On 11-17, the Transportation and Public Works Commission voted to approve permit parking in spite of questionable documentation and most folks speaking against it with the threat of further expansion of the homeless nighttime parking ban in the Errett Circle area. Recently folks report being told they could not sleep under bridges in the rain.. On December 9th, an unprecedented Stay-Away order law is likely to be handed to police allowing them to unilaterally ban homeless people from many areas around the city without court process for such “crimes” as sleeping, being in a park after dark, and smoking.
As pushback, on Saturday at the FNB literature HUFF regularly has claim forms for folks who want to sue abusive authorities for camping, sleeping, and other sorts of homelessness tickets they’ve been given in the last 5 months. If you’d like to help in this effort, contact HUFF at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 831-423-4833.
For video, to post comments, and to contact Pim and/or the Sun-Sentinel, go to http://www.sun-sentinel.com/
Hunger striker vows not to eat until Fort Lauderdale homeless can be fed in public
Jillian Pim said she hasn’t had a bite to eat since police cited Arnold Abbott three weeks ago for feeding the homeless at Stranahan Park.
Since then, the 90-year-old Abbott has garnered international attention in his battle with the city, but few have noticed the 30-year-old Dania Beach hunger striker.
Pim said she won’t eat again until the city stops enforcing its month-old law that restricts where charitable groups can feed the homeless outdoors.
“I can imagine it’s a lot easier for me than for the people who are on the streets who are starving involuntarily,” said Pim, a member of the Food Not Bombs group that has actively protested the city’s recent spate of laws affecting the homeless.
She said she has lost 25 pounds, bringing her to 118. A bicyclist who once clocked several hundred miles a week, she now uses a walker to keep from falling. She is visibly thinner than she was during an appearance at a City Commission meeting in October.
“My friends, when they look at me, they hold back tears because I’ve gotten so frail and tiny,” Pim said. “I’ve not only had to tighten my belt, I’ve also had to tighten my wristwatch.”
She said she subsists on water with lemons, sometimes with salt. Her boss asked her to take time off 10 days into the strike, fearing she could hurt herself. She takes more naps and has called a doctor because she’s noticing tingling in her extremities that she said shouldn’t have started for several more days.
How quickly the body’s systems break down without food vary by individual, but death is generally considered a severe risk after 45 days. As of Friday, Pim was on Day 20.
“It definitely hurts seeing her,” said Paulino Mejia, who was with Pim at Friday’s Food Not Bombs food distribution at
Stranahan Park, which went off without police showing up to issue citations. Pim made the pumpkin soup.
“She’s definitely an incredibly strong person,” Mejia said. “It’s very powerful to see someone doing what she’s doing.”
Pim is getting closer to the time when she can do permanent damage to her body, but that hasn’t weakened her resolve.
City officials have said they have no intention of putting the law on hold. The best chance for Pim to break her fast is if a judge issues an injunction against the law. Several suits have been filed.
Pim knew the feeding ordinance was coming and prepared for a hunger strike. “I did a month and a half of research and three weeks of prepping my body for it,” Pim said.
She described herself as athletic, doing up to 800 situps a day, exercise she had to wind down before starting the strike.
Pim is used to the commissioners paying her little attention when she gets up to speak for the homeless. She wasn’t sure what to expect when she started the strike.
“I am a little concerned it’s not getting enough support in the media.” Pim said. “What I’m more upset at is the city commissioners, the mayor, the [Downtown Development Authority], all the people we’ve been protesting. I’ve sent them emails about this hunger strike and none of them have responded at all.
“I was at last Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, and none of them would even look at me.”
Pim said this is her first hunger strike. She joined the local Food Not Bombs chapter in 2010 after moving to the area from Tampa in 2009. She has been active in a number of protests, including the 2008 Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Another member of Food Not Bombs, who goes by the name Thursday Addams, has completed one week of a hunger strike.
“It felt like someone else should also be doing it,” the Lake Worth resident said.
Pim’s husband, Nathan, does not think the effort is for nothing.
“I think overall it’s helped with the overwhelming sort of outrage and sentiment that’s been going on to get people to do something about this,” he said.
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