SAN FRANCISCO: Anti-Israel Protest Brings Turmoil To Castro Shop
On Friday the Bay Area Reporter discussed a Christmas Eve protest at Cliff's Variety, which is arguably the most beloved retailer in the Castro.
A small but spirited group of demonstrators held informational pickets outside Cliff's Variety on Castro Street last week after some of them were forcibly removed by employees for loudly protesting inside the store on Christmas Eve. The cause of the dispute is an at-home soda machine, Sodastream, which is manufactured in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank that is disputed by the Palestinians.Similar protests have been held by Code Pink at Bed, Bath & Beyond. The above-linked reports notes that a follow-up vigil staged outside of Cliff's several days later resulted in verbal taunting from supporters of the store. Below is video taken inside of Cliff's on Christmas Eve. As of yet, no charges have been filed against anyone.
Some of the protesters filed assault complaints with San Francisco police after the incident. They and others distributed literature to passersby in front of Cliff's December 26 and 28 about the Christmas Eve flash mob while the store's manager said that a protester also hit one of their staff and pushed a stroller-pushing customer. Store manager Terry Asten Bennett said her staff wasn't "emotionally or mentally prepared" for the two-minute adaptation of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" December 24.