Issued on April 12:
Food Not Bombs cofounder Keith McHenry
FEDERAL COURT RESTRICTS FOOD NOT BOMBS RIGHT TO CALL FOR REDUCTION IN MILITARY SPENDING AS THE GOVERNMENT CUTS VITAL SOCIAL SERVICES
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta Rules City Of Orlando can restrict Food Not Bombs Free Speech to twice a year per public park.
Volunteers to defy order and urge global resistance by sharing food and literature in public spaces.
In an outrages decision during the debate on federal spending priorities the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the City of Orlando can restrict Food Not Bombs from seeking to build public support for the funding of social services using savings from reductions in the military. The need to have as much impact as possible on the issue of redirecting military spending towards healthcare, education, food and other social services has never been greater. To restrict Food Not Bombs to expressing their message to two days a year per city park not only deprives the cities hungry of desperately needed food and reduces the ability of the all volunteer group to communicate with the community. The Citizens United court ruling allows military contractors unlimited “free speech” while this ruling restricts the publics attempt to counter the devastating message of Citizen United to twice a year in each location. Food Not Bombs is an all volunteer project that shares free vegan meals and literature at regular times in high visibility public location to inspire community discussion about ending poverty and hunger. The impact of experiencing volunteers sharing food with the hungry under the banner Food Not Bombs with literature about changing our national priorities is very powerful. Restricting this powerful expressive message to twice a year and force the hungry and public to search for the meal and message is a violation of our basic right to free expression. Nearly half the federal budget is spent on the military while 17 percent of American’s go hungry each month and teachers are being laid off. The United States is spending over $700 billion this year which is nearly half of the world’s total military budget. Military contractors and their supporters are free to spend as much as they want to influence the public and Congress to increase their profits while Food Not Bombs is being restricted to sharing its message.
The Obama administration and Congress just agreed to cut vital social programs, increase military spending at a time when millions of people are facing hunger, homelessness and extreme poverty. Food Not Bombs is likely to defy this ruling and urge the public to join them in increasing the groups visibility and distribution of food and information.
Statement from The Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL), New Cyprus Party (YKP), United Cyprus Party (BKP), Cyprus Green Party, EDON, KTÖS, KTOEÖS, KTAMS, DAÜ-BİR-SEN, BES, ÇAĞ-SEN, Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy (UK):
Humanity is watching with great concern Japan’s tragedy, which is suffering from the consequences of the terrible earthquake that took place on Friday, March 11, the tsunami caused and the resulting havoc.
Humanity is becoming conscious in a dramatic way that the much advertised safety of the nuclear plants in highly questionable. So, it becomes more imperative for a new mobilization of European and world public opinion for zero nuclear weapons and nuclear plants.
The nuclear accident in Japan creates a global outcry against the nuclear projects of many countries. One of these countries is Turkey, which plans to build a nuclear station near Akkuyu, which is a highly seismic area, off the coast of Cyprus.
Radiation from the normal operation of the plant as well as any serious leak as a result of an accident will demolish the quality of life of the nearby living beings, including humans. This Eastern Mediterranean basin is a huge and interconnected ecosystem. In the instance of a radiation leak, this will harm tens of kilometres around the nuclear plants.
The Chernobyl accident which occurred 25 years ago, the same day as today, is still creating problems to people and the environment all around the Black Sea basin; thousands are dead, thousands of still born cases with various diseases due to radiation released to the atmosphere, forbid the repetition of the same error. The nuclear danger that Japan is facing today can relate to many parts of the world and particularly Akkuyu, which is located very close to a dangerous fault line.
Nuclear waste by itself is an environmental disaster that will last for centuries and no one can claim that there is a safe way of its disposal, since the danger of leak is always there. The cost of the disposal of nuclear waste is very high and this negates the theory that nuclear power is a cheap source of energy. This cost or the cost of environmental impact is not calculated. We honestly wonder: which area wishes to keep nuclear waste for some tens of thousands of years buried in their land?
The protection of life and the environment is above the profit of the big business involved in the expansion of the nuclear industry, especially in the last decade. Our future is inextricably linked with the development of renewable energy and energy conservation.
We join the call of anti-nuclear movements for 26 April 2011, the 25th anniversary of Chernobyl tragedy, to be a “European anti-nuclear day of action”.
We call on all Cypriots to join us on 26 April at 9 till 10 o’clock in the evening, on both side of Ledra Street with their candles… We will create a human chain for the commemoration of the victims of Chernobyl…
Report from IPB’s Colin Archer:
“Main theme: Invest in life! rather than weapons and destruction. Lovely sunny weather and around 800 participants strolling along the river and then crowding into the Cathedral square with their rainbow flags.”
Check out the event’s program here.