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Thoughts after a Food Not Bombs Sharing

The other day on InfoShop.org, there was an article on how the FBI now has Food Not  Bombs on the “terrorist watch list.” Strange but true. I had a chance to think about it during our regular Saturday sharing in Hackensack today.

Every Saturday about a dozen of us, SPers, IWW members and some youth from the Bergen County area meet in our (Andrea & my) kitchen, and cook up vegan food which would normally be tossed by local markets. Food that’'s tossed because it'’s not perfect or (in the case of fruits or vegetables) slightly bruised. The idea is that there is more than enough out there already to feed everyone, and that this food should not be thrown away because there’s no “market” for it. Food is a basic need that should be a right not a privilege.

This morning while setting up out table in Hackensack I noticed the same person (identified as a cop by the local homeless population) watching us, and I hear he has harassed some of the local folks that go to our sharings (‘what’s your name”, “where do you live”, etc.) Guess the word came down and we are now officially being “watched”.

Today'’s Subversive Activity

The first folks who came to the sharing were a group of local homeless men, that have become regulars. One was wearing a bandage on two fingers “had to get the tips chopped off, they were gangrene from the winter and that had to take them”, it was sort of disturbing how he accepted that as being part of being homeless. He told us about how the folks who oversee the county housing program regularly steal food, and other donations that are supposed to go to homeless, and how the shelters try to pressure residents into being narks against each other.

We then spoke to a couple who tend to be at the park every week. After sitting down and discussion the weather, local politics, etc. they told Andrea that they were now living in a storage locker(!) The man works for “Labor Ready” a service which “sells” temp. laborers for below regular rates. One of the IWW folks spent about an hour with him, and it now seems that he’ll bring a bunch of folks he works with to the next IWW meeting (we hold it in Englewood every other Monday). The woman said she’'d think about writing an article for socialist women (!)

It'’s said that J. Edgar Hoover said that the most dangerous thing the Black Panthers did was their free breakfast program, since it introduced Blacks to “communism”.

Over the first few months we’ve been able to gain the trust of a growing portion of the Hackensack homeless community, had local folks bring food, share and join us in discussing politics, police and just about everything else. I'’ve learned much about what folks are going through in Hackensack. Having been homeless/squatting myself for years, I sympathize and see things haven’t changed much over the years.

We were thinking of holding regular skill shares during the next few sharings maybe something on the struggle of the Zapatistas, the FBI should love that?:)

In Unity,

Greg Pason
SP North Jersey
Bergen County Food Not Bombs (www.anti-racist.org/bcfnb)