Vegan Activists Pay Mayday Eve Visit to Local Eatery
On Mayday Eve, April 30th, protesters gathered in front of a trendy vegan restaurant in Santa Monica. Armed with picket signs, hot burritos and a big bowl of salad, they set up on the sidewalk near the restaurant. The produce was donated by local farmers.
Signs read "Organic Vegan Food Shoudn't Be For the Rich", "High Priced Healthy Food is War on the Poor", and "Organic Food Isn't Hip - It's Our Right".
Protesters said they picked the location because of its proximity to the Promenade and the fact that there are many homeless people in the area who could appreciate some healthy food. Also, they felt that the restaurant's prices were exorbitantly high.
Hungry people passed by and were invited to eat organic vegan food for free. A night-time picnic formed. From inside, diners watched the picket signs go back and forth.
The spectacle received mixed reactions. Some of the customers were angry.
Many of them were very encouraging, and got a kick out of the signs. Lots of people engaged in dialogue with the protesters.
A young woman walked out of the restaurant. She said she had done years of protesting, and she couldn't understand why people were targeting a place that was doing good work and exposing veganism to the world.
A man said that the restaurant had to make a profit. "Wouldn't it be great if one day there were one of these restaurants on every block?" he asked. A protester pointed down to the free food set up on the sidewalk and smiled.. "Wouldn't it be great if there was one of these on every block?"
The event was brief - the last burrito was served minutes after the first one was served, as there were many takers. Then the diners behind the polished glass walls were left to sign their credit card slips in peace.