Crackdown Begins: Food Not Bombs House Among Saturday Raids Ahead of RNC. Food Not Bombs volunteer arrested in Denver and Berkeley office raided on Wednesday.
As the all volunteer movement Food Not Bombs prepares to respond to Hurricane Gustav the police and FBI raided several Food Not Bombs houses in Minneapolis and an office in Berkeley where police seized 13 computers.
Several of those who were arrested are being represented by Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Lawyers' Guild. Nestor said that last night's raid involved a meeting of a group calling itself the "RNC Welcoming Committee," and that this morning's raids appeared to target members of 'Food Not Bombs,' which he described as an anti-war, anti-authoritarian protest group. There was not a single act of violence or illegality that has taken place, Nestor said. Instead, the raids were purely anticipatory in nature, and clearly designed to frighten people contemplating taking part in any unauthorized protests.
Nestor indicated that only two or three of the 50 individuals who were handcuffed this morning at the two houses were actually arrested and charged with a crime, and the crime they were charged with is "conspiracy to commit riot."
Four of those under arrest include Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Nathanael Secor. E-mails asking the public to call St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, 651-266-8510, and Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak, 612- 673-2100 have been sent out to call for their freedom. Efforts to get the 13 computers returned in Berkeley are also underway. The authorities have claimed activists have been planning to use urine and feces at both conventions.
Food Not Bombs provides free vegetarian meals every week in hundreds of cities all over the world. Food Not Bombs volunteers provided free meals to the rescue workers at the World Trade Center after 9/11, to the protesters at the Orange Revolution in Kiev, Ukraine, and fed survivors in nearly 20 communities in the gulf region of the United States in the months after Katrina.
From Iceland to Chile, Nigeria, New Zealand, Israel and beyond, thousands of Food Not Bombs volunteers will be sharing vegetarian meals, working for peace, planting gardens, fixing up bikes for poor children and responding to hurricanes and earthquakes. Please forward this to your local media and community groups.
Food Not Bombs organizes food relief effort for the survivors of Hurricane Gustav. We fed the survivors of Katrina now we will help the survivors of Gustav. You can help. http://www.foodnotbombs.net/gustav.html