Activists to fight citations for feeding homeless in California

January 16, 2018

A dozen activists arrested in El Cajon for violating a municipal ban on feeding the homeless in public spaces will ask to have the cases against them dismissed, and they expect to file lawsuits against the city, one of the arrestees said today.

“The law is unconstitutional and infringes on our freedom of speech,” Mark Lane, an organizer for Break the Ban, told FOX 5 News. “Why is it sanitary for you to have a birthday party and feed them in the park, but it’s unsanitary for me to have a food share in the park? It’s ridiculous. It’s them scratching at whatever they can to back up their bad ordinance.”

The arrests occurred Sunday afternoon at Wells Park on East Madison Avenue next to El Cajon Valley High School during an event organized by Break the Ban, according to Lane and Shane Parmely, another organizer. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a second group, Food Not Bombs, and other activists were also involved in the event.

Break the Ban was created in response to an emergency ordinance unanimously approved by the city council in October that banned the distribution of food on city-owned property. City officials said the ordinance was a response to the deadly hepatitis A outbreak.

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