Fort Lauderdale website allegedly shut down by protest group

Anonymous demands end of homeless feeding ordinances

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The city of Fort Lauderdale's website was shut down late Monday, hours after a threat from the protest group Anonymous promised to hack the site if their demands to lift the city's homeless bans were not met.

The site was inaccessible about 3 p.m.

In a video posted to YouTube, the group promised to shut down FortLauderdale.gov if the city did not drop the ordinances which have garnered national attention over the last few weeks.

However, according to city officials, the website was jammed and the service provider issued a denial of service (DOS). As a precaution, the site was shut down for about two hours while the problem was fixed.

An unidentified person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask synonymous with the international group targeted Fort Lauderdale mayor Jack Seiler in the video, calling him a "disgrace."

The Anonymous spokesperson also brought up Arnold Abbott, the 90-year-old who has received numerous citations while attempting to feed the homeless in area's not designated for feeding in the city.

"You are a disgrace, Mayor John Seiler," said the person in the video who called the mayor by his given name. "So therefore we have a list of demands and if not met, then we shall shut down the main site of Fort Lauderdale."

The group, which called the shutdown "Operation Lift the Bans," said the mayor had 24 hours to end the ordinances before the site would be shut down.

The video ends with the spokesperson saying, "We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expected us, Mayor John Seiler."

Seiler responded by saying that he stands by the city's ordinance and believes there are ample resources to help the homeless.

"I've been standing by the ordinance since it passed and nothing has happened in the last couple of weeks to change that," Seiler said.

The site was working again Monday evening.

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