Four days later, anti-mask protesters in Oregon filmed their confrontation with employees at a Trader Joe’s grocery store who wouldn’t let them enter the store unless they were wearing a mask. Their 8-minute video has since been viewed over 325,000 times. The Oregonian newspaper reports:
As other masked customers enter the store, the manager repeats that the protesters are welcome to shop too, as long as they wear masks. He says he is more than willing to talk to the group but isn’t interested in debating policy. Trader Joe’s nationwide policy requires customers to wear masks in stores.
“We’re not demonstrating, we’re buying groceries,” a protester says. “That’s why I’m here.” The manager says he is enforcing the store’s mask mandate. “It’s not a law. You cannot enforce non-law,” a protester says. “You cannot deny somebody the right to commerce.” The store manager appears to offer to shop for the protesters and bring out what they want.
Amid growing shouting, a woman says: “I need to buy groceries. I don’t know what I want until I go in and see it. The Civil Rights Act protects me to go in and shop like everybody else.”
Legal experts have told USA Today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not give people the right to shop without a mask.
The manager patiently explains to the protesters that “The difference you guys are trying to make isn’t going to made with us. It can made with your government.”
But soon one protester starts amplifying their voice with a bullhorn, while another continues filming the grocery store’s employees — zooming in on their name tags — and threatening, “I’m sorry that you’re not going to be able to let anyone else in, because we’re standing here.”
Another protester says “Right, that’s pretty much the only resolution. It’s either we get to shop, like free American citizens, right? Without being forced into wearing this mask, right…?”
They don’t appear to follow through on their threat to blockade entry into the store, but the manager continues talking to them throughout the video. And at one point he says calmly that “It’s disheartening that we can’t have any conversations any more… It’s really disheartening.
“It’s disheartening that people can’t just talk to one another.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.