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Supermarket Week of Action 10/26-11/02/2002: Testimonials From Leafleting Events

South Kingstown, RI

We leafleted on Sunday, oct 28, from 12 - 3 in South Kingstown, RI. Most of the people were from clean water action. They set up a table right outside Shaw's on their private sidewalk and were told to move, then threatened. We then handed out fliers at the entrance way and many people took fliers. Not time to sign petitions since they were driving, so I did petitions at unitarian church and food coop. We didn't hand out the greenpeace cards. Did hand out some postcards to shaws pres.

Montpelier, VT

My experience at Shaws on Sunday, October 27 at noon was fantastic. I only took the basic flyers, but got some wonderful responses. Most of the people seemed interested, thanked me, told me that they had already contacted Shaw's, or said that they agreed that GE food should be labeled. Only a few people seemed uninterested. It wasn't a very busy day and it got cold, so I only handed out about half of the papers, but I was considering doing more at another time.It was at Shaw's on Main St. in Montpelier, VT. Thank you so much for all of the recourses. I had a great time.

Brattleboro, MA

As you know, I participated in two events, one on Sunday the 27th, and one on Tuesday the 29th. The first was a quiet event with only three people, but we managed to get out a great deal of literature in without being noticed, by Shaw's management. The press was there (I sent you a copy of the Brattleboro Reformer article as an attachment in a previous e mail), and they wrote a flattering article about us. The second event was a larger one, and included the help of Kim. We had a friend dressed as Frankenstein, and wore the hazardous material suits. It was a little more raucous, and a lot of fun. Although, it didn't take long for us to get kicked out of the entrance of the store, we continued for quite a while on the sidewalk and reached many people. Another article was written about this event, in the Keene sentinel (go to the and check the archives.) Also, I had a great deal of enthusiasm from some of my friends and Kim gave us some extra stickers to sticker Shaw's with, so we are continuing to give a good deal of pressure. Thanks so much for all the help!

Middletown, RI

Hey, the leafleting went somewhat well. Unfortunately it was only me and my friend. At first I handed them out to the people at the exit and he handed them to the people at the entrance, we weren't getting far though so we decided to go in. We walked around the store and got a few signatures for the petition, one even from a worker! The manager of the store came up to us and told us we would have to leave and we tried to tell her what it was about but she refused to listen. She said we could do it outside so we went back to the entrance and got more signatures. A little while after though the owner of the parking lot said he had gotten a complaint and that we would have to leave. I started to try and tell him what it was about and he told us that no matter what it was for it is solicitating on private property so we were forced to leave. There weren't any more Shaw's in the area but I think with the extra info we are going to try and pass out at the health food stores on the island. (The Shaw's we hit up was Middletown Rhode Islands on Halloween.) It was a good experience but not a lot of people cared to listen to us and we didn't have "high voices" seeing that there were only two of us. Hopefully next time there will be more. Thank you for sending me the package for it.

Cambridge, MA

I went to the Shaw's in Porter Square Cambridge, MA at about 6PM Wednesday October 30th. There were other people there from Greenpeace and Cleanwater Action Committee. It was overall a good experience. I handed out about 35 postcards and flyers and got a handful of signatures on the mandatory labeling petition. All around it was fun.

Bath, ME

My experiences were positive, for the most part. On the afternoon of Tuesday Oct. 28th, 3 of us stood in front of the Shaw's in Bath Maine and talked with 10-15 consumers. Then, the manager came out and said 'You have to leave or I'm calling the police." So we left and went to the far end of the mall in front of a movie store and a pharmacy. We spoke with 10-20 more folks who signed our petitions and took information, when we saw the manager of Shaw's walk part way across the parking lot, see that it was in fact us, and call the police, even though we were not anywhere near his store. The police arrived in 5 minutes (2 cars), and discovered that we were not 'protesters' as the irate manager had called us, but petition signature gatherers. After explaining what we were doing, the police said we could stay there as long as the store managers of these stores gave us their blessing. Before the officer left, he took our names and birth dates, which I have learned from the ACLU is not necessary. We could have politely refused to give our birth dates or any other identifying information. They did advise us that we should probably give our names when asked by police. Anyway, once the police left, we asked the managers of those said yes and one said no, so we left and went to downtown Bath where the sidewalks are public. Thursday Oct. 31st and Saturday Nov. 2 (both in the afternoon) were successful days gathering signatures and talking with people in downtown Bath. We found about 8 out of 10 people very willing to sign the petition and quite interested in learning more about GE foods and the European success story. It was a satisfying way for me to work on encouraging consumers/citizens to use their voice and to vote with their food choices.

South Portland, ME

We had a pretty good morning at Shaws... handed out all the fliers plus another 50 or so that I photocopied, all the postcards to Shaws (which I had altered to include the new CEO Paul Gannon), collected some signatures for the petition. We were asked to leave around 12:30, but by then we had been there nearly 3 hrs and handed out most of our material. So I think we had an impact to some degree.

Cambridge, MA

I actually enjoyed leafleting at the Star Market. I made a big sign and put the Frankenstein face on it, which I think helped attract people w/out me wearing the face, which I wasn't comfortable with. I got 13 signatures on the petition, and a few more who took literature but didn't sign. Enough interest to make me feel it was definitely worth it.

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