March on Trader Joe’s Headquarters Monrovia, CA October 21, 2011


Those who follow this site know that photo reports are usually accompanied by extensive commentary providing context for the photos and a narrative of the day’s action. But for the March on Trader Joe’s headquarters last Friday, we have so many great pictures, and the pictures do such a great job telling the story, that we are going to go heavy on pictures and light on commentary. Just this once…


The march was preceded by what was surely the largest picket the quiet town of Monrovia had ever seen, under the trees in front of a busy mall that housed a Trader Joe’s…


The picket wrapped up with a brief rally…

… which ended with the CIW’s Darinel Sales (carrying a loaded bucket of tomatoes, which would be carried Olympic-torch-style, passed from person to person along the entire route of the march) leading the march from the road into the mall parking lot…

… where it wound around in a seemingly endless procession…

… passed in front of the Trader Joe’s…


… and finally made its way back out of the lot and onto the main commercial strip of Monrovia…
… where it stretched as far as the eye could see on its way to Trader Joe’s headquarters.

The march — 400 strong — bristled with energy…

Home-made signs were everywhere…

… and captured perfectly the marchers’ sincere disappointment.

While the bucket made its way, marcher…

… by marcher…

…. by marcher…

… along the entire route

… before finally reaching its destination, Trader Joe’s corporate headquarters.

Marchers gathered in the street outside the headquarters…

… were led in prayer…

… and reflection by local religious leaders…

… of many faiths…

Rabbis’ letter to Trader Joe’s, signed by over 100 rabbis from around the country…

A delegation made its way to the front door of Trader Joe’s headquarters…

… to deliver the clergy letters…

… the crowd shouted support, “Let them in!”…

… but gentle persuasion left Trader Joe’s security unmoved, and, as no one came to speak to the delegation from the company, …

… the clergy were left with no other choice but to leave the letters, posted to the door so they could be read from inside the office.

The rally wrapped up with a bit of popular theater, workers from Immokalee confronting a double-sided Trader Joe’s, one side (right) a smiling, Hawaiian-shirted, customer-friendly face, the other (left) a bottom-line business man with no interest in dealing with farmworkers asking for justice and respect from the companies that purchase the tomatoes they pick…

… and no time for niceties, either.

No rally would be complete. of course, without…

… music.


… but we’ll let this sign have the last word.

Stay tuned for more action in Monrovia in the coming months, as the Campaign for Fair Food moves toward a massive spring protest in Trader Joe’s backyard!

 

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