Thursday, May 5, 2016

May Day in Santa Cruz Sees Visits to the Boardwalk and New Leaf Market

International Workers Day was honored on May 1 in Santa Cruz with a march in support of two food justice issues of particular concern locally: the international boycott of Driscoll's, which is headquartered in Watsonville, and the fight to preserve the Beach Flats Community Garden.

Marching down Pacific Avenue

The march began at Santa Cruz City Hall and made its way to the downtown New Leaf Market, where a large group of demonstrators entered the popular natural foods store. Inside the market, a letter signed by community members was delivered to the business asking them to honor the Driscoll's boycott and to stop selling the brand's berries.

From New Leaf, community members marched to the Beach Flats Community, and then on to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, where gardeners and community members delivered a letter to the Seaside Company asking that the business work with the city to preserve the entire Beach Flats Garden for the gardeners. On April 26, the Santa Cruz City Council formalized a lease agreement with the Santa Cruz Seaside Company that only preserves 60% of the garden for public use for three years.

After leaving the Seaside office, the march ran parallel to the Boardwalk down Beach Street to the wharf, before ultimately returning to the Beach Flats Garden for snacks. Jardíneros spoke at a number of locations along the march route, and in addition to the greater community, there was strong support from UC Santa Cruz students.

Gathering outside of New Leaf Market

Inside New Leaf

Marching next to the Beach Flats Garden

Marching to the Boardwalk and the Seaside Company office

An officer with the SCPD followed the group to the Boardwalk

Rallying in the Beach Flats before delivering the letter to the Seaside Company

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Delivering the letter to the Seaside Company

Inside the guest services office

Marching at the Boardwalk

Beach Street

Marching to the wharf

Speakers were heard on the wharf

The march returns to the Beach Flats Garden

Spring in the Beach Flats Garden

The newly configured Beach Flats Garden. The City of Santa Cruz bulldozed 40% of the garden and installed an orange fence to mark the area the Seaside Company (the owner of the property) intends to take back.

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