Police Arrest Three Persons, Shut Down Whole Foods "Town Hall" Meeting

Police shut down the meeting after two incidents involving banners being held by people who oppose Whole Foods coming to Jamaica Plain.

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.

Reed Miller June 08, 2011 at 02:44 PM
@jack weiland, briefly before you leave this thread (after my gender was attacked but apparently and unfortunately not in protest of that ugly tactic): why do you want a whole foods in JP?
Peter June 08, 2011 at 03:01 PM
How do I block these emails? Good grief, enough is enough.
Chris Helms (Editor) June 08, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Hi Peter, I posted how to do that just above here in this thread. Thanks!
Jack Weiland June 08, 2011 at 03:13 PM
Nobody attacked your gender. In fact a few people said it was great. It takes a lot of courage and it's not an easy situation. Wocket attacked your character as a person, not a transgender person. Reading comprehension is not your friend. Never has been. It's kind of ridiculous that NOW you want to make this an adult conversation. People have made points on a number of threads stating what it is they like about a Whole Foods coming to town. You ignored them then, and can't be shocked that they don't want to play your games now. I'll give you one last comment, and then I'm done (as I've told you now TWICE already): 1. My main goal in commenting in the first place was to find out what facts or underlying economic study is supporting the anti-WF platform. I was surprised there wasn't a page devoted to this on the Whose Foods web site. I was saddened to find there is no factual basis for the claims made by you and others. These include the ones you just made above: "-you are a landlord excited about raising tenants' rent, business and/or residential -you are a homeowner excited about increased property values -you want to see a store at the former Hi-Lo, and although Whole Foods has projected it will be profitable, have zero confidence that any other business there possibly could be" There's no factual basis for these claims. Or at least no one has provided one. No evidence that property values will increase. No evidence that another business would have moved in.
Jack Weiland June 08, 2011 at 03:13 PM
(CONTD) Furthermore, I've never said that I support a WF moving to JP. I wanted to gather facts from both sides before I mulled it over. As such, the anti-WF people have given me absolutely nothing to work with. Specious arguments, hearsay, illogical statements and dismissive vitriol (not that this isn't present on both sides, but from my viewpoint it's most prominent on the anti-WF agenda). On the contrary, I think there are some real positives about a WF moving to JP. These include: - 100 jobs in Hyde Square starting at 25% more than minimum wage, many of which will go to youth in the area that DESPERATELY need the money and place to go after school - great access to fresh, local produce - a company that actually gives a hoot about its customers (most companies would have told you to pound sand when asked to hold a community meeting for private business deal that was 100% legal) - healthier food for the Curley School - 5% profit days donated to local charities in Hyde Square - filling what would be otherwise a vacant store front on a block that already has two others
Jack Weiland June 08, 2011 at 03:13 PM
(CONTD AGAIN) I think the way you argue is shameful. I think the way you and your fellow Whose Fooders have hijacked the community discussion in favor of running a business out of town with precious little factual support in your favor is shameful. I think the fact that you seem to have no problem with Rent-A-Center is shameful. I think the fact that you don't seem to be this passionate about the youth violence issue in Hyde Square and JP at large is shameful. I think you need to take a good long look in the mirror and think about who you are really helping, and what you are really contributing to this community. You are hurting more than you're helping. By a wide margin. Now please leave me alone.
Tess Pope June 08, 2011 at 03:14 PM
"... The poor will be with you always". It is not a sin to be poor, nor is poverty in and of itself oppression or oppressing. There are many who find freedom in poverty. There are many who are imprisoned by their wealth. I have experienced bullying because I am female, because I am a parent, because of the hue of my skin, because of my religious beliefs, because I have yellow hair... And on and on. No one is outside the reach of someone elses bullying. And no one gets to say "I am more a victim than you are" - I have been assaulted to the point of hospitalization, but I am no victim, no 'survivor'. I will not draw the circle close around me and say 'no one else can enter'. I suffer daily, second by second, the greatest loss a parent can grieve. Still, I am no victim, no more a 'survivor' than any other human I share this earth with. Shame on you for your rhetoric, Reed. I believe in individual liberation. We all have the ability to remove the shackles that bind us, and no one else can remove them for us. "Humility is endless" Reed. Embrace it and learn.
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 03:55 PM
Jack - Brilliant. We all await rational, 3rd party fact based responses to your, and dozens of other fair questions. E.G. the census data shows that the Hispanic population (sadly) is down by 1,000 from 2000 to 2010, I do not know the drop from 1990 to 2000. U S census data = facts. 1,000 fewer people does not make it possible to keep a 16,000 square foot super market operating, so the hi-lo corporation ( a large international conglomerate that master leased the space from the Knapp corporation) was losing $ each month and their food was rotting on the shelves from the much slower turnover. So of course with that EVIDENCE, AKA FACT, the Knapps would not partner with another lessee that focused on Hispanic foods since the hi lo corporation clearly showed that their U S census data evidenced analysis would no longer enable them to meet their lease obligations, why would the Knapp corporation run the risk of another lessee focusing on the very same demographic that is dropping in numbers? If hi lo went out of business because the Hispanic population is no longer large enough to support 16,000 square feet, what other Hispanic foods vendor would even want to run that risk? Opening up shop with a business model of selling to a population that is moving away? hmmm .. doesn't make sense to me ...
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 04:06 PM
In none of these "alternatives" did any of the Whose Rood folks, finish their sentence with .. an alternative acceptable to the Knapp Corporation. No where is the Knapp's private ownership of that building acknowledged. And no where is the REALLY simple FACT that the Knapps are clearly quite indifferent to their properties standing vacant - zero rent for them, zero jobs for their communities. None of the Whose Rood folks have ever acknowledged that the Knapps own a much larger vacant store on route 9 in Chestnut Hill! So they are forfeiting far more rent each month than they would be here - and are clearly indifferent. Vacant in Chestnut Hill! Zero jobs - and the Whose Roods for some bizarre reason are unable to acknowledge the possibility of whatever % that could our reality - as if vacant would not happen - 0% chance - they have never once acknowledged vacancy/zero jobs as a possibility - and some of them are very very intelligent- with graduate degrees - it is amazing, truly that they have never once said, "We do clearly understand, that the Knapp corporation could freely choose to keep the store vacant for 10 years as they have in Chestnut Hill and that would mean zero jobs for 10 years in Hyde Square, but, we feel, it is more important on principle because .... "
Reed Miller June 08, 2011 at 04:29 PM
@jack Weiland: thank you for clearly stating your points. One quick favor, I'm not going to reply to Tess today; I've got a lot to say tomorrow. But I would love you to please quote the multiple (pro-WF?) trans allies in this thread you mentioned, that would be really supportive. I did better in math than verbal on the GRE, so I accept your critique of my reading comprehension abilities. Please enlighten me how wocket implying that I am gender queer us an attack on my personality, and not my gender. there is nothing wrong with self-identifying as gender queer; there is everything wrong with a stranger assigning me a new gender. For example, if someone said "jack, you are gender queer". That says nothing about your personality, just says the speaker acted like an ignorant bigot. Please correct me; I'd prefer it if my gender actually wasn't attacked.
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Reed, can you answer my question above?
Matt June 08, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Reed, at which point did I direct that at you. Was it in direct reply to you? (no). Did I even use your name? (no) Are you burdening yourself with some perceived insult because you seem to have some sort of martyr complex? (apparently). But it illustrates wonderfully how quickly everything becomes about you. Typical of what I've seen from WhoseFooders.
Reed Miller June 08, 2011 at 04:59 PM
@wocket: at 7:51am you stated it was directed at me. Case closed.
Matt June 08, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Odd, I re-read that and the word gender doesn't even appear.
Bob from JP June 08, 2011 at 05:19 PM
Cant believe I'm going to waste any more time on this but here goes..... "And, I'm going to hazard a guess that no one really cares that you are trans. You're not oppressed,people probably just genuinely dislike you no matter what you're genitalia." "Actually I was attacking your personalty, but you WhoseFood folks are always twisting the facts!" How these 2 statement can be construed as "attacking" your gender is beyond me. As someone mentioned, the whole reading comprehension thing doesn't seem to be your strongsuit.
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 05:27 PM
I only care that Reed wont answer a simple question. I am starting to believe Reed is not able to answer a simple question. That or that Reed is unable to critically analyze objective fact based data and draw a logical, rational conclusion that would stand up to the scientific method in an environment of 3rd party unbiased scientists with no vested interest of any kind in the outcome.
ctp June 08, 2011 at 06:10 PM
I'm sure Reed can do these things, having attended MIT. One doesn't get in there without being able to handle the scientific method, after all. Why he is choosing to ignore it now is an interesting question. Side question: I've been told that the polite thing to do with regard to past tense with transgendered individuals is to ask what gender the person would prefer to have been known as, as it is a personal choice and potentially confusing for all involved. So Reed, would you rather we said "he attended MIT" or "she attended MIT" when talking about events that (presumably) predated the changes you've undergone?
Bob from JP June 08, 2011 at 06:29 PM
@ Pragmatist No one at Whose Foods has ever been able to answer anything of substance. It's all just nonsensical ranting, ideological fantasy and theoretical musings that have absolutely no application in the real world.
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 06:44 PM
There is no way Reed attended M I T. If Reed had, Reed would be able to answer all of my and others questions. The fact that Reed is unwilling, unable or unwhatever proves that Reed did not attend M I T. A mumbo jumbo circular reply will only further prove that Reed did not attend MIT. If Reed wants to prove it, Reed can answer rational scientific quantifiable questions, with rational quantifiable answers that could be submitted to any of Reed's MIT professor's. Reed may have attended Harvard - they LOVE Reed's brand of socialism over there. In fact, that's where we got all our socialists - from Cambridge. After the Cantabridgians got pragmatic in the 80's / 90's and there was no longer a big port in the former people's republic of Cambridge for socialism, they all jumped the river and came here - gee - aren't we lucky? !
Tess Pope June 08, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Well... http://web.mit.edu/watsan/Docs/Student%20Reports/Ghana/Ghana%20Group%20PPS-%20FINAL%205-22-10.pdf He did go to MIT. Doesn't explain the sloppy thinking, or math errors, but perhaps the lack of humility? But then, the Koch bros. went to Harvard and MIT and just look at how their ideals and zeal are playing out in the modern world.
Reed Miller June 08, 2011 at 07:25 PM
@jp pragmatist and ctb, I'm just waiting for you to answer my simple question of 3 reasons you support whole foods; seems fair. @ctb, I'll address your question tomorrow when I reply to Tess about what it means to be a trans ally. @wocket, if jack weiland convinces me that you didn't attack my gender, fine. Otherwise your comment at 12:45pm remains pathetic (it stated that I had no proof your gender queer comment was directed at me, and then when I pointed you to your own follow-up statement proving it indeed was directed at me, now you want me to forget all about the first one which did reference my gender! I'm not THAT dense.) I deserve a sincere apology, and then I'll get back to discussing the issues at hand. You threw us off course, and owe everyone an apology at least for that.
ctp June 08, 2011 at 07:59 PM
I've already responded to you. Go back and read. It might help if you get my handle right when you search. It's not like I've made a habit of calling you Reem or Reef or something. As far as giving you a full point-by-point breakdown: I'm not your trained monkey, Reed, and I know your type anyway. Once someone gives you what you want, you'll just move the goalposts and moan further about how no one's taking you seriously. And last, how hard is it to answer a simple question: would you prefer if we refer to you as "he" or "she" in the past tense? I'm not asking this to be offensive or lay a trap; it's a standard, polite question to ask someone who's transgendered. Can't you just give a straight answer even to an A-or-B kind of question?
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Reed, I have answered, several times. I am indifferent WHAT goes in there. I do not want 10 years of vacancy. I DO want 100 jobs for Hyde sq, 50 or so of which will be/can be viewed as profoundly important youth jobs . I agree, Whole Foods is nutty expensive. But that does not mean they do not belong there. It is the Knapp's private right and the Whole Foods' private right to give it a try and see if they can succeed. It is the consumer's right to have access to their goods and services within the walking radius of their homes. You, however Reed, have not answered any of several fair and reasonable questions - and I do not expect you to, any longer. I think more and more you just enjoy the folly of playing mind games. You had my respect - you are about to lose it. I doubt you care.
Tess Pope June 08, 2011 at 08:16 PM
Reed. Please do not tell me what it means "to be a trans ally". I do not care for your labels, nor your view of ethics, nor the way I see how you treat people. If you read any of the material I directed you towards in an earlier post you would know that I find anything added to "treat people right" to be unnecessary. I do not care for neologisms like cisgender, etc. Just more boxes to try to control your view of the world. I look at a person, I see a person. Not skin tone, hair texture, gender, age... I see a person. I observe how that person treats other people. That is enough for me. I abhor a victim, 'poor me' mentality. I judge activism by it's pragmatism and efficacy, and most of all, by the tactics employed. You have never once responded to my queries regarding the teaching of "escalating pressure" to adolescents, but claim some kind of pre-eminent importance to the answering of your own questions. It is smug. It is hubristic. It lacks humility. I think, like Jack, it could well be time to " shake the dust from my feet" and withdraw from further discussion with you. Only you. I've met many other wonderful neighbors on this site and in this thread, and continue to enjoy and find insight through their comments. WhoseFoods and French Fries, you crack me up!!!
Matt June 08, 2011 at 08:17 PM
It's pretty clear you are that dense. I don't plan on apologizing to someone who is committed to being a victim. And if that lack of an apology keeps you from this topic at hand, then I'd say to the other posters here - you're welcome, but there is no need to thank me.
Michael Halle June 08, 2011 at 08:21 PM
I think at some point, the Patch editors or contributors must consider when it's appropriate to close off articles to additional comments after a certain amount of time or at a certain point in the conversation. I'm a great proponent of discussion and exchange, but this comment thread is no longer referencing anything particular in the article to which it is attached. It's mostly devolved into a discussion forum with back and forth amongst a handful of people. In the past couple days, almost every on-topic post has involved a rehashing of people's previously stated opinions, which if someone were truly interested in could be read by clicking on the poster's name and reading all their comments to all articles. And the percentage of off-topic posts it rising rapidly, and I would say not in a particularly useful way. In this example, the sheer volume of comments is becoming a real barrier for anyone who intends to extract useful information or engage in constructive conversation. It's made worse by the fact that email updates by default go out to all past contributors, and the "opt out" option isn't easy to find. If a particular article's comments are closed, anyone could revive the discussion anew (for better or worse) by writing a letter to the editor or authoring a local blog entry. People could also consider moving to one of the more forum-friendly venues such as facebook or neighbors for neighbors.
WhoseFoods June 08, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Not sure what you find so amusing about community activism Tess. BTW... JP East had quote which we are TOTALLY going to have our artist friends screen print on to some shirts! Though some members of the group were talking at the Feelings+Dreams Summit we held and they felt that blue was too patriarchal and only enforced the dominant and oppressive heteronormative paradigm, so I think we may be going with aubergine. "What is genuine is proved in the fire, what is false we shall not miss in our ranks. The opponents must grant us that youth has never before flocked to our colours in such numbers, ... in the end, one will be found among us who will prove that the sword of enthusiasm is just as good as the sword of genius."
Tess Pope June 08, 2011 at 08:38 PM
oh, oh, oh, WhoseFood! Who ARE you? Take off the mask. I think I llluuuurrrrrvvve you! And so does Ken. Ohhhh, Kinky. What would be the neologism for that????
JP Pragmatist June 08, 2011 at 08:39 PM
Good point Michael - although, we do not want to stifle speech no matter how whacky!
Chris Helms (Editor) June 08, 2011 at 08:49 PM
As editor of the site, I agree that Michael has a good point. So I'm going to put this thread in "time-out" for a day or two, so everyone can gather their metaphorical breaths. Thanks for participating, everyone. Everyone is of course welcome to write a letter to the editor or start blogging here on Patch. I'm at chrish@patch.com for further details.


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