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FOOD NOT BOMBS Harassed by Police

Food not bombs was harassed and dispersed today. One arrest.
Food Not Bombs happens every Thursday underneath the Burnside Bridge (And: Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat at NO Pk Blocks). The underside of the Burnside Bridge has been a rallying point for many activities in Portland and is watched by police. There is also a mission just above it, so there are many homeless and poor people that are around there most of the time. This also gives police more reason to be around.

As far as I know the police have never hassled the FNB people in Portland. Today, it was different. The food was served and it was good, there were alot of packaged goods to be taken away and a very large turnout, I think it was due to the nice weather. About 100 ft behind where FNB serves is where the homeless people congregate. The mounted Police were patrolling back there and arrested one person for marijuana consumption and possession (I believe).

Shortly after that arrest the mounties rode over and said that the park was closed and we all had to leave. It being a public space and we not causing any trouble, we didnt go too fast. The police pushed a few people and got everyone on their feet onto the pavement. People stood around there asking for badge numbers and reasons for this infringement on our rights to peaceably assemble. The badge numbers were witheld and no answers were given...just more pushing.

As we were corraled to cross the street (they wouldnt let us on the esplanade) a girl asked the police the same questions then spit on the ground. The police grabbed her and threw her to the ground. The reason? Interfering. Interfering with the police state. She was cuffed and arrested as more people asked the same questions and were eventually pushed all the way across the street.

Across the street one officer was giving badge numbers (which should be posted here if they are around). The park was declared closed although the only part of the park affected was the part that had the FNB people there. The police are looking for fights in the activist community and picking on peaceful assemblies. I dont like it.
hate to burst your bubble... 22.May.2003 20:34


but fnb gets harrassed by the police ALOT here. thursday seems (i could be wrong) to fucked with more than other days. (perhaps because many of the larger protests have fallen on thursdays and kids, especially of the black bandana and hoody wearing contingent, congregate there after/during protests). during the antiwar protests, (well after things had calmed down a bit), thursday food not bombs was shut down with such a short notice that they didn't even have time to grab the bowls/tofu containers or silverware. last fall, the week after bush was here, at thursday fnb, the cops pulled into the park and arrested someone violently. the man was yelling "help me! you're hurting me". some people unarrested the person, another random passer-by threw the recently unarrested a bicycle, and he rode off, to the cheers of all (well, all except the police). as we can all figure out, police repression of fnb stepped up dramatically after that (the cops were already pissed about the bush protest anyway).

all of which is not to discredit how fucked up i'm sure it was, but to mention that police harrassment of food not bombs, (and ESPECIALLY THE HOMELESS) is nothing new as of this afternoon.

sick of the pigs 22.May.2003 21:43


eazy e said it best, "Fuck the Police!"

i am so tired of their bullshit attitudes. what gives them the right to treat innocent people this way. it is mighty scary actually.

pic for feature 22.May.2003 23:54


fnb logo

trying again with logo 23.May.2003 00:15


the food not bombs logo

this is an important story - thanks for posting! 23.May.2003 01:19

indymedia activist

while it's true, as stated in the "bubble" comment above, that this is certainly not the first time FNB has been harrassed, it's also true that this is an important news story and well worth reporting on. it's center column on the front page because of that. keep up the great work, Brian!

police harassment of FNB 23.May.2003 02:12

longtime FNBer

The best thing for folks to do is bring a digital camera to FNB and GET IT ALL ON FILM. We FNBers can't always do that 'cause we're broke & too busy cooking, collecting food and serving anyway. So be ready for police harassment and bring cameras, be witnesses.

FNB's info? 23.May.2003 06:58


Would it be possible for someone to give a little background info on this event. I've never heard of it. Exactly what is this function?

PPD police capt. dick waver... 23.May.2003 07:37

this thing here

"The extremist organization Food Not Bombs poses a severe threat to all Portland metropolitan area residents. Especially to our children. Food Not Bombs, by it's very existence and activities, weakens the values of Portland and it's citizens. By feeding those less fortunate, by taking the time to actually try to care a little bit, Food Not Bombs works to overthrow and subvert certain fundamental values cherished by all Portland residents. They seek to brainwash our defensless children with the notion that caring for people is a good idea. For this reason, the Portland Police Department is going to come down hard on this dangerous gang of extremists in our midst. Their time has come."

Police or "PO-lease 23.May.2003 22:12

steve 'O' stevechandler21@hotmail.com

Lots of comments shared concerning police brutality. I thought there rule was to uphold the constitution. Should not they allow fnb peacefully assemble. Personally I feel that they are part of the corporate world as it is shown anyone that stands against commerce should be destroyed. I am sickened by the fact that so many Americans believe that the police serve and protect. I wonder who they serve and protect? Well it is pretty much given.

to sherry 23.May.2003 22:33


food not bombs started in boston, as a grassroots protest against (and to draw connections between) homelessness/hunger and the arms race/military industrial complex/war mongering. it works basically like this: a collective of people set out to find (by dumpstering or soliciting donations from stores, generally healthfood/co-ops) food that would otherwise go to waste (and if you have never happened to stick your head in the trash pile at your neighborhood grocery store, let me just tell you that this is ALOT of food. so much that most people i know subsist almost ENTIRELY off of what would otherwise end up in a landfill somewhere). recognizing the ties between hunger, environmental devestation, corporate control and the meat industry, the food that is cooked is a minimum vegetarian, and more often vegan. the food is then cooked up into a big ol' pile of goodness, taken down to a park where the homeless congregate, and given away for free. for anyone who has never been homeless/hungry, it should also be noted that the majority of other places that give out free meals require you do one of the following: submit your personal information to their organization or pray. food not bombs does neither of these things.

in portland, food not bombs serves four days a week: wednesday through saturday. each day is cooked by a seperate collective. wed and sat serve at northpark blocks and fri and saturday serve under the burnside bridge at waterfront park. all servings occur at 5:30 pm. come early cause most days usually also bring tons of take home items like produce, odwalla juice, bread, and variety of other prepackaged food and food that needs cooking.

oh and also.....portland food not bombs, has just about the best food i've ever had at any food not bombs anywhere. no mystery vegetable mush soup, but lots of tofu goodness. one time the group i cooked with made FIVE GALLONS of thai peanut tofu!!

solidarity from the east coast 25.May.2003 14:41


Hey! mystery veggie mush soup is an international FNB delicacy.

FNB really has to work on this networking deal, coast to coast. drop me a line some time. carolinaFNB(at)yahoo.com

-columbia,sc fnb