Among those charged is a 90-year-old homeless advocate, and two of his partners in the church. They each face up to 60-days in jail for their crime of providing food to the hungry.
90-year-old Arnold Abbott has been feeding the homeless for years, and recently his work has gotten him into trouble with the law.
“One of police officers came over and said ‘Drop that plate right now,’ as if I was carrying a weapon,” Abbott told reporters.
This battle is nothing new, Abbot has been fighting against the city for years, just so he can provide this free service to his community. In 1999, Abbot was banned from feeding the homeless and successfully sued the city after a lengthy legal battle.
“I’m going to have to go to court court again to sue the city of Fort Lauderdale, the beautiful city. These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. Don’t have a roof over their head, and who could turn them away?” Abbott said.
Abbott promises to engage in civil disobedience again this week, and continue his operation despite the new laws.
Mayor Jack Seiler has promised to arrest Abbot again, telling reporters that “We enforce the laws here in Ft. Lauderdale.”