Update: Bloomington Farmers Market Discord
by Tim J. Clark
Updated Sep 25, 2019.
Background. The controversy with the Bloomington Farmers Market started in Nashville. A summary of the issues provided in my post: Discord in the Community …
Indiana Public Media WTIU/WFIU. Officials: We Changed Demonstration Rules Because Of Farmers’ Market Protests by Emma Atkinson., Sept 24, 2019.
The article includes misleading statements. It associates Sarah Dye – an owner of Schooner Creek Farms, with the American Identity Movement (AIM), which has been labeled a white supremacist organization. The AIM website includes the following statement: “AIM prohibits the advocacy of or participation in supremacy, violence, or illegal activity. We reject extremism of any stripe.” Where is the proof that the AIM statement is false?
The article also references an article by NBC News and included the following statement: “This week, the Department of Homeland Security added white supremacy to its list of priority threats.” The complete reference included the following statement: “For the first time since it was formed after the 9/11 attacks, the Department of Homeland Security is adding white supremacist violence (emphasis mine) to its list of priority threats in a revised counterterrorism strategy issued Friday.”
Acts of violence are a criminal violation. Does the article lead readers to infer that the owners of SCF are involved in or are likely to be involved in criminal activities?
Where are the facts that the owners of SCF have successfully participated in the market for 9 years, have followed the rules and have treated customers with respect? Where is the story that vendors at the Market can be now discriminated against (with the support of the city) for exercising their first amendment rights?
- Protester and local reverend Forrest Gilmore says the group was asked to move and refused.
- “We were asked to stop, yes,” he says. “We were not informed of any rules that we were violating, but we were asked to stop, and we politely said no.”
- Market Coordinator Marcia Veldman says, despite the rules, she made the decision to not involve the police on Saturday.References:
- Indiana Public Media WTIU/WFIU Demonstrators Protest, Refuse To Move From Front Of Schooner Creek Farm’s Market Stand By Tyler Lake and Emma Atkinson Posted September 21, 2019 Facebook post of the article
- Note that a protestor was previously arrested on Saturday, July 27 for Criminal Trespass.
Another perspective on journalistic standards described by Laura Lane, (Bloomington) Herald-Times in her Aug 3, 2019 Commentary: “Don’t forget the First Amendment.”
- We have reviewed court documents, emails, videos and recordings that so many claim is proof that the owners of Schooner Creek Farm are white supremacists. Direct evidence, it isn’t there.
- When a news organization publishes a false statement that damages a person’s reputation, that’s libel. I make sure, just about every day, to not libel anyone. Not just because I could be sued, but because it’s important that the information we report be accurate. We cannot and do not print accusations that can’t backed up with tangible stand-up-in-court proof.