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Thursday, September 10, 2015

#BlackLivesMatter Protesters Shut Down Oakland Whole Foods

Posted By on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 at 6:27 PM

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If you live in Oakland and were thinking about some mindful grocery shopping this evening, avoid the Whole Foods — for it is currently shut down.

About 100 protesters associated with the #BlackLivesMatter movement have occupied the upscale supermarket near Lake Merritt. Entrances and checkout aisles are blocked, according to SF Weekly reporter Julia Carrie Wong, currently on scene.

That Whole Foods was the scene of a violent confrontation last week, in which a security guard allegedly assaulted an unarmed black man, who was there attempting to buy food with an EBT card on Sept. 3.

The shopper, who has yet to be identified, has secured legal counsel. The security guard has been fired and her firm, Admiral Security, removed from the location. But that has not satisfied protesters, who as of 6:22 p.m. had succeeded in shutting the store down.

Protesters have linked arms to block the checkout aisles. Some determined shoppers have made away with single origin this and organic that, but largely commerce has ground to a halt. Because it's hard to judge the quality of a mango when a crowd of angry activists are shouting at you.

And yet, determined shoppers find a way.

Today has been a fraught day for the #BlackLivesMatter set. This morning, video footage was released in the case of Natasha McKenna, a mentally ill woman who died in police custody after being repeatedly Tasered (it is not a fun watch).
Earlier today, well-known civil rights attorney John Burris — who has been retained by the unknown shopper as legal counsel — told reporters that the shopper suffered a concussion and broken facial bones after being slammed into the concrete outside of the store.
Whole Foods claims to have no video footage of the incident, according to KQED, despite "at least six" cameras placed with a full view of the exit area.
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About The Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts has spent most of his adult life working in San Francisco news media, which is to say he's still a teenager in Middle American years. He has covered marijuana, drug policy, and politics for SF Weekly since 2009.

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