Arnold Abbott

Arnold Abbott

An elderly man in Florida has been arrested for feeding the homeless, it has been reported. Arnold Abbott, 90, has been arrested three times already for feeding the homeless in Fort Lauderdale beach.

Police took Mr Abbott in custody on Wednesday November 12, just two days after his second arrest for giving food to the poor and needy.

Despite his very public protest, Mayor Jack Seiler is refusing to back down on his directive, which bans the feeding of homeless people, without a bathroom and premises.

However, campaigners claim that this only serves to restrict the amount of food available to those living on the streets.

Despite the ban, Mr Abbott is continuing with his food programmes aimed at helping the most marginalised people in society and he turns up every Wednesday to assist people.

His supporters argue that the government is overstepping its mark in regulating private, protected activity, that has not caused any major problems in the area.

On Facebook, a defiant Mr Abbott wrote: “I appreciate all of your concern for my safety, but I have faced the Klu Klux Klan on many occasions, and I have no fear of spending the night in a Fort Lauderdale jail. I thank you all, and I pray that we all stay strong. We shall prevail!”

Rather than treating those who have ended up on the street due to ill-health, excessive healthcare costs (the US does not have free health insurance), disability, job losses, or other reasons, as pariahs to be stigmatised and avoided, his supporters believe that everyone should have the right to decide who they want to help, as long as they are not harming others.

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