A group of about 20 protesters held signs, chanted and rallied outside Whole Foods on Halloween evening of the day the grocery store opened.
The group called on Whole Foods Market to negotiate a "Community Benefits Agreement" with the neighborhood. Protesters say they want the grocer to put one percent of the store's revenue toward affordable housing, small businesses and youth programs.
"Even if it's just .5 percent, that could still help at least 50 families from being displaced from Jamaica Plain," said Martha Rodriguez, one of the most well known members of the Whose Foods? anti-gentrification group. In September, Rodriguez won election to the , an elected advisory group.
The grocer has made it clear its corporate giving programs will be the same as in other communities where they have stores and that . Thus far, Whole Foods has donated about $40,000 to various causes in JP, according to the marketing team leader at the JP store.
Whose Foods? invited participants in the "Zombie Student March" to join the Halloween rally, which took place on the sidewalk along Centre Street. The march was a city-wide student walk out that visited Beacon Hill, bank offices, the Federal Reserve and the homes of CEOs.
Asked how far he'd marched, 22-year-old zombie Bryan McCormack estimated more than six miles, possibly eight.
Protesters asked people in passing cars and bicycles to honk if they supported them. They chanted:
One, two, three four
Whole Foods opened a new store.
Five, six, seven, eight
sit down and negotiate.
Earlier on Halloween Day, Patch also took .