Condemns ongoing efforts to liberate Afghanistan and Iraq and America’s alleged “globalization of the economy”
Food Not Bombs is an anti-war organization composed of more than 200 independent chapters that serve vegetarian food to homeless people and anti-war demonstrators in an effort to draw attention to the problems of poverty and military conflict around the globe. A member organization of the Abolition 2000 and United For Peace and Justice anti-war coalitions, FNB's founding premise is that if governments and corporations would only direct their assets more toward feeding people than toward making war, no one would go hungry. The prime offenders whose actions exacerbate global poverty and hunger, says FNB, are capitalism and militarism. The country singled out for the severest criticism is the United States, which FNB characterizes as an "empire" responsible for a worldwide "assault on human rights, the environment and dignity."
Keith McHenry and C.T. Butler founded Food Not Bombs in 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The name of the group was derived from the slogan "Money for food, not for bombs," which McHenry and Butler spray-painted in a number of local places in protest of the Seabrook Nuclear Project of New Hampshire. FNB launched its activities at the site of a meeting of bank executives who were financing the Seabrook project. Outside of the conference hall, FNB volunteers handed out free food to a crowd of 300 people who claimed to be homeless. FNB soon began duplicating such campaigns on a regular basis, collecting surplus food from grocery stores and preparing it into vegetarian meals. By the late 1980s, a second Food Not Bombs chapter was formed in San Francisco, and by the 1990s many chapters had formed nationwide, particulary in response to the World Trade Talks in Vancouver and Seattle. Food Not Bombs was heavily involved in the anti-war movement that arose in 2002-2003 to oppose the war on Iraq. Today, there are over 200 chapters of Food Not Bombs worldwide, though most are concentrated in North America. Since the 9/11 attacks, Food Not Bombs has denounced all U.S. military actions aimed at stopping the global threat of terrorism. The group condemns the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and impugns the United States for bringing about "the globalization of the economy," imposing "restrictions to the movements of people," and contributing to "the destruction of the earth."
The organization boasts that its members have been arrested "over 1,000 times" for the acts of civil disobedience in which they have participated.
FNB works in coalition with such groups as Earth First; the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee; and the Anarchist Black Cross, which seeks to abolish the penal system and has called for "direct resistance to achieve a stateless and classless society." FNB also has ties to the Communist organization Industrial Workers Of The World, a neo-Marxist group that embraces a radical form of socioeconomic anarchism.
The Rochester, New York chapter of Food Not Bombs was a signatory to a May 30, 2000 document denouncing globalization and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Food Not Bombs also endorsed a 2003 "Our World is Not for Sale" campaign similarly condemning the WTO. In addition, FNB signed an April 2001 petition of NGOs opposing America’s further development of nuclear technologies.
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