Boston Police put an early end to Whole Foods' first meeting with the Jamaica Plain community, citing "reasons of public safety."
Three persons were arrested and will be summonsed on charges of disrupting a public assembly and trespassing, in the case of two persons, and disrupting a public assembly in the third. All three are free, according to Officer Eddy Chrispin.
The first two were arrested after unfurling a banner in the balcony of the auditorium at the , where more than 300 people had gathered for the meeting. The banner read, "Displacement: What Will Whole Foods Do About It?"
The two will be summonsed on trespassing charges because, according to police, they had been told several times that they were not allowed in that area. Fellow protesters gave the names of the persons arrested as Chloe Finkel and Andrew Murray. According to Universal Hub, that person was Peter Blailock.
According to police, all three have Jamaica Plain addresses.
JP Patch reporter Chris Helms was also in the balcony at the time taking photos of the crowd below. He was not aware police had asked people not to use the balcony.
An officer asked Helms for his press pass, which he did not have. The officer accompanied Helms outside to get the press pass, but eventually allowed Helms back in to the meeting without showing a press pass.
Whole Foods had several members of their Jamaica Plain location team describe various aspects of the new store, including word that they have leased 20 parking spaces at the nearby Angell Animal Medical Center. The store plans a late fall opening, according to one employee who spoke.
The crowd was divided among supporters of Whole Foods, who often yelled, "We Love Whole Foods!" and those opposed, who left the meeting shouting, "Whole Foods, Hell No!"
During the public comment period, protesters stood in line to speak. Several of them had a long banner. Police tussled with protesters over the banner and took it from them as one of them cried, "Free speech!" There is a video of that incident above right.
At the Boston E-13 District Police Station where the three arrested persons were taken, a crowd formed.
About 50 people were protesting at the station at their peak, according to Ken Sazama, of Woodbourne Road.
He was one of a couple of people who found out where the arrested folks
were being taken, and spread the word they were going to the police station
to provide support and bail money, if needed. It wasn't needed, Sazama said.