More than a dozen people were arrested in a San Diego park on Monday for feeding the homeless on city property in defiance of a ban passed by the El Cajon city council.
Members of the group, Break the Ban, a homeless rights advocacy group, were arrested at Wells Park on Sunday after they violated a new city ordinance that made it illegal to feed the homeless in a public park.
The group hosted the event in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The city says the ordinance was needed to prevent the spread of hepatitis A, a disease that has already killed 19 people in San Diego County and sickened hundreds more.
The group points out that the city allows people to share food at birthday parties hosted in the park, but not with the homeless. Those arrested were cited and given a misdemeanor citation with a date to appear in court.
Protesters were later released and allowed to go home according to accounts from people at the event.