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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The fight over feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale in public continued Friday as activists from the group Food Not Bombs gathered for its weekly feeding in Stranahan Park.
Fort Lauderdale Police calmly confronted the group and police say three people received citations for breaking a new city ordinance restricting homeless feedings.
Food Not Bombs says it wants to feed the homeless where the homeless are. Its’ supporters — like David Rosenthal — agree.
“No government — local, county, state or federal — has the authority to mandate where people should be, eat or interact with other people,” Rosenthal said.
Last Friday night, CBS 4 cameras captured at least two people being led away in handcuffs after a feeding. One person was charged with obstructing justice and two others given a citation. It was a much different scene this week. Rosenthal was cited and held out his hands to be cuffed. But the officer simply tried to hand him a citation and did not pull out his handcuffs.
Rosenthal said he refused to accept the paperwork.
Food Not Bombs said they were pleased that the police allowed them to finish their feeding on Friday night but there is still a lot of hard feelings over the city’s handling of the homeless.
“Fort Lauderdale is now the armpit of the world when it comes to treating the most needy in their city,” said William Van Natta.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler told CBS 4 News earlier this week that many people who live in the city are pleased with the city’s efforts to place homeless feedings indoors — with running water and bathrooms. Seiler said the city is working with groups to create a comprehensive plan to deal with homelessness.
“The locals understand what we have done for the homeless,” Seiler said on Thursday night. “The locals understand the work we have done to assist the homeless.”
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