‘This morning we showed up at Moore Square at 9:00 a.m., just like we have done virtually every Saturday and Sunday for the last six years’.
‘We provide, without cost or obligation, hot coffee and a breakfast sandwich to anyone who wants one. We keep this promise to our community in cooperation with five different large suburban churches that help us with manpower and funding’.
‘Today officers from Raleigh Police Department prevented us from doing our work, for the first time ever. An officer said, quite bluntly, that if we attempted to distribute food, we would be arrested’.
‘Our partner church brought 100 sausage biscuits and large amounts of coffee. We asked the officers for permission to disperse the biscuits to the over 70 people who had lined up, waiting to eat. They said no. I had to face those who were waiting and tell them that I could not feed them, or I would be arrested’.
‘In the past, we have had a good working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department. We knew that we could not use the park itself, as doing so required a permit, but that it was fine if we wanted to set up on the sidewalk, as long as we did not block the sidewalk and cleaned up after ourselves. We have operated, unmolested, under this assumption for the last six years’.
‘By the way, each permit to use the park costs $800. Yes, eight hundred dollars. That would cost us $1,600 every weekend, and the officer we spoke to said the City likely wouldn’t approve it anyway’.
‘Now, however, we are hearing that we can’t distribute food at the park, period’.
‘No representative from the Raleigh Police Department was willing to tell us which ordinance we were breaking, or why, after six years and countless friendly and cooperative encounters with the Department, they are now preventing us from feeding hungry people’.
‘When I asked the officer why, he said that he was not going to debate me. “I am just telling you what is. Now you pass out that food, you will go to jail.”
‘What You Can Do’
‘Several things. While it was Raleigh Police Department that threw us out of the park and threatened to arrest us, we realize they are acting under orders. Ultimately, they serve the interests of the Mayor and the City Council. In the words of the officer in charge today, “You need to take it up with the City Council.”
‘And if history has taught us anything, it is, as Frederick Douglas said, that “power concedes nothing without demand.”
1. ‘Below are the email addresses and phone numbers of the Mayor and of the City Council members’.
‘We encourage you to email them and ask A) why organizations, such as Love Wins Ministries, are being prevented from feeding people in the park, when the City of Raleigh has no means of or plans to feed them and B) encourage them to allow said feeding to continue’.
‘Keeping in mind that we win over no one with anger or rudeness. Anger does not cast out fear – only love can do that’.
* Out of town folks, call any and all of the City Council members’.
* Raleigh residents, call the City Council member representing your district. You can find your district by entering your address here’.
City Council At Large
Mary-Ann Baldwin – Email – 919-996-3050
City Council At Large/Mayor Pro Tem
Russ Stephenson – Email – 919-996-3050
Randall Stagner – Email – 919-996-3050
John Odom – Email – 919-996-3050
Eugene Weeks – Email – 919-996-3050
Thomas Crowder – Email – 919-996-3050
Bonner Gaylord – Email – 919-996-3050
Nancy McFarlane – Email – 919-996-3050
From : http://lovewins.info/2013/08/feeding-homeless-apparently-illegal-in-raleigh-nc/
‘Fiscal conservatives have done it again, proving how their values of saving money do exactly the opposite – at least for the taxpayers’.
‘Utah’s newest war on the poor has mandated a quiz for all welfare recipients. This quiz determines if the person is likely to use drugs’.
‘If they are, then they’re required to take a drug test’.
‘Even if they test positive, they are not kicked off of the welfare program, but instead are required to enter substance abuse programs’.
‘To date, Utah has spent over $30,000 (all taxpayer funded, remember) to quiz and test these welfare recipients. Was it worth it’?
‘Only twelve people tested positive of the 400+ required to test…twelve’.
From : http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/08/26/utah-welfare-drug-testing-results-find-only-12-drug-users-at-cost-of-over-30000/
A great piece over at Common Dreams by Paul Buchheit.
‘The filthiest fact, in terms of detestable extremes, is that much of Congress wants to cut the $4.35 a day food benefit to hungry Americans, almost half of them children, so that money can keep flowing to the top’.
‘First of all, who are they’?
‘Mostly the 1%’.
‘But the top 2-5% have also done quite well, increasing their inflation-adjusted wealth by 75 percent from 1983 to 2009 while average wealth went down for 80 percent of American households’.
1. ‘Accumulating almost all the wealth’
‘The richest 300 persons on earth (about a third of them in the U.S.) have more money than the poorest 3 billion people’.
‘Out of all developed and undeveloped countries with at least a quarter-million adults, the U.S. has the 4th-highest degree of wealth inequality in the world, trailing only Russia, Ukraine, and Lebanon’.
2. ‘Creating their own wealth’
‘In another alarming testament to wealth at the top, the richest 10% own almost 90 percent of stocks excluding pensions’.
3. ‘Taking ALL the income gains’
‘If the richest 1% had taken the same percentage of total U.S. income in 2006 as they did in 1980, they would have taken a trillion dollars less out of the economy. Instead they tripled their share of post-tax income. And then they captured ALL the income gains in the first two years of the post-recession recovery’.
4. ‘Donating a smaller share than the poorest Americans’
‘Two dependable sources provide pretty much the same information’.
‘Barclays reported that those with earnings in the top 20% donated on average 1.3 percent of their income, whereas those in the bottom 20% donated 3.2 percent’.
‘And according to the New York Times, the nonprofit Independent Sector found that households earning less than $25,000 a year gave away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes, while those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent’.
5. ‘Making enough to feed 800 million people’
‘India just approved a program to spend $4 billion a year to feed 800 million people. Half of Indian children under 5 are malnourished’.
‘The 400 richest Americans made $200 billion in just one year. That’s equivalent to the combined total of the federal food stamp, education, and housing budgets’.
‘6. ‘Taking two-thirds of a trillion dollars in subsidies’
‘An astounding 75 percent of dividend and capital gain subsidies go to the richest 1%’.
‘And that doesn’t include business subsidies, like the $16.8 billion per year in agricultural benefits paid out to big companies and to wealthy individuals who happen to have farms in their portfolios’.
From : http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/08/26-0
‘This is a new sign outside the Arkansas Christian Academy, whose pastor has determined that the best way to deal with “predators (who) would like to harm the little sheep in our care” is blast ’em away’.
‘Despite an earlier ruling by the state’s Attorney General rejecting a plan by public school districts to arm over 20 teachers and staff with concealed 9 mm handguns, Pastor Perry Black cites his moral responsibility as “shepherds of God’s sheep” to train and arm his private school staff just like he does with armed believers outside his church on Sunday’.
‘More depressing yet, his unholy plan has gotten lots of local support and positive coverage. Fox News’ enthusiastic headline: “Pistol-Packing Private School Takes Aim at Bad Guys.” But what would Jesus do? Probably not this’.
From : http://www.commondreams.org/further/2013/08/23