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The Value of Self-Service (Columbia, SC)
by Daniel Saturday November 02, 2002 at 11:42 PM

Taking a rather simplistic view, one might easily say that Food Not Bombs is a charity organization. It is not hard to recognize why one could come to this conclusion. Food Not Bombs participants give away free food to the homeless. What is more charitable than this?

Abut as the anarchist Eduardo Galeano said, "I don't believe in
charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is so vertical. I goes
from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects
the other person. I have a lot to learn from other people." It is in
this spirit that we can say that Food Not Bombs is not charity.

Food Not Bombs sharings are organized along the idea of
solidarity. We do not share food because we are ordered to by gods.
We simply recognize a need and understand that we have the
capability to assist. In addition, we see that there is much to gain
ourselves in this work. In sharing food, we meet new kinds of
people, gain insight into the lives of others. It helps us to
understand the world around us, and gain a fuller understanding of a
part of life that we rarely see.

Food Not Bombs is a sharing, not a feeding or a food give-away. We
share food, stories, ideas and companionship. Our patrons share
stories, insights, experience, ideas and company. There are no
servants, no masters. No wealthy, no needy. We are all hungry. And
so we share.

We come together for an hour and a half of food and fellowship.
Coming out of that fellowship is the concept that Food Not Bombs
table is self-service. The only rule of Food Not Bombs is "Take as
much as you need, keeping in mind everyone else." Everyone
understands that there are many people with whom to share the food.
And for two weeks now, we have had no trouble whatsoever of people
taking an excessive amount of food, nor have we run out of food for
everyone. People can and do take other into account with their
actions. In doing so, it produces the best result for all.

For two hours, there are no bosses hassling patrons about how much
to take, or to hurry up. The food belongs to everyone. No maids to
clean up, either. The responsibilities are recognized by all. This
Do-it-Yourself ethic helps build self-esteem, because we recognize
that we do not need any authority figure to tell us how to run our
lives. And this is why Food Not Bombs is such a vital anarchist
project. It empowers our patrons to start thinking out of the box.
It subtly introduces everyone to anarchist principles, emphasizing
both brotherhood and solidarity.

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Just wondering
by Daniel Tuesday November 12, 2002 at 12:25 AM

Hey... i like that this was posted, but i don't think i'm the one who put it there (at least i don't remember doing it) . It was on the FNBnews listserve.. just curious as to who put this up (thanks for doing so)


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by Daniel Sunday November 17, 2002 at 05:04 PM

Hmm. When I think again, maybe it was me... by bad. :)

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