World War 2 veteran Arnold Abbott defied authorities yet again last night to feed the homeless on a beach in Fort Lauderdale as police issued the 90-year-old with a third citation for violating a newly passed city ordinance.
Officers approached Abbott and told him the citation would be sent by mail but they did not stop him from continuing to serve food.
Abbott, who has been feeding the homeless for 23 years, previously won a lawsuit in 2000 which overturned a ban on feeding homeless people on the beach, an outcome authorities claim is superseded by a new city ordinance which prohibits the sharing of food.
“I’m not interested in playing games,” Abbott told Local 10. “I’m here because the homeless have the same rights to the beauty and placidity of the beach.”
“My feeling is that the police do not want to do what they’re being asked to do,” he added . “They’re instructed to do so. I think they feel embarrassed giving more citations.”
Mayor Jack Seiler has said that Abbott will be arrested if he continues to defy the ordinance. The 90-year-old, along with other members of his organization Love Thy Neighbor, face a fine and 60 days in jail if found guilty.
Abbott’s story has garnered global attention as it exemplifies the tendency on behalf of authorities to clamp down on any real sense of community that could help the more unfortunate in society become less dependent on government.
While governments are perfectly content to oversee a vast welfare state that keeps people below the poverty line or worse, the notion of fellow citizens helping each other out cannot be tolerated.
Authorities in Fort Lauderdale have said that the homeless can be fed, but only at locations pre-approved by city officials, proving that the issue has little to do with the violation of an ordinance and everything to do with making Abbott, his organization, and anyone who would dare defy government know who is boss.