Members of Occupy San Jose staged a bit political theater for several minutes during the Tuesday lunch hour in the middle of .
Shouting "Mic check! Mic check!" Joseph Antonelli Rosas Jr. suddenly launched into a long address in front of the checkout stands, contending Whole Foods had acted to dismantle unions in San Francisco and Madison, Wisconsin, and was part of the industrialization of an area that was once dominated by small-scale growers and natural foods businesses.
If you are paying a premium
for the organic kale
in your shopping cart today
then Whole Foods
can afford to pay their workers more
About ten people, who initially looked like shoppers, but were members of Occupy San Jose, repeated in unison each sentence that Rosas read, for emphasis. It sounded a bit like call-and-response.
"I felt like I was in church," quipped one man to another in the checkout line.
It was part of a day of events around the Bay Area and the country. On the Peninsula, there were events in , Redwood City and .
At Whole Foods Los Altos, some shoppers stopped in their tracks to listen, people lunching on the deli food paused to record it on their phones. Checkers continued transactions at the cash registers. After a few minutes, one man attempted stop Rosas, prompting Occupy members to call out, "Leave him alone." The man's female companion pushed him out of the store.
Rosas urged shoppers to choose farmers market produce and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscriptions over Whole Foods' organic "365" brand. And, he gave out the phone number for Whole Foods' world headquarters and urged shoppers to leave a message for the company to support workers rights, family farms and small businesses.
And then, just like that, it was over.
"We'll be back," they chanted, as they walked out the door.