On Sunday the third of march, two members of a grassroots Brixton based group calling itself Reclaim Your Food were arrested for distributing free food to the public. The grounds for their arrest was that their presence constituted antisocial behaviour.
On Sunday the third of march, two members of a grassroots Brixton based group calling itself Reclaim Your Food were arrested for distributing free food to the public. The grounds for their arrest was that their presence constituted antisocial behaviour. Since November Reclaim Your Food have been using surplus food to cook a Vegan meal, which they then distribute free of charge to the public in Brixton town square on Sunday afternoons. People who come and share in the meal include parents and their children, staff from local businesses, shoppers, general passers by, and the homeless. It is the presence of this last section of the community which the police claim gives them a reason and the power to forcibly prevent the event. Brixton town square falls under a provision of antisocial behaviour law called a dispersal zone. This gives the police powers to disperse groups of people within the zone if their behaviour or presence is deemed likely to cause harassment, alarm, intimidation, or distress, to members of the public. Despite the good natured atmosphere of the event, and the notable absence of any such antisocial consequences, the police at the scene argued that the very possibility of the homeless attending the event gives rise to the potential for drug use, and therefore antisocial behaviour. It was then argued that presence of reclaim your food encouraged the attendance of the homeless, and that the distribution of free food was therefore antisocial behaviour by proxy. On these grounds the police ordered that the group disperse, and when food continued to be served, two members of the group were arrested. After ten hours they were released without charge on police bail, subject to the condition that may not enter any part of the central Brixton dispersal zone.
reclaim your food