VIDEO: Protestors invade Cliff’s Variety Store
Store employees at Cliff’s Variety had a heck of a time kicking out protestors December 24th according to a video recorded by YouTuber and local videographer Peter Menchini.
In the video a group of 12 or so folks take over the accessories aisle where the product SodaStream is located. The protestors, with jingle bells in hand, then sang their own rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with lyrics that criticized Cliff’s for selling the product and calling for it’s removal from the shelves.
Googling for “Soda Stream controversy” returned a Wikipedia article on Soda Stream that notes,
“Sodastream has been criticized for operating a manufacturing plant on land in the West Bank by the Israeli non-governmental organizations Coalition of Women for Peace and Peace Now, as well as other human rights organizations.”
According to critics, SodaStream misleads consumers by marketing its devices and bottles under a ‘Made in Israel’ label when the devices are actually made in disputed territories in the West Bank.
After the song, store employees asked the protestors to leave the store, which they did not. Store employees then began yelling and using physical force to get the protestors out of the store. It is not clear if Cliff’s had called the police to handle the situation. According to the YouTube video description, videographer Menchini’s camera was grabbed from his hand and he was cut in the process. Dov Baum, one of the protestors, indicated that 3 other protestors filed assault complaints with the SF Police Department. He also indicated that the group had approached Cliff’s about the product in the past only to have Cliff’s move it to the front-window display. Baum has organized a “Vigil” outside Cliff’s on Friday at noon where they will protest Cliff’s for carrying the product and let shoppers know about where the product is made.