On Tuesday, police arrested a Food Not Bombs volunteer for sharing food at Park 35 Apartments. This is the latest escalation in management’s effort to prevent free food distribution, but it will not stop us. The landlord thinks that since they own the property they can stop people from helping each other, but they’re wrong. We obey our conscience, not the law.
Residents at the huge apartment complex depend on our weekly fresh grocery giveaway. Since many of them are elderly, have mobility issues, or don’t have cars, we distribute food right in the common area of the complex – no location off the property is accessible.
Although residents are in full support of the free grocery program, the landlord has decided that tenants aren’t permitted to share food in their own common area. Management literally ordered residents to “step away from the food table” under threat of eviction. This is a violation of tenants’ right to use their own space freely, and also the basic human right to food.
Ultimately, this is a struggle over tenant rights. Management wants to prevent tenants from congregating together, comparing notes, and helping each other. They get away with poor conditions and unfair treatment by keeping tenants indoors, separated, and scared of eviction. We support efforts to form a tenant union at Park 35 Apartments to fight against this and other abuses.
Next week, we are calling for a show of solidarity with Park 35 tenants.
We will picket outside of the apartment complex, educating tenants about their rights and sharing food. As the holidays approach, don’t let management keep groceries away from the folks who need them most. Come out next Tuesday at noon to rally for the right to food, and against abusive landlords.
We won’t let tenants stand against management alone!