Keith McHenry In Zagreb!
07 January 2004
Food Not Bombs
Although the Subversions (evenings of media guerrilla and poetry terrorism) stopped happening on regular basis, it seems that they may get revitalized, if we judge on the first event in the new series. The guest of the Subversions was Keith McHenry, one of the people that started the first Food Not Bombs group in the world in the early 1980’s, marking the emergence of hundreds of groups under that name.
In Croatia, there are several Food Not Bombs groups, working in Slavonski Brod, Split, Zadar, Zagreb. Their main activity is distribution of free meals as means to point out at the existing social problems, but also promotion of the idea of sharing and emphasizing the connection between the negative social situation and the reemerging arms race and widespread conflicts. The group also presents a critic of the political, economic and all other models of functioning of the modern states, but in an affirmative manner, providing concrete alternatives and solutions for the acute problems.
Keith McHenry spoke of the beginnings of the project, its history, the spreading of the idea, past experiences and everything else that marked the existence of the project over that past twenty years. You can find more about them on their web site FOOD NOT BOMBS.
The Food Not Bombs Story
Food Not Bombs is one of the fastest growing revolutionary movements active today and is gaining momentum. There are hundreds of autonomous chapters sharing free vegetarian food with hungry people and protesting war and poverty throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. Food Not Bombs is organizing for an end to the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. We also support actions against the globalization of the economy, restrictions to the movements of people and the destruction of the earth.
The first group was formed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1980 by anti-nuclear activists. Food Not Bombs is an all volunteer organization dedicated to nonviolence. Food Not Bombs has no formal leaders and strives to include everyone in its decision making process. Each group recovers food that would otherwise be thrown out and makes fresh hot vegetarian meals that are served in city parks to anyone without restriction. The groups also serve free vegetarian meals at protests and other events. The San Francisco Chapter has been arrested over 1,000 times in an effort to silence its protest against the Mayor's anti- homeless policies. Amnesty International states it may adopt those Food Not Bombs volunteers that are imprisoned as "Prisoners of Conscience" and will work for their unconditional release.
Food Not Bombs works in coalition with groups like Earth First!, The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Anarchist Black Cross, the IWW, Homes Not Jails, Anti Racist Action, In Defense of Animals, the Free Radio Movement and other organizations on the cutting edge of positive social change and resistance to the new global austerity program. One collective publishes a movement wide newsletter called A Food Not Bombs Menu. There is also a German language Menu. Food Not Bombs Publishing in Takoma Park, Maryland publishes books like On Conflict and Consensus which has been an important guide for group democracy. We hope you will join us in taking direct action towards creating a world free from domination, coercion and violence.