Food Not Bombs Keeps on Serving

ARCATA-They have a lawsuit hanging over their heads, and the
city government is under pressure to make them move. But
members of Food Not Bombs  (FNB) are still feeding the
hungry on the downtown plaza here, as they have since the
fall of 1993.

"Everybody I've talked to supports Food Not Bombs," said
City Council member Jason Kirkpatrick, who asked the Council
to hold a public hearing on its lawsuit against the group.
The Council denied his request Feb. 1, on the grounds that
it would be inappropriate to hold public discussion on
current litigation. This despite Mr. Kirkpatrick's
contention that "the city is spending thousands of dollars
in legal fees," an argument amplified by one of the
defendants who reminded the Council that the County Public
Defender's office is currently representing FNB. Arcata thus
joins San Francisco as one of only two cities opposing the
40 chapters of Food Not Bombs currently active in the United

City officials cite fear of hepatitis and concerns expressed
at last year's public meetings on appropriate public
behavior held in response to the uproar over the topless
North Country Fair incident [see News, March 1994] as cause
for serving FNB members Solomon DeMontigny, Jim Holden, Inma
Thompson and Jason Wright with a restraining order for
improper food handling on Oct. 31, 1994. If they are
arrested again, the four face a possible $1,000 fine and/or
five days in jail for not complying with the order.

Meanwhile 22 local residents recently put their heads
together to find a way to feed the community's hungry. The
meeting was organized by Kit Sommers, director of the Main
Street Arcata program,. a business-owners' group. "This is
an idea that has been around for a long time and it's going
to happen," said Sommers. "We're a progressive
community...Someone [at the meeting] said that if everyone
in Arcata took someone home for dinner we'd solve the hunger
problem here," she said.

For info: Food Not Bombs at (707) 441-6896 or  Main Street
Arcata, (707) 826-9043.-Vincent Peloso