Tuesday, March 10, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact : Mike Butler
Phone: 842-0497
email: fnb_505@yahoo.com


New Mexico Environment Department Threatens Food Not Bombs Albuquerque
With $3,000.00 Fine and Arrests

Food Not Bombs Support Rally Wednesday March 11 at 11 am
At The UNM Bookstore

On Friday, February 13, Jonathon Gerhardt with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) approached the Food Not Bombs table with an alleged intent to warn us against serving food without a permit. We informed him that we would continue to serve without a permit. On Friday, March 6, he approached us once again and claimed that "Food Not Bombs" was liable for a fine of $3,000 (so far) to the State of New Mexico and also threatened to have the police “forcibly remove” us. As a legal non-entity, Food Not Bombs is indifferent to this citation. As volunteers, we find it comical, though we condemn the wasting resources, be they food, paper, or man-hours. We believe that the sad reality is that the NMED is wasting their time. We believe that their legal basis is shaky based on case 6:06-cv-1583-Orl-31KRS of the US Court of Appeals, 11th circuit.

Our response to the baseless and tasteless threats is this: while the NMED's ethical basis is apparently obtuse and legalist, ours has been and continues to be, humanist. We live in a state where one in five children go hungry every night. The most recent USDA data showed that New Mexico’s Food Insecurity Rate is 50% Higher Than National Average. The US average is 11% and New Mexico’s rate is 16.8 % of the state population.1 Therefore as long as there are hungry people in search of a good meal, we will not stop sharing until the last belly is full.

Food Not Bombs Albuquerque has been consistently sharing free, healthy, vegetarian food in front of the UNM Bookstore since 2005. To our knowledge no one has ever gotten sick from our sharing of food. We share free, healthy, vegetarian food every Wednesday at 11 am, and every Friday at 12 noon.

For Further Information Contact: Mike Butler (505) 842-0497 and fnb_505@yahoo.com

1http://www.hungrylobo.com/hunger.htm



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1 comment:

Jacqueline Dowd said...

How can NMED's actions be based on a court ruling that says sharing food with hungry and homeless people in public spaces is expressive conduct protected by the First Amendment?

Seems to me the court ruling supports Food Not Bombs.

jackie
the 13th juror