After hitting a minor lull, the controversy surrounding the opening of a new Whole Foods store in the Hyde Square section of Jamaica Plain in Boston has bubbled up again, and social media continues to play a major role in how different messages are being communicated.
The Jamaica Plain Patch reported today that more anti-Whole Foods banners were hung on a billboard in JP.
Another banner in Spanish also appeared:
The banners were making a reference to the Facebook page of JP for All, a site that is promoting diversity in JP businesses and economic growth for the neighborhood. The site has been organizing a petition drive to all of Boston’s political leaders who have interest in the issue. Earlier today, it posted the following:
We are closing in on 400 declared City of Boston supporters of a JP for All. Keep up the momentum. It would be incredible if we could hit the 500 mark before our first signature gathering event on April 9th! Keep passing along the link and/or the downloadable petition to your City of Boston friends and family.
In the meantime, the anti-Whole Foods organization called Whose Foods? has issued an email about their activities:
Friends and neighbors,
We’re excited to share some updates with you and to let you know of ways you can plug into working for an affordable and diverse JP this week! In this email, you’ll find:
1. Rally this Saturday, April 2! Join us!
2. Outreach this week
3. JP Neighborhood Council meeting tomorrow night
4. Vision for alternatives meeting
5. JP residents’ visit to Whole Foods regional headquarters last week
1. RALLY THIS SATURDAY: Celebrate JP’s Diversity & Protect it Now
We will rally and march to celebrate JP’s diversity this Saturday, April 2. Meet us in Mozart Park at 3 PM, where we’ll have food to share, a DJ, activities for kids and more! By 4 PM, we’ll leave the park on a march to the former Hi-Lo space, where we’ll hold another short rally. Please join us!
… And please help us create a strong event. We need your help this week!
2. OUTREACH this week
Petition gathering & flyering:
Groups of folks are meeting up at Jackson Square T station this week to petition and pass out flyers. Please join us! Email email@example.com with any questions.
• Monday 5:30-6:30pm
• Tuesday: Sign up to coordinate! firstname.lastname@example.org
• Wednesday 12:00-2:00pm
• Thursday 4:30pm
• Friday: Sign up to coordinate! email@example.com
Phone banking to turn out people to the rally:
We’re calling everybody on our list to turn out folks! Food will be provided. Spanish speakers needed!
Thursday 6-8pm – email Cheryl at CDeSanctis47@gmail.com
Friday 6-8pm – email Ximena at firstname.lastname@example.org for location details
3. JP Neighborhood Council Meeting
Tomorrow, Tuesday, March 29 at 7 PMAt First Baptist on Centre Street, next to the Post Office
The JPNC will meet for their regular monthly meeting tomorrow night, March 29. On their agenda will be the role of the new Whole Foods Ad-Hoc Committee. It would be great to have supporters attend the meeting to let the JPNC know we support their work for an affordable and diverse neighborhood, and that support for that vision is growing.
4. Vision for alternatives meeting:
People will be meeting to explore alternatives for 415 Centre St. If you are excited about exploring alternatives, you should get involved!
Tuesday 3/29 at 6 PM in Hyde Square. Email Ximena at email@example.com for location information
In case you missed the news, last week a dozen JP residents delivered our first 1,000 petition signatures to the Whole Foods regional headquarters in Cambridge. Last week each member of the Whole Foods Board of Directors also received a packet of information that included media coverage of our work and copies of our first 1,000 petition signatures. Check out photos and video of the petition delivery and news coverage from the Metro, Boston.com, and the JP Patch. (Please take a minute to leave a positive comment on those news pages while you’re there!)
This coalition is a group of all-volunteer JP residents and friends that came together in early February with shared concerns about Hi-Lo’s closing and the news of Whole Foods entrance to JP. Thanks to your work and support, in just over a month we’ve managed to gather over 1,000 petition signatures, deliver those petitions to Whole Foods Regional Headquarters, meet with our elected officials, talk to thousands of our neighbors, turn out hundreds of residents to JP Neighborhood Council meetings and support them in their stance for an equitable JP, and create a base of support for an affordable and diverse JP, one that is stronger without Whole Foods.
The Patch also wrote about a flyer in Spanish that is appearing in the neighborhood, encouraging people to attend the Whose Foods? rally on Saturday. The translation of the flyer reads as follows:
OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IS IN DANGER
Organizations and individuals from JP and beyond, motivated by greed, are manipulating a plan that will raise rents by up to 20% for EVERYONE in the Hyde Square area, this means that a war against the working class and especially against ALL the minorities that have lived here for such a long time, who have invested a lot of work in having a Community where Diversity is what UNITES us!
COME ATTEND THIS IMPORTANT MEETING WHERE YOU WILL RECEIVE MORE INFORMATION!
The Patch did confirm on its Facebook site that this flyer was not authorized by Whose Foods? nor does it represent Whose Foods?