I started to cook with Food Not Bombs in 1980 in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. I cooked the produce that I was throwing away at work. For the first eight years we shared meals at Harvard Square, on the Boston Commons and at protests all across New England. In 1988 I helped start a second Food Not Bombs group in San Francisco. On August 15, 1988 the San Francisco Police arrested nine of us for sharing meals without a permit. People started to ask us how they could get arrested for sharing vegetarian meals so we made a flyer called Seven Steps to Starting a Local Food Not Bombs chapter. Soon groups were sharing vegetarian food in Long Beach, California, Washington D.C., New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia. A world wide movement was born. I was arrested nearly 100 times for haring vegan meals, beaten at least 13 times and tortured three times. I faced 25 years to life in prison and spent over 500 days in jail according to the district attorney of San Francisco.  Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Commission called for my freedom. I settled the cases in 1995 and toured the world helping start new Food Not Bombs chapters. The city of Orlando Florida passed a Large Group Feeding Law which was blocked by the Federal District Courts until a higher court ruled that the city could limit the sharing of free meals and literature to twice a year per park. The city started to make arrests in June 2011. I spent 19 days at the Orange County jail for sharing food more than twice in twelve months. The cyber protest group Anonymous posted calls to end the arrests on local websites, David Rovics wrote a song about the issue and people all over the world organized actions calling for an end to the law. The mayor ended the arrests after a month and a half. 
Today I live in Taos, New Mexico volunteering with the Food Not Bombs Free Skool while supporting the Food Not Bombs movement helping people start new groups and directing hungry people to their local chapter. The Food Not Bombs Free Skool has many classes including organic gardening, cooking, puppet making, consensus process and natural building. 
While volunteering with Food Not Bombs I also helped start the October 22nd No Police Brutality Day action, San Francisco Liberation Radio, Indymedia, Homes Not Jails and I have supported many efforts at human liberation, freedom, peace and social justice. The FBI, Pentagon and a number of other government agencies list me as a terrorist and have included Food Not Bombs and Indymedia as terrorist groups. I was taken off a flight from Turkey to Chicago by Homeland Security and questioned for an hour. Homeland Security officers input the data from the contents of my wallet into their computer in Chicago asking me about my connection to what they called “the violent group Food Not Bombs.” I have worked for nonviolent social change for over 30 years. The Homeland Security officers questioning me and my friend were armed to the teeth. I helped collect and cooked meals at Camp Casey and coordinated the food relief for the survivors of Katrina and Sandy. My current work is to stop the U.S. attack on Iran and Syria while  organizing food and logistical support for the people harmed by the new “Really Really Great Depression.”
As an Anarchist Cook I will be on tour with a new version of my Rent Is Theft Cooking Demonstration call Smash Hunger Squash Capitalism. I will be sharing the history and principles of Food Not Bombs while demonstrating how to make the tofu spread recipe found in my new book “HUNGRY FOR PEACE – How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs.” 
 I would love to speak at your local college, book store, Cafe or other community space. College honorariums are donated to Food Not Bombs.

HUNGRY FOR PEACE – How you can help end poverty and war with Food Not Bombs.



5 Responses to “I have cooked for peace for 33 years”

  1. sweatereater said

    Keith, I admire you so much. I live in Bellingham Washington, and have been meaning to start going to our FNB get togethers every sunday. I defiantly will, and I’m also planning to move to Santa Fe next year, so I am looking forward to volunteering there as well.

  2. harvardvegan said

    More blog entries, please, Keith.

    So much effort goes towards encouraging commercial operations to make vegan food, but the Food Not Bombs efforts does really TRAIN folks with little marketable skill in vegetarian food to prepare food of moderate to good quality, and we know that a number of these folks (the more entrepreneurial ones) have gone on to start their own food service companies (catering, restaurants, etc.) in the Greater Boston area.

    But feeding the dispossessed AND the movement AND those who ordinarily turn up their noses at vegetarian food is a mission. Glad it’s in YOUR mission statement.

  3. I finally figured out how to get back to this blog. I will start to write more. Thanks Keith

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