Priest, Pastor, and 90 Year-Old Man Charged for Feeding the Homeless in Florida

November 5, 2014   |   Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler
November 5, 2014

(TheAntiMedia) It is a sad day in America when feeding the homeless becomes an act of civil disobedience, yet in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this is the current reality. An ordinance passed on October 22 by the city commission and enacted on Friday was swiftly exercised against volunteers.

On Monday, a 90-year-old man, Arnold Abbott, was cited along with Christian pastor, Dwayne Black, and priest, Mark Sims. They willingly violated the city’s new regulations to distribute meals.

Abbott has run the non-profit charity, Love Thy Neighbor, since 1991, feeding those in need.

He recalled this week’s incident:

“One of the police officers said, ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I were carrying a weapon…It’s man’s inhumanity to man is all it is.”

The city’s new law was passed in an attempt to halt the city’s growing homeless population. It incurs a fine of $500 and up to 60 days in jail for those who violate it.

Specifically, it mandates that

“no two indoor feeding sites can be within 500 feet of one another or on the same block; outdoor feeding programs require
a permit or permission of the property owner and must provide portable toilets; and outdoor stations cannot be within 500 feet of residential properties.”

As Sims said,

“We are simply trying to feed people who are hungry…To criminalize that is contrary to everything that I stand for as a priest and as a person of faith.”

Last week, the law attracted national attention and mayor Jack Seiler assured activists that

“Just because of media attention we don’t stop enforcing the law. We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale.”

Mayor Seiler argued that he was

“…not satisfied with having a cycle of homeless in city of Fort Lauderdale…Providing them with a meal and keeping
them in that cycle on the street is not productive.”

Ft. Lauderdale is one of many cities to enact legislation to combat the presence of homeless people in recent years.

Extended interview with Arnold Abbott

Abbott, Sims and Black were not taken to jail on Monday, but were cited and ordered to court. If they do not attend, they will face a bench warrant for their arrest.Abbott started Love Thy Neighbor in honor of his wife Maureen, who volunteered to help the homeless, poor and hungry before she died in a car accident 20 years ago. He successfully sued the city in 1999 after it attempted to block him from feeding homeless people on the beach.
Abbott has no intention of stopping and plans to deliver meals to thousands of homeless people on the beach on Wednesday. As he told Fox News,

“I know that I will be arrested again, and I am prepared for that. I am my brother’s keeper, and what they are doing is just heartless.”

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Author: Carey Wedler

Carey Wedler joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in September of 2014. Her topics of interest include the police and warfare states, the Drug War, the relevance of history to current problems and solutions, and positive developments that drive humanity forward. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where she was born and raised.

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51 Comments

  1. "The city’s new law was passed in an attempt to halt the city’s growing homeless population. " So, you will starve them to death to keep your cities appearing prosperous. How long before you take the mask off and simply pass a law allowing them to be herded up and gassed. Or, you could kill two birds with one stone. Let your police shoot them. It would eliminate the homeless and make the cops happy at the same time.
    If N. Korea ever does get up the balls to fire a nuke at us let's hope it's aimed at Florida.

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  2. The only alternative is depopulation of the homeless, so we'll just let them starve to death.

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  3. God help us all!!

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  4. Ok a law is a law but which is more important, obeying a law or possibly saving someone's life?!

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  5. Why not legalize cannabis, reduce the prison population, knock out the bars and install doors and turn them into homeless shelters? The prisoners will go back to work, the homeless will have a place to go, the pastor can feed the hungry there and the city's homeless problems solved…. Seems like a win win situation to me. Oh wait…. American governments void of common sense so, carry on with your foolish ways. Idiots!

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  6. its not so much the government and i'd say this isnt so much a country but rather one gigantic business

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  7. Since the Mayor is so adamant about this being A NON-PRODUCTIVE activity, maybe Mr. Mayor should cough up jobs and housing for these homeless so they CAN feed themselves. If he is not willing to do that then he needs to STFU~!

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  8. Un-freaking believable. This means there are fewer cops to enforce the importation from the Columbian Cartels who are dropping off cocaine to the CIA at the wharf. Really good decision Florida and as far as the u. s. of a. goes you are no longer capital letters in my abbreviations. What a horrible law and what a horrible country. A monster, eating it's own tail.

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  9. What's this world coming to.. Sad day indeed..:(

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  10. us of a jails are privately owned profit generators. Best business going. Because, most if not all, are repeat customers by coercion. What's the statistic? 6% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners, incarcerated, many for victimless crimes. Craporate america. The end is near and it won't be pretty. I am glad I am Canadian and proud of it. Protect yourself and your family.

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  11. Yes, we only want people here that has money and lot's of it, we don't want the dregs of society. This human garbage that runs this town is not going to be to happy when Jesus comes back, but then that is on them.

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  12. Bitch, not every motherfucker in florida is fucking ignorant. Not only that, i really want to know where you live at? Cuz i'm pretty sure we got ignorant fucks like you, that have moved here, years ago, and talk shit about MY NATURAL BORN STATE. Not our faults that fkn sbowbirds come here, and fuck our state up..

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  13. Are you even from FLORIDA, you ignorant fuck of a human waste?

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  14. Oh, I have to be from Florida to see the garbage of this world, I don't think so. By the way, nice language, is that from the third grade.

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  15. Mother fuckers who pass laws like this are the same mother fuckers who think people Are just lazy waiting for handouts.smh

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  16. Nope, just a natural born floridian with immigrant parents sick and tired of her countries ways. And you didn't mention "garbage of the world". But something that happened in florida.

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  17. As you dis metion "here" I can also suppose you are from ft. Lauderdale?

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  18. Vanessa Nicholson Actually the big question I have is, what is the difference were this happened, it is wrong.

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  19. If your jesus comes back he'll burn people like you in your fucking boots. you fucking hick

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  20. Jails are owned by the county, not the private prison complex. Private prisons are a bad idea and should be a constitutional violation. Americans don't make up 6% of the planet population we are 5%. Don Williams, Canada just like the rest of the world are not immune to Americas corruption. Marijuana is illegal there and you can thank my lying, thieving government for that law based on lies. Matter of fact the whole world can thank America for this lie and the laws based around it. This is not justice. They say America is waking up. My question is… If America is waking up, then why do we keep voting in the same crap? It's past time to stop voting for both the republicans and democrats. After 150 years of their holding power in this country it's obvious that they are the problem, incapable of solutions only more problems. Stop buying into that left wing vs right wing bullshit, those two wings are part of the same bird. That birds got to go, As long as things stay like they are the American government will be corrupt. Canada is under the thumb of America, you make laws we tell you to (cannabis laws). As long as you're doing like your told to by the American government, you are subject to its corruption. I seriously doubt Mr William that your governments not corrupt after all you are influenced by the American government. I also see the battle going on there for legal cannabis. You can thank us for that fight, you bought the lies and just take a good look at what American influence is doing there. My government has lied to me all my life, they lie about every war and they lie about cannabis. What's funny…. They think there courts and judges are "Honorable," Look deep into the bullshit and you'll see that their nothing but liars and thieves! As long as America dictates your laws, you are in no better shape than we are brother. Now. What's so great about Canada?

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  21. Your right, it is wrong. But alot of them "dregs of society" are veterans. Ever thought of that? The real fucking dregs are the people that keep them on the street. They have fought for our coubtry. Most of them have mental diseases and don't know how to live in society. Society itself is fucked. There are countless of families living in cars and in alleys, we just don't know about, cuz they are good st hiding it. This gocernment sucks.

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  22. Vanessa Nicholson everything you just said shows your ignorance from the anger in your message. She was just using a figure of speech

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  23. By saying N. Korea should bomb Florida? Nice figure of speech.

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  24. Vanessa Nicholson we got us a badss here….
    what the hell would u even do if u knew where she lived at….not a damn thing

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  25. All i see is complaining about the problem, what are the solutions.? What are we , the individual american, supposed to do about this problem? We need to stop complaining about the problems and come up with solutions.

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  26. Ohh im real bad cuz i used a few curse words.. ohhhhhh man… my right to freedom of speech, and my selection of words makes me a real thug, and makes people like you think i want to beat someone up. Lol.

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  27. And Antonio.. i would use my ignorant intelligence to send the N. Koreans to her house.

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  28. Vanessa Nicholson people like me… thats funny. Im sorry about that you confused me thats all. its just that where i live at when someone asks "where u stay at" they intend to do bodily harm.

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  29. Vanessa Nicholson i wouldnt ask you where you live at unless i was rdy to do something. but thats just me.

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  30. Vanessa Nicholson and "beat up" would not be in my range of things i would do. so i would probably not say something like where do u live at

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  31. Lol.. :::yawn::: you bore me. Have a nice day.

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  32. Now I get it, you didn't see my first sentence as the sarcasm it was meant to be. But my second sentence should have told you it was sarcasm, but I agree. You have no idea how mad this makes me that they would treat people like this.

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  33. Kyle Bentovoja Sorry Kyle, He is the one that sent me.

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  34. Please, I am asking you on a very personal level for a helping hand up, you
    can really help by just visiting this link to read my story and possibly
    find it in your heart to offer a contribution, a prayer or just leave
    kind words of hope and inspiration or just share my story elsewhere.

    Thank you very much for reading this post and always have a blessed day. Also
    if this post offends you in any way, I sincerely apologize. (And I mean
    that)

    (Link may have to be cut & pasted in your browser, thanks)

    http://tinyurl.com/lodvpv9

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  35. SOLUTIONS… let's use our CREATIVITY and the power of SOCIAL MEDIA to provide ANSWERS rather than complaining. Obviously homelessness is a problem in Ft. Lauderdale, BUT homeless people need to eat despite their dire situation. There has to be a WIN-WIN… what is it?!? COME ON… we can offer SOLUTIONS!!!

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  36. True – and if they cannot provide housing, what's wrong feeding those who need? Jesus did that.
    For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. Matthew 25:35

    Unfortunately people will always criticize the police action, but they are there to follow the law. Lawmakers make that law cause they aren't hungry… it is easy to do something when you're not on someone else's shoes.

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  37. I am adding this to my previous comments because there is a chance. The u. s. of a., has a chance. If the apparent peoples revolution is successful without killing every "body" in it's path, at least, any one that doesn't count, then maybe there is a chance. And, a maybe is better than a no, any day. This is more than just the u s of a. It's world wide. John Lennon was right and he was murdered. Be careful. Protect yourself and your family.

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  38. Antonio Duran. Did you not read the original comment? "All I see is complaining" Is what you said however the whole opening comment was a suggestion for a solution. If the rest of the country is like you a solution can slap you right in the face and you'll be ignorant to it. You're comment is out of place and contrary to the original comment. Maybe you should back up and re-read the comment. I think it was over your head. Maybe you need your baby sitter to explain it to you. I suggest you do that before replying to anymore comments. solutions are stated clearly. How did you miss them?

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  39. Oh sure! Not only homeless people have nothing to eat or no where to stay, they have to face the fact that they are exiled from the community and are pretty much animals at this point. Thank you, for killing more of the poor instead of saving them and giving them a second (or third, whatever) chance.

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  40. Dang what is this world coming to. This is ridiculous. Nothing wrong with helping people.

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  41. Vanessa Nicholson , bless your little heart. Sorry to get your panties all in a twist and bring out the trailer trash in you. If I really wanted something awful to happen I would have wished for something more realistic, like a hurricane. I was showing my disdain for both N. Korea and Florida, thus why I said if they ever get up the balls, but I guess that went over your head. While it may not be your fault, what are you doing to change things? Re-electing the same bullshit politicians over and over again? Or are you using your voice and vote to call for change? You DO vote, right?

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  42. This city needs to enact a plan on what to do with these people BEFORE cutting off their food supply. We treat animals better.

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