On Friday, December 15th, “a “merry band of miscreants” entered a Whole Foods in NYC, lifted a bunch of groceries, and walked out in Jeff Bezos masks,” reported independent journalist Talia Jane on Twitter/X. The journalist posted, “the action was in protest against corporate wealth alongside increased food insecurity & to call attention to Amazon’s contracts with Israel.”
Videos shows people walking out of the store with food items, donned in masks featuring a likeness of Jeff Bezos and throwing various flyers up in the air while chanting, “Feed the people, eat the rich!,” as store employees and patrons looked on, many visibly smiling and laughing. Talia Jane went on to comment that the food was later“redistributed” and “was all given to food distros & community care spaces feeding unhoused & migrant NYers.”
A flyer passed out to store goers read:
FEED THE PEOPLE–EAT THE RICH!
On Friday December 15th, a merry band of miscreants entered Whole Foods and liberated a variety of foods to return necessary resources to our communities. The People harvested and prepared these items, and this food belongs to the People. We are merely giving back what is already ours.
We assert that corporations like Amazon and Whole Foods do a tremendous amount of harm: hoarding wealth and resources, stealing labor, and destroying the land we live on. When we purchase food from Whole Foods, only a small fraction of what we spend is going back to those doing the labor to produce the food–the vast majority of it is funneled into Jeff Bezos’s coffers, where it is in turn reinvested in weapon manufacturing, war, and big oil.
Furthermore, Amazon’s contract for Project Nimbus with the IOF means that Bezos profits directly from the ongoing genocide in Palestine. Boycott. Divest. Shoplift. Not another dime for genocide!
As of November 2023, Jeff Bezos has a net worth of nearly 170 billion USD, an almost inconceivable amount of wealth. To put it in context, it would take you over 215 lifetimes to manually count the numbers between one and 170 billion. Corporations like Whole Foods perpetuate the myth of scarcity which falsely asserts that food must be earned and hunger is an unavoidable consequence of modern society.
We see this for the lie it is, and we refute every part of it. Access to food is a human right, and we will feed our communities by any means necessary. We believe direct action is a vital form of resistance against the capitalist institutions built to crush, starve, and bleed us to death. Solidarity with shoplifters everywhere! We hope you will be inspired to take similar action wherever you are.
Move like water. Take back what has always been yours. Become ungovernable.
Another flyer read:
These items were liberated from this Whole Foods location because we believe everybody deserves to eat. The shelves in this store have been stocked with items that were harvested, prepared, and cooked via a long supply chain of exploitation and extraction from people and land.
This food was made by the People and it should fill the bellies of the People.
Don’t fall prey to the myth of scarcity! Look around you: there is enough for all of us. This food is being hoarded, and we are giving it back to our communities. The world belongs to us—everything is already ours.
We reject the capitalist logic that food is a privilege–it is one of our most basic human rights. We deserve to eat whether we can pay or not. Tear down the system that starves and kills people, one liberated apple at a time!
Try it at a Whole Foods near you!
Since the 1970s, wages in the United States have flattened, while workers have been driven to take on more work for less pay. Meanwhile, rent and the cost of living has skyrocketed, leading in the post-pandemic world to extreme income inequality that has surpassed even that of the Gilded Age in the United States, hitting communities of color the hardest. and coupled with a decline in life expectancy.
As Yahoo Finance wrote:
The richest 0.01%–around 18,000 U.S. families–have also surpassed the wealth levels reached in the Gilded Age. These families hold 10% of the country’s wealth today, Zucman wrote. By comparison, in 1913, the top 0.01% held 9% of U.S. wealth, and a mere 2% in the late 1970s.
While both corporate parties have touted the “strength” of the economy, the reality for millions of poor and working-class people is that this vast extraction of wealth comes at the expense of those who create it, while producing a never ending cycle of crisis, war, and ecological collapse.