Prison Labor Protested at Two Whole Foods Stores Simultaneously

On Friday, August 27th, the Black Liberation Project organized a protest against Whole Foods dubbed “Whole Frauds”, spotlighting Whole Foods’ use of prison labor. The actions took place simultaneously in two different locations; Calhoun Commons in St. Louis Park, and the Grand Avenue Whole Foods in St. Paul.

At the St. Paul location, protesters blocked the aisles to the registers and chanted, “This is what hypocrisy looks like” and “Whole Frauds.”

Protesters also passed out flyers (pictured below) detailing why the protest was organized as well as other options to shop for organic produce that doesn’t use prison labor.

At the location in St. Louis Park, protesters explained why Whole Foods using prison labor is all in the same system as that which kills a Black male every 28 hours.

Store employees and managers quickly called the police in both locations.

The Colorado Correctional Industries works with the Colorado Department of Corrections to match “inmates with an appropriate position within one of our manufacturing, agricultural or service industries.” Through prison labor, inmates within the CCi produce an assortment of goods from carpentry items, to cheese, and tilapia, as well as serve as inmate firefighters.

Whole Foods, who “aims to set the standards of excellence for food retailers“, has contracts with CCi to buy dairy products and tilapia labored by prisoners who get paid sixty cents a day.

Below is an action statement made by Black Liberation Project: