Chakra Discussions

Protestors Oppose Soup-Run Ban

by Parasuram das, Food For All Kingscross, England

Posted April 21, 2011

Westminster, England's city council has proposed a law that would criminalise people who distribute free food. It would also criminalise people who are homeless if they are caught sleeping on the street. Such a law would certainly affect Food For Life, which is based in the Soho Street temple, and Food For All, which is based at Matchless Gifts in Kingscross.

Protestors have vowed that they will clog up the courts if Westminster council proceeds with its proposed ban on rough sleeping and soup runs in parts of the borough. Hundreds of protestors turned out recently for a street protest to oppose the ban, which the local authority wants to introduce through a new bylaw. Protestors included volunteers, church representatives, homelessness charities and rough sleepers.

Alastair Murray, deputy director with the homelessness charity Housing Justice, said the new law would "effectively criminalize compassion."

"I would be quite happy to be arrested for buying someone a cup of tea," he said. "There will be a long queue of people being arrested for buying a cup of tea. If that is what Westminster wants, then bring it on."

Jennie Matthias, lead vocalist from the former all-female rock band the Belle Stars and currently with the Matchless Gifts band (which brought you such hits as "You Are Soul"), appeared in all the media publications of the event. You can see video of the event at

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