Photos: Protesters Rally Against Proposed Homeless Feeding Restrictions
Protesters gathered on Hollywood and Vine this evening to rally against a proposed ban on feeding the homeless in outdoor areas.
Advocates behind Monday Night Mission, an organization that meets five nights a week to feed and take care of the homeless, organized the event as a response to councilman Tom LaBonge's motion to only allow feeding the homeless in designated indoor areas such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens. The group claims that not only does the proposal hurt the homeless, but it hinders groups like Monday Night Mission to do their work effectively. They also claim that it is a direct result of rapid gentrification of areas such as Downtown L.A.
"This we feel is ultimately a way to clear out the residents of Skid Row and other homeless people in affluent neighborhoods to make way for gentrification," Organizer Mel Tillekeratne told LAist. "Shedding light on this will also be a prime goal of our protest."
Signs with slogans such as "L.A. Cares," "Hunger is not a crime," and "Food, not football stadiums" flooded the storied Hollywood corner. Later, as it got dark, the protesters held a candlelight vigil. Tillekeratne estimated that there would be around 500 people at the protest, but the Facebook group estimated a much larger number.
The motion was filed after residents complained of petty crime, feces and loitering around different neighborhoods, including
West Hollywood, whose residents have battled against the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition charity over outdoor feedings.