Food Not Bombs recovers and shares free vegan or vegetarian food with the public without restriction in over 1,000 cities around the world to protest war, poverty and the destruction of the environment.
Each group is independent and invites everyone to participate in making decisions for their local chapter using the consensus process.
Food Not Bombs is dedicated to taking nonviolent direct action to change society so no one is forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen, expressing a commitment to the fact that food is a right and not a privilege.
With over a billion people going hungry each day how can we spend another dollar on war?
The Portland Maine Chapter of Food Not Bombs was started in the fall of 2012 by a small but diverse group of activists looking for a way to reach out into the community, in a more relevant way than holding signs and banners, and opening up dialogue about radical topics.
It has since grown over the winter, to include people who don't participate in activism, are not particularly socially/politically minded, or active in their communities. This is a testament to the demand in our communities of relevant forms of direct action, that the times are ripe for ad hoc community building; with the economic downturn, ever increasing centralization of resources and political power, and little opportunity for meaningful and productive labor, people, particularly youth and workers, are ready to participate in building something new, and exploring alternatives.
As an anarchist, I am motivated to develop practical alternatives to capitalism and state dependency as examples of what anarchism might look like in practice. We get a glimpse of what people are capable and willing to do as communities and individuals, in the autonomous organizing that happens in disaster relief efforts while centralized government and non profit organizations continue to underperform.
On a micro scale projects like Food Not Bombs, having no legal status, organizational hierarchy and accountable only to our community, we are able to circumnavigate laws, and our own internal beurocracy, encouraging autonomous direct action, and a diversity of tactics, to accomplish our goals, which are to reduce waste, and feed hungry people, while opening up the dialogue about the systems(political, social and economic)that cause these problems.
I'm starting a Food Not Lawns project, trying to produce more of our food, so we are not so dependent on donations, but also to expand the dialogue about food sovereignty/security, Monsatano, the USDA, urban homesteading and other related issues. We'll be networking with land owners around Portland who want to see their lawns turned into productive vegetable gardens, in addition to some acts of guerrilla gardening
Anyone interested in getting involved or supporting any of these projects can get in touch with me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Solidarity not Charity, Food is a Right!