Whittier Activists Protest Unfair Treatment by Stater Bros

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Last weekend we chanced upon this small collection of protest signs against Stater Bros Market in Whittier, so we stopped to find out some details. Basically, if you look poor or “different”, then you might get harassed. Something many of us already know but I think it’s worth some attention.

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According to Steve Alvis of an advocacy group known as HIPPS, this is what happened: on September 24, 2008 Ralf Field, a man that looks different because of some facial tattoos, was using the public restroom at the Stater Bros Market. Even though he is a regular customer, store employees pegged him as a shoplifter and started demanding he leave the restroom. But instead of waiting, they used a key to unlock the restroom, barged in on him and proceeded to wrestle him to the ground via a chokehold. When the Whittier Police showed up, they found no stolen merchandise on Ralf and was let go. Despite that, he was “banned” from the store. Or so I’m told.

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What do you do when you get unfair treatment from a public place that should treat all people with respect? This group decided to call attention to the situation.  At first they just wanted an apology, now they’re fighting to get Stater Bros to retrain their employees so that they don’t needlessly tackle customers. They plan on being there again tomorrow, Saturday March 7 at around 10 am, where they expect a much bigger crowd. One of the protesters mentioned that there is a homeless community around this area, so this sort of selective harassment  against “different” looking people seems to be aimed at them.

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If you’re in the area tomorrow, stop by and say Hi. They could use the support.

On Whittier and Sorenson Blvd.

4 thoughts on “Whittier Activists Protest Unfair Treatment by Stater Bros

  1. AMEN,folks…WWWWWOWWWWWWWWW,yippy,this article is perfect,I approached my our very own “Whittier Daily News”and i cant say for certain but it appears they will take the “Big Business”side over a citizens,i do understand that as of now they desire to remain bias more on stater bros side,considering all the revenue this market brings in our lil town,but sometimes ya just gotta do whats right,and you guys are sure “right on”thanx so much i sincerely look forward to reading and visiting your much needed web site “LA EASTSIDE”rules………sincerly Steven Troy Alvis.

  2. I like the real hand made signs. In general no one makes real hand made signs anymore. Everyone gets out of work graphic designer ad people to make their protest signs. They are all glossy and beautiful. Protest signs almost seem too beautiful now, but not in a political beautiful way like Atelier Populaire group, but in this really bland generic way with maybe a bit of cleverness thrown in (and I mean the UK definition of clever.)

    Nice to see the community standing up for the people who look different.

    Browne

  3. damn that sucks..i only been in that store once last year and i don’t even live in the area..from Montebello here.
    I mean please they are not even located in the “nice” part of Whittier, if i recall correctly there is a trailer park next door (?) and use to be a county facility for “troubled kids” across the street and now the city is trying to redevelop that large parcel into commercial/retail.

    Discrimination of any kind is not acceptable period!

    I hope that “karma” does not bite Stater Bros in the ass, as in sales go down and employees are let go or even “universe for bid” the store closes.

    Some of those same employees might become homeless or appear less than conforming as to what society calls “normal”.

    – i miss Skateland 🙂

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