Shoppers at a Ralph's supermarket in West Los Angeles were greeted Saturday for the second day by protesters who sought to discourage them from buying table grapes in support of a fast by United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez.
About 15 protesters gathered outside the Wilshire Boulevard market, chanting, "Boycott grapes," while a half dozen members of another group wound up a 24-hour sit-in in the store's produce section.
Tom Soto, a spokesman for the outdoor protesters, said the group wanted to remind shoppers about Chavez, who has gone four weeks without food to publicize pesticide dangers and the continuing UFW boycott of table grapes.
"We want to lift public visibility that there's a man struggling to survive while protesting," said Soto, regional director of Campaign California, which organized the demonstration.
Some shoppers ignored the protesters, but others agreed with their message.
Gordon Bachmann, one of the store's managers, admitted that grape sales have decreased since protests began.
Peace activist John Murphy said he and others began their 24-hour sit-in in the store's produce section at 1 p.m. Friday.
"We're a group of activists who feel that the misuse of pesticides on grapes and other fruits is putting farm workers and others at severe risk," he said. "It's time to put lives in front of profit margin."
Murphy said his group feels the action was successful because "a major corporation allowed protesters to sit inside the store and discourage customers from buying a product."
Though Save Mart grocery stores gained court orders in five San Joaquin Valley counties Thursday and Friday limiting UFW picketing outside their stores, Ralph's officials did not ask protesters to leave or instigate any arrest action, said Santa Monica City Atty. Robert Myers, one of the protesters outside Ralph's.