Protesters Openly Defy Illegal Ban On Being Poor and Asking For Money, Threaten Federal Lawsuit

Activism, Crime, Police Brutality

virgil-homeless

The City of Xenia, Ohio has banned being poor and asking for money within township limits. Now activists have changed the game with civil disobedience “panhandling protests” where they donate the money collected to charity. They’ve given the city three months to scrap the law or face a federal lawsuit!

It all started back in 2013, when the City of Xenia passed Ordinance 13-31 which essentially prohibited poor people from asking for any form of assistance.

The Greene County Herald editor Virgil Vaduva, along with Hashlamah Project Foundation activists and members of Greene County area Cop Block chapters have decided to take this unconstitutional ordinance on head on.

For starters, last Thursday, three local activists crashed a Xenia City Council meeting to demand the law be scrapped. Vaduva told the City Council that the City has three months to ditch this illegal and unconstitutional law, otherwise, they will be slapped with a federal lawsuit.

In the mean time, Virgil volunteered to commit a 4th degree misdemeanor in order to raise money for a local charity and demonstrate the absurdity of this ordinance, which, he explains, “criminalizes speech and the act of verbalizing questions to another human being in a public space.”

All proceeds of his panhandling were donated to local charities!

Watch the video below…

Panhandling in Xenia, Ohio from Greene County Herald on Vimeo.

This is the woman who the activists were talking about, who inspired the trio to “crash” the meeting. She was “panhandling” at the Dollar General in Xenia. The cops were behind the shelves of food. All the woman did was asked someone for a couple of bucks for a bus ride.

Virgil tells us that “the cops and bureaucrats are now claiming that she was “loud and obnoxious” and was disrupting business. Too bad for them, I have a short video of the ending of the confrontation. Gotta love how video exposes people’s lies.”

Watch the video below and see for yourself…

The day after last week’s City Council meeting, Virgil hit the streets to openly defy this ordinance and panhandle in front of the City Council building.

Vaduva tells us, that “the experience of asking strangers on the street for money was humbling… it is difficult to imagine how degrading it feels to be truly homeless and in need, and be chased around by police simply because one chooses to ask for help.”

Check it out…

Xenia City Council Given Ultimatum Over Panhandling Ordinance from Greene County Herald on Vimeo.

The City of Xenia has essentially banned being poor and asking for money. You can be poor in Xenia, Ohio, as long as you do not ask for money. You can be rich in Xenia and ask for money too, so long as they know you are rich. You can, for example, ask for donations to your church or non-profit organization. You can even solicit donations for political campaigns or for candidates. That is all perfectly legal. But you cannot both be poor and ask for money in the City of Xenia, or else you will receive a ticket or face arrest.

We will keep you updated about the protests and the federal lawsuit surrounding this disturbing and illegal law. Stay tuned!

(Article by Virgil Vaduva of the Greene County Herald and Moreh B.D.K.)

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