The 30th Anniversary of Food Not Bombs

Seven anti-nuclear activists started a collective that came to be known as Food Not Bombs in Cambridge, Massachusetts after the May 24, 1980 Seabrook Occupation Attempt. They recovered surplus food that couldn't be sold from grocery stores, bakers and food manufacturers. This food was distributed to housing projects, daycare centers and battered women's shelters. They also prepared vegetarian meals and shared it along with their literature at protests. After nearly 30 years, this small experiment grew into a worldwide movement with over 1,000 autonomous chapters taking action on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica. Consider organizing a celebration to mark the first 30 years of Food Not Bombs.

  • Organize a free concert like Soupstock in one of your local parks and feed everyone that attends.

    Soupstock 2010 - 30th anniversary festival May 23rd, Boston Commons, Boston, Massachusetts.

  • Start a Tent City Protest outside a local military base or weapons factory.
  • Plant a Food Not Lawns Garden.
  • Organize a Really Really Free Market.
  • Organize a Food Not Bombs Gathering on each continent.
  • Contact other local grassroots groups and media to let them know we have been cooking for peace, social justice and the environment for 30 years.
  • Organize regional Food Not Bombs Gatherings this summer to start making plans for May 2010.

The Food Not Bombs movement is unique in many ways. It's rare for political movements to cross so many national boundaries and cultures. It's unusual for a grassroots progressive movement to survive 30 years and still be entirely grassroots. Also, from the beginning, Food Not Bombs was multi-issue and encouraged the public and activists to see that all social injustices are connected. And, while it might seem strange today, Food Not Bombs was at the forefront of focusing on building the kind of society they wanted instead of trying to overthrow the current system. These activists believed they did not need to attack the oppressors to be in conflict with the state, but by simply doing what they believed was just, the authorities would attack and try to stop them and provide a way for the public to understand the failures of so called democracy and corporate power. Your local Food Not Bombs group might organize a free outdoor concert like Soupstock, dress as military leaders and sell bake goods to buy a bomber or set up a Tent City Protest all May 2010 outside a military base or government office. Share your plans with the Food Not Bombs community and maybe we can all take action together. Email your ideas to our website at and we will post it at

There are several reasons why this movement is so strong. It is very empowering to collect, prepare and share free food all on your own and to do it with little money and few resources. Sharing food is powerful and magical. Additionally, when average people realize they have the power to make a difference, it can change their life. This is the foundation of social change and the authorities know it. In fact, San Francisco Police memos state that if they did not stop Food Not Bombs, the public might come to believe that they could solve social problems without government assistance. The self-empowerment of tens of thousands of people may be Food Not Bombs' greatest achievement. The 30th anniversary celebration of Food Not Bombs could be a wonderful way to introduce more people to our ideas, principles and actions.

List your Soupstock free concert here.

VISIT PART 1 The History of Food Not Bombs


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