Houston activists: Mayor ‘should be ashamed’ for cracking down on homeless – Houston Chronicle March 15th, 2023
Members of Food Not Bombs said the city last week erected signs at a library fence near Smith at McKinney. The sign cites a city rule about charitable feeding and urges people to use a location on Riesner Street, about a mile to the library’s north. The sign warned group members that if they hadn’t moved by Feb. 24 they “run the risk of violating the law.”Houston Chronicle : Nonprofit Food Not Bombs objects to warnings to move food distribution away from downtown library
KHOU : Man ticketed for feeding Houston’s homeless outside of library – March 1st, 2023
The organization Food Not Bombs said it has fed Houston’s homeless four nights a week at the same downtown location for almost 20 years without getting a citation. A Houston Police Department officer informed organizers that if they chose to conduct the feeding outside of the Houston Public Library, they would be in violation of the city ordinance and would receive a citation…
The officer advised organizers that police would help transport their food to the designated public location, but organizers declined. Instead, they went ahead and served hundreds of meals to those in line anyway…
Civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen said the ordinance is unconstitutional and claims it is a violation of the organizers’ free speech and freedom of religion.
“Many of the people here have religious convictions,” Kallinen said. “And Jesus, of course, extolled his followers to feed the people who are hungry and this is the same in Islam and Judaism as well as other religions, so it is a form of freedom of religion.”
Kallinen said the man who got the ticket will have to appear at a municipal hearing sometime this month. The penalty for the violation is anywhere from $50 to $2,000.KHOU