At 10 AM ET today, the hacker group Anonymous shut down the website for Orlando Florida Guide as a show of support for the homeless activist group Food Not Bombs, as members have recently been arrested for violating an Orlando ordinance that requires a permit to share food in public places. In fact, FNB’s global president Keith McHenry was arrested in Orlando as he was protesting the city’s law and the recent arrests.
Anonymous is coming to FNB’s rescue after Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer referred to the group as “food terrorists”, and Orlando Florida Guide’s site is indeed currently down, which would be a big victory for both groups if the site was owned by the city and not an independent person, Steven Ridenour. But apparently guys like Ridenour and their chosen profession of promoting tourism are the prime targets for now, so success has been had! Until 6 PM ET, when the site will resume normal business.
As per the official Anonymous press release:
The City of Orlando has ignored our warnings, and our generous offer of a cease fire. On Wednesday last you not only arrested two more people for feeding but you arrested the worldwide President of Food Not Bombs Keith McHenry. This is a declaration of war.
Henceforth there will be no more cease fires, no more attempts to get you to resolve this issue with human decency. We will now treat you like the human rights abusers that you are.
Anonymous will now begin a massive campaign against you and your city web assets. Everyday we will launch a new DDoS attack on a different Target. We will continue to E-Mail millions of people in 50 countries with the Boycott Orlando campiagn [sic] message.
In our experience a government that acts this way is also corrupt. We therefore call on any government or police employee who has evidence of any kind of wrongdoing to consider disclosing it to http://www.LocalLeaks.tk an organization that specializes in dealing with local disclosures.
We have said what we have to say. The media has many press releases and communiques from us. From now on we will DO not talk. Journalists should follow the Twitter for that days targeted take down or other un-planned assaults.
Tomorrow morning at exactly 10:00 AM ET Anonymous will remove from the world wide web http://www.orlandofloridaguide.com and it shall remain down until 6:00 PM ET. We will also E-Mail Bomb and Black Fax the owners of this site, identified as one Utopia, Inc.
We Are Anonymous – We Are Everywhere – We Are Legion – We Never Forget – We Never Forgive
FREE Keith McHenry
EXPECT US — Anonymous
P.S. To Mr. Steven Ridenour you can have your web site removed from our Target list by releasing a statement to the press in support of Food Not Bombs and calling on the City of Orlando to stop the arrests.
As a resident of Orlando and a volunteer with more than a dozen local non-profit organizations, I can verify that there are a variety of well-known homeless advocacy groups in Orlando that organize free feedings for hundreds of thousands of in-need people annually and they’ve never experienced this kind of problem. The city’s beef is actually with FNB’s preferred location, Lake Eola, which is downtown Orlando’s premiere tourism spot. The area has seen a dramatic spike in crime and vandalism over the past few years, and many residents attribute this to the ever-increasing presence of transients.
But I’m ultimately confused as to why this is suddenly a huge surprise to FNB and McHenry, as this law has been a subject of local media conversation since it was created. It’s a total mystery to me.
Oh, completely unrelated side note, the Casey Anthony trial is currently taking place less than a mile away from Lake Eola, where FNB has been protesting, in case you haven’t been watching. It’s crazy, there are media camp sites and trucks and vans from every major news source in the country set up right there in downtown Orlando. Yes sir, there are reporters and cameras everywhere. It’s almost as if I can’t take five steps without tripping over a well-known reporter. But that’s neither here nor there. In the meantime, hopefully we’ll eventually learn the reason for FNB’s completely sudden string of arrests and protests.