AR Organizations
Food Not Bombs, Defined

We believe in consensus, non-violence, and vegetarianism. By themselves these concepts are rather ambiguous and open for wide interpretation. While it is good that our principles are flexible and inclusive, it is also important that we prevent our ideas from being co-opted. It is the way that FNB has put these principles into action, and the way we have come to define them, that has given these ideas their true meaning and value. We combine these ideas with decentralization, collective and personal empowerment, feminism, and non-hierarchical organizing strategies. We have rejected the concept of charity that usually defines free food give aways. We believe that charity fails to address the causes of hunger and poverty, and attempts to band-aid the crisis without challenging the institutional structures that create inequality. We attempt to confront and dismantle the power structures of patriarchy, white supremacy, and other forms of domination - in society, in our organizations, and in our own consciousness. These are ideas and beliefs that have been expressed in meetings, written about in our literature, and incorporated into the way we organize our own groups and in the solidarity we try to build with other groups and struggles.
Towards a non-violent society: a position paper on anarchism, social change and Food Not Bombs
by Chris Crass

The origins and purpose of this position paper:

This paper was originally written 11.29.95. as a result of discussions that we were having in San Francisco Food Not Bombs about our politics and how we represent our politics in literature. In a meeting on 11.09.95. we embarked on a rather in-depth and thought provoking discussion about anarchism and FNB. Most of us at the meeting strongly believed that FNB in its structure and goals was and always had been anarchist in orientation. However, there were several people who raised concerns about anarchist politics and the principles of FNB.
Anarchism and Vegetarianism:

Food Not Bombs groups serve all vegetarian and vegan food as a political act against the meat and diary industries and to promote ecological sustainability, equal distribution of food and resources throughout the world, human health, and animal liberation. The commitment of FNB groups to these issues has lead to long lasting coalitions with groups like Earth First, the Save Ward Valley Coalition, the Save Headwaters Forest Coalition, and many other environmental groups as well as animal liberation groups. Anarchism challenges the exploitation and domination of the earth that is characteristic of capitalist expansion. Anarchism attempts to not only change the relationships of humans to each other, but also of humans to the earth and environment.
We can make the ideas of cooperation, mutual aid, solidarity, egalitarianism, and a non-violent society popular, but only through the actions we take and the politics we advance. We can win.

Chris Crass has been an organizer with Food Not Bombs since early 1993 when Whittier Food Not Bombs began and has worked with San Francisco Food Not Bombs since 1994.

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