"I'm exhausted," Abe Bobman, Wesleyan student, and a member of Food Not Bombs, said to me over the phone. "I'm used to working all day in the sun on a farm, not sitting for eight hours in an air-conditioned hearing room.
Bobman and other member of the Food Not Bombs organizations from Middletown and Hartford were involved in a hearing Tuesday during which the Connecticut Department of Public Health heard testimony about Middletown's Health Department's attempt to prevent Food Not Bombs from sharing meals every Sunday on Main Street.
According to Bobman, Middletown's Health Department presented testimony that the selective enforcement against Food Not Bombs, as opposed to the lack of enforcement for bake sales, lemonade stands, and the like, was based on a principal of "regularity." Because Food Not Bombs appears on a regular schedule, the city testifies that they are eligible for enforcement under state statutes.
Bobman also said that Food Not Bomb's legal representatives challenged a potentially prejudicial statement by the hearing officer that Food Not Bombs might not be counted on for truthfulness because of their declared disdain for regulation.
The day began with a collaborative shared meal, offered by Hartford and Middletown Food Not Bombs members on the sidewalk in front of the Department of Health headquarters on Capitol Avenue in Hartford.