2004 in a regular election, narrowly avoiding a runoff with challenger Ken Mulvaney. Mulvaney subsequently alleged election fraud by Dyer. An investigation into the matter by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement led a grand jury to bring charges against the mayor, his campaign manager, and an election consultant for paying someone to gather absentee ballots in Orlando's African American community. Such payments are illegal under Florida law. In March 2005 Dyer was suspended by Governor Jeb Bush in accordance with the Florida Constitution. In April 2005 the charges were dismissed and he was reinstated as mayor.

One controversial issue that Dyer has faced during his tenure as mayor has been his support for an Orlando ordinance (passed in July 2006) that, essentially, bans the sharing of food with groups of 25 or more people inside more than three dozen downtown parks.

Proponents of the "large group feedings" ordinance, including elected officials such as Dyer and District 4 City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, contend that the measure is necessary to reduce the crime they say is caused by the presence of large numbers of homeless individuals in the downtown area and to protect the quality of life, including the ability to enjoy public parks, of residents in downtown neighborhoods. Opponents of the ordinance contend that it criminalizes compassion by stopping groups from sharing food with the homeless inside city parks, discriminates against the homeless based upon their socio-economic status, and does not do anything to address the root causes of homelessness--such as the lack of affordable housing and the lack of enough shelter beds and mental-health and substance-abuse treatment.

One of the groups that has been most active and outspoken in its opposition to the ordinance and Dyer is Orlando Food Not Bombs (OFNB), which has shared food inside Lake Eola Park for more than two years. An OFNB member, Eric Montanez, became, on April 4, 2007, the first person arrested under the ordinance, which is a misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. His trial will start on Sept. 10, 2007. The group is one of the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit (filed in October 2006) that challenges the constitutionality of the ordinance. On May 16, 2007, more than 50 OFNB members and allies staged a protest against Dyer while he held a campaign fundraiser at the Urban Think! Bookstore, which is only a few hundred yards from the Lake Eola Park picnic area. On June 27, 2007, six members of OFNB--Jonathan Giralt, Ryan Hutchinson, Bryan Jones, Brett Mason, Eric Montanez, and Will Vertlieb--were arrested for allegedly violating a noise ordinance during a protest held outside of a downtown restaurant hosting a Dyer campiagn fund-raiser. The charge against Giralt, a juvenile, was dropped by the Orange-Osceola State Attorney at his initial court appearance on July 27. The other five arrestees, all adults, will be tried by the City Prosecutor, although a trial date has not been set.

OFNB is also a coalition member of S.T.O.P.--Stop the Ordinance Partnership, a group formed to engage in political advocacy on issues of homelessness in Central Florida. On Dec. 5, 2006 S.T.O.P. members protested inside a Christmas event sponsored by Dyer at Orlando City Hall. A S.T.O.P. member dressed as Santa Claus [Ben Markeson] handed out fliers criticizing the mayor and several city commissioners for their support of the anti-homeless feeding ordinance.

Evidence recently has come to light that strongly suggests that the Dyer administration has been using paid City employees to edit this entry regularly to eliminate the information about the "large group feedings" ordinance and Orlando Food Not Bombs. Apparently the Mayor considers this information to be politically embarassing.