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Indybay Feature
Tue Mar 24 2015
Shutting Down Sprouts
Protesters Shut Down Sprouts Farmers Market to Stop Planned Development of Historic Gill Tract
On March 14, farmers and neighbors of the historic Gill Tract turned out in large numbers to disrupt business as usual and eventually shutdown a local Sprouts supermarket. Their message to this corporate supermarket chain? "Don't build a Sprouts 'Farmer's Market' on our historic Gill Tract Farmland".

A crowd of protesters, including a brass band, "occupy the farm" activists, and a large delegation of workers from the Fast Food Workers Union converged on a normally quiet Sprouts Supermarket in suburban Walnut Creek. Protesters held a sit-in to block the main entrance to the store, rallying around a 600-pound stump that had been recently cut down by contractors preparing to pave the Gill Tract for the construction of the Sprouts store. Meanwhile, at the the other set of doors, protesters bearing branches from felled Gill Tract trees held a robust picket line turning away many would be customers. After the rally concluded, protesters decided to move their pickets into the store for a "shop-in". One shopper was arrested.

Occupy the Farm reports that one week after a large demonstration at their chain in Walnut Creek, protestors planned a follow-up action for the chain in Petaluma. Over the course of the week before the Petaluma action, Sprouts management sent protestors legal documents suggesting that the parking lot in front of the chain supermarket was not a "free speech" zone, in an attempt to intimidate protestors. On the morning of the protest, the management called for an unprecedented large turnout of police before the first protestors had even arrived, again as an attempt to intimidate. Finally, the Sprouts Management mislead their employees to perceive protestors as violent, telling them false and embellished stories of past protests.

photo Protesters Shut Down Sprouts Farmers Market to Stop Planned Development of Historic Gill Tract | photo Shutting Down Sprouts: Reportback from the #GilltractDefense Action in Walnut Creek | photo Sprouts Management Intimidates Protests of Their Brand | Occupy the Farm

Previous Related Indybay Feature: UC's Capital Projects Races to Remove Trees to Make Way for Development
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