A World War 2 veteran is vowing to engage in civil disobedience by defying a new law that bans feeding homeless people in Fort Lauderdale despite police threatening to arrest 90-year-old Arnold Abbott.
As we highlighted yesterday, Abbott was apprehended by cops while dishing out food to homeless people in Stranahan Park this past weekend before being slapped with a summons. Along with two Reverends and another volunteer, Abbott faces 60 days in jail for defying a newly passed city ordinance which criminalizes the sharing of food.
One of the officers who apprehended Abbott barked at the 90-year-old, “drop that plate, right now,” as if the veteran was holding a gun.
However, Abbott, who has been feeding the homeless for 23 years via Love Thy Neighbor, the organization he founded, has vowed to engage in civil disobedience by ignoring the law and staging another food sharing event at the local beach on Wednesday.
Abbott previously won a lawsuit in 1999, overturning a ban on feeding homeless people on the beach. He says he is prepared to be arrested tomorrow.
“I fully believe that I am my brother’s keeper. Love they neighbor as thy self,” Abbott told CNN, adding, “These are the poorest of the poor, they have nothing, they don’t even have a roof over their head, and who could turn them away?”
Mayor Jack Seiler promised that Abbott and other members of his organization would be arrested if they continued feeding the hungry, asserting, “We enforce the laws here in Ft Lauderdale.”
Will Fort Lauderdale police bring shame onto their own department and the whole city by actually arresting a 90-year-old World War 2 veteran for the “crime” of feeding the homeless?
Watch video footage of Abbott and others being cited and threatened with arrest for feeding the homeless below.