Restaurant owner Fernando Martinez says BlackLivesMatter activists are threatening him and using “mafia tactics” to demand monthly payments.
The Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper reports that Martinez:
“was one of dozens of business owners in the downtown Louisville district who recently received a letter from protesters laying out demands that aim to improve diversity in the area, which is known for its locally-owned shops and restaurants.”
The list of demands include: “make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales” to BlackLivesMatter.
In addition, the letter demands the following:
-Adequately represent the Black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% Black staff;
-Purchase a minimum of 23% inventory from Black retailers or make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization;
-Require diversity and inclusion training for all staff members on a bi-annual basis;
-And display a visible sign that increases awareness and shows support for the reparations movement.
And if Martinez and other business owners refuse to meet the demands BlackLivesMatter activists warned them that their businesses will be “f*cked with.”
Martinez took to Facebook to denounce the “mafia tactics” writing “there comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in.”
In response, BLM activist showed up at his restaurant and again threatened him while one smashed a flower pot outside the business.
On Sunday, dozens from the Cuban community gathered at Martinez’s restaurants for a rally in support of him.
WFLP radio reports that rally attendees carried several signs mostly denouncing socialism: “No 2 Socialism in America.” “Justice 4 All.” “We Are Peaceful People But Don’t Tread On Us.”
One of the speakers at Martinez’s rally was Ahamara Brewster, general of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Kentucky, who denounced the tactics of BLM as “terroristic.” Brewster said “that was another thing that was upsetting: You’re attacking a Black/brown establishment, but you’re in the name of Black Lives Matter. Something’s weird about this.”