Last week, Patti, who was publicly sharing/serving food at least 4 days a week (she also runs around making sure folks have food), was visited by a so-called health inspector and threatened. This guy was the same one (I believe) who came to the People Project encampment and, not finding any health risks/hazards, reported back to the City in LIES. Patti's food is nutritious and consciously prepared and distributed. Patti treats people with respect and caring, and her efforts lift people's spirits and take care of concrete needs- needs that are otherwise almost completely neglected, or 'satisfied' through dehumanizing means. Patti has been actively sharing food publicly for 3 years. Patti is a military vet. She is devastated by the threats she received last week, but moreover because the people who depend on her for meals, can no longer.
Patti has supplies, food donations, and willingness to be behind the scenes to get food to folks who want to prepare it and share with people who are hungry. There are often something like 50 or more people who come to eat meals prepared by Patti (and she used to, on occasion, bring food and participate in People Project meetings). After Patti was threatened (on Wednesday or Thursday of last week), she did NOT go to her usual spot, but rather drove by from the highway, seeing all of the people expecting her to be there, and the COPS.
***We've already fought this battle in Arcata and ALL OVER THE U.S! Food not Bombs volunteers used to get arrested on the Arcata Plaza on a regular basis in the 90's. San Francisco went through the "Soup Wars". Food Not Bombs everywhere have fought the absurd and cruel repression against people sharing food without a permit (like a big picnic), and WE HAVE ALWAYS WON!! As long as we are not selling food or blocking passage on public property, it's all good- or should be.
Please get loud and public about this intimidation of Patti and the loss of a valuable resource for so many that is necessary for survival- FOOD shared in a DIGNIFIED way. I ask that you as an individual, and/or you, as part of a group in which you participate, write a statement in support of public feeding and condemning the intimidation and repression that has been brought upon Patti. Consequently, many people are not getting their basic needs met. With the City's involvement, oppression, and shutting down of the Arcata Endeavor, with the loss of our indoor meeting spot for PEOPLE PROJECT in Arcata (where we always had dinner), with the absence of Food Not Bombs currently in Arcata, and most of the dumpsters LOCKED- little to no free food is accessible to people who need it. There is no shortage of food in Arcata- stores have tons of 'excess', Patti has many regular donors, the dumpsters anD garbage cans are full of perfectly acceptable surplus food from restaurants - yet the people who need it are LOCKED OUT more and more by the FASCIST City of Arcata (including its pet businesses).
Please SPEAK OUT about this- hang signs through the town, send the city mailed, emailed, faxed statements; get on the radio. The next City Council meeting in Arcata is on the 20th of August (wonder why this week's is cancelled?), which is a good opportunity to speak to the COMMUNITY. But the 20th is far away. Make noise about this. Get in contact with Patti. Bring food to the people. Get together with your 'groups' and create a statement- spread it far and wide. Offer your yard on which to serve food... the possibilities are there- but please do something ASAP.
This is Patti's website: http://pattiswagons.com/outreach.html