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One Person Killed, Two Injured In Vehicle Assault On Food Not Bombs

Reno – Two volunteers with the mutual aid group Reno Food Not Bombs are in “critical, but stable condition” and one unhoused person, Michelle “Mama Bear,” is dead after a 57 year old man, David Turner, “suddenly and inexplicably drove his car through the area where the women were standing” on Monday. All three were reportedly transported to a local hospital directly following the attack, however Michelle sadly passed away due to her injuries.

According to law enforcement, Turner claimed that the attack was “intentional.” As This Is Reno reported:

David Turner, 57, is facing one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

He drove into a small group of people, who were reportedly helping to feed those in need, near the Nevada Cares Campus, according to Reno police. Two were injured and are in stable condition.

“The male driver made statements to officers that this incident was intentional,” Lt. Anthony Elges said. “The individual victims were both volunteers and those seeking services. The suspect didn’t target either as it relates to why they were in the area…”

Currently, it is unclear as to what motivated Turner to attack Reno Food Not Bombs. In the past, far-Right conspiracy peddlers like Andy Ngo have attacked “ANTIFA” mutual aid programs like Food Not Bombs, and the decentralized network has even been labeled a “terrorist” group by the FBI over the years. In recent years, vehicle attacks by the far-Right have become common place, and in some states, motorists are absolved from charges if they run over demonstrators. In 2017, Tucker Carlson’s website, The Daily Caller, even encouraged its readers to “study the technique” of running over protesters as “may prove useful in the next four years.”

Founded in the 1980s, Food Not Bombs, which publicly shares free communal meals, often to the unhoused, was born out of the anti-nuclear movement as a protest against the US war budget and grew into a large scale mutual aid program, with autonomous chapters springing up across the US and around the world.

Currently there is a GoFundMe campaign set up by Reno Food Not Bombs which states:

Two FNB organizers were severely injured and remain hospitalized, while a third victim, an unsheltered woman, lost her life in the tragic incident. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families during this difficult time.

We are launching a fundraising campaign to support FNB Reno to help cover medical expenses and other costs associated with this senseless act of violence. Your donation will go directly to helping individuals recover and to move forward from this traumatic event.

FNB Reno has been providing essential food resources and support to our local community for years, and it is devastating to see such a heinous act committed against them. Please consider donating to this cause and showing your support for the victims and the incredible work that FNB Reno does. Together, we can make a difference and help bring healing and justice to those affected by this tragedy.

On Tuesday, April 4th, a vigil was held to remember Michelle and stand in solidarity with the two Food Not Bombs volunteers injured in the attack. According to a report by ABC

Food Not Bombs, a local group that helps feed the homeless, held a candlelight vigil Tuesday night to remember the person killed in a crash on 4th street and to wish a speedy recovery for two others who were hurt.

One person who attended said they were ,”The warmest and most selfless people and I cannot bring myself to understand what happened.”

Locals are encouraging supporters to share and donate to the GoFundMe campaign.

NOTE: According to the Institute for Public Accuracy, Keith McHenry, co-founder of Food Not Bombs, said:

On Monday, April 2, 2023, Reno Food Not Bombs volunteers Diamond and Clarissa Roman were helping a local woman select items from the clothing donation at the weekly meal when they were struck by a motorist. The three were rushed to the hospital where the woman seeking clothing was pronounced dead. Diamond and Clarissa are in critical but stable condition according to hospital staff. Diamond arrived in the emergency room with a broken back. Clarissa’s condition upon arrival at the ER was significant. She had a broken clavicle, broken ankle, broken ribs, collapsed lung, and a brain bleed.

The driver, identified as David Turner, made statements to officers that this incident was intentional. He faces one count of open murder and two counts of attempted murder. (See local reports.)

Politicians and the media regularly dehumanize the homeless, portraying those who are forced to live outside as criminals and mentally ill while passing laws they claim will ‘protect’ the public from the homeless and those who help them.

The city of Houston passed a law against the Food Not Bombs meal outside the main library and has been issuing tickets to the volunteers at every serving. Their first jury trial is set for early June. Authorities in West Palm Beach, Florida recently introduced a local ordinance against their weekly meal. The City of Santa Cruz also passed a similar law against their local Food Not Bombs group.

Santa Cruz city officials coordinate with the local anti-homeless vigilante group Take Back Santa Cruz who encourages violence against the homeless and provides what officials call citizen support for their sweeps of homeless camps and the towing of vehicular homes.

A man in a white pickup truck has driven at people during the Food Not Bombs meal in Santa Cruz several times in the last half year. Thankfully people were able to jump out of the path of the truck as it hopped the curb. Take Back Santa Cruz treasure Manuel Prado is the husband of Google’s chief counsel Halimah DeLaine Prado. According to emails we received under the public records act he meets with the Mayor, City Manager and the Chief of Police weekly to discuss stranger efforts to criminalize the homeless in Santa Cruz.

Passing laws that make it illegal to be homeless may suggest it is acceptable to attack those who live outside. Tennessee was the first U.S. state to make it a felony to camp on public property. It was already illegal to sleep on private property and state property, and now public property has been added.

State Senators in California have introduced SB-31, This bill would ‘prohibit a person from sitting, lying, sleeping, or storing, using, maintaining, or placing personal property upon any street, sidewalk, or other public right-of-way within 1000 feet of a sensitive area, as defined. The bill would specify that a violation of this prohibition is a public nuisance that can be abated and prevented, as provided.’

The definition of ‘a sensitive area’ is given as: ‘Sensitive area’ means ‘a school, daycare center, park, or library.’

The attack against the volunteers in Reno is not the only tragedy Food Not Bombs has faced this year. Officers from multiple agencies shot and killed Tallahassee Food Not Bombs volunteer Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, also known as Tortuguita, on Jan. 18 after authorities moved through the camp of activists who were in a forest to protest a planned $90 million police training facility.

The Food Not Bombs community is saddened by the attack on our volunteers and those they were helping. A gofundme account was set up by our allies at Family Soup Mutual Aid. In true giving form, the Roman family has agreed to this fundraiser on the premise they will provide some burial assistance to the family of the woman who was killed in this tragedy.

It is no wonder that people believe it is acceptable to assault the homeless and those who are providing help.”
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