Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market Closed Saturday, 4/15/17 – But Open Again 4/22/17

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Due to an unpermitted rally and counter-protest in Martin Luther King Jr Civic Center Park, the Saturday Farmers’ Market will be closed April 15, 2017.

The police department has informed us that they expect large numbers of people coming to the park during peak market hours. A similar event on March 4th (March 4 Trump) was unpredictable and resulted in several injuries. It is our goal to create a safe and welcoming environment for all customers, vendors, and staff at our farmers’ markets. Based on the information we have, we do not feel it is responsible to run a market on Saturday the 15th.

The Ecology Center has been working closely with the Mayor, City Manager, and Chief of Police on this issue. They have committed additional resources to try to protect the market, however there is no way for them to fully ensure our safety. 

While this is a real financial blow to our farmers and vendors, we cannot put a price on safety. Please support our vendors by visiting them at our other two farmers’ markets on Tuesday and Thursday, and future Saturday markets. Our market is built on relationships, and this community is very strong. We will be right back the following week. We hope you will be, too.

Stay informed on news from our Farmers’ Market by signing up for email newsletter at ecologycenter.org/FMSubscribe. The East Bay Express and Berkeleyside have been covering Saturday’s rally as well.


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5 thoughts on “Downtown Berkeley Farmers’ Market Closed Saturday, 4/15/17 – But Open Again 4/22/17

  1. I understand that this was a difficult decision to make, but in case these protests start to become regular, please reconsider canceling in the future.

    I have two young children, and we still would have gone to the market in the morning (and out by noon) as we did last time.

    Thanks for helping make Berkeley a great place to live!

    • Hi Sara,

      Thank you for being a dedicated farmers’ market shopper, and for sharing your perspective as a parent. People are gathering earlier, during peak market hours, and previous rallies and counter protests have shown how unpredictable such protests can quickly become. We are very disturbed that unpermitted events are negatively impacting our markets and we are working closely with the City of Berkeley and Police Department on this issue. We are looking at possible solutions and alternatives if this should be an on-going problem.

      We are committed to ensuring the continued health and vitality of our markets. We’re encouraging customers to visit our vendors at our Tuesday and Thursday markets. And, we will be back on April 22nd. I hope you are too!
      I’ve shared your feedback with our Farmers’ Market team, but feel free to reach out to with any further comments to farmersmarkets@ecologycenter.org. Thank you again for taking the time to share your opinion.

  2. Those of us committed to non-violence need to come together to talk about how we can both carry on with our lives in the midst of this madness as well as bring our own citizen presence to these events–a peaceful meditative and/or comic presence. The aggressive ones on both sides of our current issues (mirror images?) must not be allowed to have the rest of us cowering in our homes and disrupting our local businesses.

  3. At first I was angry that the city had permitted this rally. Now I read it is an unpermitted demonstration. So basically, domestic terrorism is holding our community hostage? Now I am angry that our police department has apparently ceded control to …Whom? If we know about it advance I don’t understand how this cannot be stopped before it begins. Plus we know the anarchists will show up and we will end up with a mess like last time. Meanwhile the vendors lose their livelihood and our town looses its market. It’s not on the Ecology Center, it is on the City. 🙁 SAD

  4. It’s unfortunate when people decide to protest a cause they believe in and only end up bring negativity to people who help and contribute so greatly for our community, such as local farmers and people supporting them. Glad this article pointed how people can still go and help at the other markets, hope all matters get resolved safely and effectively.

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