Yesterday at Hope, Carol apparently decided it was a good idea to continue her policies from the rally.
At dinner one of the protesters was getting water when they served his table, and they didn't give him a plate, so he went up to her and asked for one. She said "so you are protesting and you want to eat my food". He never got a plate. He left right after that so he might have if he had stayed, but the fact is that he didn't.
I on the other hand, take a day or so every month to fast, just to clear my thoughts, it happened to be yesterday. I didn't eat anything all day not at Dimensions, Hope or anywhere else. When I politely declined a plate she snapped " what, do you think you will choke on the awful hope food"
Our rally was small but outspoken today with five homeless and formerly homeless showing up to speak up against a city willing to subsidize a shelter full of bedbugs and poor conditions. It is scary for people to speak out when there only recourse from the streets is the place they are fighting to change, especially with the atmosphere of intimidation flourishing at Oasis.
That climate of intimidation was continued with a visit from Mrs. Troum the executive director at Hope. What Mrs. Troum said is basically that rallies like this, specifically contacting the press make donors question their funding of her organization, and we should not be having them. We can "dislike the program" she said, but we shouldn't speak out about it. Mrs Troum then reminded us that since most of what they do is feeding people, a fact pointed out by Mr. Trangucci a month ago when he and Mr. Tarantion fought to stop this program on the grounds of inexperience, we should think about the fact that we eat at her soup kitchen, and what cuts would mean about how many people she could serve, and presumably whether or not we ourselves were able to eat.
How protesting Hope getting a grant to help run a corrupt shelter has anything to do with the separate mostly county and federal funding for her soup kitchen (though the city funds it as well), which has never been questioned by any of us, I do not know. Unless of course there is something to hide. Of course Mrs. Troum coming to the event itself just to tell us we shouldn't be speaking out, and making statements that felt like scary threats to people who don't have a lot of places to eat is an action of questionable morality itself.
It is true that I have gone to one of Mrs. Troum's events, but I have done so as a polite observer who did not threaten, approach, or interupt anyone, and I never suggested she did not have the right to speak out. She of course has the right to question our actions as we do hers, but sense dictates that she does so in a less threatening manner. While present Mrs. Troum took the time to take one of our friends to the side and quietly told him things of a similar vein as well.
In other news the rally was small, but we felt it was successful, we talked to the press, had a sit-in at city hall, and spoke up. Pictures will be posted tomorrow. We will keep doing so.
I suppose I should feel flattered that Mrs. Troum thought this was important enough to come during her work hours.