Belgian dumpster diver and eco-activist nicknamed Ollie is known for being detained for a month for dumpster diving. He was arrested on 25th of February, 2009, for taking food out of a dumpster of AD Delhaize in Bruges. His trial evoked protests in Belgium against restrictions of taking discarded food ("Skipping is not a crime! Throwing food away is!")
This all started when a company in Belgium wanted to cut a forest down as part of their plans of expansion and building their new offices. The forest is (was?) occupied by activists fighting for the preservation of this forest. Their main source of food for activists during this occupation is (was?) nearby skips.
The story according to indymedia.be (3rd of March, 2009):
"...In the Bruges court of law this morning, around 10:30, a young man was convicted to 28 days of prison. Ollie was arrested on Thusday after he went through a dumpster on a terrain of Delhaize where he was looking for discarded food. He is being accused of theft and burglary. The fact that he does not want to show his ID is seen by the public prosecutor as arrogance against justice system. In addition, it has been noted that it is necessary to conduct a further investigation towards similar acts that are thought to be committed by the "gang".
Some small harassment in court has complicated "Ollie"'s situation: his lawyer was not given permission to speak for Ollie. (??)
Ollie will probably be transferred from the prison of Bruges to Ghent.
It is no coincidence that this accused young man is one of the eco-activists that have occupied the Lappersfort Forest for six months and are keeping it safe from deforestation and industry. Is it an intimidation against a group of young people who strive to save the forest? Is taking the trash in times of economical and ecological crisis truly a criminal thing these days?
How credible is a legal system when spoiled food as a waste can not be regarded as "res derelicta" (Latin term meaning "abandoned/discarded thing") or "res nullius" (a thing which has no owner)? Or moreover, as "res corruptae" (bad thing because of expired edibility day)? Or is Delheize so affected by the economic crisis that it still intends to profit from saving the content of his dumpsters?
...Searching for food in dumpsters is not a crime!"
- Some photos of a noise demo that was attended by 80 people at indymedia.be
- Article on indymedia.nl (in Dutch)
- Article in De Standaard (in Dutch)
- A similar case in 2011 (in Dutch)