Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Whole Foods apologizes for "miscommunication" of threat to arrest Westbard cemetery protesters

Protesters at the edge of
the Whole Foods shopping center
in Bethesda moments after police
informed them the store would
have them arrested if they set
 foot on the property
Protesters marching against plans Sunday to redevelop land in Bethesda where the desecration of an African-American cemetery has yet to be investigated were stunned to be informed that Whole Foods Market had threatened them with arrest if they set foot on their property. Yesterday, a representative of the organic grocery chain expressed horror at what she described as a "miscommunication."

"I am confident Store Leadership at our Bethesda store did not tell the group that 'anyone who set foot on the property would be arrested,'" Mary Ann Sack, Mid-Atlantic Executive Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods wrote to community members in an email obtained by Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row. "[W]e are all upset that somehow this message was communicated. We feel fortunate to be a part of the Westbard Bethesda community and value our relationships with the neighborhoods that surround the store. Whole Foods Market is genuinely invested in bringing together our community partners—so what happened on Sunday doesn’t sit right with us."

Sack said that the property owners make the ultimate decision on who can or cannot enter the property, not the store. She added that the store would consider donating food or flowers to a future Macedonia Baptist Church event, to demonstrate "we are 'kind and peaceful' neighbors."

Ancestors of the MBC congregation are among those buried in the cemetery.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

WF is a racist company with many anti-minority acts against them. It's time to boycott this grocer and bring them down. The competition they are facing in this market is getting fierce, soon they will be gone.

Anonymous said...

It's heartening to see Bethesda residents protesting in the streets- defying some really powerful forces (Planning Board, County Council and developer). #RiseUp

Robert Dyer said...

#Resist

Anonymous said...

Yes 8:00, those very brave residents of Bethesda have been beaten down by the man for years. It's about time they stood up to the powerful and for their rights!

Anonymous said...

My sense is that Bethesda residents don't feel like their voices are being heard. That's why we're seeing them protesting in the streets and voting for term limits.

Anonymous said...

Robert Dyer, the biggest Trump supporter in Montgomery County, types "#Resist", with a straight face?

That's really funny.

Anonymous said...

Whole Foods is doing poorly (closed some stores recently) but it's not due to any racism. They're simply too expensive and the major retailers now offer the same stuff (organic food).

It's the same reason the co-op store in Cabin John is nearly bankrupt -- you can buy that same stuff at Giant now, for less.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:04 AM -

"There’s an enormous difference in life between being busy and getting things done. And so far, Trump’s frenzy of activity hasn’t added up to very much." -Ezra Klein

Sounds just like Dyer. Dyer and Trump are soulmates.

Anonymous said...

Imagine the scene inside the Whole Foods: "Guard the white truffle oil! Seal off the property!"

Bethesdaguy said...

Perhaps they are simply a business owner that didn't want protesters harassing their customers or creating a scene. I'm not white by the way and grew up overseas.

SaveWestbard said...

Whole Foods did not even know that the protest was happening until it happened. They did not tell anyone that they would arrest protesters. Whole Foods was genuinely upset that those sentiments were attributed to them. I spoke directly to the store manager and to Ms. Sack. Whole Foods is a good neighbor and expressed genuine concern for Macedonia Baptist Church and its members.

Anonymous said...

I often disagree with Dyer on politics, but he's correct about Westbard. I join him in urging community members to #Resist.

Anonymous said...

@8:45: I agree. #RiseUp. #Resist.

The County isn't listening to residents on land use issues. It's time for change. And it's not just Bethesda. This issue is widespread throughout Montgomery County.

Anonymous said...

With respect to Westbard, the community has been disregarded.

Pre-Westbard, I viewed the Council and County government favorably.

Having seen the Planning Department, the Planning Board and the County Council blatantly ignore voters' views on Westbard, I no longer trust nor respect these bodies.

I suspect that the County's failure to listen to residents on land use issues was a factor in the adoption of term limits in November 2016,

Anonymous said...

I can't speak to corporate policy at Whole Foods, but I do appreciate Ms. Sack's apology. Ms. Sack has shown concern for the community, and I hope that the Macedonia Baptist Church will allow her to donate food or flowers for another event.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Westbard development. This temper tantrum has gone on long enough.

Anonymous said...

Little Barry can't let go
Planning a Bolshevik alinsky mob trained agitators one beat up a 71 yr old trump supporter in ca. Today http://canadafreepress.com/article/obamas-shadow-presidency

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I'm actually pretty confident the peace-loving, politically-correct hippies that work over at Whole Foods didn't tell anyone they'd be arrested either. FS

Anonymous said...

Looks like Whole Foods is on Dyer's naughty list (that's a good thing).