Carson Beach Lite: Whole Foods meeting in JP ends with arrests, show of force by police

Freedom for the JP 3: Peter Blailock (with megaphone), Andrew Murray, Chole Frankel after being sprung from E-13.Freedom for the JP 3: Peter Blailock (megaphone), Andrew Murray, Chloe Frankel sprung from E-13.

With a slashing motion across his neck tonight, a Boston Police sergeant ordered Whole Foods to shut down its first Jamaica Plain community meeting early, after officers arrested two people for unfurling an anti-Whole Foods banner in the back.

As people filed out of the Curley School, police officers from across the city began arriving - the sergeant had activated the department's Emergency Deployment Team system, used to swarm a trouble spot with police. At one point, at least a dozen Boston Police officers (one in plain clothes) stood at the top of the school's steps guarding it against potential mayhem.

No violence actually broke out, although two women on either side of the issue had to be separated by friends when they cursed and then lunged at each other as they were leaving the auditorium.

As the meeting began around 7 p.m., the roughly 200 residents seemed evenly split between people holding up yellow signs in favor of the impending Whole Foods in Hyde Square and people holding blue signs - and many wearing blue T-shirts - in opposition.

A line of Whole Foods executives and managers sat on tall chairs at the front of the auditorium, explaining how they do business and how they hope to open in late fall.

The mostly white, mostly young anti-Fooders quickly began trying to shout down both Whole Foods managers and other residents as they screamed their opposition to what they said was the ultimate gentrifying force that would push the neighborhood's minority residents out.

The mostly white, mostly middle-aged pro-Whole Foods contingent pleaded for civility - but occasionally shouted out demands that the protesters shut up. For the most part, however, they limited their noise making to applauding when somebody made a point with which they agreed.

The yelling reached a fever pitch after Whole Foods finished explaining its wonderfulness and opened the floor to questions. Things quieted down when a Whole Foods executive said if the yelling didn't stop, she'd cut the meeting off there and take any questions by e-mail. Occasional yelling continued, however, as people at the mikes made one point or another. And then Frankel and Murray went up to the auditorium balcony and unfurled a banner:

Both were arrested and led out of the school in handcuffs, to be booked at District E-13 on charges of disturbing a public assembly and trespassing (the third person arrested was taken away as the police were clearing the auditorium).

Meanwhile, a Whole Foods executive explained why the company had waited several months to actually meet with the community:

Whole Foods had reserved the auditorium until 9 p.m. and had planned to start winding things down at 8:30 p.m. to get people out by then, but the sergeant cut things short at 8:15.

As people poured out, some pro-market residents went down the line of Whole Foods employees shaking their hands.

Outside, City Councilor Matt O'Malley, who supports the Whole Foods, said he was disappointed the meeting was cut short and hoped Whole Foods would hold another - and that residents could come to some meeting of the minds. "We all love Jamaica Plain and we all want to be proud of Jamaica Plain," he said.

Several other residents in favor of the market expressed disgust with both the shouting blue shirts and police - they said as much as they disagreed with the protesters' tactics, they were disturbed by the strong-arm nature of the police reaction to a meeting they said had calmed down since its rocky beginning and showed no signs of collapsing into chaos.

At District E-13, a couple dozen protesters gathered to support the three arrested people. At one point, a different police sergeant came out and laid down some rules, including: If they just stood there, as they were doing, they could be arrested, so they had to stay in motion. The protesters quickly began marching in a circle. One protester dashed off to get pizza. They pooled their money to pay the $40 bail processing fee for each of the three.

Around 9:45, the three emerged, one by one, to applause.

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    Comments

    True story

    By on

    Gentrification was invented by Whole Foods to piss off gritty hipsters.

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    The main picture above..

    By on

    made me remember how much I loved Michael Cera before he put those spacers in his ears.

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    LOL

    By on

    I was just watching some AD again. I'm guessing Maeby is there too, somewhere.

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    BPD attempts to justify show of force

    By on

    I was only sitting in the second row, so I obviously had no idea I was in an auditorium on the verge of complete and nihilistic chaos:

    During the course of the meeting, officers intervened several times in an effort to calm participants and the meeting was able to continue. At some point during the meeting, officers became aware that two participants of the meeting had gained access to a non-authorized part of the auditorium and unfurled a large sign which caused a disturbance amongst the people in the crowd.

    Disturbance? Only if you consider everybody turning around to see what that unfurling sound - loud enough to be heard over anti-Whole Food chanting - was.

    Just out of curiosity, Adam,

    Just out of curiosity, Adam, what would you have done differently? And read the accounts of everyone that was there, some of whom had a different perspective than you, that detail the buildup of events to the point where the police thought it was necessary to remove three people to attempt to maintain order.

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    First of all, they didn't remove them all at once

    By on

    There were two incidents - one about halfway through the Q&A period involving the two people up on the balcony, then later with the third person. It's not like they were faced with a sudden onslaught off outraged charging people.

    There were already four cops on duty (who knows, maybe more, some might have been out of uniform). They were able to handle the first incident just fine. Granted, the third person was not isolated all the way up in the balcony but was surrounded by his fellow protesters, but they somehow managed to get him out as well without activating their citywide rapid deployment system.

    So what would I have done if I were in charge? I would have asked the Whole Foods executive leading the whole thing for the mic and issued a warning. But he didn't.

    Instead he ordered the whole thing shut down and activated a system that, as I mentioned somewhere in here, is normally reserved for drunken, rowdy crowds getting out of bars at 2 a.m.

    While I recognize this was not a true public hearing, in the sense that it was not called by a government agency, but you don't find it concerning that police brought the hammer down on a public assembly?

    Brought the hammer down? Are

    Brought the hammer down? Are you serious? The lowest level of force is mere presence, which is what was used. Why wait for it to get out of control when you can prevent it by having a few more officers on scene? And the whole foods exec did issue a warning, saying at one point the meeting would end early if people didn't stop yelling. You love to second guess other people, as is your right, but if the cops stood by and let the meeting deteriorate into violence you would be, justifiably so, bringing the hammer down on them.

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    The theory behind a move like this.

    What happens sometimes in situations like this is that the police tell someone to leave that is being disruptive. That person refuses to leave, so the police have to use some sort of force to remove/arrest that person. Lets say there are 100 people with 5 cops at the event. Now 85 of those 100 people aren't going to do anything, they are just peacefull bystanders and aren't going to do anything under any circumstance. 2 out of the other 15 are going to intefere with the arrest of the 1 person who refuses to leave. Those 2 people think that the police are doing something illegal and that the person getting arrested shouldn't be. So those two people grab the 1 or 2 cops that are arresting the first person (also illegal and is resisting arrest). Now 12 of the 15 people left start to yell at the cops for an illegal arrest. This other 12 won't physically touch any cop, but they will get in their faces and want to argue the 1st and 4th amemdments with them. and maybe another one of the 12 grabs the cop making the arrest on the other two. Now one of the other cops has to use more force to get that other person. In the meantime, 5-15 more cops show up and walk into cops in fights with people who are only trying to stop their friend from getting arrested and didn't want to hurt any cop. They don't understand that every cop in Boston has been in another 5-10 scenerios where a gangbanger had attempted to seriously harm a cop while making an arrest, so the cops have to legally use a certain amount of force to safely get out of the situation.

    All in all, they can end up in big messes and people get hurt. The cops think they are outnumbered (100-5), while the 85 people who wouldn't do anything anyway think the cops might be overeacting.

    Calling in the crowd control guys means a larger force comes in and moves people out without touching anyone or using any force. The initial cops don't have to arrest anyone, touch anyone, or do anything. They just let the people argue, only step in if someone gets hurt, and can wait for a larger presense to show up so no one gets hurt.

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    Yes, I do

    By on

    First, I do appreciate the professionalism and calm of the BPD officers on scene in shutting the thing down - as opposed to what happened at the Jefferson Memorial. Nobody was slammed to the ground, the SWAT unit was not summoned, etc. If you have to shut down a meeting, I guess they did it right.

    But having said that - and having read Pete's explanation as to why they might have acted like they did - no, I still don't agree. It's troubling how an assembly on an issue important to a fair number of people was simply cut off (vs. a horde of drunken college students after a finals win or at 2:20 a.m., say).

    Yes, the First Amendment gets rowdy sometimes. That's not the same as violent, though (personally, I thought there was a lot more anger in the air at the School Committee meeting on closing schools than at the Whole Foods meeting).

    Police really, really need to be careful about shutting things down. It's a slippery slope and the more meetings get shut, the easier it becomes and soon we're having people arrested for standing up and criticizing the mayor. A bit farfetched here in Boston, where we may not realize how lucky we are compared to some other parts of the country? Perhaps, but every little bit of freedom that's chipped away provides an opportunity for the next bigger chink to be taken out.

    Just a few days earlier, Ed Davis said State Police didn't know how to deal with one particular community (city teenagers, basically). Could the same be said about Boston Police with another community (neighborhood residents discussing a heated local issue)? Pete said people in the auditorium may not realize that some of those cops are coming from a background that includes being surrounded by thugs with weapons. The converse is true: Police have to realize that people angry about an issue are not thugs with weapons.

    I agree Adam.

    But you seem to have more of an issue with the meeting being shut down by "the government". One cop, 100 cops, one moderator, two people in charge of the meeting, one building supervisor, etc could all have had the power to stop this meeting. The power to stop this meeting is what is in question here and I can't say that I disagree with Adam on this one. A police supervisor in the field made this decision and there is no black or white answer to say if it was the right decision.

    My point was that once that government decision is made, there is a certain response in order to enforce that decision so that the least amount of people get hurt.

    So there are two issues here, the decision itself, and the enforcement of that decision.

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    WWAGD?

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    Well, I wasn't there, don't live in JP and don't care much about WF...so OF COURSE I need to give my opinion!! Because after all, it is all about...well anyways, from the accounts and videos it sounds like the worst that could be said about the incessantly vocal blue shirts is that they were obnoxious and did not deserve respect if they refused to give any to anyone else. Out of sheer annoyance with them I think you could make an argument for shutting down the meeting just because it was clear that these people did not want to hear anyone present their ideas (even for those with whom they agreed they'd start cheering and making noise, stopping the speaker). Civil disobedience has its place, but this ain't it.

    But wasting your time to arrest these people? Why give them a "war story" to tell over beers? Just end the meeting because it runs the risk of someone getting too frustrated and an altercation breaking out.

    I find this debacle

    I find this debacle entertaining. I wonder if these anti-Whole Foods folks put as much effort into larger issues facing their community, city, state, or country? It will also be interesting to see if more destructive things happen as the project progresses. I recall the controversy back in the late 90s with the Hooters down by the Garden which culminated in the place being firebombed while under construction.

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    As silly as the arrests seem

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    As silly as the arrests seem I also just don't understand the controversy.

    I am sorry but Hi-Lo was a disgusting dump with half the items over priced and over due. I lived on Day Street for some 8 years in the nineties and avoided the place like a plague. The same was also true of the Hanrahan's grocery store essentially across the street and long gone now.

    Would these people be just as upset if a Johhny's Foodmaster was going in the Hi-Lo spot? A Trader Joe's?
    It doesn't matter who owns the location folks. A grocery store in Jamaica Plain, and everywhere else, will always consist of a large building full of over-priced food and under-paid employees. No matter what the sign out front is.

    If you don't like it you can continue going to the Stop and Shop down the street, because we all know you never shopped at Hi-Lo anyhow, where you will be just as gouged as you would be at Whole Foods.

    Many of the products at WFM

    By on

    Many of the products at WFM are the same price or lower than the same type of products at Trader Joes, Shaws, Stop & Shop, etc. Plus, they put commonly used items on sale in each department every week, like one or more of the cuts of chicken or fish or meat, one or two fruits or vegetables. Organic apples and pears were often as low as $1.79/lb. this winter.

    I read that providing more products at lower prices, as well as the more high-end products, has been their intention for quite awhile now after some administrative and direction changes were made. They have a lower-priced ("365") label for most product types--and these have quality restrictions and can be organic, just as their higher-priced items. That's one of the main reasons I shop there; they care about how the animal products they sell are raised, treated, and what chemicals they (and we) are exposed to--from produce as well.

    They started a grading system for the industry to identify how livestock and poultry was fed and raised--whether inside barns or pasture-raised (which has higher omega-3s). They offer chickens that aren't maintained in water-logging cold water after being killed, but are air chilled until they get to you (and what a difference in taste and tenderness...) Did you know that many chickens sold in grocery stores are cleaned with an ammonia solution? (In fact, have you seen the movie, "Food Inc.?)

    WFM started the Non-GMO Food Project, which tests and identifies foods with GMO ingredients, so stores and customers can choose. They are working with companies to stop coating their canned food with Bisphenol-A, which is an endocrine disruptor that is thought to contribute to breast and prostate cancer. Very few, if any, large or small grocery stores were interested or knew enough to do anything like this until grocers like WFM did this. One of their core intentions was to set a better standard to improve the nutrition and health of the public, lower our chemical exposure, etc., which will, in turn, lower medical costs, as well as improve how we feel. They also have provided a market for small vendors who make healthier condiments, cleaning, and health-care products. And they have been seeking out these, plus produce, eggs, and other products from local farmers.

    They are also a company that values diversity, and they support and accommodate the needs of the communities in which they are located and hire, educate, and support employees from there as well. Their customer service is the best and they are rated one of the best companies to work for. Any new grocery store is going to bring traffic. In these times, when so many corporations think very little about the health and well-being of the public, it's hard to understand the level of resentment for one of the most progressive and constructive companies on the planet.

    Thank you

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    For your common sense. What an embarrassment. Whole Foods should take their jobs, benefits and tax payments somewhere else.

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    sweet

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    police officers from across the city began arriving - dispatchers had activated the department's Emergency Deployment Team system, used to swarm a trouble spot with police.

    Why, if only BPD did that when people were getting mugged in our neighborhoods repeatedly, or when murder after murder was happening over in Egleston (or any of half a dozen other hot spots.)

    Glad to see BPD's priorities are in the right place.

    Oh, and reading a post on the Whose Foods facebook page, seems a whole lot of people are very pissed off at how the anti-WF'ers acted. This sums it up particularly well:

    A comic tragedy? Or a tragic comedy? I'm not sure which. One of the few respectful opponents in attendance tries to ask to questions she's been waiting 5 months to ask and her compatriots distract the entire meeting by playing tug-the-banner with the cops, resulting in the end of the meeting. Opponents have been so angry about the lack of dialogue; then when they get a chance to engage with whole foods they blow it.

    Actually, Brett

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    both times I was mugged in the city (once in JP and once near Fenway Park) the BPD were there at my side before I could blink my eye.

    Muggers and other bad dudes don't tend to congregate at Whole Food versus JP meetings before they commit crimes. You can't compare response time of the BPD to a organized meeting and acts of violence that occur mostly in a random fashion in certain sections of the city. Suffice to say, I am sure the BPD knows of the cities "hot spots" and patrols certain areas more than others.

    whyaduck

    I'm not sure if you know this yet, but Brett knows everything about everything.

    Yeah,

    By on

    I think I am finally realizing that now.

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    What you can compare it to

    By on

    Hi, my name is Adam and I'm a licensing-board hearing addict.

    The reason I knew what an "EDT" was when I first heard they were called out is because they're more typically deployed for situations like massive drunken crowds milling about at 2:15 a.m. outside some downtown bar when two women take off their heels and start fighting and then everybody jumps in and the detail cop and the one patrol car outside urgently call for backup. A required part of hearings on such situations is for a member of the licensing board to excoriate the bar owner for depriving whole sections of the city of police protection.

    Now I was just sitting in the auditorium, and I'm obviously not privy to any intelligence being gathered by the detail cops at this Whole Foods meeting, but as one guy told me afterwards, he's seen far worse at public meetings without BPD calling in the cavalry like they did last night. And you have to wonder which parts of the city were left without police protection when the equivalent of an entire shift at one district is driving to and from an auditorium filled with people kvetching about a supermarket.

    If the cops had either not

    If the cops had either not responded or didn't act when they were there Brett would have called them lazy. If they do act then they are over reacting. Brett is a hypocritical troll. Don't bother responding to his foolishness.

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    So what?

    Even if you leave Brett out of it, the question remains: Why were the police responding, and WHAT were they responding to?

    The police were being

    By on

    The police were being pro-active to prevent an incident from happening. They are not called to every meeting because not all are expected to be contentious, like everyone knew this was going to be.

    So would you be happy if something DID happen, police weren't called and then everyone would be posting things like "Why weren't the police there? they KNEW it would be heated"

    Obviously they were there at

    By on

    Obviously they were there at the request of someone involved in the meeting, either one of the opposing groups or Whole Foods. What they responded to was instances of individuals distrurbing a public assembly, which has been talked about at lenght on this site and Facebook. From different accounts posted, they gave warnings to multiple people in the crowd and did not immediately get directly involved. The police have an obligation to attempt to maintain order. Thats what they did. I know this goes against your way of thinking, but the cops probably did not start their shift thinking, " I really want to get in the middle of a bunch of young hipster/hippies and old hipster/hippies fighting over a grocery store."

    Oh

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    This is just lovely.

    Can I got out on a limb and guess these people compare Obama to bush and keep repeating Gore would have been no better then Bush?

    Meet the democratic parties version of christianists. And watch us all laugh at them.

    jesus christ. get over it,

    By on

    jesus christ. get over it, people. it's just a grocery store!

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    Whole Foods

    By on

    Clack, I agree with you. My God. This is all over a supermarket? Incredible. Simply put, if you are unhappy with WF,don't shop there. Is there a shortage of markets? Get on with your lives.

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    not surprised

    By on

    pictured: 3 kids whose parents probably paid their way through BU/BC/NEU, bought their trendy loft they now live in, probably still pay them allowance, and then the kids act like they aren't part of the "gentrification" of JP.

    And people wonder why hipsters are hated so much...

    The girl is on facebook.

    By on

    The girl is on facebook. Upenn grad.

    hipster trust fund babies

    easy there Adam. I was just

    By on

    easy there Adam. I was just citing my source (FB).

    As the son of a working class family. I have a certain disdain for the rich kids from the ivy leagues coming down to hang in the hood for a few years trying to save the poor folk by telling us how to live our lives.

    Claudio's video says it better. Be careful of who you allow to act as spokesmen for your neighborhood. Whole Foods is giving these stupid hipsters too much attentions and is ignoring the real community.

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    Sorry, I'm running on fumes

    By on

    It's tough covering night meetings when you have to get up early to get a kid off to school in time for 7:30 home room halfway across town :-).

    I hate to break it to you,

    By on

    I hate to break it to you, but the three that were arrested aren't kids. They are adults. They are not hipsters, nor do they dress like hipsters. We get you hate hipsters, ivy leaguers, rich kids, etc. However, I think you're projecting too many of your biases onto these three misguided time waster extraordinaires. Glad I don't live in JP... this anti-WF BS is embarrassing. Never heard of a neighborhood that prefers empty store fronts. What a joke.

    the majority of JP residents

    By on

    the majority of JP residents are not protesting Whole Foods.

    The majority of JP residents are not hipsters.

    The majority of ivy league grads are not trust funders.

    But then again, stereotyping is so much easier than actually observing and thinking.

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    No no, it's the UPenn part,

    By on

    No no, it's the UPenn part, not the Facebook part. Definitely entitled.

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    You do all realize that poor

    By on

    You do all realize that poor and middle-class kids go to Ivy League schools too, right? Just ask my wife and her $90,000 in school debt.

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    It's a holiday in Cambodia

    By on

    They're white, Jewish (like me), and fresh out of school. Finally able to address guilt over their white privilege by standing up to "the man." Sadly, they don't (yet) realize that one day, to someone, they WILL be "the man." They never will know what it's like to really be poor or on WIC, Section 8, or wondering what's going to happen next - but this is their best chance to experience it. In their back of their minds... They know that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, Daddy will bail them out of a jam. They're outsiders to the population they want to "fix". Cobbled together Spanish, Web savvy, taking a break from their jobs as designers at the local ad agency... Will they ever be smart enough to figure it out?

    Luckily, there's always room for Jello:

    So you been to school
    For a year or two
    And you know you've seen it all
    In daddy's car
    Thinkin' you'll go far
    Back east your type don't crawl

    Play ethnicky jazz
    To parade your snazz
    On your five grand stereo
    Braggin' that you know
    How the n*ggers feel cold
    And the slums got so much soul

    It's time to taste what you most fear
    Right Guard will not help you here
    Brace yourself, my dear...

    Like it, but...

    By on

    Pulp's "Common People" seems more apropos, if a little on the nose:

    Rent a flat above a shop
    cut your hair and get a job.
    Smoke some f**s and play some pool
    pretend you never went to school
    But still you'll never get it right
    'cos when you're laid in bed at night
    watching roaches climb the wall
    If you call your Dad he could stop it all

    You'll never live like common people
    You'll never do what common people do
    You'll never fail like common people
    You'll never watch your life slide out of view
    and dance and drink and screw
    Because there's nothing else to do.

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    Agreed.

    By on

    I didn't want to do more than one song. Glad you followed up! :)

    Also, I give you permission to say "fags" in this context.

    Love both those songs

    By on

    And since you've already got them covered, let me add an apropos quote from that classic of '90s moviemaking, 10 Things I Hate About You:

    "I know how difficult it must be for you to overcome all those years of upper middle-class suburban oppression."

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    7 year bitch

    By on

    and ah, that Julia Stiles - sometimes I wish I could just go back to the late 90s and stop time.

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    ditto

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    just "ditto", feel that way often.

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    JP whole foods

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    The guys who said we are tired of the "hipsters" who think they know everything in their short 4 -7 years of working if that, hit the nail on the head! Shut up - thye think they speak for the 'voice-less', well there are no voiceless these days!

    The hipsters hide behind B S 'causes" because they are just lazy spoiled brats from cushy little leafy suburbs. Go collect your checks from daddy OR START WORKING OVER 20 HOURS A WEEK, MAYBE TRY 80 HOURS A WEEK, WORK 2 JOBS - HAVE A FEW KIDS, PUT SOMEONE ELSE BEFORE YOUR SELFISH SELF, PAY SOME TAXES THAT MATTER, THEN WE'LL TAKE YOU SERIOUSLY.

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    I was there

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    I went to the meeting last night, and quite frankly, was impressed that Whole Foods was even willing to meet with us (JP residents) in this type of setting. They weren't required to do so - and no other retailer entering our neighborhood has faced the kind of absurd demands this "choice selection" of residents presented last night. I live about a 5 minute walk from the new WFM site, and I went to this meeting A) to show my intended support of the grocery chain and B) to see what kind of issues were really driving the opposition (If there were legitimate, underlying issues that were about to be exposed, I wanted to hear them and take a more educated stance on the matter). Unfortunately, the blue-shirted protesters were an utter disappointment in the immature show they put on for everyone. I was waiting for one of them to make a good point during the Q&A, but instead it was mostly sloppy banter. The first blue-shirt to take the mic went on a 5 minute rant about how he believed the meeting was held in the wrong location. Another speaker kept repeating herself over and over again, "this town is in mourning," which also made little sense. The group was severely disorganized, couldn't make a single point eloquently, and looked incredibly foolish while some members shouted profanities over whoever was speaking (even when their own pals took the mic!) I really wanted to give the opposition a chance to make a case last night - but instead I think it's safe to say they wrote their own fate and will fade away with time.

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    Yes, my husband and I were

    By on

    Yes, my husband and I were there as well. We had the same experience that you describe.

    Tess and Anon

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    Thank you for a calm report on your perspective. I'm a Brigtonite with no pony in this show, but I do live two blocks away from a Whole Foods and I find this whole situation perplexing.

    If only everything in the world was so right and good that the WF protesters really didn't have anything else to agitate about...

    I think this guy was putting a pox on both sides

    By on

    Claudio Martinez, executive director of the Hyde Square Task Force, was the first community member to speak. He definitely criticized Whole Foods for holding the meeting all the way at the Curley School rather than somewhere in Hyde/Jackson. But as a resident of bucolic, quiet Roslindale, the politics of Jamaica Plain frighten and confuse me, so I'm not sure if he was talking to the anti-Fooder kids or the pro-Fooder elders when he started ranting about "paternalistic and condescending attitudes, sometimes dressed in progressive and radical attire" by white people claiming to speak for the Latinos of Hyde Square. Anybody know?

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    Is he giving the money back?

    I didn't notice that Claudio (the head of Hyde Square Task Force) said he was going to return the $8,500 that Whole Foods recently donated to his organization. Surely he will give them back their tainted money, right?

    re giving money back?

    By on

    Maybe some people are confused because Claudio's shirt was the same color as the Whose Foods activists but if you listen to his statement he did not state a position about Whole Foods but rather made the point that people on both sides should be careful about claiming to speak for "the community." His point about location of the meeting was that residents of Hyde-Jackson Square should be the voices Whole Foods pays attention to, as this is the part of JP most impacted by the store's arrival. None of these statements should mean that his organization (which as far as I know has not taken an official position on Whole Foods) should have to return the donation. Also, Hyde-Jackson Square is in fact a distinct neighborhood with recognized borders from S. Huntington to Columbus Ave. That is why there are long-established organizations called Hyde-Jackson Square Business Association and Hyde-Jackson Square Main Streets. The name Mahoney Square exists only on a map in someone's office at the Parks Department so let's not start talking about it as a real place. That's what some people are trying to do with the intersection of S. Huntington and Boylston which some people have taken to calling "Canary Square" because of a small sign they found in the middle of the intersection.

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    Think housing

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    The issue for the anti-Fooders is not really food (although, yes, one of their first issues was the supposed demise of good, quality Hispanic food of the sort Hi-Lo sold, uh huh), but the sort of arrivistes they say follow Whole Foods like swallows to Capistrano.

    The area right near the Curley is already gentrified beyond all redemption by the wrong sort of white people (i.e., not the ones attending Whose Foods rallies, like them). It's the stretch between the Hi-Lo and Jackson Square they're concerned about.

    You raised a good point somewhere else in this thread - Where's the outrage about the end of the laundromat (of course, it's possible there is outrage and I've missed it out here in the mountain fastnesses of Roslindale - if so, somebody please hit me up with info).

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    It is

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    You're not imagining it. If you can pick up a pizza from Ideal, you can schlep it to that meeting. They're just mad because they didn't get to have the bullying, home-turf rally at the Kennedy that's been the standard for "community meetings" on the subject thus far.

    Yeah, I know

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    Is there an HTML symbol for tongue-in-cheek?

    A pro-Fooder who spoke after him said that as she walked to the Curley from her home in Hyde Square, she noted all the vacant storefronts and said she was glad Whole Foods was quickly moving in rather than letting the old Hi-Lo become a giant eyesore.

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    Vacant storefronts

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    result mostly from Mordy Levin's great plans for profit maximization, which have led to the old Bella Luna site and others being vacant, it's his right, private property etc, but it sure wasnt smart.

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    Of course there is!

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    Is there an HTML symbol for tongue-in-cheek?

    In point of fact...

    -)

    is the *original* smiley - the ur-moticon - and was specifically intended to denote "tongue-in-cheek" (it's read right-side-up, the dash is the tongue, the close-paren is the bulging cheek).

    Supposedly borrowed from an even older print tradition, it started to appear online in the late 70s. It doesn't appear in any of the pre-'83 Fidonet email I still have archived, but was in wide use at MIT by the time I arrived in the early 80s.

    I remember the controversy amongst the nerdirati when the colon was added in the mid/late 80s and the whole look-at-it-as-a-sideways-face meme started to catch on. Damn n00bs!

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    Huh?

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    So now the WF opposition of making up neighborhoods? He refers to Hyde/Jackson Square as one enclave. They are distinct neighborhoods. And his ridiculing of the meeting site is, well, ridiculous. I am sure any interested parties could walk the .3 miles from Hyde Square to the Curley School.

    I do love the "in mourning" hysterics in the video below. How about getting hysterical about something worthwhile, like the shit that happens on Boylston and Mozart Streets.

    Finally, this whole charade is really turning me off to certain local merchants. City Feed in particular is coming across as incredibly hypocritical with their "we support diversity" stance. Of course you do. It is just not reflected in your a) prices, b) selection of groceries available, or c) clientele that frequents your stores. But, yeah, besides that you guys completely support diversity.

    I don't think the donation's in question

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    He just made a point to Whole Foods that really wasn't aggressive at all. I can see how it would sound that way in the context of all the hollering around him, but it was basically a suggestion to hold the next meeting in his neighborhood.

    I also think WF is probably glad that he just called the Whose Foods people paternalistic and called them out on not stopping K-Mart. "You are not the voice of all Latinos and neither are we." It sounds pretty clear.

    I wish he was able to continue. "What is the question?" is basically a veiled way of saying "I'm tired of listening, I want to speak." Sadly, people from both sides were shouting him down. That makes me incredibly sad, because this was a dose of perspective everyone could have used.

    Listen, as Claudio has told

    By on

    Listen, as Claudio has told us in the past, when he wants to hear from a young white privileged person, he'll let you know.

    what a rude racist p.o.s.

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    That's kind of incredible that this a-hole Martinez has a following.

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    He doesn't like white people

    and he is building his career on that negativity. Most people are afraid to criticize him for it, because he will tell them they are racist. He likes to say he speaks for the poor, oppressed Latin community. He's the same way in School Committee meetings.

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    "He just made a point to

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    "He just made a point to Whole Foods that really wasn't aggressive at all."

    Were you tripping on acid as you were listening to him?

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    Were you?

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    Or were you just too anxious to speak that nothing sank in?

    Que relajo!

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    Just a quick peak on a map and it seems that the distance from the Jackson Square T stop to Mahoney Square is twice that of the Curley to Mahoney Square. So if what he wants to say is "you sited this meeting towards the non-Latino/gentrified side of JP and not towards the Latino/non-gentrified side" maybe he should have just said it.

    I like the fact that he's calling out the anti-WFers and that he recognizes that no one "speaks for" everyone else in a neighborhood, but at the end of the day, I'm not sure what his position is on WF.

    The lady in mourning (clip below) is just really sad. Is anyone in mourning for HiLo? You're in mourning for kids getting shot and stabbed in the street, for folks who have their houses blown away by tornadoes, for people getting foreclosed on, for any number of other concerns before we get to mourning over a process that is already well under way and that you yourself are as big a symptom of as the presence of WF.

    Even for those who want to fight gentrification tooth and nail, I'm sure we can come up with something better to blow your energies on than this one, lame-ass issue.

    Mahoney Square?

    When did Hyde Square get renamed, or is this some other nearby intersection?

    I wondered this once when I

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    I wondered this once when I saw it on Google Maps. Mahoney Square is technically the island in the middle of Hyde Square as far as I can tell.

    Square Circles

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    Hyde Square is the general n'hood and the traffic circle is known as Mahoney Square. I think most people (who don't work for the Parks Department) probably refer to it as Hyde Square. Don't ask me who Mahoney was.

    Oh, hipsters.

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    Nothing like entitled white people screaming about entitlement.

    As an anti hipster/ anti

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    As an anti hipster/ anti hippy, tea bagging, Scott Brown voting, Rush Limbaugh listening, right wing nutbag I say keep it up. This is all very amusing to watch.

    Hell, as a left-leaning,

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    Hell, as a left-leaning, gay-loving, feminist, this is still very amusing to watch.

    Liberal Conservative

    As a social security hating, gun loving, gay loving, pot loving, highway hating, bailout hating, stimulus hating, diversity loving, equal rights loving, raw milk loving, IRS hating, tax hating, intervention hating Libertarian I find this amusing.

    A community divided?

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    Judging by the last three comments, Whole Foods is actually uniting people in their collective mockery of JP.

    Nice to know the overwhelming majority of JP sat out this fiasco and spent First Thursday milling about Centre and South streets and packing the bars.

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    Baaa Baaaa

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    Gentrification. Baaaa. Baaaa.

    Don't ask me to explain why, or how. Just baaa, baaa. Baaaa.

    I wonder if the ESWA

    http://politicalcults.blogspot.com/2006/12/eswa-bo...

    is making any hay by recruiting any of these dupes. They're missing an opportunity, if not.

    A woman in mourning

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    Anti-Fooder starts by complaining about an outburst by other protesters before complaining about Whole Foods not paying enough attention to the "pain and suffering" the community is going through.

    Do (so-called) hipsters....

    ... typically flourish posters of Obama wearing a "Hitler mustache"? Inquiring minds want to know? (Look at the bottom of the sheaf of papers she is holding).

    Huh?

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    Rachel Brown isn't a hipster. She's one of the looney LaRouchians who wanted to stop the healthcare bill by confronting Barney Frank at a town hall meeting. To which he replied that trying to discuss the matter with her would get him as far as if he were having the discussion with his dining room table.

    me neither too, umm!

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    Glad I wasn't the only one. You wouldn't believe the mental gymnastics I was going through to make that statement work under the purple dinosaur premise....

    No Mourning Here

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    Speak for yourself lady. I'm stoked on Whole Foods.

    I was planning to go check this meeting out for the comedy factor. I see it provided more than I could have hoped for.

    JP is full of the "my dad is a lawyer" types that have never had to actually bust their ass to build a secure life for themselves. While I admire their effort, the ignorance and lack of self awareness is stunning.

    on behalf of all of my fellow

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    I shopped at Hi-Lo, and I look forward to shopping at Whole Foods, but on behalf of all of my fellow JP-residing, bicycle-riding, ivy league-educated, out-of-stater children of working class who have worked their asses of to afford a decent apartment in a fun, urban area full of interesting and interested people......

    FUCK OFF

    Really?

    If you want to support your community, support the creation of jobs. It's a super market, not a sweat shop. FFS.

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    Whole Foods Protests

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    Why are there no latinos protesting & only a few bored white hipsters?

    just a thought

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    I wonder if many JP Latinos thought Hi-Lo was a dump, are looking forward to shopping at the new WF, think this whole debacle is silly and therefore didn't show to the meeting. Plenty of Latinos shop at the WF in my neighborhood. I guess the fine anti-WF white folks in JP forgot to let them know that they shouldn't.

    "Passion is good. Rudeness is not."

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    Long-time resident started by asking everybody to take a long deep breath and try to actually listen to other people. Naturally, people tried to shout her down.

    I'm confused on this JP WF mashup.

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    Please forgive my ignorance on this, but I have a few questions.

    I thought hipsters were those youngish types who wear really tight jeans (to the male ones in particular - how the eff do you get into those anyway, let alone walk or sit?!), usually have a "fight the power" type tattoo or two, facial jewelry and thick glasses. After looking up the term on urban dictionary, this seems at least partly right (although, they seem to suggest that they live only in Williamsburg and a couple of other places - none of which are in Boston).

    Anyway, here's the thing that I'm really confused about. The Brighton WF, where I normally shop, not only seems well patronized by "hipsters", but indeed, it appears to be run by said hipsters (at least at the staff level). Said hipsters also seem to get along famously with the fairly well-heeled clientele, who have, presumably, gentrified Brighton and Brookline (along with the Russian immigrants and old folks from the several assisted-living/lifestyle-living/whatever they're called facilities that surround WF Brighton).

    So what gives, JP? Should we be on alert that the "revolution" is coming to a WF near us. Could someone send word from Cambridge? Has the enemy been spotted sailing up Alewife Brook? Are you sure it's not a school of alewife or shad? How tight are their jeans?

    Meanwhile

    A few hundred people looking for good jobs have to wait for this store to open. And another dozen or so have to waste 10-15 hours a week taking public transportation from JP/Roxbury to their job at the Dedham Whole Foods.

    Next time you people start

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    Next time you people start preaching about how enlightened you are compared to republicans, suburbanites or people from the south look at what happened here. These are your people acting like immature entitled spoiled brats.

    Whole Foods Banner

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    Kind of funny. There is a Whole Foods ad banner at the top of this page. Doesn't Universal Hub support diversity and anti-gentrification?

    Actually, both sides are "our people"

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    And I'd still rather have both of them than a bunch of AC-breathing knuckledraggers from a subdivision letting the local main street rot while waiting for the new Wal-Mart to open so they can save 10 cents on a pack of underwear that won't last until Thanksgiving.

    None of these kids were

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    None of these kids were around when the REAL orange line came down so WFT gives them a right to say anything. Plus everybody should have access or the option to get healthy food. And I'm sure the dork with the smile purchased his shwanky shirt at Urban Outfitters not Goodwill or Boomerang..

    Former JP resident chimes in

    When I moved to JP in 1998 I went into Hi-Lo hoping to find some uniquely latin foods and hopefully things I never tried before. I was massively disappointed to find a mess of a market with an underwhelming selection of stereotypical canned goods, with everything else looking old, wilted, and expired. It was sad. The bodegas and eastern European shops where I live now, in Lynn, are better.

    Anyway, the thing I'll miss most about Hi-Lo is its sign, second to the ability to park in its lot when the Milky Way was still there.

    I'm not a big fan of Whole Foods, either, mostly because of their prices. But at least they understand the diet of a gluten free (not by choice) vegetarian (choice made 20 years ago, long before the celiac thing reared its ugly head.)

    As a teacher to lives paycheck to paycheck and who never had a trust fund, I'm annoyed that I have to shell out so much money for basic needs, but at least they have them. Recently, Stop and Shop has been selling some of the same items for less, though. But in any case, at least there will be healthier options in that spot, now, and they'll probably be at least cheaper than City Feed. (How do they not consider City Feed gentrification? Is it ok when it's not a corporate chain?)

    Also, I'd like to know how many of the protesters actually shopped at Hi-Lo and to what extent they reached out to and met with the community the claim to support.

    And lastly, they're not hipsters.

    "And lastly, they're not hipsters"

    Why do I have the feeling that "hipster" is simply the modern day equivalent to the good old fashioned "dirty f***ing hippie" -- a mindless slur to be thrown at anyone young who annoys irritable older folks (and young conservatives who are old well before their time)?

    Back in the day...

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    Those kids wore dreadlocks and patchouli and we called them Trustafarians. The trends change but the entitled brats stay the same.

    http://www.latfh.com/ And

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    http://www.latfh.com/

    And yes, Hipsters are not Hippies. Most are anti-political, and don't really fall along neat little lines.

    Kind of like people calling democrats moonbats, which makes no sense since it was made up to describe GOP'ers who follow Sun Myung Moon's sort of "we make our own facts" politics.

    Oh please. If there was ever

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    Oh please. If there was ever any group deserving of "mindless slurs" it is these douchebags.

    (By the way, proposing that the word "hipster" is a slur is patently absurd)

    Hipster

    Basically, hipster = stupid wealthy entitled child.

    Remember those special children of the ME generation who could do no wrong? Whose parents conflated "discipline" with "punishment" and avoided either? Demanded that their kids go to high-end schools and paid tutors to prop their grades and scores? Yup.

    While not all high Socioeconomic status parents bought into those vogues of child rearing, and not all hipsters were born with a silver spoon in their mouths, there seem to be a fair number of this age group wandering JP and Davis Square - as well as Williamsburg and Portland and Seattle ...

    I wonder if somebody should hand them a trophy for showing up.

    You are wrong.

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    Sorry, but thanks for playing. Also, you can't get much more hipster than 'Swirly Grrl.' Just saying.

    ,,,but, you didn't ignore it

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    Swirly Grrl doesn't need anonymous logged-in posters to defend her. Just sayin'.

    Then

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    Whats a Yuppie?

    Hipsters aren't wealthy. At least not any I know of.

    They parents might always have their back in a pinch, but they usually live in old, rundown city apartments. Play in shitty bands. And try to be all non-conformist, by being conformist withing their weird, smelly group. Beards and skinny jeans are big for them.

    They're pretty much the Goths of the 2000's, only instead of makeup, they accessorize. Some might be liberal, but most seem to be against all politics. They're probably good candidates to be LaRocuhe's down the line after the world smacks them upside the head a few times.

    Shop the Whole Foods

    By on

    Shop the Whole Foods "madness" sales and you will save a bundle. They are much, much cheaper than Roche Brothers or Stop and Shop when you purchase items on sale. And there are ALWAYS things on sale there, so you can just purchase sale items and then do your "regular" shopping at a cheaper store. That's the most sensible way to shop Whole Foods. Stock up when things are cheap.

    But wait, there's more

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    Julito Varela posts a statement from JP for All, the pro-WF group, adds:

    It was indeed a sad night for the Jamaica Plain community as what was billed as a opportunity for positive, civil dialogue with Whole Foods, the Boston neighborhood’s future tenant in the Hyde Square section of JP, turned into a night filled with shouting, disrespect, disruption, arrests, and eventually an early shut down by Boston Police.

    Hey! Is there still a couple of wars going on?

    By on

    Also, aren't the Republicans about to try and enact the most sweeping anti-choice legislation ever in Congress? Add to that global warming, slashed first responder and public school budgets, and the largest disparity between rich and poor since the depression and these idiots are protesting a food store?

    God, I'm so glad I won't be around in 50 years to see the food shortages caused by global warming, I'm sure these schmucks won't be protesting then, only starving.

    Not in Boston

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    "slashed first responder and public school budgets"

    make up your own mind about the other stuff, but those never happened at least in Boston. Boston doesn't do slashing - freezing maybe, but never slashing. That's just what they want you to believe. I don't think there has ever been a year over year operating budget decrease since prop 2 1/2 was enacted.

    They can't stop . . .

    . . . the wars, income disparity, or global warming. They can maybe stop this store. And it's not a zombie march, slut walk, or pillow fight.

    It's good to see people not deluding themselves with national nonsense and the two party Kabuki theater- stuff that we have absolutely zero say over- and getting their hands dirty on the local level.

    So, Chris

    By on

    Who CAN stop those things? So what, we all should give up on trying to enact change on a national level? I'm trying to follow your thinking here.

    Also, without trying to sound preachy, but what if Martin Luther King felt that way? Or Daniel Ellsberg?

    A bunch of goofy clueless liberals getting their knickers in a twist over a fucking food store does not qualify as getting your hands dirty on a local level to me. Sorry. Take it from a guy who had his skull cracked more than once by the TPF during the busing days when I lived in Charlestown. And I wasn't even protesting.

    They did

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    They proved what a farce the MSM and punditry is. It had little to do with politics.

    I think you nailed it

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    It speaks to the feelings of insecurity and powerlessness on both sides. The WhoseFoods people and their supporters have spent the last decade watching anti-war protests that filled streets and cities but failed to affect anything each time. They've seen protests about global warming attacked and shouted down. They've seen unemployment rise despite countless jobs programs and area job initiatives.

    In this case, they're trying to fight a fight they can win. Even Whole Foods opponents admit it'll be a symbolic victory and likely do nothing to stop gentrification, but they need a W to feel like what they're doing matters -- that the actions of one person amount to something.

    On the other side, Whole Foods supporters see people trying to take away something they want and feel like they're not being heard. They've perhaps been hit by the recession, watched their bills rise, watched their health care costs go up, watched gas prices go up and just want this one thing. They want this little bit of comfort that they enjoy and don't want to see yet another thing taken away from them while they sat powerless to do anything about it.

    Whether this fight is worth fighting for either side is questionable, especially when the stakes aren't displacement (already happening) or organic treats (already available here) but personal validation and the overwhelming need to be heard.

    (says the person jabbering away in a comments field)

    *Newsflash* A "win" is not

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    *Newsflash*

    A "win" is not happening. Lease is signed. Zoning is done. Renovations underway. Don't think WF is stupid enough to allow a loud, vocal but miniscule portion of the community to nullify their investment in JP.

    I live in Hyde Square and

    By on

    rarely shop at Whole Foods. I support Whole Foods in JP and it has nothing to do with my "comfort" or "convenience" or organic foods or anything else. Hyde Square has been dying. More businesses have closed than have opened in the past 3 years (last count: 13 vacant storefronts) and the existing businesses -- many owned by Latinos -- are hanging on by a thread. I don't want my neighborhood to die. A responsible business with a track record of success will bring new energy, customers, and resources to this neglected corner of JP. Ultra Hair Salon, El Oriental, Fat Ram's, Miami Subs, The Haven -- all of these places will survive and even thrive once Whole Foods opens its doors. That's why I'm fighting for Whole Foods and thanking our lucky stars that the company decided to invest in JP without government incentives and tax breaks, which is what it usually takes to get a grocery store to locate in an urban neighborhood.

    Hi Lo decided to close. If not Whole Foods, who? A liquor store, an auto parts store, a used car dealership -- those are the kinds of businesses that could afford to lease this particular site. What would they bring to Hyde Square? Not 100 jobs and groceries. Or the old Hi Lo could sit vacant, like Omni Foods, also owned by Knapp Foods, has on Route 9 has for a decade. These are terrible alternatives, so I'm in the fight to make sure we come out of this better off than when we went in.

    OK Chris

    By on

    Prove to us beyond a reasonable doubt why a privately-owned and run grocery store shouldn't be allowed to conduct business in JP.

    But don't waste everybody's time by continuing to spew the same old tired and illogical "non-arguments" that have little basis in fact, are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand, and then turn around and demand that Whole Foods disprove these "claims" beyond that same reasonable doubt standard.

    It's a supermarket for crying out loud. Supermarkets and other businesses have moved into neighborhoods like JP for decades, and yet life somehow goes on.

    I don't live in . . .

    . . . JP so I don't even really care that much about it. I go to whole foods once in a blue moon and it seems to be a nice store. Not sure I'd want it as a neighborhood supermarket though- not exactly my daily fare. I don't the know the neighborhood or the issue all that well. I'm just glad to see some people actually doing something about an issue right out their front doors for a change.

    Saying

    By on

    The guy who sits at home on his computer and never tried.

    It's amazing what you can do with a little effort, and turning off the PC. Go find a respectable candidate to get behind and work your butt off.

    You might be able to get a like minded community organizer in the white house. Get enough people working behind such people, and you might take congress back and actually have the votes to make a change.

    The system works, it's lazy, disillusioned people that are the problem.

    But hey, if you're not into that you can take consonance that Two and a Half Men's returning soon. At least that will be a good use of your time.

    I am tired of the media and

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    I am tired of the media and Whole Foods supporters saying that Whose Foods people are only young, white people. I am a LATINA WHO IS FROM JP (I didn't just move here ten or two years ago). I am a woman, not a child or a college student, who has invested in this neighborhood all my life. I have a voice and so do many of my fellow Latino JPers who oppose a Whole Foods Market in JP. If you attended the meeting last night, you saw that the majority of Latinos there are against a Whole Foods in our community and we speak for ourselves. That's why we've been involved in this Whose Foods campaign, not just online commenting, as some folks like to do. We are LATINOS who work on behalf of many issues affecting our comunidad, including affordable housing, health care, the environment, and education. The displacement of lower income people, disproportionately Latinos and African Americans, from JP, and Whole Foods' almost certain acceleration of this IS A CRITICAL ISSUE. If you think that this is just about a supermarket or food products, you're mistaken. Stop trying to silence and ignore the MANY LATINO VOICES who have stood up against a WF in JP.

    Finally...a voice of reason!

    By on

    Thank you for your passionate argument. I have to ask, has anyone reached out to Market Basket? Their commitment to community values clearly shows in it's flagship Chelsea store, one that serves not only Latinos of Chelsea, but low income people of all kinds from Medford, Malden, Everett and Revere also.

    If they did, Market Basket

    By on

    If they did, Market Basket would respond that they're not interested in getting sued.

    Market Basket

    My guess is that Market Basket would find the Hi-Lo site too small for the type of new store they want to open. Removing the parking lot would make room for a bigger store, but might cause other problems for the neighborhood. When the Chelsea Market Basket opened, they said it was the largest grocery store in New England.

    With all do respect...

    By on

    as I have said many times before, JP has been moving along the path of gentrification since the 1980s, at least. You should surely realize this since you hint that you have lived in JP longer than 10 years.

    Whole Foods is moving into JP because the company believes that they will have a viable business there - i.e. people will shop at the store.

    As someone who grew up lower-income and, at times, in poverty, I truly understand and feel passionately about the loss of affordable housing and the lack of affordable health care. I also care about people having jobs and for better or for worse, I rather see a store like WH in that location (which, for the retail industry, is not a bad place to work) that will offer jobs to the community rather than an empty store front.

    WH is not the 500 pound gorilla here and I for one would wish people would see that.

    Tell me this...

    By on

    If there are so many committed Latinos in this ridiculous, now truly embarrassing "movement" trying to keep jobs and healthy food out of a community that sorely needs both, can you please explain to me why you guys can't seem to write a grammatically correct sign in Spanish? Every time I see a new sign or banner it's got some egregious error in it that even I can spot and I can barely read Spanish.

    I'm also really curious as to why, in a community with countless challenges including 50% high school dropout rates, skyrocketing youth violence and gang activity, and serious diet-related health issues including obesity and diabetes, you think that joining up with a bunch of guilt-ridden white college kids to fight a supermarket is the worthiest target of your outrage and energy.

    don't forget

    By on

    The lack of latino's against it at the meeting. If that entire neighborhood demographic is against it, their final say on it was a gigantic "meh".

    I think it's more of a case of "I know whats best for the community" then the community actually caring enough to get involved.

    Btw...

    By on

    Hi Martha. And please, tell us how anyone's voice has been "silenced."

    The landlord has the right to rent his property to

    whomever he wants. So should we try to force him to keep the laundromat there? Maybe we should confiscate his property, and run the laundromat ourselves, because it's convenient to have one there and we like things to be convenient. We live in a free market system, which usually works pretty well. That means various people will like or not like the business ventures that try to make a living in their neighborhood.

    Yeah, nothing "fixes" gentrification like joblessness!

    You know, the worst thing about this whole protest is that WF actually pays QUITE well for what it is, with honest-to-God BENEFITS for its employees. I sincerely doubt Hi-Lo offered $10+/hr, paid vacation and health insurance to its part-time workers when it was open.
    These protesters are friggin' idiots. LET THE STORE OPEN ALREADY AND GET ON WITH YOUR LIVES.

    i am the woman in green ...

    By on

    ... and I picked the wrong time to close my eyes, I guess. I was at the meeting hoping to hear the dialogue, as many were, (neither to take a nap nor to share outbursts, believe it or not), naively believing that the attention-seekers might actually participate respectfully in the meeting that they have been wanting. I've been following the controversy with mounting disbelief at how things have devolved.

    I am looking forward to having the store in the neighborhood and was disgusted and disappointed in all of the disrespectful bullying, heckling, etc., that many others have referred to. It was embarrassing.

    So, a cautionary tale - if there are photographers in the room, always be ready for your close-up!

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