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Location: United States

5/18/2009

Psycho-Protest

I saw this craziness posted on a facebook group created by a handful of people that have decided to Take Offense at the Threat to Civilization : donuts. Among the many things that stand out:

  1. The claim that the donut shop was "violent"... but in what way? Because the also had a megaphone? Because they didn't want to the protesters sucking up their parking?
  2. The 60s was a long time ago; do you really need to start every chant with "Hey Hey Ho Ho" or by counting? Just sayin'
  3. What kinda weird Teamsters are doing to come out against a donut shop? If any show up, I don;t think they're real.
  4. California State Assembly Member Jim Beall is apparently taking advantage of his lack of any pending business. We can be thankful that this robust economy and out well-managed state budget afford him the leisure time to suck a bit of fun out of our lives.
  5. This silliness mirrors the broken political culture in which we live. They dug up "Cindi" who used to work for the donut shop and has complaints about how she was treated. Are the valid complaints? Who cares.... it's irrelevant to the "issue". In the Age of Obama, relevance doesn't matter... you just pick up any hammer yu find and start swinging. Yuck.

This morning, F.U.S.E (Friends United to Support Equality) conducted a peaceful, non-violent picket of Psycho Donuts. It was very successful:
. About 35 of us showed up representing many different organizations;
. We distributed over 200 flyers;
. While some people in cars heckled us, the large majority of people driving by honked in support and cheered for us;
. We were interviewed by NBC11's weekend morning anchor/reporter, Kris Sanchez and she had a film crew there filming the picket;
. California State Assembly Member Jim Beall showed up in support and brought Teamsters local 287 president, Bob Blanchett, with him. Mr Blanchett said he could possibly assist us in getting their members out to support us;
. An ex-employee of Psycho Donuts, Cyndi, showed up and joined us - she shared about the horrible conditions she had to work under and the inhumane way in which she was fired;
. The police showed up but left us alone.
. We chanted, "5-6-7-8, Psycho Donuts peddles hate," "Stigma costs lives," "Hey-hey, ho-ho, the straightjacket has got to go," and "Psycho Donuts has no shame, Psycho Donuts change your name."

The owners pulled out all the stops and stooped to an all-time low:
. They tried to have our cars towed, but none of us were parked in their lot;
. They sent representatives out at various times to yell and scream obscenities at us. One gentleman carrying a Psycho Donuts flag followed me calling me a "communist, nazi bitch."
. Another rep of the shop came out wearing a black jail suit and a hannibal lecter mask and chased us around with a bullhorn calling us "idiots" "PC police," "bullies," and all kind of other hateful things. For our part, we never called any of them names. We remained nonviolent in both action and word.
. They tried to antagonize us by screaming profanities at us while children were all around. I couldn't believe it. We just stayed quiet, held our signs, and continued to march...hopefully a much better example to the children there.
. One of the owners, Kipp, came out with a bullhorn and taunted, "Ours is bigger and louder than yours." He criticized our posters saying people couldn't read them, tried to get some of the picketers into an argument and tried to block our way, but we all remained calm and went around him (like water around a rock). We refused to retaliate and continued to educate.
. They sent out several youth wearing Obama tshirts who yelled at us that Obama would want us to talk, not picket. We explained that we had been asking for a month for a meeting with the owners to talk, but they refused. I wonder how the Obama camp would feel if his staff knew his name was being used to justify hatred and the perpetuation of stigma, stereotypes, and discrimination against people with disabilities. I almost wanted to stop and tell them that I am from Chicago, and actually the President would probably support us because he is a seasoned community organizer and knows the power of nonviolent, peaceful protest.
. Toward the end, the owners brought out boxes of free donuts. Some of our folks were a little upset by this at first, but I reminded them that every donut they gave away for free cut into their profits.

They exhibited the very disregard for humanity that we were there protesting, so it really worked in our favor. But it was quite upsetting to have them yelling at us and rattled many of us. But we prevailed, had a good time exercising our constitutional rights, and got to know a lot of new people. If I've left anything out, for those of you who were there, please feel free to add anything.

Given the owners violent tactics, we really need more people out supporting us tomorrow. PLEASE, if you can, come out and hold a sign for an hour. We'll be there from 8:30 - 10:30 am at 2006 Winchester Boulevard in Campbell.

In solidarity,

Sarah

Sarah Triano
Executive Director
Silicon Valley Independent Living Center
2306 Zanker Road
San Jose,

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