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Hear students discuss under-reported news on CJTR's Human Rights Radio

In October 2014, the City of Fort Lauderdale passed an ordinance restricting people from giving free food to the homeless. Fort Lauderdale is just one of the many cities that have been implementing anti-homeless laws. In a survey of 180 U.S. cities, a third barred public “camping.”

 

In Fort Lauderdale, a 90-year-old activist was arrested for distributing meals. A protest group, Food Not Bombs, has declared legal action and is taking the city to court. Fort Lauderdale has implemented other laws, such as giving police the right to confiscate any personal property the homeless keep on public property.

Humanitarian Arnold Abbot, who has since turned 91, was taken into custody by Fort Lauderdale police. He and his group were only guilty of giving out free food to the homeless. Food Not Bombs argues that denying their group the right to hand out food during weekly demonstrations is a violation of the right to free expression.

 

Sources:

Michelle Chen, “The City That Outlawed Free Food.” The Nation, Feb. 2, 2015,  http://www.mediachannel.org/the-city-that-outlawed-free-food/

Niki Cruz."Fort Lauderdale Man Arrested Feeding The Homeless, Debate Ensues." The Inquisitr News, Feb. 3, 2015. Accessed February 16, 2015. http://www.inquisitr.com/1811283/fort-lauderdale-man-arrested-feeding-the-homeless-debate-ensues/.

Mike Clary. "Volunteers Hit Streets to Begin Annual Count of Broward Homeless." Sun-Sentinel.com. January 27, 2015. Accessed February 19, 2015. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-broward-homeless-count-20150127-8-story.html.

Legal document of the court action: http://www.southernlegal.org/files/3214/2256/6948/Doc._1_Complaint.pdf

Homelessness Survey:

http://www.nlchp.org/documents/No_Safe_Place

Keyes, Scott. "Florida City About To Make It Illegal For Homeless People To Have Possessions In Public." ThinkProgress RSS. April 21, 2014. Accessed February 22, 2015. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/04/21/3428899/fort-lauderdale-criminalize-homelessness/.

 

Student Researcher(s): Britton Gray (University of Regina School of Journalism)

Faculty Evaluator(s): Patricia Elliot (University of Regina School of Journalism)

About this project

“Project Censored is one of the organizations that we should listen to, to be assured that our newspapers and our broadcasting outlets are practicing thorough and ethical journalism.”
—Walter Cronkite

The School of Journalism's Top 25 Under-Reported Stories was developed in partnership with Project Censored. Project Censored was founded in 1976 as part of a media literacy course in Sonoma, California. Today it is operated by the Media Freedom Foundation. Hundreds of students across the U.S. and around the world contribute information about under-reported stories. Every year, the Media Freedom Foundation picks 25 to publish in their annual book. Project Censored on the Web.