Repression of Food Not Bombs in Orlando, Florida

Court upholds Orlando’s homeless feeding rules.
A federal appeals court has upheld a Florida city’s ordinance that restricts the feeding of homeless people at city parks.

The 2006 Orlando ordinance was challenged by the Orlando chapter of the group Food Not Bombs, which said the law restricted free speech rights.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals sought to strike a balance in the opinion it issued Tuesday.

It said the feeding of homeless people by Orlando Food Not Bombs was protected by the First Amendment. But the opinion concluded that the city’s restrictions are “reasonable.”

A federal judge originally blocked the city from enforcing the ordinance, but a three-judge appeals panel reversed the ruling.

The full court then reviewed the case and issued its decision Tuesday in a 10-0 vote, with one judge abstaining.

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