Bloomington Farmer's Market Suspended Two Weeks Over Public Safety Concerns

Jul 30, 2019

Cara Caddoo protests at the Bloomington Farmer's Market, July 27 2019.
Credit Courtesy Dina Okamoto

The City of Bloomington is suspending the Community Farmer's Market for two weeks citing a concern for public safety after recent protests and an arrest over suspected ties between a market vendor and a white nationalist group. 

A Monday press release says the city has identified "increasing threats to public safety."

A protester was arrested last weekend at the market amid the presence of several protesters and counter-protesters outside of the Schooner Creek Farms booth. 

Schooner Creek owners Sarah Dye and Doug Mackey have been accused of having ties to the white supremacist group Identity Evropa, and have filed several harassment notices connected to the rumors over the past several years.

READ MORE: Documents Show Embattled Farmer's Market Vendors Filed Several Harassment Complaints Since 2017

“As Mayor, I have spoken for our City to condemn white nationalism and white supremacists as a scourge on our country and our community, and to promise that we will do all we can to overcome their legacies and any current efforts,” Mayor John Hamilton said in the release.

“We also want to assure that everyone knows that all are welcome in our inclusive Bloomington, and that our Farmers’ Market will embody those values of inclusion and welcoming, as well as be a safe space for all to gather, as our community expects every Saturday.” 

The release says the city has taken numerous steps to address the conflict, which prompted several public meetings and forums.

It says the city has identified "threats of specific individuals with connections to past white nationalist violence" that "present the potential for future clashes."

This is the most concrete stance the city has taken on the issue.

READ MORE: Bloomington Unlikely To Boot Alleged White Supremacist From Farmer's Market

Mayor Hamilton will hold a press conference about the farmer's market situation on Wednesday.