‘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/