Black Lives Matter Calls For Sit-Ins And Nationwide Boycott As Waffle House Continues To Justify Chikesia Clemons' Arrest
They also have a list of demands.
April 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Waffle House continues to stand by the violent arrest of Chikesia Clemons at one of its Saraland restaurants. In response, a group of activists have decided to protest the chain's decision, AL.com reports.
The diner chain released a statement defending Clemons’ arrest pending an investigation on April 23. The restaurant then doubled down in a new statement released this week.
“Previously, we stated that upon reviewing security video and eyewitness statements, it was our belief that our associates calling the police was necessary and appropriate," said Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner. "In the days since, we have gathered additional details and information. Witnesses say several threats were made to our associates including threats of violence, and that's why the police were called."
Warner confirmed the matter was still under investigation and that the investigation would conclude by the end of the week.
Various advocacy and civil rights organizations united under the the NAACP; March for Our Lives and the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice gathered in protest at Waffle House headquarters in Norcross, Georgia. The organizations were allowed to view Waffle House's footage of Clemons' arrest, and are calling for change.
The groups' demands include charging the officers with assault, sensitivity training for Waffle House employees, the release of the surveillance video of Clemons' arrest and the establishment of a commission to investigate how people of color are treated at Waffle House.
The Atlanta chapter of Black Lives Matter is calling for a nationwide boycott of Waffle House, and wants to kick off the effort with $2 sit ins on May 4. Protesters are being asked to spend no more than $2 buying drinks while occupying Waffle House's tables at peak business hours. There is also a rally planned for the same day at the headquarters.
The Women's March joined the other social justice organizations denouncing the breakfast food chain, and expressed their outrage over Waffle House's behavior. They released a statement scolding the company and expressed their intent to boycott as well.
"We will not stay silent while your company further victimizes a black woman and survivor of police and sexual violence by supporting the charges against her," it reads.
"As a movement that believes in centering the voices of women of color, we commit to doing everything in our power to push back against the degradation and deprioritization of black women across all sectors in the United States."
Clemons was arrested May 22, following a conflict with a waitress. Waffle House says the conflict began when Clemons was charged 50 cents for plasticware. During the arrest, Clemons was thrown to the ground, her breasts were exposed and one of the arresting officers threatened to break her arm.