Criminals are not good people. That is what people say. Those who break the law deserve to be arrested and be punished for their actions. So how do people feel when they see the headline? 5 more arrested, accused of feeding homeless in Orlando. What a terrible crime.
For those that don’t know this is the culmination of a four-year court case where it was ultimately decided that feeding homeless people should be illegal. Well when I type say maybe I’m being a tad unfair. It is illegal to disribute food to groups of 25 or more without a valid permit until two miles of the centre of Orlando. So basically as long as it is not where the important business people are and the high-end residents then it is ok, which might even be more sickening.
The Orlando Sentinal editorial this week has backed the law saying that where would it stop? I ask ‘How could an editor of a successful newspaper ever put themselves in the shoes of those who are truly needy?’
I know society likes to ignore those less needy. We like to sweep them under the carpet or move them on to somewhere where we can’t see them. Yes it is true that some of these people do not help themselves but the majority are homeless for reasons totally beyond their control and they should not be ignored. Feeding these people is the least society can do and yet the majority do not even want this – certainly not in their back yard.
Food Not Bombs plan to continue in their endeavours to feed the homeless. They (rightly in my opinion) believe that the law is unjust. No place should ever only be for the elitist and for those that can afford it. Homeless people deserve compassion and help from those more fortunate. We don’t know just how lucky we are.
The American public bent over backwards to help the people of Haiti after the terrible Earthquake but that was easy to do – they are only on a TV screen. The homeless are among them and making their environment less perfect and for that the American public and law courts in the case of Orlando, Florida believe that the best course of action is to push it away and not to tackle the problem head on.
I would say this was a stuck-up American problem but sadly it is a worldwide one. It is easier to have compassion and give money to those who are a continent away but to help those who are close and in our face is much harder. I just hope the publicity of this case and law will help promote the plight of homeless people not just in Orlando but around the globe.
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